Category: Escaping

Snippets from Scotland ~ Loch Katrine 

 

Because we are so lucky to live in such a beautiful country, I’ve decided to start a new series  of posts titled, Snippets from Scotland starting with a lovely visit to Loch Katrine.

Loch Katrine is based in the heart of the Loch Lommond and The Trossachs National Park and less than an hour away from where we live so a perfect place to head to for a great walk.
Loch Katrine cruiser You can take a boat trip across the loch on one of their one or two hour boat trips either on the old steamer boat or the cruiser. We have never done the boat trip but if the views from shore are anything to go by, it looks like it would be a gorgeous trip.

Loch KatrineWhen we visit it’s for the lovely loch side walk which is just perfect for tiring out the excitable doggy. You can hire bikes from the pier as well but a word of warning is that there are plenty of steep inclines as you make your way around.

Schnauzer pose at Loch Katrine It is debatable how far this walk actually is, given that there is no phone signal round here, never mind a 3G signal we had no way of tracking it properly and I would have to say that we did disagree with the one sign we actually did find! Our tracker on the health app on the iPhone had it at just over 5 miles though it felt like so much more with the hills!

It is worth the walk for these views though!
Claire xx

It’s the small things ~ November edition 

  
November started with a holiday and then ended with another one. That’s what I call winning at a month! 

  There was plenty of coffees with beautiful views. 

  Sunsets enjoyed from balconies. 

  Cocktails by the pool. 
  Quality time spent together. 
  Cycling with a view. 

   A wet welcome home dog walk in the leaves. 
  An autumn collection of Schnauzers on a dog walk. 
   A schnauzer birthday celebrated. 
  And birthday treats enjoyed. 
   Freezing walks made easier with gorgeous blue skies. 

  Yankee candle advent calendars bought. 
  A night at the theatre enjoyed. 
  A girlie weekend in London enjoyed
 

  
  
  

  
  Lego train admired! 500k Lego bricks and three months to build. 

  Afternoon tea enjoyed. 
  Christmas trees admired. 
Bring on December! 

Claire xx 

Our glamping trip in photos ~ Part two

We had enjoyed our first bike ride so much we decided that we would do another one. This time in Cornwall going from Wadebridge to Padstow along the Camel Trail  

    
    
    
 We really enjoyed Padstow and once we had parked the bikes up we enjoyed a coffee overlooking the bay, a lovely walk up the hill towards the beach and the husband enjoyed an original Cornish Pasty before cycling back to Wadebridge to drop the bikes back.  

 Enjoying an Al fresco wine watching the sunset after a busy day cycling. 

We decided that we really wanted to visit Lands End, it was a two hour drive from where we were staying but I’m really pleased we decided to make the trip. The views from down there were just breathtaking. It also helped as it was quite quiet despite being a Sunday so we didn’t find it too touristy.  

    
    
    
   Lunch with the most amazing view! 

After a walk around the costal path we headed to St Ives. We decided to do the park and ride (which is actually a train) as I had read that the parking in St Ives was quite difficult. Add to that it was fast turning into a gorgeous afternoon I think the train from Lelant was the best choice. The train comes in along the coast so you get some amazing views over the different bays on the way in. 

I must admit, we loved St Ives, from the different bays and beaches, the seafront walks, the harbour and the coastal path we could have spent much longer there.  

    
    
   

For our last day in Cornwall we decided to take it easy and just go for a nice beach walk. We headed along the coast to Watergate Bay which has a gorgeous beach and is dog friendly.  

   
    
    
   
We all loved Cornwall so much and will be returning that’s for sure! 

To break up our return journey we planned to stop off for a few days in North Wales, though the thought of taking the tent down then putting it back up again was far too much so we heading back to the wood pods for one night visiting Ludlow on the way.  

   
We then made our way to North Wales for a few nights before heading home. 

   
    
    
 
We were really lucky with the weather and enjoyed watching the sunset with a glass of wine back at the campsite.  

   
 

Our last day was another lovely walk around the Welsh coastline.       

Before heading back to pack our home from home up.     

