Travel to and from Dornoch
It's always good to look forward but it's important to remember past enjoyments. Today I've been thinking about last month's trip to Dornoch.
Dornoch is on the east coast of northern Scotland, about 50 miles north of Inverness. So that I could take plenty of knitting stuff we took the car, travelling by Northlink ferry from Shetland to Orkney, then from Orkney to Scrabster on the north coast of mainland Scotland. Return journey was via Orkney too, giving us an overnight stay and a whole day in Orkney before catching the overnight ferry to Shetland.
March is not an ideal time to be a tourist in the north of Scotland as many attractions open for the summer months only and mid-March was mostly too early. A good reason to return later in the year. We could at least enjoy the mountainous scenery.
One night was spent at Bhraggie House B&B in Golspie - warmly welcomed with a cup of tea, and given a jug of fresh milk for tea/coffee in the room where we also found a banana, apple and a chocolate bar each. Those little extras are appreciated, even if we didn't eat it all (shared the chocolate bar in case you're wondering). the view from Bhraggie House
Two nights were spent at Balloan Cottage in Dornoch - this is a really comfortable place to stay, with a warm welcome from Pat. This accommodation was arranged courtesy of the organisers of Dornoch Fibre Fest - thank you!
As part of the Fibre Fest weekend we enjoyed supper at Burghfield House on Friday. Apart from enjoying good food this was a chance to meet some of the organisers as well as others who had travelled to Dornoch for this special weekend. The hotel is operated by the North Highland College so provides a useful hands on training ground for those heading for a career in hospitality. We spent a night there too in a very comfortable room with an excellent breakfast.
one of the many deer in the Scottish highlands Driving through snow showers which blotted out the mountainous scenery, we did see many deer grazing at the roadside. They were so well camouflaged it made photographing them difficult.
It was good to see the sun shining at our next stop, on the west coast, at Kinlochbervie Hotel where we had a room overlooking the harbour. Sunshine and clear skies in the morning made a walk on Oldshoremore beach irresistable. the beach at Oldshoremore, north-west Scotland Tea was enjoyed at the bookshop at Balnakeil Craft Village near Durness. It was good to buy books without worrying about the weight of getting them home. Later I needed another beach stop east of Durness.
The camera was forgotten after this so no more photos.
At Tongue Hotel we received a really warm welcome, a very comfortable spacious room with very attractive tweed curtains and blinds. A decanter of sherry and glasses for pre-dinner drink was a unique touch, and dinner was excellent. Porridge was on the breakfast menu, with cream and honey - the first time I've ever had sweet porridge, but I didn't take up the offer of adding whisky too.
The museum in Thurso was an interesting place for a visit until it was time to catch the ferry to Orkney where we stayed at The Stromness Hotel. The room was huge with a bay window overlooking the harbour, and the staff were friendly and helpful.
Next morning we visited the Pier Arts Centre, the Stromness museum and had a long chat with Ros Bryant at Northlight Studio where we enjoyed looking at her woven tapestries. I'd love to take a course with her.
The ferry from Orkney to Shetland leaves at 2345 so the long evening was spent enjoying a leisurely meal followed by the cinema (too much wind and snow for strolling along the seafront). It was a long and busy day so it was good to reach the cabin.
The north of Scotland is a good area for a break, and certainly an area to visit more than once.
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Shetland is the most northerly group of Scottish islands. Apart from mainland Scotland, the other near neighbours are Norway to the east and the Faroe Islands to the north west.