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Part 6a- Off to Scotland!

So. The cottage is booked, we are all agreed the time is NOW, James the Cat is driving, Flannel can't come because of work (boo), the chinese checkers board is packed, I have planned day trips, road trips and written down directions to various obscure sites (thanks TMA) and we are OFF TO SCOTLAND.

30th of January 2010 we woke at an impossibly early time to drive from sunny Wolverhampton to Aberdeen via Castlerigg. The sun shining for us we have never been so blessed! Snow capped hills and a deserted Castlerigg made for a glorious visit and a intermission break in a long drive and WOW what a place! Ideally Zoe Fox and myself would have spent the entire day there waiting for the sun to go down but the boys were impatient and there was one hell of a drive ahead... Onward Ho!

Holly Cottage is a little dream of a place with no neighbours and wonderful views. Most importantly it had the best kitchen so Zoe can bake to her hearts content and we can all go home a few pounds heavier (mmmmmmmmm choclate drops). We plan a quiet evening, some chinese checkers, and early night and an easy day tomorrow visiting Dunnotar Castle and having a look around beautiful Stonehaven. Lovely.

Monday 1st Feb will mark the REAL start to the adventure. On the list for today; Cullerie even though I wasn't hopeful that this gravelled little site would blow me away! Sunhoney which was actually the main reason we came to this part of the country, Midmar Kirk to be my first experience of a Christianised site, Cothiemuir Wood which I had heard good things about and finally the giant stones at Old Keig. Quite a day really considering its not easy for me to get the troops moving. They need to drink more tea and fuss about. By the time they were all dressed I had loaded the dishwasher, made packed lunches and loaded the car... honestly you would think I was travelling with children! I checked everyone had their wellies only to discover James the Cat hadn't brought any (Its Anglesey all over again) and we set off for the day.

Cullerie is easy enough to find as its labled on the map and to be honest it was really quite beautiful when its covered in snow! No gravel, although the snow had been walked on quite a bit! we had a moment to reflect and the sun came out for us while we watched the farmer in the next field try to herd his slightly confused and cold looking sheep.

Off to find Sunhoney, shouldn't be hard... Except we are still peering at signs (flying past at James the Cat speeds) when we are suddenly at Midmar Church! Well, suppose we could visit there first as we somehow bypassed Sunhoney. A lovely site! Untouched snow and sunshine we have a lovely cup of hot chocolate and a bikkie before having a good circumambulation and a nice look around the church grounds. James and Zoe find some impressively long icicles and proceed to have a sword fight and off we go back the way we came to try to find Sunhoney.

I get the feeling that the owners of Sunhoney farm would be happier if there wasn't an ancient stone monument on their property. We did spot the sign second time round but only because I remembered reading that it was a small farm sign and no other indication. Martin had read about Sunhoney years ago and was quite excited about his trip, so the sorry looking overgrown circle that greeted us was quite a disappointment. Still, the recumbent is a beast of a stone and they all have a "warm glow" about them which I found quite appealing. As we left, a rather unhappy looking farmer came out of the house to frown at us... ah well!

Lunch break at a rather nice little tea shop and we cant believe what great time we are making. Still, its about 2pm when we get started towards Cothiemuir Wood and the day it already starting to get a bit dull. Thank God for the burial ground else I'm not sure we would have found the place! I rather like the idea and I dont feel that this modern addition detracts from the site at all. The snow on the road up to the car park was an easy 2 feet deep and we were all thankful for the snow tyres and some good driving from James.
What a magical site! Surrounded by trees and snow the area had not had many visitors and felt untouched. Zoe vanished into the woods to pretend she is a pixie and James promptly started hugging stones while we took photos. Eventually it all descended into farce and a snowball fight ensued! We all quickly headed back to the car as the light began to fade for a quick hot chocolate in the hope we can still find Old Keig before it gets to dark. I have the vague idea which way we are heading but Martin refuses to believe me. "But TMA says this way, I wrote it down", "I'm sure I saw something this way, its over here"... on we go in the direction Martin made up! Eventually James decides to ignore him and listen to me and we turn around. At the crest of the hill I see something in the trees, "its down there on the left at the bottom of the trees". Nobody believes me... but I know! So I head off towards the fence, looks like a bank, Zoe and Martin run up no problem and get over the fence but I'm quite a bit heavier than these bunch and I SINK up to my waist! Funny. Everyone is laughing but not a soul comes to help me. Luckily, Zoe promptly falls over face-first and James reaslises his shoes are stuck, so I'm no longer the only soggy one. I go running off down the hill and STILL nobody believes that its there. Half way down the hill with 3 feet of snow and the light fading fast, Martin thinks we should turn around and Zoe has been rolling around so much that she is soaked through and shaking. But I KNOW its here! I can feel it. Just wait. A few more steps and THERE IT IS! A wonderful silent beast hiding from general view and how beautiful and untouched it is! We circumambulate we play in the snow like children and manage to get back to the car just as the last bit of light falls out of the day.

And what a day it has been :)

Midmar Kirk — Images

<b>Midmar Kirk</b>Posted by faerygirl

Old Keig — Images

<b>Old Keig</b>Posted by faerygirl

Cothiemuir Wood — Images

<b>Cothiemuir Wood</b>Posted by faerygirl<b>Cothiemuir Wood</b>Posted by faerygirl

Sunhoney — Images

<b>Sunhoney</b>Posted by faerygirl

Cullerie — Images

<b>Cullerie</b>Posted by faerygirl
faerygirl Posted by faerygirl
13th May 2010ce
Edited 29th May 2010ce

Comments (2)

A cracking read Faerygirl, though thank the gods/goddesses that harsh winter is behind us - all cow parsley and elderflowers now. Some great links too (recumbent stone circles) just to remind me to get back up north of the border before too very long. tjj Posted by tjj
13th May 2010ce
Go back to Sunhoney in the summer and I am sure you will have a different perspective on it! Vicster Posted by Vicster
23rd May 2010ce
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