We had a great trip and didn’t stop the full 11 nights we were away, which was proven when my Fitbit stats arrived!  
 

This trip showed me that I can camp in complete comfort for longer than 3 nights and now the quest is on to find somewhere just as good for next year! 

Anyone been to any amazing dog friendly Cornwall campsites? 

Claire xx 
    
    
 

Our glamping trip in photos ~ Part 1

We are back from our glamping trip and we all had a ball. I am so pleased that we made the long trip down to Cornwall/Devon, so much so we are looking to go down again next year for longer. 

As I said, we decided to stop on the way down to break the trip up. I struggled to find somewhere dog friendly that we could just pitch up to and unload bedding but eventually found Greenway Touring Park who had a dog friendly pod that we booked. After a 7 hour drive (damn m6!) we finally arrived.  

 We were most looking forward to the chimnea and we made the most of it, sitting outside with a few wee glasses of wine and relaxing.  

   The next morning we were up early to head on to Cornwall and we finally arrived in Bude in North Cornwall five hours later. That was one thing we noticed was that we need to add at least 1.5hrs to the sat nav for long trips due to stopping for food and the dog.  

 Watching the sun set over the bay from the front of our tent pitch.  

 Admiring the view from the campsite dog walking area.

  Nothing like an Al fresco brew in the morning. 


The next day we headed to just outside of Barnstaple in North Devon and hired some bikes and a dog trailer to cycle the Tarka Trail from Fremington to Instow and Bideford.  

    
   We cycled 15 miles – not bad for people who hadn’t been on a bike in years! The cycle trail is lovely and flat though so that helped. 

The next day we headed off to Tintagel Castle on the north Cornwall coast. This was dog friendly throughout which is unusual. The climb up all the steps is an experience but the view from the top is gorgeous.  

    
   

Once we were finished exploring and having a cliff top picnic we made our way around the coast road to Boscastle. Most people might remember the name from the news reports back in 2004 when a flash flood devastated the village. They have spent a huge amount of money on flood defences since then and the village has been totally restored and is gorgeous for a walk around.

   

It was then on for a breezy walk along Summerleaze Beach in Bude before heading back to the campsite.  

    
   

The next day we went on to explore some of North Devon, visiting Woolacombe (amazing beach!) Ilfracombe (lovely harbour) and Heddon Valley in the Exmoor national Park.  

    
    
    
    
 

Come back later in the week for part two of our trip.

Claire xx 

Glamping we go….

For our main holidays this year we decided to stay within the UK, dust off our immense camping kit and head away Glamping.  We used to go camping quite a lot, starting with a smallish tent and working our way up to our mammoth tent that we have now that I still love!   An Outwell Montana. It’s a 6 birth but really we think it’s perfect for us two and the dog off course.

 We haven’t been as much over the last few years, only camping for one long weekend last year. I suppose that’s my doing, it can be quite a challenge preparing all the bits for heading away, picking somewhere to go and then there is the fitting it all in the car! But when we get there and the tent is up its like a home from home.

I will only camp because we ‘posh camp’ large tent, electric hookup for the heater, kettle, electric cool box, campbed & tent carpet! Yip I did say tent carpet.

  It’s lovely to have a big space to relax in and because our tent has a sewn in ground sheet it makes sure *nothing manages to rip it *the dog!


We are really looking forward to going away for 12 nights, the longest we will ever have camped and the furthest away we have driven to do so. We have both really wanted to go to Cornwall so we are all booked up to make the long drive down south.  To make things a little easier though we are going to stop on the way down, there is no way I could face pitching the tent after a 9 hour drive.

I found this lovely little place about 5hrs away, near Ludlow that offers dog friendly Glamping pods perfect for a nice relaxed stop off on the way down and the only thing that we will need to do is unpack the bedding. pod2bistro
Image Credit

We are then heading to Bude in North Cornwall and are going to base ourselves there for a week.  I picked North Cornwall as I also wanted to go to North Devon and pay a visit to the English Riviera if we can.  There is so much to see and do though in this area that I am not sure we are going to fit it all in in a week!  I am really looking forward to staying here at Wooda Farm.The site itself looks lovely, with sea views, large dog walk, bar and restaurant and not far out of Bude, it’s within around 1hr to 1.5hrs from everywhere we want to visit and I have been busy looking up dog friendly things to do so we will be kept busy and hopefully have an exhausted dog!

