It’s dark outside, and cold. I’ve not been getting enough fresh air at all. So a chance to get away for a weekend to the outdoors was just too good to pass up. We’d been looking around for somewhere to stay and needed something that was manageable from London in the time we had and we’d been looking at too many things on both Tumblr and Pinterest that meant we didn’t just want your standard “room” or “cottage”. Our criteria were along the lines of “cute”, “rustic” etc and we wanted a cabin in the woods. After trawling through various sites and a whole heap of “glamping” type places that offered accommodation that was alright, I guess, but next door to about 20 of the same thing with them all about 2 metres apart, we eventually found a “shepherds hut” at a little place in Wales. The hut in question was in the grounds of the Kingstone Brewery in Tintern, Wales. We were in luck, it was just a couple of hours drive away and the hut itself (especially at this time of year) was private. It had its own cabin next door with a lounge area, kitchen, bathroom etc and the hut itself had a bed.
It’s time for part 3 of my trip to Scotland! However, before I get started I’m going to have to start pitching to you I’m afraid. This weekend myself and a few other friends are walking the entirety of the South Downs Way. That’s all 100 Miles in 4-5 days. We are raising money for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders and all donations are much appreciated. Our donation page can be found here. Help us raise our target!
As I’ve mentioned previously on the blog, my parents recently moved to the Isle of Mull. It’s been a fairly crazy couple of months, my mum got struck by lightening?!, it’s been the coldest/heaviest snow that Mull has had in years (they keep on being assured, it NEVER does this here). And they are still, of course, living out of boxes. Anyway, they’ve wanted me to head up and see the new place so I took the first opportunity I could. I’ve been sleeping really badly (combo of stress and some other issues) and a weekend away on Mull would be just the ticket to help sort me out (I hope it lasts).
I’ve not done a “weekend” up there since I moved south. From Leeds I could viably take off the one day and get a good chunk of time on the island before heading back. From London? Not so easy. I opted for the Megabus Gold on the way up (this meant I could travel overnight and be in Glasgow early). Well, that’s the last time I do that on my own. I had to basically share a bed with a complete stranger (alas it wasn’t an attractive lady, just a middle aged man). It did mean, however, that I was in Oban waiting for the ferry by about 12. If I’d left that morning from London it would have meant an entire day of travelling (See the Sunday trip home…).
It rained. What a surprise aye? But it was great to see the new place, and we headed off for a quick stomp (nothing too ambitious due to the weather) to the beaches at Knockvologan. Unfortunately, I hardly used my proper camera on this trip, having to rely almost entirely on my phone. It was the kind of wet outside where you’d be out for 5 minutes and be soaked through, I didn’t want to risk my camera in that. These beaches are superb as they are remote enough to be quiet but actually relatively easy to access. They have superb white sand which stretches a long way, good wildlife (we were being watched by a number of seals) and superb turquoise water (even in the rain).
I baked a couple of Lemon Drizzle loaves, but didn’t take any pictures (we just ate them, soz) and it reminded me I need to actually do that recipe at some point (in the mean time check out my miniature Lime Drizzle Loaves). The Sunday back reminded me exactly why I’d tried to break up the journey by going overnight. I left at 10am from My parents place and got back home at 10pm, shattered beyond belief.
I’m looking forward to more adventures at their new place, which was pretty nice to say they have just moved in, it needs work and they are still living out of boxes. It’s exciting to see what the future holds for them up there. I’ll be back up pretty soon for a slightly longer stay. And I’m trying to organise a camping/campervan trip around Scotland for later in the year. Any tips on other bits of Scotland to visit?
This summer needs more adventures.
I mean, it’s competing with last summer, which was pretty rad. It involved a number of weekends away. Several hikes, lots of baking, weekend and day trips. There was one month where I did Devon > Scotland > Cornwall. With only brief stops in Leeds and York in the middle. Those breaks were great.
I mean this summer I’ve got Mull to look forward to with the Cornwall lot at the start of August, the morning after my sister’s wedding, but other than that I feel like I have been doing a lot more drinking a lot more stationary this year. This is a campaign to get me up a few more mountains and to a few more remote locations, with campfires and maybe tents.
Unfortunately I am already running out of weekends though. Why does this always seem to happen? Or at least if I’m not busy, everyone else appears to be. Too much to do. Such little time and such little money.
My mountain climb at the start of the summer fell through and while I’ve been looking to re-arrange it, it appears to be fairly fruitless. I’m more than tempted to just jump on a train to the middle of nowhere this weekend and see where I end up. It’s fairly easy to do out of Leeds with some of the smaller towns/villages on a couple of lines out of Leeds.