Travel Diaries: Scotland Tour – A little cottage near Scourie and a riverside adventure

We arrive at our holiday cottage, a little north of Scourie, in the late afternoon. It is early April and spring has sprung in the mountains. The little garden is carpeted with daffodils and, just beyond, a small wooden gate leads out to the river bank.

The skies are still blue, and the trees are filled with blossom. The visitor book in the hallway states that eagles can be regularly spotted here, and I keep glancing around, just in case.

Our children are glad to run around and stretch their legs after so much travel and we agree that the only thing we are missing is a little boat to row over to that island in the middle of the river. It would make a brilliant picnic and bird watching spot.

When the children climb into the trees, they are fascinated by the lichen, crisp and crumbly, and then purposefully step around it to leave it intact. My daughter, in her baby carrier, leans over and runs her fingers through the fronds.

A pathway leads us upstream. We spot another route on the opposite bank, in the lea of a small rocky fell, and decide we will definitely cross the bridge a little way away and explore the other side tomorrow. Our eldest son takes care of his younger brother, holding his safety reign, and my husband keeps a hold of a hand and reigns of our profoundly autistic youngest son, who has an acute fascination with running water.

We reach the bridge, where the water cascades, white and foamy, around huge outcrops of imposing rock. The spray covers our faces if we get closer. Our youngest son is utterly exhilarated by the thunderous noise, which we not only hear but also feel in tremors beneath our feet, and impulsively throws his favourite toy right into the centre of the rapids!

He has no comprehension that it is now floating off to the Atlantic Ocean. Our son is usually silent, but now he is shouting with delight, cheering his toy on.

My husband manages, incredibly, to fish toy Woody out of a swirling eddy and back safely onto dry land using a large fallen branch.

We head back inside, and Woody dries out in front of the lovely warm aga whilst we brew a cup of tea. We all perch on stools and enjoy the view from the kitchen window of the gently meandering sea loch.

Next we are packing the car again – although only with warm coats, hats, scarves, mittens and wellies this time. We are off to watch the sun setting over Durness beach. It will be the first time that any of us have seen the northern-most coast of Britain.

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46 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful post. My daughter has lived in Scotland. I would love to visit some day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much ๐Ÿ™‚ It has been our wish to go there for a very long time – it surpassed every expectation (we ended up going back in the autumn ๐Ÿ™‚ ) ๐ŸŒฟ

      Like

  2. Tara says:

    Wow, what a place! I’m glad Woody could be saved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gosh can you imagine if we hadnโ€™t? I think the nearest Disney store was probably Edinburgh, about 4-5 hours away ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ((when we did get to Edinburgh, our son tried to float Woody off the top of the castle … we spend a lot of time rescuing that little toy! ๐Ÿ™‚))

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  3. So pretty. Weโ€™re just watching the Scotland-Ireland Six Nations Rugby match, so seeing a bit of Scotland was fun. Have you ever read the book, โ€œPaddle-to-the-Sea.โ€ Itโ€™s a wonderful story about a carved figure in a canoe that goes from Canada to France. https://www.thestoryweb.com/holling/. I think your children might love it.

    janet

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I will take a look – I havenโ€™t read it but it sounds perfect. Iโ€™m about to finish the book Highland River, a biography of a soldier returning to his childhood highland river – I think your recommendation would be the perfect follow-up x ๐ŸŒฟ

      Liked by 1 person

  4. With a warm ‘aga’ got me. What is an aga? I could look it up. Perhaps it is Scottish? Very nice post and so glad little woody got saved.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Gerard – an aga is a big old fashioned ranged oven. They can be hooked up as the boiler for the house too. The joy is that they are then constantly hot and toasty. We found it was great for drying out boots (and toys) and we all tended to gather chairs around it, if we hadnโ€™t lit the log fires.)

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  5. Woody came close to a real big adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! That crazy toy is always leaping off things or floating away – itโ€™s a full time job ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. Sheree says:

    Such pretty countryside

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is – I really felt that we could have been 100 or more years ago and the view would be unchanged ๐ŸŒฟ

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sheree says:

        Quite possibly

        Liked by 1 person

  7. An exhilarating post. Wise husband to rescue Woody who would have been sorely missed later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Derrick ๐Ÿ™‚ -oh my goodness, we were a long way away from the shops too!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. tootlepedal says:

    Lovely scenery and exciting adventures. Who could ask for anything more?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ These sorts of days are my favourite.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. suzannesmom says:

    How lovely for your children to experience nature like this! Even through photos it’s delightful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much – I have to admit it is as much fun for us to have these wilderness adventures with the children, it’s like not having to grow up ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jo says:

    A close call for Woody. This looks perfect and seeing those daffodils springing through…I’m looking forward to Durness through your lens…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jo x I’m just prepping the photos – Durness (fingers crossed) should be this Wednesday, and then a few days after, another favourite – Smoo Cave ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Dina says:

    Lovely, heartwarming post. Glad you could rescue Woody ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป We also stayed in Scourie before we headed further North. I could pack and travel the same stretch again now after having seen your photos. Looking forward to rest! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We fell in love with Scourie so much that the moment we had a break in work in the autumn (weโ€™re self employed) – we rushed back there! I have a notebook full of everywhere we didnโ€™t have time to see – so we need to go back a lot more times too! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐ŸŒฟ

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What an idyllic place and the cottage sounds just the perfect cosy place… So pleased your hubby managed to fish out Woody, I am sure no doubt your Son would have missed him dearly if he had swam right out into the Atlantic!…
    SO loving this series,
    Did you get Frost this morning??? Loved waking up to sparkling frost with some blue skies for a change..
    Enjoy the rest of your week Mrs TP.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have had the frosts – I do have some photos I need to work on from a very frosty sunday morning walk in the forest. A lovely crunch underfoot that day! (If you are on Instagram, a few of the pics are up there already on tinypotager) …..I’ve just seen the dire storm warnings from 6pm tomorrow …. eeek! I’d better get the terracotta pots into shelter ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes we have had the weather warnings of the storm… And no I am not on Instagram or FB… too many irons in the fire as it is.. LOL… And yes you will need to tie down and batten down the hatches as they say… Stay Safe all of you.. โค

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Did you avoid the storms okay? It was pretty bad here … although the sun broke through by evening.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Hi Dear Mrs TP, Yes it was a horrendous storm here too… Fences and trees down in neighbouring gardens… Our home garden unscathed thankfully… Hubby went to Allotment this morning to check on sheds and greenhouse.. Two panes of glass out and broken in the greenhouse, he’s fixed one and the other covered with some plastic until he can mend it properly with glass.. So we are very lucky when you compare the flooding and damage it has done in other places.. Thank you for asking..
            Hope all is well with you??

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Sorry to hear about your greenhouse – we were okay here, though it sounded so bad in the night when I was awake with my daughter, that I was sure it would look like a hurricane had hit in the morning!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Yes it certainly Howwwwled… And thankfully we are blessed it was only a few panes, and my heart goes out to all those whose homes were flooded yet again.. We have lots to be grateful for..

                Liked by 1 person

                1. We had another wild storm last night, loud enough to keep the children from sleep (and that takes a lot!) – but nothing damaged in the morning, thankfully ๐Ÿ™‚

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Keep safe this weekend Mrs TP… Its already getting very windy and noisy here with the wind of storm Dennis… So take care all of you โค

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. We made it Sue, no breakages – although anything that wasn’t rooted into the ground got stowed in the garage ๐Ÿ˜€ Hope you were okay too!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Thank you, yes we were ok Thank you too though it got rough, but not as rough as some have had it. So grateful we live where we live and not in a flood zone.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Likewise! We have a brook in the village centre that is very close to breaking its banks, so I feel for the people who look out onto it. Fingers crossed the levels will go down now. Glad you are okay ๐Ÿ™‚

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. Hope still are ok in your area..

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. We’ve got snow at the moment Sue … albeit snow that isn’t settling, which my children call “rubbish snow” ๐Ÿ™‚

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. Haha… So Dislike rubbish snow, Mrs TP, and I am with your children on that one… If its going to snow, I love it when you can roll huge snow balls to make snowmen… and go sledging.. ๐Ÿ™‚ We woke up to a sprinkle, but it melted this morning and its sleeted on and off to day… ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope your week is going well.. โค

                      Liked by 1 person

                    7. It is thank you! Still rainy, still no settled snow – but we’ve have had a lovely birthday this week with our littlest son x

                      Liked by 1 person

                    8. And loved you shared your day with us.

                      Liked by 1 person

  13. Vicki says:

    A lovely post and I couldn’t help but wonder why your son threw Woody into the churning water? Perhaps he thought Woody would enjoy the experience of swimming in the water in place of your son?

    (BTW Apple’s Catalina software updated my computer overnight and I can now press the LIKE button direct on your site’s home page and make a comment without having to continually log in to WordPress on every blog site I follow. Am I premature in thinking my ”problem’ has magically disappeared overnight? I seem to remember you saying you had to use the Reader for a similar ‘WordPress’ problem to mine).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! You are spot on Vicki ๐Ÿ™‚ My son often sends Woody in as a test pilot before doing things himself. (Thank goodness really!) Today I was letting him try using garden tools, and he insisted that Woody try them all out first ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

    2. I hope your wordpress issues are over! I’ve still not run the update to check … I really need to get on that!)

      Like

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