Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Newtonmore’s Waltzing Waters to close at end of August 2011

If you’ve ever meant to catch the Waltzing Waters show at Newtonmore, but never quite got around to it, then you had better get a move on, as the nearest (and only UK) venue will soon be the Isle of Wight.

Unfortunately for me, it’s not in a corner of the country I visit much, so I’ve only seen the show a few times over the years, but it is well worth the effort.

As of this post, you have only have two weeks left to catch the show, as its 20 year run comes to an end together with the end of August 2011, after which the venue is to be razed to the ground and probably turned into a supermarket.

I don’t know how much truth there is in the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) claim that it has nothing to do with the loss, and it seems like yet another case of an NPA not doing anything to conserve an area – and conservation takes many form, not just protecting flora and fauna. It always seems to me that if something does not contribute to an NPA’s coffers, then it disappears, or is eventually replaced by something that does (eg wild camping near Loch Lomond).

It also makes the Scottish Government’s demand for a 50% increase in tourist revenue by 2015 look a bit hollow, since there seems to no mention of any campaign or attempt to retain the show or venue – nor of any refusal by the owner to participate in such a think

A tourist attraction which has been running in Newtonmore in Badenoch and Strathspey for about 20 years is to close at the end of August.

Waltzing Waters puts on shows where jets of water lit by coloured lights move to music.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has called in plans to redevelop the site.

A Co-Operative supermarket and five homes have been proposed. CNPA planners have been asked to approve the plans.

In a report, park officers said Waltzing Waters had attracted significant numbers of tourists to Newtonmore over the past two decades.

They said closing down the attraction had been the owners’ personal choice and its loss to the area could not be attributed to the proposed development.

via BBC News – Newtonmore’s Waltzing Waters to close.

Admission & Hours:

Open 7 days a week including Public Holidays
from early February through mid December.
(winter visitors please call to confirm exact dates)

40 minute shows on the hour every hour:

Daytime Shows
10 am, 11 am, 12 noon, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm

Additional Summer Evening Shows
8:30 pm; July & August only
(call to confirm exact cut-off dates)

Adult £4.25 Child £2.50 Concession £3.75

Coaches welcome! – Special Group Rate!

According to the web site:

Around 1930, German inventor Otto Przystawik invented the first musical fountains. In 1964 his son, Gunter moved to the U.S. and continued in his father’s footsteps developing even more sophisticated designs. Today, grandson Michael Przystawik is company president of Waltzing Waters, Inc., the world’s premier manufacturer of musical fountain spectaculars.

In 1979, the newly re-routed A9 motorway bypassed some of the tourist-dependent villages in the Scottish Highlands. Businessman Alex Donald knew something really new and different was required to draw tourists off the motorway into the village of Newtonmore.

While on holiday in Florida, he witnessed the Waltzing Waters. Stunned by its beauty and emotional appeal, he knew he found the perfect solution.

In 1990, Mr. Donald brought the show to Newtonmore and the Waltzing Waters quickly became one of the most popular attractions in the Scottish Highlands.

Post closure

After the attraction had closed, the web site was altered to contain the following message:

After entertaining over 1.6 million visitors, the Waltzing Waters has celebrated it’s (sic) final season in the Scottish Higlands (sic). Concluding performances were seen 26 August, 2011. Shows continue as usual at our Isle of Wight location.

After twenty-two seasons, owner Alex Donald decided to enter semi-retirement on the Isle of Wight, where he continues to oversee the Waltzing Waters in Ryde.

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August 15, 2011 - Posted by | Civilian, Lost | , , , , ,

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