Your great big festive quiz – the answers

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We hope you enjoyed testing your knowledge in last week’s festive quiz.

Here are the answers:


1. South Uist.

2. Near the Butt of Lewis in the parish of Barvas, the remnant of a 5,000-year-old stone circle.

3. Davaar island at the mouth of Campbeltown Loch, where a life-sized depiction of the Crucifixion on a sea cave wall was painted in secret by a local art teacher named Archibald MacKinnon.

4. The Epidii, or ‘horse people’.

5. Killin. Fingal’s Grave is said to be where the mighty Fionn, or Fingal, was buried at the end of the Iron Age around 283 AD.

Bonus: Colonsay. Fingal’s Limpet Hammers are a pair of standing stones, 10’8″ and 8’8″ high.

6.  Lismore. St Columba and St Moluag. St Moluag cut off the little finger of his left hand and threw it ashore, thus claiming to have landed first.

7.  Dun I – pronounced ‘dun-ee’.

8. Many trees on Lewis were destroyed by Viking warrior Magnus III. The Outer Hebrides suffered vast deforestation, with Vikings destroying the tree population to prevent locals making boats.

9. Kenneth MacAlpine was crowned at Dunadd Fort. Kenneth I was King of Dál Riada (841–850), King of the Picts (843–858) and King of Alba, the two united kingdoms (843–858).

10. Dunstaffnage Castle.

11. On Iona, in the Ridge of Kings.

12. Alexander II of Scotland landed on Kerrera in 1249 to begin a campaign to reclaim the Hebrides from Norway. But he was taken ill and died in a field nearby, called Dail Righ, the King’s Field. Alexander’s son, Alexander III, regained the Hebrides for Scotland in 1263 after the Battle of Largs.

13. A well on the west shore of Loch Oich. Seven men’s heads are carved round it in stone: seven brothers murdered their nephews.

14. The Jacobite gold was a large amount of gold coin provided by Spain to finance the Jacobite rising in Scotland in 1745 and rumoured still to be hidden at Loch Arkaig.

15. Lismore.

16. The Reverend Donald Caskie, minister of the Scots Kirk in Paris, born in Bowmore, Islay.

Science and Nature

17. A peak of volcanic rock, called tuff, on Canna’s eastern edge contains so much iron that compass needles on nearby ships point to the hill rather than north. Hence its name ‘Compass Hill’.

18. Strontium, a metal named after Strontian.

19. Descending: pheasant, grouse, partridge.

20. The Scottish or Arran Whitebeam, the Bastard Mountain Ash or Cutleaved Whitebeam and the Catacol Whitebeam.

21. Electricity, from a hydro station at the local aluminium smelter.

22. More than three miles away.

23. Taynish NNR, Glasdrum Wood NNR, Ariundle Oakwood NNR.


24. Bute, Coll, Colonsay, Danna, Easdale, Eilean da Mheinn, Erraid, Gigha, Gometra, Inchtavannach, Innischonan, Iona, Islay, Jura, Kerrera, Lismore, Luing, Mull, Oronsay, Seil, Shuna (Luing), Tiree, Ulva.

25. A. Arran Mountains. B. The Cuillin, Skye. C. Arrochar Alps. D. Grey Corries. E. Mamores. F. Paps of Jura. G. Tyndrum Hills.

26. Scotland’s nine firths are Clyde, Lorn, Pentland, Dornoch, Cromarty, Moray, Beauly, Tay, Forth. The Solway Firth borders with England.

27. The Treshnish Isles.

28. Both pairs are linked by bridges over the Atlantic Ocean.

29. The Hebrides Rocket Range on Benbecula, North Uist and South Uist.

30. A. Inveraray, Loch Fyne (or Loch Shira). B. Fort William, Loch Linnhe. C. Killin, Loch Tay. D. St Fillans, Loch Earn. E Fort Augustus, Loch Ness. F. Arrochar, Loch Long. G. Tarbet, Loch Lomond. H. Strontian, Loch Sunart. I. Ballachulish, Loch Leven. J. Bowmore,  Loch Indaal. K Pennyghael, Loch Scridain.

31. Rockall, lying 301 km from Hirta in the St Kilda archipelago.

32. Kintail.

33. Down the Clyde.

34. The bridge where Glasgow Central Station crosses Argyle Street.

35. Two: Cape Wrath and Cape Difficulty in the Sound of Harris.

36. A. Feolin, Islay. B. Sconser, Raasay. C. Tayinloan, Gigha. D. Wemyss Bay, Bute. E Kilchoan, Tobermory or Drimnin. F. Fishnish, Lochaline. G. Achnacroish, Oban. H. Claonaig, Lochranza. I. Cuan, Seil or Luing. J. Ellenabeich, Easdale. K Kylerhea, Glenelg. L Portavadie, Tarbert. M. Galmisdale, Mallaig or Muck.

