Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Taking my son to Scotland

Posted June 28, 2011

More than 20 years ago WRAL sent me to Scotland to cover the story of a talented young NC bagpiper discovering his family roots on the Isle of Skye and his involvement in the Highland Games of Aberdeen on the east coast of Scotland.

We crafted a series of five stories called “Tar Heel Tartans,” which explained North Carolina’s powerful connection with Scotland.

It was a wonderful trip and I knew I wanted to return one day. I recently had the chance to do so – on my own dime this time. My son Will minored in history at Appalachian State and has long had a voracious appetite for everything Scottish.

As a graduation gift Cindy and I decided to treat Will to a trip to the land of Leslies and many other Scottish clans.

Scotland Bill Leslie: Photo/music essay of Scotland

I will be writing about the trip this week in my blog. I wanted to start with a photo/music essay. These are images from our stops in Edinburgh, Inverness, Aviemore, Newtonmore, Stonehaven, Leslie and other Scottish locations.

The song is one I wrote eleven years ago while playing with the Celtic-fusion group Bragh Adair. The tune is called Gaelic Ghost which seems to fit in with the castle theme. 


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  • bleslie Jun 28, 2011

    tnjed - I've never camped at Uwharrie.

  • bleslie Jun 28, 2011

    Sure Saphire75! Thanks for asking and commenting so graciously. I used a Canon Rebel EOS with Canon Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Autofocus Lens.

  • tnjed Jun 28, 2011

    Bill seems legit. Saw him camping at the same campground as me in the Uwharrie in February one time. How'd you like the gunfire from the nearby shooting range at 6:30 AM Bill? Worst idea ever (allowing a shooting range near a campground)...

  • saphire75 Jun 28, 2011

    Absolutely stunning! Thank you for sharing. Can you tell us what type of camera you used for the photos?

  • wdwbmw Jun 28, 2011

    Bill, So glad to see you back on the morning news. You were missed. I was a McRae until I married and have Scotland at the top of my bucket list. Your beautiful photo and musical essay only made that desire grow even more. Thanks for sharing and I'm glad you and your family were able to enjoy the time together.

  • lynne1931 Jun 28, 2011

    Missed seeing you on the news in the mornings while you were gone. Glad you and your family had a nioe vacation. I have to say that you are one of the most interesting people around. Thanks for letting us share in your life. :)

  • bleslie Jun 28, 2011

    Y'all are so nice! Thank you for all of the nice things you've said.

  • fishnett5977 Jun 28, 2011

    The picture essay and music were just beautiful! Scotland is my ancestral home too! The Stewart Clan has been traced back by one of my cousins to two kings. I have always wanted to go there and to Ireland. I am sure that Will, Cindy and yourself had a wonderful time and will have memories of the trip to last you a lifetime! And maybe, just maybe you'll return there someday! Missed you on the morning news but so glad that you had a wonderful time! Tell Will congratulations on graduation!!! Being really jealous(just kidding :))and thanking you for sharing the pictures of your trip with me down here in Meadow, NC!!! :)

  • graciousity Jun 28, 2011

    Bill, the photography, music and scenery are wonderful! Scotland is ethereal. I always look forward to returning there. Good job! Also, your son is very handsome. Thanks for this display.

  • dharper22 Jun 28, 2011

    Welcome back! Now we know why you were gone and where and the trip sounds like a Scotchman's dream. Look forward to more of your stories about the trip.




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Bill Leslie