Tag Archives: Scotland

All Good Things

After a week in the West Highlands, eventually it was time to pack up our things and leave the rail carriage behind. It had been a great holiday, with no particular agenda from the outset. Being so far away from built up cities and the conveniences they bring hadn’t been too difficult and despite it being October the Scottish weather had been quite forgiving too.

The journey back to England would be long, but broken up with an afternoon stopover in Edinburgh. It was busy, being a Saturday afternoon and all that, but once our suitcases had been stored at the left luggage facility in Waverley station, we set off for some Japanese food at Yes Sushi (of course, everyone goes to Scotland for sushi…)

Once we were well fed, we wandered around the shops until our feet were tired and our train home was finally due. It was full because of an international rugby game that had been played earlier that day, but station by station the seats all gradually emptied. By the time we made it to our destination, we almost had the whole carriage to ourselves. 

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Posted by on October 13, 2013 in Food, Holidays, Outdoors, Shopping, Sport, Travel


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Wandering About

As the week has progressed, the weather has improved and today we decided to try going for a walk around the nearby area. There used to be a pub, but that’s closed though there is a local store that sells groceries and Puzzler books. Aside from that, you’ve probably got an hour or so to walk to the next place you could buy a cup of tea and a biscuit.

I’d printed a few recommended walking routes from the Internet but they didn’t particularly resemble anything that looked like where we were. Half a mile trekking in the wrong direction got us nowhere, so we doubled back and found a nice woodland area that hid a picnic table in a small clearing. This was much more like the kind of thing I was hoping to find, so once sandwiches had been eaten and tree-dwelling birds had been photographed, our spirits were on the rise again.

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Posted by on October 13, 2013 in Food, Holidays, Outdoors, Travel


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Unsurprisingly, a 60 year old railway carriage stood next to an open body of water is an inviting home for mosquitos and spiders to move into. Nobody seems to have taken the time to explain to them that this spot has been claimed by humans and they need to shift themselves down the shore to another place.

Generally speaking the spiders have the decency to stay smaller than the ones Doctor Who fought in the Jon Pertwee years. They haven’t demonstrated any psychic powers or plans for world domination either, so I reckon we can make this week work.

There is an old British Rail map of the network on the wall here though and I did have to do a double take when I saw a spider the size of Dublin crawling across the Irish Sea. Thankfully he allowed me to assist him on his way through the exit (scooped up in a cup and shaken out of a window).

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Posted by on October 12, 2013 in Holidays, Monsters, Outdoors, Sci Fi


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The Key Master

After almost a day of travelling, we reached our home-from-home for the week, a converted 1950s British Rail carriage. Located by Loch Awe, the longest freshwater loch in Scotland (apparently) this is a fairly remote place to stay, though there are pockets of civilisation around and the next town is just a short distance away.

The caretaker who was supposed to be waiting here with the keys had a flat tyre so couldn’t make it on time. Luckily, the local store keep a spare set so I was able to collect those. Unfortunately I put the wrong key into the main door and bent it in the lock. Thankfully a very kind chap from the store was able to get the key back out without breaking the door. My grumpiness lifted immediately as the holiday could begin properly!

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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Holidays, Outdoors, Travel


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On The Rails

Once again myself and the Sock Mistress are heading up North for a Scottish holiday. It’s a lovely train ride and though I travel fairly often as part of my job, it hasn’t taken the sheen off a nice long rail journey.

Normally I prefer a city break to the wild countryside, I like my modern conveniences too much. However, departing from the script this time, I won’t have WiFi and perhaps not even a strong 3G connection! Cripes, if this doesn’t get me away from a screen and face-to-face with nature, nothing will.

The first 9 hours or so of today will be spent travelling, which is impressive, especially since I’ll still be on the same island. However, the weather is looking promising for October and the week ahead should be thoroughly enjoyable.

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Posted by on October 5, 2013 in Holidays, Travel


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Leaving Scotland


All good things must come to an end and eventually it was time to leave Scotland. Dundee had been good fun and there was even time to squeeze in a visit to Edinburgh as well. Despite much of the city being dug up as part of the construction of a new tram system, there was still plenty of shopping and sight-seeing to be done.

The weather was bright and very un-Scottish for the trip back to England, which made for a pleasant journey. As the train was destined for Kings Cross, it was quite crowded, but thankfully the coffee and sandwiches kept on coming – which helped to sustain me until we reached home. Despite all the national news suggesting that we’d find something that resembled the movie ‘Waterworld’ everything was just as we’d left it.

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Posted by on September 29, 2012 in Food, Holidays


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Upon waking this morning the sound of the howling wind outside made me think that Dundee might have blown away overnight. Luckily the weather wasn’t quite as bad as it sounded, so a trip into town could be managed. When the rain came down there was thankfully a little coffee shop to hide in (@henryscoffee – follow them on Twitter and try their hot white chocolate). The main attraction of the day though was seeing the fantastic Discovery, spending its retirement in a purpose built dock. It’s incredible to look up at the boat then see pictures of it in the thick Antarctic ice and think about it being the very same one. Even on a damp day like today, you can’t help but be impressed.

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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Food, Holidays


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