What’s it called?

Stories Of Scotland

What’s it about?

Er, stories of Scotland – or, more specifically historical stories about Scotland. These take in subjects as diverse as witchcraft, the biological weapons experiments on the island of Gruinard, the Darien Scheme and theatre in Inverness during the Victorian period. There’s mythology, social history, politics (plenty of it) and, courtesy of the presenters’ shared love of hill-walking and wild swimming, a strong focus on natural history and landscape. The most recent episode looks at a natural wonder close to this writer’s heart – the Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall near Moffat.

Who’s in it?

The amateur historians in question are Inverness-based pair Jennifer Johnstone and Annie MacDonald, whose day jobs take in environmental science, cartography and archival work.

What’s so good about it?

The range and breadth of subjects is wonderful and the delivery is engaging, but don’t let the homespun production fool you – Johnstone and MacDonald really know their stuff and were recently the recipients of a Royal Society of Literature award for a podcast to be titled Radical Mountain Women. They also mount the odd live show.

Fun fact …

The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland and the first Scottish king to employ it on his coat of arms was William I. Confusingly, he also used the lion rampant on his own royal emblem and is known to history as William the Lion. File that one away for the next Zoom pub quiz.

For fans of ...

Time Team, Who Do You Think You Are?, anything with Neil Oliver running around in a cagoule.