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Monday 23 September 2019

Scotland Tour - Week Two

Hello, I'm back with more of our tour to and around Scotland. On Saturday we arrived at our self catering cottage - 'Cor An Easan' in Midtown, Tongue on the north coast. I think it's fair to say it's remote!

Our neighbours - photo taken later in the week in better weather.

Day 6 - 14th September - Rogart to Midtown, Tongue
We arrived at the cottage and unpacked the car, then off to buy supplies at the very small village store. The weather was very wet and windy so we stayed in and cooked a meal. We have plenty to do here with the books, DVD's and games supplied and the books and crafts we brought along with us.
52 miles travelled today making a total of 600 miles so far.

Day 7 -  Sunday 15th September
Weather still wet and windy but slightly better than yesterday. We took a short trip to the nearest Hotel for Sunday lunch. Interesting how many cars are just left to rot away in this remote area. These must be the oldest we have found so far.

Morris Minors
Day 8 - Monday 16th September - John O'Groats Trip 132 miles
Weather slightly improved again today and we decided to drive to John O'Groats - we are only 66 miles away so it had to be done! On route we stopped for coffee at an amazing place called
The Store Café, I will discus this further on day 11, as we liked it so much we wanted to go back and explore the area in better weather.

The bays we saw as we drove along looked inviting, we stopped Scrabster, near Thurso to take a few photos.

We drove on to John O' Groats, and spent a while there including having our photo taken at the famous signpost. 

Nomadic Boulders Statue & John O' Groats Inn

On the way back from John O' Groats we decided to visit The Castle of Mey, the Queen mother's home in Caithness. This was beautifully presented and all the guides were so very informative and had many amusing anecdotes to share. Unfortunately the weather was not suitable for the gardens and animal areas, but worth a visit to tour the castle alone. No photos were allowed inside but I have the guide book if anyone is interested.

Of course we had to have a cup of tea and a slice of Queen Mother cake in the restaurant!

Day 9 Tuesday 17th September
Today we stayed local and investigated local places along the Midfield coastline. This involved much walking rather than driving. As with everywhere we visited this week, we saw evidence of one of countless small settlements which were abandoned early in the 19th century, when people were evicted to free the land for commercial sheep farming.

Day 10 - Wednesday 18th September - abandoned visit to Durness

Miserable weather today but we set off along the coast to the west of the cottage this time, about half way there we stopped at a remote cafe, and after a cup of tea we decided to go back to the cottage! So no photos today

Day 11 - Thursday 19th September - Tongue & Bettyhill Area
We set off to return to The Store
Café, as we had found the atmosphere there so welcoming on Monday. The caked and drinks as self service with free refills. You can order sandwiches and soups etc. There is a piano and guitar which is available for anyone to use. The friendly girls serving there also seem to be running the laundry attached. 

Making sense of coffee!!
As we were leaving we were chatting to other customers and someone recommended a visit to Strathnaver Museum, which we could see from the café, lying at the bottom of the hill. It was in an old church, surrounded by gravestones. It shows the journey of Strathnaver’s mystical past, through the emergence of the Clan Mackay to the tragedy of the Highland Clearances. We spent some time here in the museum and surrounding area. Lots more photos taken.

As we drove home we saw a sign for Weavers Craftshop and café and decided to take a look. A very busy little place considering how remote the area. Friendly staff and I was asked by one of the ladies if I had made my hat. I explained it was a pattern I found online and remembered it came from Shetland Wool Week Blog. It is called the Baa-ble hat! I'm wearing it in the John O'Groats photo above. People have shared their makes on Ravelry and the pattern is available to download from there. I emailed the details later that day and received a lovely reply.

Here is a view of
The Ben Loyal and Melness Cemetry which is very imposing as you approach Melness from the causeway across the Kyle of Tongue. It was taken with Alan's drone.

Day 12 - Friday 20th September - Local area - Midtwon to Midfield Coastline

As the weather is so much better we decided to explore the coast line again.

Bird's eye view taken by Alan and his drone

At the end of week two we have travelled 1082 miles by car, which is 35 hours of driving, fuel cost so far - £0.00 - thanks to free charging in Scotland!
On to Skye tomorrow.

