Whiskey, Pheasant and Epic Castles
We flew back from Ireland to Newcastle late on the Monday evening & set off early on the Tuesday, heading north towards our next destination, Scotland. We had decided to head to Scotland to spend the Easter long weekend with some friends who would join us later in the week. Scotland wasn’t initially on our hit list; however we were pleasantly surprised by how amazing & picturesque the countryside was. The locals were really friendly and with the right to roam, freedom camping is not only allowed but encouraged! We highly recommend it as a destination and are hoping to head back there and to explore the west coast.
Our first destination in Scotland was Brechin, in the Angus region of Scotland. It’s a few hours north of Edinburgh on the east coast. On route we stopped off in the ‘home of golf’ – St Andrews. We didn’t have time for a round of golf, but as it was a wild windy day, if we had it would have been tough. With the strong winds & wide open course right next to the coast, it’s hard to understand how this place could of been established as the ‘home of golf’. If we had of been playing all the balls would have been blown in the wrong directions! The sites that we wanted to see included the little cobblestone streets, which are full of university students & golf shops along with the lasting remains of the Castle & Cathedral. It’s amazing to see the remains of these once incredible buildings located by the wild seaside of the North Sea. To visit the castle, it’s £6 each, or £9 to visit both the castle & cathedral.
Once we were finished up with the sites, we retreated to our van parked by the seaside / aquatic centre & had a warm cup of tea before starting our journey further north. Traveling along the A90 for most of the way, it was amazing to have the seaside right by our side for the journey. The sun was beaming down too which was even better & strange to be in Scotland with zero rain.
We arrived at our friend’s farm, Balfour Manor in the evening a little later than expected but to two smiling familiar faces & two very curious dogs not sure of the big white thing (aka Barry) parked in their front yard. Staying with Sandy & Joy was an absolute treat, we had a beautiful room along with a view of an amazing, huge Christmas tree, the rolling hills of paddocks & farmland around them. Each morning we woke to a walk around the Christmas tree paddocks or grazing paddocks & in the evenings we resided by the fire to sample a different whiskey. Our favourite was the whiskey by the name of Pulteney located near Wick in the most northern part of Scotland.
While in the area of Brechin we managed to fit quite a lot in, visiting the following sites:
Fishing villages along the coast including; Montrose & Johnshaven.
The cliffs north of Montrose which are home to a number of seabirds including Puffins at the right time of year!
Dunnottar Castle up the coast a little further towards Aberdeen. The castle is a ruined medieval fortress located on a rocky headland, the location is spectacular. We went with a picnic & ate it in the gardens overlooking the same view that the Countess would have seen back in her day. It’s £7 pounds for Adults & to use the toilets but it’s an amazing castle to see. The position itself is a must see.
We stopped at an orchard & picked up some amazing strawberries & raspberries too, the location is on the east coast of Scotland around 2 kilometres south of Stonehaven. The area is known for its soft fruits & they were amazing berries! If I remember the name of the orchard, I’ll update this post!