Category: Travel

  • Royal Lochnagar Distillery and Albert’s Cairn

    Royal Lochnagar Distillery and Albert’s Cairn

    Yesterday everything seemed to go wrong with the Glenfiddich distillery being closed and our subsequent failed attempts to find a distillery with a tour that wasn’t fully booked and that permitted children. Today we planned to go for a hike in the Cairngorms and I decided to check Royal Lochnagar Distillery on the off-chance we […]

  • Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries

    Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries

    We’ve come to Dunblane for the weekend, a picturesque Scottish village in Perthshire, about 110 miles southwest of Aberdeen. The village is beautiful with lots of quirky shops and an attractive river running through the middle called Allan Water. There’s also a cathedral that dates from the 12th century. There’s a fake Banksy outside one […]

  • Ballochbuie forest and the Falls of Garbh Allt

    Ballochbuie forest and the Falls of Garbh Allt

    The Ballochbuie Forest is a fine remnant of the ancient Caldeonian forest which once covered much of Scotland. It was saved from being felled by Queen Victoria in 1878 and is the first example of woodland conservation in Scotland. Since then subsequent generations of the royal family have protected it. It’s not hard to see […]

  • Swimming at the Linn of Dee and Linn of Quoich

    Swimming at the Linn of Dee and Linn of Quoich

    There was more wild swimming for us today. This time we swam in the Linn of Dee and the Linn of Quoich. Linn means a “pool below a waterfall”. The Linn of Dee is a well-known tourist attraction about 6.5 miles from Braemar. It was a favourite spot of Queen Victoria’s and is a gorge […]

  • Swimming in the Clunie River

    Swimming in the Clunie River

    Yesterday was another warm day and we swam in the Clunie River in Braemar. It was refreshing, crystal clear, and home to lots of juvenile trout. The trout ranged in size from tiny to an adult that was at least half a metre long. They can live for 10 to 20 years apparently and are […]

  • Tomintoul

    Tomintoul

    We went to the village of Tomintoul today. Many times we’ve driven through it and I’ve always thought it looked cute and wanted to linger but usually we’re en route somewhere and haven’t had time to stop. Today we made a special visit just to see Tomintoul. Tomintoul is about 60 miles west of Aberdeen […]

  • An adventure in Strathdon

    An adventure in Strathdon

    There are two mighty rivers in Aberdeen: the Dee and the Don. Both start some 80-90 miles west in the Grampian Mountains and flow into the sea at Aberdeen. The Dee is quite well known thanks to Queen Victoria and Balmoral Castle which is in the Dee Valley. The whole area is known as Royal […]

  • Picnic at Craigievar Castle

    Picnic at Craigievar Castle

    It was a very warm bank holiday in the UK today and since both the kids and I had the day off we went for a picnic and a walk. I’m not a fan of hot sunny days like this. Give me dull, muted lighting any day so I wanted a forest walk where we’d […]

  • Aboyne stone circle and Crathes Castle

    Aboyne stone circle and Crathes Castle

    Our first weekend of car ownership has been rather nice. We can be a bit more spontaneous. With the car club you need to plan in advance and book it. With our own car we can just decide on the spur of the moment to go out. Yesterday we had dinner with some friends in […]

  • The Highland road trip past Corgaff Castle

    The Highland road trip past Corgaff Castle

    We’re back in Aberdeen and fast wifi again – yay! We loved our weekend away in Aviemore; our first trip away since Christmas last year when the whole of Scotland was put in lockdown that eventually lasted more than 4 months. I think lots of people had the same idea as we did because Aviemore […]

  • Bridge over the River Feshie, Feshiebridge

    Bridge over the River Feshie, Feshiebridge

    About 5 miles south of Aviemore is Feshiebridge, an 18th-century stone bridge spanning the River Feshie. There are a couple of short walks from a carpark near the bridge and just downstream from the bridge is a wonderful wild swimming spot. Here’s the wild swimming spot. It looks about 1-1.5m deep at its deepest point […]

  • Through the blue door … River North Esk, Angus

    Through the blue door … River North Esk, Angus

    About 50 minutes south of Aberdeen is an outstanding walk along the River North Esk. It starts at the Gannochy Bridge, an 18th-century vaulted arch bridge about a mile north from the village of Edzell. You can park in Edzell and walk from there or there’s parking beside the blue door itself and also around […]

  • The Balmoral pyramid

    The Balmoral pyramid

    Today is the first day we’ve been allowed to leave Aberdeen after almost 4 months of lockdown. It was Boxing Day 2020 when all of Scotland was put into lockdown. Nearly 4 months later restrictions are starting to lift and we’re allowed to leave the city for exercise and mental health but still cannot stay […]

  • Falls of Dess

    Falls of Dess

    Today was Ben’s birthday and we had a delightful picnic with cake and whisky beside the Falls of Dess. I never knew these falls existed and what a wonderful find they are at only 40 minutes by car west of Aberdeen along a lovely forested walk near the quaint village of Kincardine O’Neil. Ben and […]

  • Macdui Lodge, Aviemore

    Macdui Lodge, Aviemore

    When we went to Aviemore we stayed in a pretty cool place so I thought I’d write about it. Our accommodation was Macdui Lodge at Pine Bank Chalets. This was our second visit to Pine Bank Chalets and it won’t be the last. The owners are so nice, the chalets are well-run, and the location […]

  • Potarch Bridge

    Potarch Bridge

    We visited a lovely bridge over the River Dee today called Potarch Bridge which is about 40 miles west of Aberdeen. It was built by the engineer Thomas Telford in 1811-1813. This is the same Thomas Telford who built the Caledonian Canal and many other bridges all over the UK. I do love an old […]

  • Loch an Eilein and Landmark Forest Adventure Park

    Loch an Eilein and Landmark Forest Adventure Park

    We’re back from our holiday in Aviemore and although we were sad to leave it’s nice to have decent wifi again at the very least so I can see all the photos we took. It’s also nicer to view them on a big screen. My new Samsung phone has a brilliant camera and so we […]

  • An Lochan Uaine and the BMW i3

    An Lochan Uaine and the BMW i3

    I managed to tick swimming in An Lochan Uaine (green loch) off my bucket list today. It’s an emerald-coloured lochan with a sandy beach about 5 miles from Aviemore. It’s so inviting that even Daniel and Ben ventured into the water, despite the frigid temperature. I’m not sure what the temperature was exactly but it […]

  • A night to remember at the Fife Arms Hotel, Braemar

    A night to remember at the Fife Arms Hotel, Braemar

    This is going to be a long post with lots of photos so apologies in advance. We’ve just had a magnificent weekend in Braemar staying at the luxurious Fife Arms hotel. It’s quite a contrast to our recent glamping adventures and definitely opulent but worth every penny. I’ve been longing to spend a night at […]

  • A Scottish ceilidh

    A Scottish ceilidh

    On Saturday night after the Braemar junior games, there was a family ceilidh in the village hall.  A ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee), is a traditional Scottish event with dancing and fiddle music. Other countries have something similar called a “barn dance”. We’ve been to a couple of ceilidhs here and they’re wonderful fun. Someone, a caller, […]