Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Category: Scotland

  • Dun Dornaigil

    Dun Dornaigil

    In the heart of Strathmore lies Dun Dornaigil, a broch of ancient origin, dating from around 400 to 200 BC. These brochs, or stone roundhouses, are unique to Scotland, and predominantly found in the northern and western regions. Dun Dornaigil, at its heyday would have been a formidable structure, and may have been the stronghold…

  • The Ruins of a Colby Camp

    The Ruins of a Colby Camp

    For the second morning, we stirred from slumber to the majestic sight of Ben Klibreck presiding over the loch, its reflection a perfect mimicry under a regal Elizabethan ruff of cloud. As the forecast suggested a cloudier day, it seemed a propitious day for ascending its heights. Yet, as the day unfolded, any fleeting clouds…

  • Rosal—Echoes of Highland Clearances

    Rosal—Echoes of Highland Clearances

    In Strath Naver, Rosal’s historic community fell victim to ruthless evictions in 1814 by one Patrick Sellar, driven by profit from sheep farming, displacing families and destroying homes, leaving a haunting legacy of Highland suffering and exploitation.

  • Ben Klibreck

    Ben Klibreck

    Amidst the banter of hill-walkers, there arises a spirited debate over the most northerly hill on the British mainland. The Munro enthusiasts make a compelling case for Ben Hope, indisputably crowned as the most northern Munro, with Ben Klibreck, pronounced ‘kee-bree’, coming a close second. As fortune would have it, I beheld that illustrious peak…

  • Ben Vrackie

    Ben Vrackie

    The secluded Loch a’ Choire, with the 841m high Corbett, Ben Vrackie, serving as a picturesque backdrop. Ben Vrackie — the ‘speckled hill’. Loch a’ Choire is in fact a reservoir, first shown on OS maps in the 1920s. The rationale behind its damming remains elusive; I suspect a potential motive might be centred on…

  • St Abb’s Head

    St Abb’s Head

    This is St Abb’s Head, a rugged headland in the Scottish Borders, renowned for its bustling seabird sanctuary, boasting a population of over 60,000 winged residents. Among its craggy stacks, guillemots and razorbills establish their nests, while the majestic kittiwakes favour the towering cliff faces. Yet, amidst this natural spectacle, I later discovered a historical…

  • The Ancient Town of Leith

    The Ancient Town of Leith

    Ancient town of Leith, most wonderful to be seen,With your many handsome buildings, and lovely links so green,And the first buildings I may mention are the Courthouse and Town Hall,Also Trinity House, and the Sailors’ Home of Call. Then as for Leith Fort, it was erected in 1779, which is really grand,And which is now…

  • Blackness Castle

    Blackness Castle

    Blackness Castle stands proudly on the banks of the Forth, in the quaint village of Blackness. This sombre, charcoal-coloured edifice carries a rich history with it. Originally, it belonged to the Black Douglas, but King James II of Scotland wrested it from that family’s grasp. It remained under the dominion of the royal family for…

  • Lochan of the Lost Sword

    Lochan of the Lost Sword

    Beneath the reflections of the autumnal hues rests an abandoned sword, a long-sword, the claymore that belonged to Robert the Bruce. Near this wee loch lies Dal Righ, a place of flat, marshy meadow, where Bruce and what remained of his army were ambushed by Clan MacDougall in the summer of 1306. Bruce had already…

  • ‘The White Hoose’

    ‘The White Hoose’

    If you’re ever find yourself travelling along the East Coast Main Railway Line, look out for this salmon fishermen’s bothy. It’s perched about a mile or so north of the English-Scottish border, atop a prominent level spur, overlooking the rocky shore at Lamberton Skerrs. You’ll only catch a glimpse of it. It was a bothy…