Bonny Scotland

We’ve just spent a lovely week in Scotland, at a Landmark Trust place near Port William. I say ‘near’, but in fact the joy of it was that it wasn’t near anything …. no wifi, no telly, phone only if you were prepared to stand very close to cows who weren’t much into personal (cowsonal?) hygiene.

Isle of Whithorn, near St Ninian's Chapel
Isle of Whithorn, near St Ninian’s Chapel

I’d forgotten how exceptionally beautiful Scotland is:

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Harbour, Isle of Whithorn

There’s acres of sky, clouds as big as mountains, misty hills, lots of cows and sheep …. and not many people at all:

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Near Newton Stewart

Our Landmark Trust house was part castle, part dungeon, part Georgian manor house. Some Landmark Trust places are a bit uncomfortable, as though they’ve been furnished by a sharp-elbowed maiden aunt, the kind that sniffs disapprovingly that a comfy sofa is somehow going to ruin your moral fibre, but this one was lovely with a welcoming farmhouse kitchen and a parlour upstairs with little Georgian casement windows looking out onto the fields. For some reason I kept imagining a big black and white sheepdog lolloping around and flopping in front of our kitchen fire. It turned out that the place was, indeed, supposed to be haunted, but by various creepy old men so I was glad I was just channelling a pooch.

We had been worried that there wouldn’t be enough to do for the smallies, currently 11 and 9, but there was plenty, even on the damp days. There was archery, bike trails, loads of bookshops at nearby Wigtown (including the largest second hand bookshop in Scotland), art shops at Kirkcudbright, a terrifying zipwire thingy, and kind people providing nice food wherever we went. You definitely need a car, plenty of raincoats and a reasonable tolerance of chilly temperatures, though. Luckily I had a terrible cold which seemed to get much worse on the bad weather days, confining me to the comfy sofa and the view of distant, damp cows.

Garden of Old Place of Monreith

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