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 Years: Abandoned A93 Road, Craighall Gorge

On a recent excursion elsewhere, a friend tipped me off to the existence of the gorge at Craighall, through which runs the remains of the abandoned A93 road from Blairgowrie to Glenshee. It’s funny to think that the bridge was constructed in 1994 and the road decommissioned in 2008, both of which are well within […]