Northern England & Scotland August 2016

St Marys Lighthouse, Whitley Bay This year, between Harrogate Bead Fair and the Perth Show, we decided to travel east for a change. We spent 3-nights camping and 7-nights B&B or hotel – itinerary below.

Felt a little rushed over 10-days covering about 1,500-miles, but good fun! Weather and camping was great, although chilly at night.

Scenic highlights were:

St Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay
The lighthouse, built in 1898 on a tiny island, is surrounding by a nature reserve of rock-pools, cliff top grassland, and a beach. Accessible by foot when the tide is out.

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland Coast
• Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland Coast Dunstanburgh

 

 

 

 

“The finest castle anywhere in this country” says Time Out. Dramatically located overlooking the sea in a beautiful village, build before 1095.

Not too far away is the remains of another castle on the cliff at the fishing village of Dunstanburgh, where we brought a couple of dressed crab from a little smoke-house (second picture is the harbour).

Lindisfarne Holy Island, a tidal island off the Northumberland Coast
• Lindisfarne Holy IslandIn 635AD Saint Aidan came from the island of Iona in Scotland and built his monastery there.

The name ‘Lindisfarne’ is a mystery, but ‘Lindis’ may refer to people from the Kingdom of Lindis in Lincolnshire.

Reached by a causeway which is open at low tide – we just go off on time! A fascinating place, with a priory, castle, shops, restaurants, two-pubs, and much more.

Crove Bay and Pennan Village, Northern Aberdeenshire
Pennan Village, AberdeenshireCrove Bay originates from a time when the sea was the main mode of transport in this part of Scotland. A tiny fishing village with a small harbour and just enough room between the cliff and the sea for a single row of dwellings. Although you can drive down a steep narrow lane, there are no roads between the cottages.

Pennan Village is a similar habitat with one pub, built at the base of high north-facing cliffs. Both places are extremely dramatic.

Dunnattar Castle, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire
Dunnattar Castle, Stonehaven, AberdeenshireA breathtaking medieval fortress boasting of Mary Queen of Scots presence, perched on rocky headland, close to Stonehaven, half an hour south of Aberdeen.

Once seen, never forgotten.

 

Itinerary:

1. August 13th & 14th – Show at Great Yorkshire Showground, HG2 8NZ. After show to Newquay Lodge Hotel, South Parade, Whitley bay, NE26 2RQ – about 2-hours away. B&B in evening.
2. 15th – Visit St Mary’s Lighthouse on island first thing after breakfast (tide OK then). Then Dunstanburgh Castle and Bambra Castle, NE69 7DF and on coast – NE66 3TT. Then past Lindisfarne Holy Island to Berwick Upon Tweed. Evening – Camp.
3. 16th – Edinburgh to checkout halls. Then onto Killin by Loch Tay in the Trossachs (north east of Loch Loman) – near KF21 8TP. Camp in evening.
4. Wednesday 17th – Up through Highlands, past Aviemore to Crove coastal village near Banff (just to see) AB45 3JQ. Then onto Pennan nearly village on coast too. Evening B&B.
5. Thursday 18th – Peterhead – Camp.
6. Friday 19th – Central Aberdeen Travel Lodge – 21-23 Justice Mill Lane, AB11 6EQ .
7. Sat 20th Aug – Perth SYHA, Perth College UHI, Crieff Road, Perth PH1 2GA
8. Sun 21st Aug – Scottish Bead fair – Perth Concert Hall, Mill Street, Perth PH1 5HZ. After show to The Village Inn, Kirlebridge DG11 3LZ – about 2-hours.
9. Mon 22nd Aug – To York Lorry Park, Auction Centre, Murton YO19 5GF – 2.20-hours / 147-miles. Then to Farm Café, Lincs – 124-miles / 2 ¼-hours, and on to Norwich. Total 299-miles / 5 ½-hours.

Scottish Trip August 2016

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A Week in Scotland – August 2015

Tayvallich Harbour, ScotlandA Wild Land
Scotch ThistleI love Scotland. My dad comes from the fine granite City of Aberdeen, but I prefer the West Coast – wild mountains, long inland sea lochs and islands.