On the way back up we decided to stop off in North Wales, another place that we have never visited.  We are again going to do one night in the Glamping pods after packing up and leaving Cornwall – the thought of taking the tent down, driving 4.5hrs then putting it up again was just too much.

We are basing ourselves just outside of Colwyn Bay colwyn
Image credit – Visit Wales.

From here I am hoping to go up to the summit for Great Orme, venture around Snowdonia National Park and make the trip across the bridge to The Isle of Anglesey again there is so much to do and some of it will be weather dependent but hopefully we will manage to squeeze in a good few sights that we have never seen before.

I am finally looking forward to getting away and enjoying a good old British Staycation. Please though let the weather gods be at least a little kind to us!

See you all soon.

Claire xx

A sunny bank holiday walk

We were blessed with sun on Easter Monday and I didn’t want it to go to waste, the only diffcult thing was choosing where we should go. We are so lucky where we live to have beaches, forests, castles and bridges so close along with The Helix Park and Kelpies right on our doorstep.

I wanted to do something different though and had often seen a signpost for Blackness Castle when we used to live in Linlithgow and thought it would be nice to plan a walk there. The castle itself stands on the Firth of Forth in the Burgh of Linlithgow. There is a walk that you can do from Bo’ness to Blackness and I decided to do that.

I went onto Walkhighlands to get the details of the walk and off we set.  The walk itself is lovely, going in between walking along the banks of the forth, to through some forest with the forth to the side of you peeking out through the trees.

  

The paths are well laid out but you do need to be aware that it is part of the cycle pathway so you will meet a few cyclists along the way. 

  

We stopped in the castle grounds for a breather, thankfully there were a few benches doted around and even though it was busy it didn’t feel too busy. 

  

And from the bottom corner of the castle grounds you get a lovely few of the Forth Road bridges. 

 

 

The walk on Walkhighlands was advertised as being 5.25miles.  We clocked it up at 5.8miles from start to finish.  The thought of doing the 3 miles back to the car again from the castle was tough but once we got started again the walk was actually quite nice.  I love being near the water so think that that helped me loads!

We all really enjoyed the walk and it’s definitely one that we will be doing again. 

What a lovely way to spend the bank holiday. 

Claire x

A girlie break away

Every year for the past few years, my Mum and Sister have been amazing and planned a little trip over here. It’s great for them to get away and for me to be able to meet up with them.  This year it was Edinburgh and as we were going to be there for three nights we decided to get an apartment rather than a hotel. It worked out great and I would definetly recommend if there are a few of you going away somewhere for a few nights. 

Edinburgh has a good pick of apartments at good prices, we decided to go for a three bedroom so we all had our own room and decided to stay central/new town so as to not be in the overly hilly part of town for my mum. We ended up choosing to stay here at Princes Street Suites and were pleasantly surprised. They have a selection of apartments and our three bedroom one was huge! 

  

  

  

  

The apartment was a little tired in places but overall I think we were impressed and it was nice to be able to sit and chill out in between being out and about. 

We didn’t have many plans, more just chilling out, drinking wine and a spa day visit. 

  

We enjoyed a lovely glass of wine with a view at the fourth floor bar in Harvey Nichols. It was just a pity that it was too early in the year to get out on their terrace. 

  

We had booked ourselves in for a spa day and bubbles at The Scotsman Spa, it was the first time I’ve been into the hotel which was lovely though the spa is hard to find as it is in the lower levels of the hotel through lots of different levels and corridors. When we did find it though it was lovely and we had a lovely time using the pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi before our treatments. We had all booked in for a facial which was so nice, by the time we got to the relaxation room after we were all majorily chilled out under our duvets, yes you did read that right! Comfy beds and duvets, you nearly didn’t get us out of there. The pull of a glass of fizz managed it though! 

