now you can't come to Scotland and not try the nation's second favourite drink - Irn Bru (Iron Brew). it's made fae girders (not really but it's supposed to give you super human powers - just like this piper has .... hmmm)
We saw this piper waiting for the Bride at Edinburgh Castle's St. Margaret's Chaple. Other pipers in the city may have full Highland Dress and some will have a Scottish Rugby Union Top and of course the all important kilt. Many pipers busk in the city's Old Town a favourite place for lone buskers is outside Deacon Brodie's Tavern - if you like the music throw them some coins. If you would like to see mass pipers then visit the Edinburgh Tattoo
The bagpipes played well are great. Go along Princes Street and you will sometimes see kilted men playing their pipes for a few coppers, they are entertaining to listen to, if you have a favourite tune im sure they will oblige
Scotland’s national instrument is the bagpipe, which consists of a chanter and 3 drones. Bagpipe music is often accompanied by drums what makes the sound terrific.
When wandering around the streets of Edinburgh, you will hear many street performers playing bagpipe, especially during the Edinburgh Festival in August.
Howie Nicholsby runs a company called 21st Century Kilts above his father’s more tradtional kilt shop in the Royal Mile and has been caused a stir over the last few years with an eye-catching catwalk collection featuring kilts in imitation leather, in velvet polka dots, denim, black wool and, most daringly, see-through pink PVC. Robbie Williams has worn one, Ewan MacGregor too. Howie says “It’s about men feeling comfortable with their masculinity and Scots being at ease with their identity.” Then he whips out a bizarre polyester snakeskin kilt which would have a man thrown into the dungeons of Edinburgh Castle if he wore it on the ramparts. He has lowered the height of his kilts so they now rest on the hip and has added secret pockets for car keys and a cell phone. He is even prepared to dispense with the traditional sporran, the purse which hangs down on a belt round the waist, in favour of a sort of Scottish bum bag/fanny pack. Though the thought of wearing some of his outfits might make even the Chippendales blush, the most controversial of all of Howie’s kilts to date has probably been the one decorated with dozens of red, white and blue Union Flagss. Imagine a kilt, the symbol of Highland separatist rebellion, decorated with the flag of the hated union. Wars have been started for less.
If you fancy a kilt with a difference, this is the place to start.
There's a lot of baoney talked about kilts and tartans. You'll see plenty of shops with ranks of clan ties and scarves for sale, each with their own family check and you can spend hours looking through lists of names to work out which one you should wear. It's a harmless game. Just don't take any of it too seriously.
Following the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charlie raised a Highland army and nearly took the London government by surprise, all manner of plaid was banned from Scottish dress and anyone caught wearing it was thrown in jail or deported to Britainýs colonies. When tartan was subsequently rehabilitated and then made hugely popular, first with a grand visit of King George IV to Edinburgh, then with the frequent sojourns of Queen Victoria to her beloved Balmoral Castle, a whole fantasy world was invented around the checked cloth and the so-called ýnoble savagesý who wore it. Names were attached to tartans with little more science than the business of sticking pins blindly onto a page of patterns.
So in the end, just wear whichever tartan you fancy and don't worry too much about it's provenance.
We saw this guy as we were browsing through the souvenir shops. (or should I say HEARD this guy!) I threw in a couple of coins and got in to take the photo before the hoards of other tourists!
While bagpipes existed all over Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, it is only in Scotland that they have three drones. It is also unique that they are used for military music by Scottish regiments. the two tenor drones were developed by 1500, but the third, the bass drone, was developed around 1700.
If you stand and intentionally listen to a man playing the bagpipes, throw some coins into his case. By all means give him some money if you take his picture or videotape him.