When it comes to the seasons, I’m like a flighty lover. Every time another one rolls around — whether that’s the depths of winter, or the height of the Scottish summer — I declare I’m in love. Autumn or spring is the only one for me; I adore the frosted leaves, or make eyes at the colourful buds appearing in the flowerbeds. Each one is … Continue reading Driving home for… the Christmas tree and a wintery walk
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 journey that was entirely included in the ticket price. Arriving in … Continue reading Three Isles Tour: How we bagged 3 Scottish islands in 10 hours
This might be the closest to insta-blogging I’ve ever come (can we make this a thing?). Returning to the west coast last night in a blur of service stations and neighbouring vehicles, the sun rose again on another beautiful May day this morning. We’d left Edinburgh behind and the constant pollution — both noise and traffic — had dissolved into quiet village life. I love … Continue reading A picnic at Ardmore Point, Helensburgh
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. Throughout my childhood, hills and sea lochs were literally on … Continue reading A day trip and watchtower walk in Inveraray, Argyll
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
These walks won’t get your muscles defined, nor will they give you vertigo. Instead, these are four of my favourite wanders in different areas of Glasgow and the west, from city to coast. Alongside each stroll, I’ve suggested an eatery (because we all know that’s the best reward after a day of exploring!)
A quintessential Scottish fishing town, Oban plays host to island-hopping tourists and enthusiastic walkers. The buzzing harbour sees trawlers and ferries press past the island of Kerrera and on towards the Outer Hebrides.
As the crow flies, the canal-side village of Crinan is just thirty miles from us. Unfortunately (fortunately, really!) we live on the west coast of Scotland. The spectacular scenery here – bending sea lochs and skyscraper mountains – doesn’t lend too well to tarmac additions. The road stretches for almost eighty miles. Limbs freeze in uncomfortable seats. Is it worth it for just a fleeting visit?
At the short end of a cobbled lane, Riverhill Courtyard opened its doors during the cold March of 2014. The Riverhill ’empire’ — the deli in Helensburgh and well-known coffee bar on Glasgow‘s Gordon Street — has expanded from cosy to Courtyard. It’s continental, cosmopolitan, and definitely more city than quiet Argyll town. Peeled back to the beautiful terracotta bricks, the roof supported by duck-egg blue wooden ribs, the … Continue reading Lunching at Helensburgh’s Riverhill Courtyard
It’s mid-March, end of the week. The car is scattered with birthday cake, a couple of rucksacks, walking boots, waterproof jackets. We’re heading up the south side of Loch Lomond, grey puffs in the sky slowly lifting as we fork left towards Oban. Four seasons in one day: windscreen wipers slice away hailstones; the next second they rest immobile in the sun’s rays. Across the Connel bridge, hills scrambling vertically on our right and the blue loch opposite, we meander towards Barcaldine.