We finished our break away with a view of the Castle turning green for the first time ever on St Patrick’s Day.  

 

Pity it was a little misty that night but you get the idea. Oh and a Mexican Cosmo to end the night! Delish. 

  

We had a lovely few days and it was so nice to see my Mum & Sister. It helped take my mind off the few weeks that came before that’s for sure. 

 

Claire xx 

 

#JanuaryJoy ~ Plan a trip

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I’m a little late in this #JanuaryJoy post as this was yesterday’s but better late than never!

I’m in the middle of planning some trips, nothing too fancy and currently nothing planned for abroad but we do have a few trips within the UK and Ireland which we are looking forward to.
Early March we are heading to a cottage on the edge of the Lake District with my brother and sister in law and their two kids. We holiday a lot with them and we all get on so well so it’s really nice that we are getting away together. They are just coming down for the weekend and we are staying for a full week so we will get the best of both worlds, time with family and time for just the two of us. We have booked this little cottage complete with wood burning stove , cozy.

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Then in August we have my parent in laws 50th wedding anniversary, how amazing is that? 50 years! We all decided as a family last year that we will all come ‘home’ and go back to their native part of Ireland which is Co Cork. When planning it though we quickly figured that to get to where we wanted it to be was going to be a long drive so after discussion we have decided to go for a week and make a holiday out of it rather than a short rushed break. I have found a cottage with amazing views close to where the anniversary meal will be and can’t wait to visit. I LOVE the sea! I can’t wait to be waking up to this view every morning.

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I also have a few other trips lined up that aren’t totally out in the open yet so I won’t mention on here incase they are reading but it will be more family time with my side of the family fingers crossed.

Though the big dream this year will be to hopefully make our way to this amazing city to see our new nephew who we have yet to meet.

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A girl can dream!

Do you have any trips planned?

Claire xx

Blog hacked when I was busy sunning myself.

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Whilst I was here enjoying the gorgeous view from our hotel in Majorca my blog was hacked. Sorry for any of you who stumbled on the green dragon of doom who took over my gorgeous site.

Due to the hack I’ve lost my pretty theme so today we have had a little bit of a revamp, it’s not right but it will do for now and I am just happy the blog is back. Thanks to my amazing hosting company who back up my blog twice daily it was fixed within minutes of me alerting them so if anyone is looking to self host I would totally recommend Jamie and his team over at Fresh Sites

It’s good to be back!

Claire xx

We are going on a road trip to Ireland

Well our bags are packed and we are ready to go, we are off on a road trip round Ireland in a Motorhome for 2 weeks and I’m really looking forward to it.

We are starting off in Belfast to see my folks for the night and collect the Motorhome – we are very lucky that my Dad is lending us his for the two weeks as they are so expensive to hire.

Source: wonderfulireland.ie via Claire on Pinterest

From there we are heading down the East Coast of Ireland to Wicklow where we will stay for three nights. I have found a great campsite there that has a pub on site (bonus!) and an area especially for adults only which I have booked into.

Source: wonderfulireland.ie via Claire on Pinterest

We are then heading down to a little village in Co Waterford called Tramore for 2 nights. The site is 5 minutes walk from Tramore which is a seaside town, so plenty of walks and pubs!

 

We are then going to head over to Cork, my husbands family are originally from there so we will be camping up with them for a few nights.

 

We are then heading over to the other side of Cork where we will catch up with the other side of his family before heading to the pretty little town of Skibbereen for a few nights.

Source: wonderfulireland.ie via Claire on Pinterest

From Co Cork we are going to start heading back up inland towards Co Clare and the village of Mountshannon for 2 nights.

Source: lakesideireland.com via Claire on Pinterest

Before heading right back up the West side of Ireland to our final stop in Co Leitrim for 2 nights

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Source: battlebridgecaravanandcamping.ie via Claire on Pinterest

We will be away for 13 nights touring, just me, hubby and the dog. Wifi will be limited (((eeeeep))) so I will pop on and off where I can. I have downloaded lots of books and magazines and hopefully will be returning with some crochet that I can share with you all.

Look forward to telling you all about it when we get back.

Claire xx