Tag Archives: cairngorms

A Holiday to Scotland

It’s no secret that my heart lies in Scotland. I adore the place. I’m actually convinced that somewhere down the line I must be part Scottish.

Initially we booked this holiday as we were meant to be doing the River Ness 10K but my injury meant I couldn’t run. As I’d now been more and more active we decided to make this an active holiday and make sure we got in some decent long walks.

We stayed in a lodge on the South side of Loch Ness in a small village called Whitebridge. The same site (although a different lodge) from when we stayed in March. You can read all about it here: My Holiday to Scotland

In reality it turned out not being able to run was possibly a good thing. Where we stayed was on the marathon route and the road was closed from 7am meaning we’d have needed to leave before then for a race that didn’t start until 10.45! Not ideal.

The lodge we had this time was smaller than the last but very cosy and still had a log burner and hot tub.

When we stayed last time we discovered a lovely little tea room on our last day so this time we visited it on our first day (and a few times after) We had lunch there before heading out to Farigaig forest for a walk. The walk actually turned out to be more of a hike as we started a steep climb up a rocky path through the forest. We followed a route that was meant to give us magnificent views of an old fort. Despite following the route for an hour we never found it! Annoyingly I tracked this walk on my Apple watch as a hike and it didn’t log a distance or map! I reckon it was probably around 3 miles though. We then returned to the tea room for a hot chocolate and cake!

Hot chocolate and Coffee Cake

The next day we went out and cheered on the marathon runners. Where we were stayed was between miles 2 and 3. I thought the runners would all be through in little over half an hour but we were there almost an hour. I was surprised to see people walking already but I suppose when spectating you don’t know the runners journey or marathon plan. They could have been run/walking. I cheered them all on. We then headed out to Ullapool. It was just over two hours away with a bit of traffic. After our day back as we headed about around 5pm I was surprised to see there were still marathon participants on the course! I spotted the same people who’d been at the very back of the pack walking, they were still walking and between miles 19 and 20 (I think) Walking a marathon must be absolutely gruelling.

Loch Ness Marathon

The masses entering Whitebridge

The next day we went to Aviemore in the Cairngorms. We had breakfast at the café we’d gone to after participating in Aviemore parkrun. We then went to the Glenmore Forest for more walking. We knew we wanted to walk the perimeter of Loch Morlich but also wanted to add in something a tad more strenuous as Loch Morlich is flat. When we picked up a map we saw that part way around the Loch there was another route that would take us on a circular “strenuous” route then drop us back at the Loch to carry on. All together this should have been 5 miles so how we ended up at almost 9 miles I’m really not sure! The route was stunning and worth it to find the hidden An Lochan Uaine (The Green Lochan) which looked like a fairy pool. However it was really difficult. We climbed up for a long time and it was quite steep, however this wasn’t the problem. When it came to going down, the downhill wasn’t as gradual. We had to climb down a really steep rocky path which was difficult to navigate. Some of the steps down were huge and hard for someone of my height! I thoroughly enjoyed it though.

The Green Lochan

After a 9 mile walk the previous day, we decided on a shorter walk the next day. In the lodge was a walk to Foyers that was 3 miles. On route we’d stop off at the tea room too. We walked to Foyers and decided to go down and see the Falls of Foyers before going back to the tea room and then heading back. Again some how a 6 mile round trip turned in to another almost 9 mile walk! This wasn’t too bad in terms of hills but we did have to pass over a river using stepping stones! I was so nervous crossing. I don’t trust my balance at all and every time I went to step there was a big gust of wind. I was convinced I was going to get blown off. Luckily I didn’t!

The last two days of our holiday were forecast to be rainy. It turned out the rain wasn’t as bad as they said but we didn’t want to head out on a walk and for it to turn heavy so we spent time relaxing in the lodge, going in the hot tub and visiting a couple of shopping places.

When it came to heading home the journey was an utter nightmare. The motorway was closed due to a lorry fire on one side and a large car crash on the other side, probably from people looking at the lorry! We had to take a detour along with lots of other people that added 2 hours on to a 10 hour car journey! It was exhausting!

 

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October Memories Through The Years

Since the dawn of digital cameras we’ve been able to keep track of our photographs more than ever before. Chances are with the old film style photographs you might not remember when a picture was taken unless it was a special event. Digital cameras record all the information, where you were, what time and what date. So I thought I’d check back through all my October photos over the years and note down some of my favourite memories.

October 2004

On 15th October 2004 we travelled to the BBC Television Centre at Shepherd’s Bush to watch Two Pint’s of Lager and a Packet of Crisps being filmed starring Sheridan Smith and Will Mellor. If you’re a particular fan of the show we went to watch Series 5 Episode 1 “Dead” being filmed. Pictured below is Janet and Johnny’s living room.

Two Pints

October 2008

On 13th October 2008 I went to Alton Towers. I still lived in Sheffield then and Alton Towers is only a short journey. It was October and freezing. I made my Mum ride the wet rides and this was her reaction.

Alton Towers

October 2010

On October 16th 2010 we travelled to London to see Legally Blonde The Musical at the Savoy Theatre. We arrived in London early to make a day of it but it threw it down with rain and we arrived at the theatre soaked through. Sheridan Smith played Elle Woods.

Legally Blonde The Musical

October 2013

On 1st October 2013 we were in Scotland and went to the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre. I adore Reindeers!

Reindeers

What are your favourite October memories?

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Autumn in Scotland

I’ve posted about Scotland before on my blog here: Scotland Travel Guide – Off The Beaten Track but I wanted to let you all know how glorious Scotland is in Autumn. It’s perfect, if like me, you fancy yourself as a bit of an amateur photographer!

Autumn in Scotland

The colours of the landscape change from lush green to burnt oranges and reds. There are plenty of places in Scotland to visit where you can stand and have an amazing vista stretch out in front of, usually framed by rugged mountains and hills.

Autumn in Scotland

Even though Scotland is renowned for being colder than a cold thing I’ve found in Autumn it’s still quite pleasant. It’s just the right weather to explore in a hoodie or light jacket and jeans. We had days of lovely sunshine and even got sunburnt a couple of times. Of course we experienced rain too but hey, this is the UK.

Ducks at Loch Morlich

As the sun starts to set in Autumn it creates an amazing “golden hour” where the lighting for photographs is just insane. It gives everything a warm even glow. The picture above was taken around 6pm at Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms.

sunset in scotland

Then finally there’s the sun sets! When the sky looks this good naturally, it eradicates the need for filters on Instagram! This was taken early October at 7.20pm. It’s perfect to watch with a mug of hot chocolate whilst sitting under a blanket outside. This photo is taken from a lodge we rented looking out over the Beauly Firth in Inverness.

Scotland is beautiful any time of year but it really is special in Autumn.

Have you ever visited Scotland in Autumn?

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