Category Archives: Scotland

Europes Ultimate Summer Drives

image
Ivan Tsvetkov/Shutterstock – The Atlantic Road in Norway

With 31 million Brits set to drive their way into summer, psychologist Dr. David Holmes has developed a formula to identify the 25 Ultimate Summer Drives (USD) in Europe.

Dr. Holmes looked at elements of the driving experience that are important to the planning of a summer route, including the number of bends and hills, volume of traffic, type of scenery and even the weather; and combined these with the findings from TomTom’s study of 14,000 drivers from across Europe.

Taking insights from this study, and his expertise in human behaviour, Dr. Holmes developed the Ultimate Summer Drive (USD) formula to help drivers experience the best drive possible this summer.

The Ultimate Summer Drive (USD) =

((P+T) x (R+SC)) x100/21.3333
——————-
SS+AT+W

T = Type of Road
SS = Slope and Skew
AT = Amount of Traffic
P = Stopping Points
R = Remoteness of Road
SC = Surrounding Scenery
W = Weather

The USD formula outputs a ‘Perfect Drive’ percentage score that can be used to identify the best routes to drive on.

2B4D468600000578-3193862-image-a-14_1439390210510
Iceland’s Ring Road – pictured are the slopes of Iceland’s highest mountain, Hvannadalshnukur – part of the Oraefajokull glacier

On cracking the code, Tom Brown, Vice-President, TomTom UK said: “There are so many incredible journeys with jaw-dropping views all over the world to explore, which a summer road trip can help you discover.

“TomTom’s Ultimate Summer Drive formula, and key features within our devices, including Lifetime Maps and up-to-the-minute accurate traffic information, make driving on Europe’s most incredible routes easier, and more enjoyable than ever. Summer driving should be relaxed and exciting – driving to be enjoyed and relished. We know that driving is a passion for many people in the UK – and we’re sure that the 25 best summer driving routes that we’ve identified will be debated by car enthusiasts across the country!”

Developed using variables identified in the research, the USD formula will make planning a summer road trip easier than ever:

·  Incredible (Instagram ready) views: 70% of drivers identified great scenery as key to a holiday drive but this scenery has to be social media friendly with 15% of drivers admitting that photo ready views are a deciding factor in the success of a road trip.

· A great road: For one in four drivers, the road itself is key to a drive’s success with two-lane roads combined with gentle bends, positive camber change and good forward vision identified as the ultimate road combination.

· (Near) empty roads: One in five people cited a remote road that lets you veer slightly off the main path to discover somewhere new (yet with the occasional, reassuring passing car) as being what makes a drive epic, and key to the USD formula.

· Regular stop off points: Well-spaced, regular pull-off points every 30 miles or so with basic facilities and unexpected views helps drivers stay relaxed and energised.

· Great weather: Warmth and a light breeze provide the perfect summer driving conditions.

Unveiling the Ultimate Summer Drive

2B4D383C00000578-3193862-image-a-7_1439389470650
The Dark Hedges, Antrim

The Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway came out top across Europe when mapped against the formula, with its blend of spectacular views, quality roads and perfect light conditions throughout the summer making it the Ultimate Driving Experience in Europe.

The rest of the top five Ultimate Summer Drive roads in Europe is made up of:
2. Estoril Ocean Drive, Portugal
3. Lake Como, Italy
4. The Peloponnesus, Greece
5. The North Coast 500, Scottish Highlands

Commenting on the formula and the top five roads, Dr. Holmes said: “Holiday driving can combine the thrill of the new and novel with a sense of adventure, unlocking a sense of excitement and freedom. Planning a route using my formula before you embark on your summer adventure will help you make the most of your drive and enhance your overall holiday experience.”

Lake Como: Italy
Lake Como: Italy

 

Advertisements

AMBASSADOG – SEARCHING FOR SCOTLAND’S TOP DOG!

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 12.37.03

He clearly couldn’t put a paw wrong … over 200 dogs applied, but there could only be one chosen to be VisitScotland’s Ambassadog.

And that dog is George, a one-year-old Golden Retriever from Glasgow.

George (and his owners) will now have the job of being an ambassador for Scotland on social media, attending red carpet events and generally being in demand as a VID (or ‘very important dog’).

The lucky pup joined his seven fellow selected finalists at a special interview event at Prestonfield in Edinburgh on Sunday, 8 May where dog owners were assessed on their knowledge of Scotland, social media savvy and interview skills.

Owner Victoria said:

“It’s really unexpected and I still can’t quite believe George has been chosen; especially as there were so many lovely dogs in the final. I am very proud of him.  I feel George is a great ambassador for Scotland as he is always looking for to his next voyage.

