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Malham is a very small village in North Yorkshire. The village has a population of around 150 and is mentioned in the Doomsday Book so has been inexistence for hundreds of years. The village lies within the Yorkshire Dales and is probably better know for being on the Pennine Way, the walk passes through the village, and the walk I was about to undertake, the Malham Cove, Janet’s Foss and Gordale Scar starts and finishes there too. As Malham is over 2oo miles from my home I decided to drive down the day before and stayed in a local hotel that night and do the walk the next day. The next morning I was up early and of to Malham. In fact I was so early that when I got to the village I was the only car in the car park. It was a beautiful sunny morning and I…

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Unlike previous trips this one wasn’t planed in advance it was more an off the cuff trip which came about after I took ownership of a motorhome. I always planned to visit Dunnottar Castle but never fancied driving there and back the same day so here was my chance to try out the van and to visit the castle. As it was my very first trip in the van I thought two nights would be long enough to try it out and to get to know how to operate things. As it turned out after two nights I was wishing I had booked 3 or 4 nights. Stonehaven is a lovely coastal town just south of Aberdeen and is most famous for the Hogmanay fireball ceremony when locals march down the high street swinging fireballs. It is also the birthplace of inventor Robert Thomson and without Thomson’s invention I and…

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When planning this break my initial plan was to go north at the start of the week and stay a few days and visit Fort George, a place I’ve wanted to visit for a few years now. Fort George is an army garrison that was built in the 18th century to try control the rebellious highlanders. I planned to stay in Inverness and travel the few miles to Ardersier to visit the fort however after some thought I decided instead to stay in Nairn, a place I had last visited in the 1980s. I have fond memories of the town where movie star Charlie Chaplin was a frequent visitor. The day after booking my accommodation in Nairn I got a message from a friend who lives in London that he had tickets for the Brentford Leicester City game and did I want to come down to London and spend a…

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On Monday 26th of July the Government of Ireland relaxed Covid-19 restrictions throughout the country and for me it was a day of joy as it meant people from the UK who had received both doses of the vaccination could visit the Ireland without having to self-isolate for 14 days. Oh, and also on that date the pubs could serve alcohol indoors which was an added bonus.

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May the 4th be with you. Freedom!!!After months of being in a level 4 lockdown we were set free albeit with some restrictions. Moving down to level 3 meant I could leave the Kingdom of Fife and head north west to Gairloch in Wester Ross for a wee 2 night break. The drive up to Inverness was fairly mundane, a few heavy showers of rain, but once across the Kessock Bridge the skies became brighter, the sun came out, and by the time I reached the view point at Glen Docherty the view of Loch Maree and beyond was simply stunning. Continuing along the A832 I entered Gairloch and immediately saw the small beach on my left and my home for the next two nights, the Gairloch Hotel. After checking in at my hotel I had a walk about the area and discovered that Gairloch isn’t one village but a…

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Most people in Scotland will have heard of Balmoral Castle and will know that the Royal Family holiday there every year however not many people know that you can walk on the grounds of the castle. The most popular walk is the Balmoral Cairns route. This walk takes in a number of cairns Queen Victoria had built in honour of her family members and royal events such as when the Victoria and Albert bought the estate in 1852. The biggest and most well known cairn is the Prince Albert Cairn also known as The Pyramid. In 1862 Prince Albert died at the age of 42 and it is said that the queen never got over his death and from that day on she always dressed in black. The cairn sits atop a steep hill but is worth the climb as on a good day you can see over Royal Deeside…

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As all Scots will tell you, October can be a hit or a miss weather wise in Scotland and on this trip is was almost miss! My plan was to spend 4 days in Oban during which I hoped to take in a couple of walks while at the same time do a bit of island hopping and some sight seeing. However the weather thought otherwise, the forecast was for wind and heavy rains and even the tail end of a hurricane. The first of my walks was on the Isle of Luing. I had planned to do this walk the day after arriving in Oban but as it was fairly decent weather and the bad forecast I did the walk before checking into my lodgings. In order to get the ferry to the Isle of Luing you have to make your way to Cuan on the Isle of Seil…

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Mount Keen is the most easterly of all Scotland’s Munro’s and can be accessed from Glen Esk or from the longer Glen Tanar route. I decided to go for the shorter 10 mile walk rather than the 16 mile route through Glen Tanar. The route I took also offers a reasonably good track all the way to the summit and, on a good day some nice views. On the day I ventured up the glen it is was a dry sunny day with the temperature just into double figures which for me makes real good weather for walking. This walk must have one of the longest walk in I have ever had to do to get to the start of a hill. At the 2 miles mark you reach the Queens’s Well which is a monument to a visit to the area by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who it…

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Hello Bratislava!After weeks and weeks of lockdown it was finally time to pack a bag and get on a plane however unlike previous flights this was a new experience, flying under the “new normal”.This flight started the same as previous flights, a trip to the park and ride and bus number 747 to Edinburgh Airport, but unlike previous trips travelling on the bus meant you had to wear a mask and you had to distance yourself from the other passengers. Fortunately at 4 am there wasn’t too many other passengers. I did however recognise one of the passengers on the bus. It is not unusual for me to meet someone I recognise when travelling, it happens often but this time was different I hadn’t seen this person for over 40 years but I still recognised him, a little older, but he had not really changed since my schools days. It was…

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Tuesday didn’t start well, heavy rain battering down along with thunder but no lightning. The rain continued for a few hours but within minutes of it stopping the streets were dry so it was on with the sightseeing. The old town of Bratislava is similar to old towns I have seen while in Kaunas and Tallinn but that is not to say it isn’t worth seeing because it is. It’s lovely and well worth visiting. Compared to the others it is smaller and has a spectacular castle atop a hill watching over the town. From the castle you get fantastic views of the city and beyond. According to the information board the castle burned down but was rebuilt in 1956. On my visit the central courtyard was set up to stage a play that was to take place later that evening in front of a paying audience. I should mention…

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