My first taste of winter mountaineering in Scotland

Always wanted to try your hand at hiking in the white stuff, but not sure where to start? Just like me, then! I was lucky enough to attend a Winter Skills Course with ClimbMTS a few weeks ago so — if you fancy giving it a go — here’s the lowdown on what might be your best ever day in the Scottish outdoors. The week before One week to … Continue reading My first taste of winter mountaineering in Scotland

Exploring Edinburgh: A weekday lunch at Relish, Leith

Although Edinburgh doesn’t fully feel like home to a west coaster like me, it does have its plus points. Hills pushing through the town cobbles, crescents of beautiful buildings and — quite conveniently for my stomach — a host of new eateries to explore. At weekends, our haunt seems to be Henderson’s, an established veggie restaurant just over the New Town’s hump. And, finally, we’ve settled … Continue reading Exploring Edinburgh: A weekday lunch at Relish, Leith

Walking in the Lomond Hills, near Falkland, Fife

A wintry walk at East Lomond, Falkland (as seen in Outlander)

Winter in Scotland has been pretty half-hearted this year. We’ve had a few flurries, far more on the highest hills, but for those of us in Leith… well, it’s been non-existent. So when snow is forecast, us city dwellers do the obvious — chase it. Last weekend, we took the car over the Forth Road Bridge and onto the Fife plains, direction Falkland. It’s a … Continue reading A wintry walk at East Lomond, Falkland (as seen in Outlander)

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 for hours without being found? I arrived back in Edinburgh on … Continue reading Exploring Edinburgh: Portobello and the Pentlands

Exploring Edinburgh: A hike up Arthur’s Seat

We are — very slowly — exploring Edinburgh. I can’t believe how long it takes to get used to a city. I can navigate parts of Leith, the New Town, even the Royal Mile, but the rest? It’s a mystery. Quite unlike our flat, which within a week, felt like home: dinners made, dishes washed, life lived. It’s so easy to fall into routine and … Continue reading Exploring Edinburgh: A hike up Arthur’s Seat

Growing up by St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross

I first caught wind of the NVA’s sparkling proposals for St Peter’s a few weeks ago on Instagram. Since moving away from Cardross — my childhood home for over 22 years — I had been out of touch with the village. But a social media mention of Hinterland — the ambitious sound and light show that would take place at the abandoned seminary, launching Scotland’s … Continue reading Growing up by St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross

Why Irvine is Scotland’s ice cream capital!

A day after returning from Rome in September, we were having gelato withdrawal symptoms (it’s a common occurrence, just ask your doctor). So when B’s family started talking about a place called Vanilla Joe’s — which has recently scooped Scotland’s Best Gelataria at the Italian Awards — our curiosity rumbled along with our tummies. So, with our tans still glowing, we zoomed down to Irvine to … Continue reading Why Irvine is Scotland’s ice cream capital!

What to expect at an Instameet

Where to stop on the Borders Railway

Sometimes, when you’re sitting in an office most of the day, you forget how beautiful nature is. The season when this contrast is most apparent is autumn. Jump in the car after a day at work, and your background is sandstone tenements, modern blocks or city shopfronts. It takes the weekend — and escaping the town — to breathe fresh air, see the seasons swerve … Continue reading Where to stop on the Borders Railway

Italy: Our first Airbnb experience

If you’re a student, a money-savvy traveller or simply like meeting new people, you’ll have heard of Airbnb. With properties in over 190 countries, it’s known as a marketplace for cute, cheap(er) and quirky properties around the world. And this September, I decided to dive into their listings and find an Italian escape for a few weeks. Airbnb is great if, like us, you’re tight on … Continue reading Italy: Our first Airbnb experience

Owning the outdoors at Go Ape Aberfoyle

I can’t imagine a more outdoorsy man than my dad. Ever since I was little, he’s dragged me up hills, through marshes, into a kayak and towards trig points. He is that guy who — at fifty-two — still insists on donning his foul weather gear to head up the mountains, regardless of the weather or his dodgy hips. So, when I was organising my trip … Continue reading Owning the outdoors at Go Ape Aberfoyle