Caithness Holiday Day 5: Badbea Clearance Village

An unusual choice of place to visit on the last day of one’s holidays, but an important monument to Highland/Caithness history nonetheless, and one ideally suited to a bleak cold foggy day, too. Forced off the land as part of the Highland Clearances, people from the surrounding areas (Ousdale, Auchencraig) sought refuge at Badbea. Not the […]

Caithness Holiday Day 4: Duncansby Head and Stacks

Ignoring the previous post about offensive misuse of woodland, my fourth day of the holiday started out pretty well, with a trip to John o’Groats – awful tourist-trap of a place but at least they’ve renovated the hotel since I was last there and the ice-cream (2 scoops) was excellent.  The sea stacks themselves are […]

Craig Varr: Misty Landscape

Saturday was one of those strange days where the weather forecast changed, leaving me not particularly inspired where to go take the camera. But I carried on regardless up to Kinloch Rannoch and climbed Craig Varr. The views on the way up were pleasant: nice trees silhouetted against the sky, views along Loch Rannoch; as […]

Caithness Holiday Day 4: when a forest is not a wood

Sometimes I have to tell it like it is. Dunnet Forest is one of the least pleasant collections of trees I’ve ever had the displeasure of walking through. From start to finish, a total misuse of the land. Within 50yd of the carpark are multiple signs warning owners to pick up after their dogs and […]

Caithness Holiday Day 3: Strathnaver and Strathmore are not Caithness

As the weather dictated, a slight detour from the east coast away out to the centre and west of the top of Scotland. I explored the road down Strathnaver, starting with a small church at Syre (a distinctive tin-tab construction originally built by the Free Church of Scotland as a mission to nearby Sutherland estate, […]

Caithness Holiday Day 2: Whaligoe Steps and Camster Cairns

Many moons ago… the parents and I were on holiday around Caithness and having trouble finding the way to Whaligoe Steps. As his tractor turned by the end of the field, we stopped a farmer to ask directions. To southern ears, the instructions sounded memorably like “turn right at the fussky-osk”. With a little thought […]

Autumn at the Hermitage

I spent a happy several hours wandering around The Hermitage by Dunkeld over the weekend, taking in very much the end of nature’s autumn displays – tree foliage fallen and fading, the light dull overcast all afternoon (and mostly raining, at that). First, a few conventional scenes beside the River Braan and the Black Linn […]

The Annoyance of Greenpeace

For a couple of years now, I have followed Greenpeace UK on Facebook. From what I can see, their environmentally friendly missions and aims are generally laudable. But I am having a big problem with their methods. Here are three topics about which they have posted from the last year: There’ll soon be more plastic […]

Autumn in Glen Lyon

A few photos from a trip to Glen Lyon in autumn. An ideal route for an afternoon walk-with-Dog took in 3 distinct kinds of woodland: artificial monoculture (spruce etc, clear barren ground) (fortunately being felled with a view to replacement with native trees), some birch and oak, and (another artificial) an avenue of beech trees. […]