It almost feels like a different country to England, and there’s nothing like climbing over the heather on a rugged hillside with a distance sea breeze.

Scottish Food
Oban SeafoodI even like the food. Fresh mussels, crab, lobster, salmon, trout, black pudding, pies and haggis – not deep-fried Sneakers, a Munchy Box, or Rumbledethumps. Everything’s from oats: porridge, cakes, haggis and whisky.

Loch Eil, ScotlandIndependence
If I could vote, I’d go for independence. Not just to escape Westminster corruption and big-business control, but to get duel nationality. Then if England leaves Europe, I’d have the best of both worlds.  However, to my surprise most Scots want to stay in the UK. They don’t trust Edinburgh, and the whisky and oil can’t supply enough work. Picture is from the ferry across Loch Eil, near Fort William.

First Stop Dumfries – 17th August
River Esk, Dunfres, ScotlandI arrived from Scotch Corner Travel Lodge after the Harrowgate Rock ‘n’ Bead Show, staying in a little attic room at a £29 B&B. Just time for a fish & chip supper and a stroll along the River Esk.

Careful where you park in Dumfries, as most car-parks and on-street parking requires a special disc.

Tayvallich – Night 2 – 18th August
Camping at Tayvallich, ScotlandAfter collecting Dentist at Glasgow Railway Station we pitched tents at this tiny Argyll fishing hamlet, 2 3/4-hours away. Nice site with piping showers close to the harbour on Loch Sween.

I’ve found that if you wear a mask, you need a hat too, otherwise the mozzies still get you through the net.  Mosquito coils are the best though. Midges only appear around sunset and sunrise, and don’t like bright light or a breeze.

Picture at the start of this blog is Tayvallich Harbour.

Oban Youth Hostel  – Night 3 – 19th August
Oban Youth HostelAll-day rain forced us to stay indoors, but was fun chatting to the other guests – and great at the harbour-side Eeusk Restaurant with a seafood platter at only £21.

If you’re in Oban on a sunny day (there are many), get your oysters, mussels and lobster from the little cabin by the Ferry Terminal. Sit on their wooden benches by the harbour, there’s even a new Weatherspoons next-door!

Wild Camping by Kilmory Bay – Night 4 – 20th August
Scotland Camping 2015At a beautiful flat grassy spot on the tiny hamlet of Kilmory. Very out-of-the-way, along single-track off the B8007 – a left off the Road to the Isles from Fort William to Mallaig. All around this area is scenic with great costal walks and white powered sand.

The law is you can camp anywhere off private ground in Scotland – but bring drinking water and take your rubbish with you.

Pitlochry Youth Hostel -Night 5 – 21st August
Waterfall in Glen Coe, ScotlandGreat views along Glen Coe from Fort William with a tough walk along the Forgotten Valley – Dentist struggled clambering up the rocks!

Nice evening walk along the river at Pitlochry to the hydroelectric dam, followed by local beer and folk music at McKay’s. Picture below is the River Tummel, Pitlochry.

River Tummel, Pitlochry, ScotlandPerth Youth Hostel – Night 6 – 22nd August
A morning trip around the Bell’s Whisky Distillery at Pitlochry by a Spanish guide – BA will be taking on African stewards next!

Then onto Perth, which was not as nice as I expected, but the local collage Halls of Residence was excellent with a nice room with balcony.

Perth Bead Fair & a Great Evening at the Village Inn – 23rd August

Nigel & Dentist at Bell's Distillery, PitlochryLeaving the show at 6 pm we motored 2 ½-hours south to the little border village of Kirtlebridge. Very-hospitable B&B Scottish pub – and with only 28 village houses, the few locals made fascinating drinking partners.

From there it’s only 2 1/2-hours to Stoke to drop Dentist home, and then on to Luton.

Total round-trip: Luton to Perth about 1,400-miles. Youth hostels £18 to £28 per person/night. B&B from £29 single or £40 for two.

Scotland Trip 2015

See My Personal Site: NigelHayMckay.com