37. Because of the Coastline Paradox, which causes the total length to increase each time you measure it with a smaller unit due to the extra features that can be measured.

38. Descending: Munros (at least 3,000ft high), Corbetts (2,500ft-3,000ft with a prominence of at least 500ft), Grahams (2,000ft-2,499ft with a drop of at least 150m), Hughs are ‘hills under Graham height’ – ‘a hill with attitude, not altitude’.

A. Ben More, Mull’s highest mountain – Munro.

B. Askival, Rum’s highest – Corbett.

C. The Pap of Glencoe – Graham.

D. Ben Hogh, Coll’s tallest peak – Hugh.

39. A. Arran, Rachael Hedderwick. B. Barra, Edna Windsor. C. Campbeltown, Ernest and Mary Shaw, and Alastair Greenlees. D. Tobermory, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsay. E. Oban, Mora Edith MacDonald. F. Islay, Helmut Schroder of Dunlossit II. G. Mallaig, Henry Alston Hewat. H. Kyle of Lochalsh, The Spirit of Fred Olsen. I. Portree, Stanley Watson Barker. J. Tighnabruaich, James and Helen Mason.

40. A Dubh Artach sits on a remote skerry 18 miles west of Colonsay and 15 miles south-west of the Ross of Mull, once part of a land bridge between Scotland and Ireland.

B Fladda is one of the Slate Islands.

C Wee Donald is the local name for Holy Island’s inner lighthouse, facing Arran, built in 1877 by David and Thomas Stevenson.

D Hyskeir (Oigh Sgeir) Lighthouse is situated on rocks approximately five miles south west of Canna and eight miles west of Rum. Manned until 1997 and one of the last lighthouses in Scotland to be automated.

E A stumpy lighthouse on top of 39m (128ft) cliffs on the remote east coast of Islay, McArthur’s Head is located to the south of the entrance to the Sound of Islay, six miles (10 km) from Port Askaig.

F Neist Point is one of the most famous lighthouses in Scotland and can be found on the most westerly tip of Skye near the township of Glendale.

G Ruvaal or Rubh’a’ Mhàil Lighthouse, on the remote northern tip of Islay, marks the the north entrance to the Sound of Islay.

H Skerryvore, on a remote island 12 miles south west of Tiree, is Scotland’s tallest lighthouse at 156ft with a diameter of 42ft at the base, tapering to 16ft at the top.

41. Loch Rannoch, Loch Tay, Loch Earn, Loch Awe.

42. The Caledonian, the Forth and Clyde, the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union, and the Monkland, the last no longer navigable. The Crinan Canal runs nine miles between Ardrishaig and Crinan, through 15 locks and crossed by seven bridges and fed by seven reservoirs to stop it running dry.

Beyond Argyll

43. Lachlan Macquarie who left Ulva aged 14 to forge a successful career in the British army, becoming governor of New South Wales in 1809. Today hailed as the ‘Father of Australia’.

44. False: Its original name Santa Maria de las Nieves, ‘Our Lady of the Snows’, was shortened to Nieves and anglicised to Nevis.

45. Attock, Punjab.

46. Calgary, Alberta, known as the ‘Sandstone City’.

47. One – in Scotland. However, there are at least eight Campbelltowns and Campbelltons.

48. Stewart Island. Bonus: Ulva.

49. Mexico and Arizona in the United States.

50. Argyle.

51. Hobart.

52. Vanuatu.

53. They are all features on the surface of Mars.


54. Harris.

55. From Russia With Love. The motorboat chase was begun off the coast of Turkey but problems led to it being abandoned and it was completed, along with the helicopter chase, near Crinan. Needless to say filming was hampered by bad weather.

56. Castle Stalker. Bonus: The Bridge of Death was filmed at the Meeting of the Three Waters in Glencoe.

Song and Dance

57. Eigg.

58. Staffa.

59. Strathspey and reel.

60. Two Highland broadswords or a sword with its scabbard crossed.

61. The mouth music tunes of the Highlands and Islands, often used for dancing when no instruments.

62. Aye the Crinan Canal for me,

It’s neither too big nor too wee,
Oh! It’s lovely and calm when you’re frying your ham,
Or makin’ a nice cup of tea
You can go for a stroll on its banks,
To loosen your muscle bound shanks,
You can darn your socks while you’re still in its locks,
The Crinan Canal for me.


63. Morag.

64. When the Fairy Flag is unfurled in battle, Macleods’ enemies will see twice as many Macleods are there are in reality. The flag can only be used three times, and it has been used twice already.

65. Mckinnon’s Cave.

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