MONDAY 20 JUNE
Our initial plans were to go to John O’Groats at the very top of Scotland, but we decided a few days ago not to head that far north. Therefore, this morning we started to head east again. More rugged terrain.
The odd thatched cottage.
The weather continued to be cloudy and quite cool, like the previous few days, only reaching about 13 degrees. We have no real plans from now on, not that that is much different from the rest of our trip. We are just wandering around.
Whilst riding along we saw the sign to Rogie Falls, so went to have a look.
We came back through the top of Inverness and over another big bridge. This is the Kessock Bridge and is having some major road works done, which means delays during peak hour. Fortunately, it didn't affect us at all.
We decide to have a look at the “lump” to the east of Inverness, where Aberdeen and the Grampians are. We were surprised how quickly the terrain changed from rugged, to lush, relatively flat, farmland. As we were riding along we saw a sign for Cawder Castle, so decided it was time we visited another Castle. I’d heard of Cawder Castle from Macbeth, but in reality Shakespeare’s play was set in the 11th century and the castle wasn’t built until the 14th century, so it has nothing to do with it.
The driveway was even impressive.
After a late lunch of nice, hot soup we looked through the castle.
Over the drawbridge.
Unfortunately, no photos were allowed inside. This castle is not a National Trust property and you just wandered through and read the signs as you went. There was hardly anyone else there at the time, so there was no rush and we could see and read things properly. The castle is still the winter home to members of the family. Quite a few of the rooms had tapestries dating back to the 1600s hanging on the walls. It meant you got a true feeling for how these buildings were used, rather than seeing the cold stone walls and thinking that is how it was. I love this little turret room.
Not only was the castle spectacular, so was the garden. We had a lovely time wandering around, finding different rooms and the maze.
This part looks more like a country house than a castle.
By then it was time to think about finding accommodation for the night. A lady at the castle told us that there were some nice B & Bs in Nairn, along the waterfront, so off we went to find one. What a great recommendation. This is the view from our window. You can’t get much better than that.
The weather improved during the afternoon, so we went for a bit of a walk around the town and were pleasantly surprised. It was quite different from the last few days, as there weren’t many tourists. The harbour was pretty.
There was a statue of a Fishwife, which had incredible detail, right down to the knitting in her cardigan and fringe on her shawl.
There was even a sandy beach.
So I played.
The sun even came out for a short while, so we sat and soaked it up. There was lots of activity on the cricket ground, as they were preparing for a primary school cricket day. Here’s hoping the weather holds. We had a chuckle when the old roller came out to prepare the wicket.
And finally, the band stand has an Aussie connection. It was built using funds gifted by a local man who had moved to Ballarat in the 1800s and made good.
So, considering we had no plans for the day, we had a lovely time. The castle and gardens were well worth seeing and Nairn was a lovely town to stay in.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.