TUESDAY 21 JUNE
Today is the longest day in the year, but unfortunately, it is grey, so we won’t be able to see what time the sun sets. It is still twilight after 11pm, but we haven’t been up late enough to see when it actually gets dark.
After our brief encounter with sunshine yesterday, we woke up to rain again. As we have no definite plans for a while, we decided to head east, following the Coastal Trail tourist road.
Firstly though, we had to visit another castle. Apparently, this part of Scotland has more castles per acre than anywhere else in the UK. Brodie Castle is just down the road from where we stayed in Nairn, and is a National Trust property. Visiting a castle is a great activity for a wet day.
We arrived nice and early and just in time to join in the guided tour. The guide was fantastic, being both informative and entertaining. It is amazing how interesting these places are. There is so much history. The tower was built in the 1500s, but they have some paperwork dating back to the 1300s. The castle was “brunt” to the ground after being invaded in 1645 and then rebuilt.
As usual, no photos were allowed inside. We ended up spending an hour and a half on the tour, by which time the rain had eased. Castles also usually have a cafe, which are a good place to get a nice hot bowl of soup for lunch. Soup is our lunch of choice, as it is still quite cool, only getting to about 12 degrees C.
Once we had finished at the castle, we followed the coast around, visiting some of the many little fishing villages. They are quite pretty and popular spots for film making. This part of Scotland doesn’t seem to be touristy at all, compared to the west coast.
What we noticed in this area is that the towns are actually laid out in blocks, with relatively wide streets. This is the first of these we have seen since we have been over here.
Also, on the sea front in the little fishing villages there is often some colour on the houses, unlike most of Scotland, which is just bare, unpainted stone walls and quite drab.
We ended up at Fraserburgh at the end of the day. This was once a major fishing port, but 70% of their fleet has now been scrapped, which has really hurt the local economy. It is actually quite a depressing place, with very little accommodation and places to eat. Our B&B was OK, and provided a garage for Olga, which was greatly appreciated as quite a bit of rain was predicted for the night. We had a bit of a chuckle at the decorations in our room.