A golden retriever is also a Scottish breed and VisitScotland will now work with George and his owners to create a programme of activity, to include social media that will enable them to be global ambassadors. In return they will be given a three night specially selected dog-friendly holiday in Scotland in 2016.

A Very Tory Christmas

CWGWIiYWsAIuIO4.png

I love this picture of Prime Minister David Cameron – it really works on so many levels – in that – he could actually play this part in cartoon form!!!

The picture appeared in the Herald Scotland – under the headline “A very Tory Christmas: welfare rules leaving vulnerable families destitute over holidays” – so not a great story -but I do like the artistic impression this gives off.

How To Sound Scottish for the Glasgow Games

The 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow opened in front of a 40,000 crowd at Celtic Park on 23rd July 2014.

Glaswegians can be difficult to understand, at the best of times, and are often wary of strangers with strange voices (mainly English speakers).

So – to help the weary English traveller survive their encounters with my Scottish countrymen, Jason thought it would be useful to teach his English neighbours how to sound Scottish and avoid being given wonky information or dodgy directions.

Voice actor Jay Britton was drafted in to see if he could get our very own Kyra Cross tawlkin scowtish

http://www.voiceofjaybritton.com/

Post Cards From Scotland

Slippery Salmond – would you trust this man?

Union Jack and The Flag of Scotland
Union Jack and The Flag of Scotland

I came across this video today and it’s not only informative but also pretty humour too.  I cannot not vote in the Scotland referendum to break with the United Kingdom but if I could vote…I’d vote no.

This referendum is merely a vanity project and it is a shame that so much money is being spent on it at a time when real and substantial cuts are being made to public finance.

First Minister Alex Salmond
First Minister Alex Salmond

So, why I think we should NOT have an independent Scotland?

1)     The country can barely manage to muster an international football team – what hope of an army and navy?

2)     What was the last thing Scotland ever won as a nation? (outside of the commonwealth games – which had the help of the London Olympics team bidders)

3)     Who will pay for Scotland’s healthcare?
The 2011 Census showed that the number of people aged 65 and over was higher than the number aged under 15. The number of over-65s has increased by 85,000 (11%) since 2001, and now represents some 17% of the total population.   There were 230,000 people aged 80 and over in 2011, an increase of 19% on the figure of 193,000 in 2001.

4)     Who will pay for Scotland’s pensions? If you think the cost of the NHS is bad – just wait until they have to fund their own pensioners!

5)     Who will pay for the defence of Scotland? Truth is, Scotland can only afford a “token” army – so, if ever the chips were down…we’d jump back in bed with England

6)     What currency will Scotland choose?  As can be seen from the video – at first, Alex Salmond wanted to get rid of the Sterling shackles and opt for the Euro currency.  NOW, that the Euro is in meltdown – he wants to stay with England’s currency….hardly a credible response.  In a speech in Edinburgh George Osborne has said that England will NOT share the pound with Scotland.  Anyway, some argue that a reliance on Sterling would likely consign Scotland to an even weaker position that it has today.  “No currency and you simply become a colony of the Bank of England”.

7)     What about the UK’s national debt?   As pointed out by this Guardian article Scotland contains around 5.1 million of the UK’s 62.2 million people,  its share of the debt could be £81bn or greater.  Scotland’s net borrowing would be a parlous £19.3bn in 2009/10 – around 17% of GDP (oh & North Sea oil is not the answer)

8)     People would have to pay more taxes.  It is as simple as that.  The people of Scotland would have to pay more – to get less than they get right now (Salmond wants to keep the BBC – but why should he?)

9)     Could it join the EU?  Not according to the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso who said it would be “extremely difficult, if not impossible” to get the agreement of all existing EU members in order to become a new state.

10)    “Scotland would be better off alone”…that is according to Alex Salmond who I honestly believe has set about on this vanity project which is more about trying to get his name scribbled into a history book – than it has to do with what is best for Scotland and it’s people.  Already he has used what I would see as anti-English sentiments claiming   ‘People do become sick and tired of the succession of day-tripping Conservative ministers flying up to Scotland to deliver lectures and then flying back to Westminster again’.  Why shouldn’t George Osborne deliver a lecture in Edinburgh?  It’s ONE country! Worst of all the crap that comes out of Alex Salmond’s mouth is the drip dripping of anti-English sentiments.  It is a sure sign that he doesn’t think he win the vote purely on the basis of facts – so, he’s going to try and get people’s “yes” vote by anti-English racism.  There is already evidence that racism is on the rise in Scotland.

Finally, I have found an actual voting card that could be used in the referendum due to take place

Scottish Independence voting card
Scottish Independence voting card