Thursday 11 August 2016

Away Day

... almost two days in fact. We booked Cupar into the kennels for the night, and set off east - the west coast is too busy with tourists at this time of year! I had booked a B&B in Elgin, but we spent most of day one in Burghead and Lossiemouth. We have never visited these places before, and found plenty to keep us occupied as we explored the streets and harbours. It was pleasing to find a number of information plaques which explained a bit about some local history and places of interest.

Later, we arrived in Elgin to check in to our B&B and have an evening meal in the town. Next morning, we had a fairly brief wander through the town centre, and also walked round the ruins of the massive cathedral. We probably spent most time in the beautiful Biblical Garden. This features many of the plants which are mentioned in the Bible, together with plaques giving Bible quotes mentioning plants. The garden is beautifully maintained. It is a community project, managed by Moray Council.

Next week, I make one of my regular trips south, staying in Devon and Hampshire, visiting friends and family, but this time, Sue and Cupar will be staying home.

Heading east
Burghead village
It was a bit breezy...
Burghead Harbour
Old Harbour - Lossiemouth
Former fishermen's cottages in Seatown, Lossiemouth
Lossiemouth has a wonderful beach, accessed by a footbridge
Sue at Elgin Cathedral
Elgin - The Biblical Garden
Inside the Biblical Garden

Sunday 7 August 2016

What Do We Wear On Skye?

 I will shortly be making another of my regular trips south, to visit friends and family in Devon and Hampshire. Every time I go, even in summer, I carefully pack my bag with jumpers, waterproofs and woolly hat… and seldom if ever wear any of them. I’ve become so used to our weather here, that I kind-of assume it’s the same everywhere else in the UK.

Only yesterday, I came across a question from a lady who is about to visit Skye in August for the first time, asking what clothing she should be bringing with her. Good question! Glancing at the way many of the visitors are dressed – they clearly didn’t think to ask that question before they packed!

Daytime summer temperatures here can be as low as 13C or as high as 26C (possibly all within the same day…) so wearing layers is good. Just because it is a bright sunny morning, doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be windy and wet by the afternoon, so be prepared for anything! Personally, I prefer to keep my arms and legs covered in all weathers, as biting insects seem to like my flesh – so there are no shorts in my wardrobe!

Obviously, it depends a bit on what you are going to be doing, but for any trip which involves being outside for any length of time, you are likely to need protection against rain. Since our rain is very often accompanied by gusty winds (60 mph winds are not uncommon, even in summer…) then an umbrella is not a lot of use. Likewise, poncho-style rainwear is not very wind-friendly. The ideal is a lightweight, zipped, waterproof jacket with fitted hood, which can be worn just over a shirt when warm enough, or maybe over a jumper or fleece if chilly. Waterproof trousers (or over-trousers) are also essential to have with you if you are going to be outside for long. The woolly hat can be good when it is windy – at least it helps keep your hair out of your eyes!

Footwear? Anywhere off a tarmac or gravel surface is likely to be soggy, so shoes should be well-fitting, stout and waterproof.  Wellies are not comfortable for walking. Full hiking boots are only necessary if you are doing any serious trekking. Also – you won’t need gloves in summer unless you are going high into the hills, and I wouldn’t recommend doing that if you are not fully conversant with hill walking in Scotland.

Evening-wear can be the same as day-wear – certainly in the pubs and eating places that we frequent. There’s not much formality on Skye, though you might feel like putting on a bit of sparkle if you are dining in one of the posher restaurants.

I hope this post may be useful to some of our visitors – come prepared, and enjoy Skye in all of its moods!