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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » East Lothian » Dunbar January 21st 2020

Folk who know me will testify that I am not a character that does things on a whim. The night before the A to Z of Dunbar however I had come up with the idea of using Sunny Dunny as a starting point for a couple of hours running along the coast. As my mind wondered, I started to consider if an alphabet would be possible. Within five minutes I had come up with 8 letters which was enough for me to switch on the laptop and indulge in some light planning. Dunbar would be the smallest town I had tried to alphabet and the initial route was around 21 miles. I thought it would be wise to do some revisions on route should they arise. Blessed with the famous Dunbar sunshine, I set out from ... read more
Belhaven the home of Scottish bewing
Black Agnes the story
Draw well

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 18th 2020

Sadly it was our last day in Rannoch Moor and most of the group were heading off early to get to Glasgow Airport in time for all their various flights. I had a bit more flexibility as I was in my car, so I decided that I would start early again and head back to Kilchurn Castle, which is, apparently, a great location for the sunrise and, according to the forecasts, there was actually a strong possibility of there being a sunrise. There wasn't. As I was driving there, across the moor, it was snowing really quite heavily. I got to the castle and was disappointed. Additionally, it also meant that I missed my last opportunity for a full English breakfast. All was not lost however. I needed to go all the way back to the ... read more
Rannoch Moor
Glencoe

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 17th 2020

What a difference a day makes. After three days of rain, rain, snow and more rain, some sky had actually replaced the ever present white sheet. That said, there was still a lot of rain, but the weather was literally changing by the minute. Rain, followed by some light breaking through a gap in the clouds, followed by some snow, followed by some more rain, followed by some full blown sunshine and than back to rain again. We stopped in Loch Ba again for the sunrise. There sunrise was not worth it, but there was a short moment when the light fell on the mountains in the opposite direction to the supposed sunrise, which made some good photographs. Some of us caught it, some of us did not sadly. Fortunately, I did. Not back in time ... read more
Scones and Tea
River Etrive
Tame Deer

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 16th 2020

It was another early start, but again a non sunrise. This time we were heading south of Rannoch Moor to Kilchurn Castle, on the shore of Loch Awe. We all got soaking wet, as did our cameras, however there was a short gap in the rain for some half decent photographs. For a few short minutes, the wind even died down enough for the castle to be reflected in the lake. It was back to The Green Welly Stop again for breakfast. I had a look around the gift shop, including the whiskeys, which it would be rude to not at least consider buying whilst up here. Apparently, price wise, we are better off getting it from our local supermarket in England. I don’t think my local Sainsbury’s has the whiskeys costing £6,950 a bottle though. ... read more
Castle Stalker
Smoked Salmon
Scotch Whisky

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 15th 2020

It was another early start and another non sunrise. Not only that, but it was pouring with rain. Today was going to be a complete wash-out. It was also almost impossible to take any photographs as the moment you took your lens-cap off, the lens was covered in water-droplets. We got back to the hotel, just in time for the end of breakfast today. We tried a few different locations for some photos, including Loch Etive, where there were some stark looking trees growing out of the lake, so it was not a complete loss. What was also nice was that, as we were passing through Glen Etive, we saw some highland deer, which were unbelievably tame and were more than happy to stand there whist 12 photographers got completely carried away taking pictures of them. ... read more
Tame Stag
Stag Selfie
Lock Etive

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 14th 2020

We were all up and ready an hour before sunrise, however that wasn’t too antisocial as the sunrise is not until 8.45am in Scotland at this time of year. That said, like yesterday, there was no sunrise as the sky was completely covered by flat, white clouds. Not ideal for photography. We went to a location in Loch Ba for the non sunrise and stayed there for about an hour to take some photographs anyway. The rain had turned to snow overnight, which bought some beauty to the scenery, despite the washed-out sky. They don’t seem to take any chances on this road, we saw numerous snow-ploughs passing throughout the day. In fact one passed us as we were getting out of our minibus, and completely covered most of us in ice and snow. We’re sure ... read more
Rannoch Moor View
Coupall Falls

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland November 14th 2019

At 7:45am, the sound of a low, heavy vehicle could be heard, seemingly waiting outside the croft. For the last three days, apart from Robert returning home to his house, that I can neither see nor hear, there has not been a vehicle here. We are at the end of an unmarked, narrow, perfectly tarmaced lane. No one comes here. This morning is heavy with the residue of icy hail which I heard on the roof window at 4am. The ice-cold weather has permitted me the luxury to read in bed this morning. I have no dog to walk, no animals to feed, no gym to cycle to for a swim and now no job to attend. For now, I’ll appreciate and enjoy this small luxury of reading a borrowed book from this lovely home. It’s ... read more
a church of great beauty and rememberance
abandoned
ferry, please wait for me.

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland November 6th 2019

We just returned a few days ago from a crazy trip through Scotland and we can’t wait to share it! Scotland surprised us in so many ways. We were overwhelmed by the vast number of things that there is to discover, making our trip surprisingly busy. First thing to say is, Scotland is absolutely beautiful. The gorgeous landscapes blew us away, not to mention the rich history which with us coming from Britain doesn’t always read well, vibrant nightlife, and delicious wholesome food! Here are some of the highlights of our Scotland trip. Fun Times in Edinburgh As the country’s capital city, Edinburgh was our first stop. We thought of skipping the capital city at first, but we’re glad we dropped, in the end we could have spent the whole trip in Edinburgh. The bar and ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Ross and Cromarty » Tain October 27th 2019

Here we go again. Last touches to the backpacks before saying goodbye to Dougal, and the chilly winds and first hill snows of winter in Scotland. Provided that the Ecuadorian President keeps his recent promises to the long suffering indigenous population, then hopefully the rioting, curfews, and teargas of the last few weeks will remain in the past and we will arrive in Quito in 3 days time. Its been a bit of a guessing game over the last month, with all trips canceled during the declared state of emergency, and gov travel advice saying 'only if journey necessary' . Only got green light 2 days ago ! Keeping an eye on the sparse snippets of Ecuadorian news available on internet. Very exciting. Tracy and David have, possibly somewhat recklessly, offered to look after our beloved ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh October 23rd 2019

A Royal Scot – Edinburgh, October 2019 It’s been a few years since I last tramped over the uneven cobblestones of this ancient royal city, dodging the almost constant rain drops and sampling an excellent Shepherd’s Pie and a shot of smoky-peat whiskey in a local pub. I didn’t have the time during that last visit to really explore the alleyways, museums, hole-in-the-wall cafes or even Holyrood Palace – time to correct those errors. Edinburgh is a city that begs to be discovered, filled with quirky, come-hither nooks that tempt a visitor to explore just that little bit further afield. I began my latest adventure on a Virgin Atlantic nonstop red-eye flight from Las Vegas to Manchester in northern England, where my brother and I grew up, went to school and made the decision to emigrate ... read more
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