Islay: whisky fuelled wanderings

Cautionary note to readers: this post contains no hills. It also contains no Malbec, or indeed any other form of red wine. Possibly as a result, it also does not contain any transport debacles, unintentional visits to the pub, cases of man (or woman) flu or any of the other type of things that have sometimes meant that a trip North of the Border has gone less than smoothly.

We were trying something different for this trip – a trip to Islay with our friends Kat and Andrew, staying in Port Ellen. Whilst Islay does have some hills – and the neighbouring island of Jura has the rather magnificent Paps (insert innuendo of your choice here) the Islay tick list is something rather different. Distilleries! No less than 8 of them, with an additional one on Jura – and Jura just happens to be my favourite whisky. Indeed, we had far more success with completing this particular tick list than I probably ever will with completing any of the lists of hills. Islay also has some outstanding coastal scenery, and tons of wildlife plus some interesting historical stuff as well. Continue reading

Last walk of 2015:the spectacular Sandwood Bay

Who: Self, Stuart
When: 26 December 2015
Weather: overcast and windy
Why: why not?
Distance: 9 miles
Time: 3 hours in total, including about half an hour on the beach

Christmas 2015 was a bit different for us. Instead of spending it at home in Bromley or with family, we had hatched a plan to spend it in the far North of Scotland, specifically in the cottage in Ullapool that we had stayed in before, which boasted glorious views of Loch Broom. Although we packed the winter walking gear, we had no real expectation of doing any serious hill walking given a pretty rubbish weather forecast not to mention the seriously short hours of daylight. Plus, we were both knackered after a very busy time at work and quite frankly needed a rest. Continue reading