Sunday, 24 May 2015

Scotland: A visual journey (and some memories)

We returned from our little trip north of the border on Friday (and I promptly had to scrub up in order head back out for drinks and a post-birthday celebration with some friends). Thank you all for your birthday wishes; it's been a lovely week. And the fact that it's now a bank holiday weekend tops it off perfectly.

I'm not going to give you an exhaustive account of where we went and what we did every day. Joe came out in chickenpox the day before we left but has actually been quite cheery. He also slept well in his new surroundings (afternoon naps included) so it meant we managed to get a good balance between going out exploring and staying indoors and relaxing. We had a little lodge overlooking a loch and it was so peaceful; just what we needed after the past few months.

So instead of a blow-by-blow account of our holiday, I've decided to note down some memories (like I did last year). They don't correspond with the photographs. Editing and choosing from so very many was demanding enough. So, without further ado: Scotland 2015. Here are the things I took away with me...

So many primroses growing wild on the hillsides... Drifts of bluebells everywhere... Empty, winding roads carved through mountains and mossily-carpeted pine forests...

Dark skies... Soft rain and dazzling sunshine... Cow parsley and Red Campion on the verges around Glasgow... Mist and snow on the mountaintops... 

Whitewashed cottages with periwinkle-blue front doors... Highland cattle with their shaggy coats and long horns... Field after field of golden gorse... Roadside signs for chimney sweeps and Tunnock's Teacakes...

Fairytale castles filled with glittering things... Beautiful gardens and hidden places... Little lochside towns... Shops selling sweets and Scottish soaps... A tiny gallery displaying paintings up in the loft space...

Woodland paths edged with wildflowers and wild strawberries... Sleeping well... Swallows performing acrobatics outside the balcony each evening... Soft sofas and good books to read...

Ferry crossings to small islands... Old ladies driving the local taxis... Pebble beaches and windswept picnics... Constellations of ox eye daisies... Dense, verdant hedgerows...

Raspberry and marshmallow ice creams... A bright blue fishing net for Joe... A friendly bookshop with a Penguin Books-orange front door... Treasure-hunting along the loch shores...

Bute: Bucolic landscapes with farmhouses and washing blowing on the lines... 

Houses with antlers over the door... Seaweed and driftwood... Gruffalo trails through woodland gardens...

Watching Twin Peaks in the evenings and feeling as though we were in a perfectly evocative setting... 

Wandering and finding unexpected little places... Watching Joe explore and see things for the first time...

Marvelling at contrasts: Tiny churches and houses, giant redwoods and mountains...

Tumbling streams and waterfalls flanking the roads... Spotting deer and rabbits... 

Owls hooting at night... Stiles leading off into mysterious-looking forests...

Stone bridges... Fishing boats... Distilleries and oyster bars...

Gardens filled with rhodedendrons and clematis... Lichen-covered trees... Dry stone walls...

Knowing why we love this part of the world so much, and hoping that one day our journey up there will be one-way...

Four days of blissful peace and quiet and beautiful scenery. It really was restorative.

Oh, and Joe's spots are now fading. All's well that ends well.

Phew! I told you there were a lot of photographs...


  1. What a beautiful memory log of your holiday Sarah. Your words are full of happiness. And the photos as always are beautiful. I'm so glad you all had a lovely, relaxing break and that Joe is over the chickenpox. Our three still haven't had them. I'm a little concerned. ;) Enjoy the bank holiday, Bee xx

  2. Wow, what a fantastic post. Glorious, glorious photos, how beautifully you capture everything. And such lovely memories. I'm glad you had such a good time, it really does sound like the most wonderful week, with lots packed in. I'm glad your little man wasn't too ill to enjoy it all, and I hope he's completely better now. CJ xx

  3. Lovely capture of a lovely holiday x

  4. what wonderful memories, I love how you capture the very esssence of everything x

  5. I'm glad that you had such a good time. Beautiful photos. I love that chandelier and gorgeous dress.

  6. You take the most wonderful images, looks like a lovely time.. a joy to see.
    Amanda xx

  7. looks wonderful, and fabulous inspiration as we are about to spend our day planning a holiday driving around scotland! x

  8. It looks and sounds as though you had a truly incredible time! So glad for you that you enjoyed it so much. Glad too that Joe is doing alright now. Your pictures are so beautiful!!! xx

  9. I am glad you had a lovely holiday Sarah. This is one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, isn't it? x

  10. Hey Sarah,
    Oh I envy your holiday in Scotland. I've never been and long to so much. Your photographs and words just make me want to more. So glad that you had a restful and happy time with your little family.
    Leanne xx

  11. Lovely photos, glad you had a great time :)

  12. A lot of photos yes but what glorious ones, they give such a feel for the place. Anyone can take a photograph and most can take a good one but not many can capture the feeling of a place. Just lovely x

  13. What a lovely post! We live in the highlands of Scotland and your writing conveys just how lovely Scotland is. Our friends never tire of telling us we must have been mad to want to live in the bleak and frozen north, but for the most part it isn't like that all and the wild flowers this year have been wonderful and the air so clean and fresh....I could go on but I'd better stop!

  14. Really lovely. I'm just back from a holiday to Scotland and the Outer Hebrides but I'm not as organised as you - still need to get a blog post done about it.

  15. Beautiful! oh the sheep, so funny, all that wool! it needs it, it's probably cooler up there. I love the castle too...a real Scottish castle. Glad you had a lovely break and got the Chicken pox over with too. X

  16. Beautiful photographs! Thanks so much for sharing!

  17. It sounds wonderful! Beautiful words and photos - I can see why you struggled to edit them! That first one is my favourite. Xx

  18. Wow, it looks amazing. I've only been once to Scotland and I really must go again. I'm so glad you had a good, relaxing time, I know your world has been rocked of late. I'm glad you're going to be part of the Colour Collaboration too, look forward to your posts :) xxx

  19. Your photos and words have totally cheered me up - how beautiful it all looks! Thank you for such a lovely post!

  20. Thank you so much for your story, I have been back for a week from the same area and am missing it dreadfully. We stayed on Loch Riddon in a marvellous 'cottage' and can't wait to go back.


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