Monday, 3 December 2012

Raiding the Borders -FB

The third and final repost for those who follow us on faceache.

Blog and Facething followers may have picked up on our enthusiasm recently for "TheBorders" (all one word). By which we mean the borderlands between Scotland and England.

It is a most intriguing area, not quite Scotland and not quite England, but a separate culture. The best bit is that the word "TheBorders" translates into English as "Shhh! don't tell anyone". It is a less visited, hidden, remote and fantastically interesting place.

For some time we have been considering offering a Connoisseur's Tour to The Borders for those perhaps on a second visit to Scotland, or those looking to get beyond the Edinburgh-Lochness-Done-Home experience.

So why go to The Borders? Here's a few pics of our own trips into the hinterland.
There are things to see

Not all the locals are friendly but they're quite extraordinary

The former capital of England, 1000 years ago

The old spiritual practices still prevail

More old practices.  "Roast virgin, anyone?"
Our tour will travel from Edinburgh, south and west through Berwick (a town that still can't decide if it's in Scotland or England, but either way it's still officially at war with Tzarist Russia.)  

We'll move into the hills of Sir Walter Scott country, then down into northern England.
Walter Scott's favourite view.  The horse carrying Scott's coffin to Dryburgh Abbey stopped here of its own will.  One last look, Walter.
Dryburgh Abbey, nearly 900 years old

This is an area we have just made another reconnaissance trip into, travelling with our friends Vicki and Jim, who you might remember as tour guests on the Jamie and Claire Tour a couple of years ago.  We chose the area to visit with them as they wanted to renew their marriage vows.  The Scottish East March is wonderfully remote and romantic.  Did I mention the great romantic novelist Walter Scott?  He lived and loved here.

Vicki and Jim at their romantic retreat

Yes, they're orange.  The Borders... a strange place
It also has fabulous castles, gardens, Ale, wildlife, rolling hills, food, Ale, coastal views, Ale.

Castle garden, Northumberland, England

And when is the first tour?  Well, that depends on an expression of interest from you Connoisseurs.  Are you interested in seeing this remarkable area? We're itching to go in 2013, so start trawling the web for yourselves and looking into "Alnwick Castle" "Bambrugh" "Lindisfarne" "Peebles" "Northumberland".
Could you die having NOT been here?

Contact information is on the following web page:
Via FaceAche, Blog comments, email etc.

Winter Walks -FB

Here's a repost of a recent Blogger post for FaceAche users, now that we have finally managed to connect the feeds. 

Our local village has a Paths and Walking Group.  Today we led a nice, crisp winter walk up a gorge containing The De'il's Cauldron.

The light was that fabulous liquid light of a Scottish winter.


On the shaded side of Glen Lednock, the beech trees are covered in moss.

There were a few climbs

The Wee Cauldron:

Book Ends:

The Peat Hags tour - FB

Here's a repost of an earlier blog for FaceAche followers.
Long overdue as a tour record, but the nights are long here in the Highlands now that the clocks have gone back an hour, so I have time to FINALLY put up a wee blurb about the August tour Journey to the Western Isles, known to those who were on it as The Peat Hags. You'll perhaps recall that our laptop died on day 2 so there was no tour blog.

I will let the pictures, just a few, tell the story.

Sue, err, living dangerously.

Gabe and Sam high in the hills of Skye

Sue  - in the presence of stone

Gwen - contemplating the pilgrimage?

These standing stones have... well... character

Taigh Tugh - the 'black' house
Sue, Gabe, Judy and Gwen.  By a peat stack.  Now you know why it's called the Peat Hags
Next year's Western Isles tour will be a joint effort between ourselves and author Mara Freeman.  It'll take place in June (now fully booked) and in August (places available) and have a spiritual focus - we'll be going to more standing stones and sacred places.  See Mystical Scotland page on Mara's site.