The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Facility Reviews by notjamesbond

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Morven Gallery (Cafe, Isle of Lewis)

The chocolate cake in this place is to die for hehe! Mind you that's pretty much all they have on offer in the way of deserts. Not that it's a bad thing, the primary purpose of the Gallery is clearly that of showing art and they do a good job of it too. 1st July 2003ce

The Balmoral Hotel (Restaurant, Moffat)

Okay, well it's not just a restaurant, its a hotel as well and I'm sure the rooms are very nice. However, the one thing that lights up this place in my opinion is the Haggis.

My friend and I make it an essential part of any trip up along the motorway to Glasgow to stop off in the delightful borders town.

The Haggis with neeps and tatties is the best you will find anywhere in Scotland (a substantial boast I know but it's true).

A definite recommendation if just for that particular dish.
1st July 2003ce

The Kirkwall Hotel (Hotel, Kirkwall)

We'd heard that the Kirkwall Hotel did the best food on the island and as my birthday co-incided with our stay on the islands we decided to celebrate by dining in style. You can't miss this place by the way, it's one of the first things you see as you step off the boat at Kirkwall harbour and look into town.

The food did turn out to be superb but alas the service left a bit to be desired which I was suprised at considering the repuatation of the place. My hot chocolate was served to me in a teapot if that gives any indication of the kind of thing I am talking about. A cup of tea was ordered later and that came sans milk or sugar. It was a case of just laughing off these inadequacies though because the chef definetely deserved our compliments. They even forgot to charge us for dessert which is always nice so I'm not complaining too much ;-)
2nd June 2003ce

Kirkwall Youth Hostel (Youth Hostel, Kirkwall, Orkney)

Just outside the center of Lerwick you could easily use this as a base for exploring the whole of the Orkney isles. It looks like a former community center of some kind which has been converted. The rooms are mainly 4 bedders which is good as there is a good chance you'll get one to yourself.

Pleasant enough but not spectacular, its not the sort of hostel to go to if you want rousing fireside chats but it serves its purpose.
2nd June 2003ce

Lerwick Youth Hostel (Youth Hostel, Lerwick, Shetland)

A large manor house just outside Lerwick town center. It's an ideal location for wandering around the town and the museam is just a few streets away.

The opening hours leave a lot to be desired though. Theres a community center next door and you've got to go there to check in. As I recall the only times you could do so was between 3.30pm and 5 and then again at 9 o clock. A bit daft if you ask me. Oh and they had a curfew, I think it was 11 o clock. Never did like those we had a good night on the tiles planned as well ;-)
2nd June 2003ce

Stromness Youth Hostel (Youth Hostel, Stromness, Orkney)

Situated in the center of Stromness, this is an ideal location for exploring the town and meeting fellow travellers.

Alas when we arrived it was already late so we didn't get to sample the atmosphere as much as we would have liked but it was still nice sit with a cup of tea and listen to people talk and swap stories about where they had been that day.

One thing about youth hostels though is you can never really tell what kind of nights sleep your going to get as you often have to share dormitories with several other men. If theres a snorer in the room you just don't stick a chance. Thats what happened to me. I spent the evening gazing up in fury at the ceiling as the lug opposite made enough noise to wake the dead. Grrrrr! nothing is more irrititating in life than to be in that situation :-(

In saying that though, you run the risk of that happening in any hostel. The atmosphere was still first rate and I got a lovely little stamp to go in my book :-)
2nd June 2003ce

Gardiesfauld Youth Hostel (Youth Hostel, Uyeasound)

The original plan when travelling to Unst was to camp somewhere because we thought it would be fairly hard to find decent budget accomodation on this tiny island.

Imagine our horror then when after disembarking from the ferry, the rain and wind combined to make our lives living hell. Our faces dropped when we realised we'd have to put a tent up in this torrential storm.

It was then that we saw the sign. Not an official hostel it terms of being a part of the SYHA but a hostel all the same and it was only a couple of kilometres from the ferry port in the tiny village of Uyeasound.

The warden lives in a white house opposite the hostel, she books you in and allocates your room. The hostel was clean, warm, spacious and with good cooking facilities. A much better way than spending the night shivering in the freezing rain. As hostels go you've got to judge by atmosphere and this was one of the best.
2nd June 2003ce

The Baltasound Hotel (Hotel, Baltasound)

This place has the honour of being known as the most northerly hotel in the British Isles. As to the standard of the rooms though, I'm not sure about that because I opted to stay at the cheaper youth hostel on the south of the island. Food however, is a different story and the hotel is open to folk who just want to pop in for a spot of tea.

In fact its a good job they do allow this because the island of Unst is scarcely populated enough and good places to eat in an evening are a rarity indeed.

The choice of dishes was not extensive, a choice of two starters and two main courses only. No suprise this really considering how far the hotel is from any real population. However the food was excellent. I dined on Salmon and my friend...well he ate some other dish which I don't recall as I was too busy stuffing my face. But he said his was lovely too :-)
2nd June 2003ce

Pwll Deri Youth Hostel (Youth Hostel, Pembrokeshire)

Probably boasts one of the best locations for a youth hostel in the whole of the British Isles. A beautiful white building perched on the edge of a cliff on the Pembrokeshire coast overlooking the sea. What could be better than this :-) 29th April 2003ce
I enjoy touring and visiting all different parts of the country. Scotland holds special appeal especially the areas of Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles.

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