Thanks for looking
Lynn x

Sunday 15 September 2019

The Adventure Begins - Tour of Scotland 2019

Our tour of Scotland started on 9th September. Some of you will remember we did a similar tour in October three years ago. Then, we had not long owned our first electric car - The Renault Zoe. This had a range of approximately 100 miles. This time, with our new Hyundia Kona we were looking forward to travelling further between charges, as we now have a 300 mile range. (Edited to add photo of car on charger at Tongue - towards the end of the post.)
Our plan is to travel up the East coast from Suffolk, then stay for a week in Tongue on the north coast of The Highlands, a week on the Isle of Skye, then a few days on Arran and travel home via the Lake District.

Day 1 - Mendham, Suffolk to Seahouses Northumbria

First Destination - Seahouses, Northumbria - 340 miles

Seahouses towards Bamburgh - Late afternoon on our arrival
We booked two nights in a hotel, and this was the view from the seafront just outside.

Day 2 - Bamburgh and Seahouses

On day two we had a look around the small town of Seahouses, taking in the harbour, and charging the car in the local car park. Then we drove along the coast to Bamburgh, visiting the castle, the town for lunch, the RNLI Grace Darling Museum and St. Aiden's Church.

From the walls of Bamburgh Castle

Looking out over the town from the castle
Alan took this one with his drone
After lunch we investigated the RNLI museum dedicated to Grace Darling, then took a walk around the church and graveyard.


There is a memorial to Grace in the churchyard which can be seen from sea.

Then there is also the family grave, where she is buried. In 1838, Grace and her father risked their lives to rescue stranded survivors from a ship wrecked in a fierce storm. This feat changed her life dramatically, she became a celebrity of her day and was awarded honours and the NRLI's silver medal for gallantry. Sadly, Grace died just four years later, aged 26 due to tuberculosis.

Day 3 - Seahouses to Killin, Scotland

A few photos taken early in the day, before leaving Seahouses for Scotland.
153 miles (total 493)

We picked a Bed and Breakfast in Killin - The Dall Lodge Country House for the night, and headed off to complete the trip, stopping a few times to admire the scenery and have a break. Very near to the B & B we stopped to look at the Falls of Dochart.

The weather was very wet and windy by this time, so we were pleased to arrive at the excellent B & B. The host is an excellent photographer of wildlife.

We enjoyed an excellent evening meal in the nearby Killin Hotel.

Day 4 - Killin to Rogart
Our next destination was Willie Jack's Cottage, Rogart - 155 miles (total 548)

This is a lovely 'home from home' B & B where we were made to feel like part of the family, we booked in here for two nights so we could explore the area on Friday before moving on again.

Day 5 - Dornoch & Dunrobin

We spent the day looking around the local area, first we went to Dornoch for some shopping. I found the Kingcraig Fabrics (Brora) Ltd. shop. It was recommended by our host Sandy, who had made some lovely things for the home with materials from this shop.

4 ply wool and 100% woolen fabric
Then we spent some time shopping in The Jail and the Courthouse. I was keen to see Dornoch as it was features in Lucinda Riley's Moon Sister (part of the Seven Sisters Series). An excellent read and so far there are five published - eagerly awaiting the sixth due to be published late October.

Shopping in the Old Jail and Courthouse

Lunch in the old Courthouse
After lunch we drove to Dunrobin Castle.
View from inside the castle
Castle from the grounds
 Day 6 - Rogart to Tongue

52 miles - mostly single track! (total 600)
We set off on Saturday morning for the last trip for a week, as we will be staying in a cottage on the North Coast at Tongue for a week. A welcome chance to unpack, and other then shorter day trips we will not have any long journeys for 7 days.

On route
We arrived at Tongue and stopped at Hotel Tongue for a snack as we were early for our accommodation and also to charge the car. 

When we arrived it was extremely windy and raining - Gale force 9! It's very remote here, and we were pleased to arrive, do some shopping for supplies and then make the cottage cosy for the evening.  Weather likely to be similar for a few days, then forecast to be much better. Hence I have had time to write this post and I'm getting on well with the crochet and reading.

From the back of the cottage
Thanks for reading to the end, will be back with more next week.
Lynn x

Friday 6 September 2019


Catherine finished working as DSM on Nigel Slater's 'Toast', back in July, just before her wedding. I have tried to scrap a page for each show she has been involved in, and so usually wait to the end of the run when the take company photos. The theatre was in Victoria - The Other Palace, from March to August 2019. I went along to see it with my friend Hilary, it was a very brilliantly, amusing foodie trip down memory lane.

I used some papers from Bo Bunny's - Dreams of Autumn, which I think I have had for a few years.  I also used scraps of Bazzill from the previous few layouts. The toaster was cut using the Cricut (From My Kitchen Cart) and the title is from the programme. 

Thanks for looking,
Lynn x