London Scots are everywhere
Golf Club, Charities, Restaurants, Monuments and Ceilidhs (!) – we review some of the more prominent sites, organisations and businesses that concern London Scots.
There are two charities specifically to help out London Scots: Borderline and Scots Care. Borderline’s goal is to help first and second generation Scots find a home and lead a healthy and independent life. Additionally, they run a great carol service which is totally inspiring. Scots Care is for Scots (and their children) living within 35 miles from Charing Cross. They offer training, support, help with housing and social activities. Both charities are always looking for people who can help them either with skills +/or money. So if you have some time (or dosh) then head over to their websites and connect! Additionally, if you live near Bromley you may want to check out South East London Scottish Association. They hold two events a year and raise money for local charities – new people welcome.
It is no surprise that London boasts a range of sports. You can start with the traditional and highly popular London Scottish Rugby Club – founded in 1878. The London Scottish Golf Club is situated in Wimbledon and prides themselves on being down to earth and friendly. Moreover, their clubhouse dating back to Victorian times shows its longevity as well as being a great place to relax.
You will also find supporters clubs of many of the Scottish Football Teams in the capital some of whom are listed here. These tend to wax and wane depending on the success of the team and the enthusiasm of the organisers.
Weyhey – adding colour to London life is a plethora of dance groups that will take in Scottish Country dancing, Ceilidhs and Reeling. The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society runs classes for all levels as well as holding great family events. It’s something that can bring joy to all ages. London Reels runs regular events at Pont St. Church hall from September to June. Following a similar time frame is PGT Reels, based near Sloan Square they provide weekday lessons for the beginner and advanced. Further south is Wimbledon Reels which provide weekly sessions. Our own Ceilidh Club was established in 1998 and runs around 3 events per month throughout the year. Check here for details. There is a live band and a caller who lets you know the steps. You can check out a promo for the club here
OK, so we know that Robert Burns is the coolest poet the world has ever seen. His writing covered love, relationships (he had plenty of experience to draw on), politics, religion and nature. So he covered all the main poetic bases. Moreover, he managed all this in a short life too. It really was no rehearsal. You can see a short video about his life here.
If you want to visit the statue to him then you can down by the Victoria Embankment. Take down a dram and toast his health. If you want to celebrate with some haggis, neeps and tatties then come along to one of our Burns Night events. We always finish each ceilidh with Auld Lang Syne – here are the words (and what they mean).
Over by Smithfield you can see a memorial to Mel Gibson, sorry I meant William Wallace. The true Braveheart who battled for his country’s freedom, however, he died an early death. The ancient Gaelic battle cry bàs agus buaidh (victory and death), is inscribed below the plaque. You can find it on a wall at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital which is near the scene of his death in 1305.
London Scots Tomb
Mary Queen of Scots Tomb – Westminster Abbey, Mary Queen of Scots was born to Mary of Guise and James the V of Scotland, as a Roman Catholic she posed a threat to her cousin Elizabeth 1st. So Elizabeth had her confined and then executed at Fortheringhay Castle in 1587. She had one son who became James VI of Scotland and James 1st of England. Here is a translation from Latin of some of her tomb’s inscription.
To God, the best and greatest. To her good memory, and in eternal hope. MARY STUART, QUEEN OF SCOTS, Dowager Queen of France, daughter of James V of Scotland, sole heir and great-granddaughter of Henry VII, King of England, through his elder daughter Margaret, (who was joined in marriage to James IV of Scotland): great-great-granddaughter of Edward IV, King of England through his eldest daughter of Elizabeth [of York]: wife of Francis II, King of France sure and certain heiress to the crown of England while she lived: mother of James, most puissant sovereign of Great Britain.
London Scots – Restaurants and Bars
There are some excellent Scottish Restaurants and Whisky Bars – some play the Scottish thing cooly while others go the whole grouse. You can find a summary on our blog post – bars and restaurants. However, the sector is very dynamic industry so do let us know if you have a favourite that is not on the list. As a special perk, Mac and Wild are offering Ceilidh Club customers a 20% discount. Just mention Ceilidh Club when booking.
Pop Up Whisky Bar – Get in contact with Rab if you are interested in having a whisky tasting like no other. He does weddings, events and boy does he know his whisky…..Find out more at the Spirit of Scotland and check him out on our London Scots Podcast
London Scottish House – This is the former home of the London Scottish Regiment which has now been bought over and is in the process of a transformation to make it a Scottish cultural centre. Formed in the mid 19th century the current regiment is based in the very impressive buildings of Horseferry Road, London. With a versatile drill hall, the premises can be hired out. The organisation also has a drum and pipe band.
Scottish Piping Society of London – This club meets in central London and put on competitions, charity events and offer tuition at all levels. Follow them on FB, Twitter etc.
London Gaelic Meet Up – yes, of course, there is a Meet Up group for speaking Gaelic. Here’s the link. Tapadh leat.
London Scots – Facebook
In summary, like London, the life of London Scots is varied and fast moving. If you want to stay up to date with offers and news for London Scots you can join our Facebook group.