Finding fairytales at Preston Mill, East Lothian

As I write, looking out the window of our flat towards Arthur’s Seat, here or there a pioneering tree shouts its last of the season in yellow ochre. The dormant volcano’s rump is going from green to purple, the outcome of that colour wash the inevitable dull brown of deep winter. I wonder how manyContinue reading “Finding fairytales at Preston Mill, East Lothian”

Away with the birds: A trip to Bass Rock

The sea holds something special for me. Growing up a stone’s throw from the River Clyde and holidaying on Highland shores meant that the tide and its creatures were backdrops to my childhood. Since moving to Scotland’s capital Edinburgh in my mid-twenties, the sea — although close — has seemed just out my reach… UntilContinue reading “Away with the birds: A trip to Bass Rock”

Four ways to feel like a local in North London

It was a bank holiday, there was a heatwave, and we were heading south. Last weekend — for a mere 48 hours — we waltzed about London, the UK’s buzzing multicultural capital. It had literally been half a decade since my last visit and (to be honest) I was a bit petrified. I’m a lassContinue reading “Four ways to feel like a local in North London”

History and home goals at Sandford House, Fife

There are many things to love about Scotland but one that I always return to is its sense of mystery. No matter how many times you’ve walked the same road, lived in one place or seen the same landscape, there’s always something to discover. Peel back the modern façades, brand-new brickwork or soulless tarmac andContinue reading “History and home goals at Sandford House, Fife”

The end of autumn at the Hermitage, Dunkeld

I absolutely adore autumn. Okay, I do have a tendency to say the same thing about every season when it appears, from the fragile spring snowdrops to the first frosts of winter… Yet, when it’s the height of autumn and even the cities are covered in colour, I can’t help but feel autumn is theContinue reading “The end of autumn at the Hermitage, Dunkeld”

A postcard from… Arisaig

When you tell folk that you are spending the summer in Scotland, they frequently utter that ‘oh right’ or ‘hmmm’ murmur that basically translates as, ‘Good luck with the weather.’ However, when you manage to sneak in that you’re actually heading to Arisaig, they nod and know exactly why. If you have ever visited the isolatedContinue reading “A postcard from… Arisaig”

Three Isles Tour: How we bagged 3 Scottish islands in 10 hours

Ever wondered how to bag 3 Scottish islands in just 10 hours? I can’t say I had either… For us, this jam-packed mission was about to become a reality as we packed our overnight bag, left Edinburgh behind and headed west. We would be travelling with West Coast Tours, Calmac and Staffa Tours, a tripartite journeyContinue reading “Three Isles Tour: How we bagged 3 Scottish islands in 10 hours”

Gigha: An ideal island day trip

It would be fair to say that Gigha might not be at the top of your ‘Scottish Islands to Visit’ list. It’s one of the smaller, understated and less tourist-friendly dots on our coastline and — with just over five square miles of fertile land to explore — you could quite easily tick it offContinue reading “Gigha: An ideal island day trip”

A day trip and watchtower walk in Inveraray, Argyll

We’re forever gravitating towards Argyll. Long weekend? Night in a B&B? Favourite walk? Whatever and whenever the opportunity, we’ll always leave the city and head towards this rugged, remote region of Scotland to escape from it all. I was lucky to grow up in a tiny village on the border of Argyll and Bute proper. Continue reading “A day trip and watchtower walk in Inveraray, Argyll”

Exploring Edinburgh: Portobello and the Pentlands

I was home on the west coast last weekend. Just for a day — actually, just for 12 hours — and it got me thinking… Is home where we settle? Or is home where we know every curve and line of the land, where we can watch the rain approaching the shore, where we could wander forContinue reading “Exploring Edinburgh: Portobello and the Pentlands”