Lodestars Anthology is the newish kid on the block in lifestyle / travel / adventure magazines. It has recently published Issue two, a stunning collection dedicated to Scotland. As someone who has never been further North than Leeds, reading this was like discovering something new.
Scotland has always been a mystery, steeped in legend, soaring mountains and beautiful beaches. Cities of great heritage and culture, yet I haven’t even been! Lodestars Anthology has confirmed that I MUST go, take my tribe and head over the border to discover the beauties that await.
Lodestars Anthology have kindly shared images and excerpts from Issue two, I’ll hand you over to Lodestars editor Liz Schaffer to share why Scotland for this issue…
Scotland has long been on my travel wish list. Growing up in another hemisphere it seemed like a far off place where water spirits swam wild, warriors roamed and the day was frequently saved by a sword-wielding lass. Whisky flowed freely, mist was common and there was magic in the land. Visiting Scotland was inevitable and shortly after trading Australia for the United Kingdom I found myself in Edinburgh, the country’s regal capital. Even in the midst of this major European city I still felt that my whimsical image of Scotland, conjured up with the aid of distance and fairytales, wasn’t far off the mark. The terrain is timeless, the sea is all-powerful and entire communities, particularly those found on the country’s 130 inhabited islands, remind you what remote really means. For a small nation, Scotland feels immense – and all too easy to love.
Dedicating an entire issue to Scotland was a joy. Not only could I gush about a destination I adore, but other fervent and unapologetic Scotophiles emerged from the weathered woodwork, equally keen to share and explore this ancient land. There were illustrators with a passion for castles, poets transfixed by dark and stormy roads, archaeologists who wouldn’t trade island life for the world, distillers and ghillies, chefs and adventurers. No one was alone in their affection for Scotland.
In all fairness, we may be viewing Scotland through rose-tinted glasses. While many of our contributors are locals inspired by childhood memories of scrambling over ruins and reciting Burns for the first time, others, like myself, are travellers. People blessed with the ability to see Scotland with fresh eyes, unhindered by the prejudice of the everyday.
We gaze upon Munros, lochs, brooding beaches, pine forests and the endless ocean – and there’s not a water bill or parking fine in sight. We view the perfect and the pristine – magnificent moments that are far removed from our ‘real worlds’. As a result, what we see is pretty damn good.
Then again, perhaps such positivity is apt. Scotland is a Neverland (fittingly for the spiritual home of J. M. Barrie). Merging the wild and untamed with the delightfully civilized, it has inspired generations of writers, artists, gourmands, inventors and explorers. You’ll just have to visit to understand why.
An excerpt ‘Celebrating It’ The Glasgow Boy
Born and bred in Glasgow, Charles Rennie Mackintosh – known as much for his moustache as his artistic genius – worked tirelessly as a designer, architect and artist, emerging as the father of Scottish Arts & Crafts. He met Margaret at the Glasgow School of Art, where all pioneering creative minds should meet. Together, inspired by modernism and Japanese art, the duo filled Glasgow’s Victorian and Gothic structures with ornate details and ethereal flourishes while bestowing the streets with a few Art Nouveau architectural wonders of their own. Their buildings are functional artworks that tell an unconventional story while reflecting an acute awareness of the natural world.
Although Mackintosh passed away in relative obscurity, he still had a loyal local following who were aware of the power of his works and frequently commissioned him. Chief among these was Kate Cranston, for whom he created Oriental-meets-European tearooms complete with signature wooden furnishings, geometric lighting and leaded mirror friezes. The Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street (a fantastic spot for afternoon tea) pays homage to Mackintosh’s 1911 original, playing with masculine and feminine shapes while boasting silver chairs and an elaborate, newly-discovered fireplace. If only the pagoda-topped lampshades had similarly survived the test of time.
Mackintosh pilgrims should also visit House For An Art Lover, opened in 1996 from a series of sketches he created back in 1901. The original drawings were made for a Germanbased architectural competition, but like a true artist Mackintosh didn’t read the guidelines properly, forgot to submit enough sketches and was promptly disqualified. Hence the decades-long delay in building. The structure that stands today still has a Mackintosh soul and is a complete blend of art and architecture – nothing is without purpose and everything strives to astound. Take for example the Music Room. This cream and pastel space is a celebration of light that makes you forget yourself, at least for a moment, and imagine you’re lost in sun-bathed woodlands. This probably has something to do with the painted leaves framing the windows.
An excerpt from ‘ 5 5 ° to 6 1 ° North’
Orkney now appears remote to the world it was a hubbub of population, trade and ritual observance. This is celebrated in the region’s World Heritage status, embracing the stone circles of Brodgar and Stenness and surrounding chambered tombs and galvanised even further by major excavations at the Ness of Brodgar, which are unearthing an extensive complex of Stone Age ceremonial buildings.
These monuments have cast long shadows over the low treeless landscape for four to five thousand years, but what of the people that created them? Many secrets lie buried beneath the windblown sand and as you walk across the shores and fields you know that below your feet much still lies hidden. But sometimes a storm or plough brings them to light. This is how Skara Brae, the most famous of the archipelago’s prehistoric settlements, and home to Orcadian farmers between 3100 BC and 2500 BC, was discovered in 1850.
Standing on the wall tops of this astoundingly intact village and looking down into the houses, you can almost hear the echo of voices, see where a woman sat by the fire stirring the pot, where the grains of hard-won wheat and barley were ground and where the family slept in two heaps within stonebuilt beds under warm furs.
What wonderful stories, it certainly makes me want to read on. Lodestars Anthology are kindly giving away to one lucky Littlegreenshed reader a copy of Issue 2.
All you need to do is complete the rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway closes on Friday 24th April. Winner will be announced within two days after. Good Luck!
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Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed. A UK lifestyle & travel blog
Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.