Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy

This weekend is the annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy and is such a fantastic weekend in the Festival diary!  There is always so many great things to do including competitive sailing,  raft racing, historic boats, crafts, a superb music programme for everyone and some wonderful food and drink.  There is also plenty to do for the younger members of the family including lots of fun activities at Loch Soy, including zorbing, climbing, cycling and more!  It is a super weekend with lots of things going on.

We have visited Portsoy quite a few times and just love the town.  It lies halfway between Banff and Cullen and is potentially one of the oldest natural harbours in Europe. This is a picture of the Old Harbour which is situated at the bottom of the town.  The ice cream is certainly worth sampling if you are planning on going to the festival this weekend.  Hopefully the weather will be nice!

For more information about tickets and to check out the programme and what is happening, visit the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival Portsoy Website.

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Pitmedden Garden Weekend Events!

Are you looking for something to do at the weekend?  Look no further than Pitmedden Garden!  They are hosting 2 events this weekend – Saturday night is outdoor cinema and Sunday is an evening garden walk.  For those that love The Greatest Showman, or those that have still to see the film, then the outdoor cinema will let you watch this while singing along at the same time.  Bring along a picnic to enjoy while watching the film – there will be snacks, hot and soft drinks available on the night.  Start time is 7.00pm and tickets cost £10.00 for adults and £6.00 for children.  Booking is required.

On Sunday, spend the night in the Walled Garden with the Head Gardener and learn about the history of Pitmedden Garden.  A great chance to find out more and take away some tips and ideas for your own gardens!  The tour lasts for 2 hours and hot drinks and cake or biscuits will be served in the Traditional Tearoom after the tour ends.  Start time is 6.30pm and costs £12.50.  Again, booking is required.

For more information and book tickets then visit the NTS website and search for Pitmedden Garden.

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Kinneff Old Kirk

This is Kinneff Old Kirk which is just over 8 miles from Stonehaven.  We like to take a trip down the coast and if you are in the area, then a visit to Kinneff Church is certainly something to do.  It is a lovely little kirk and has been a few years since we last visited.

The history of the church dates back to 1242 when a church was built here – this original church was a basic rectangular building which had a nave and chancel inside.  After the Reformation back in 1560, the exterior remained the same but the interior seating layout of the church was changed.

In 1640, the Reverend James Grainger was appointed the minister of the church and in 1651, when Cromwell laid siege to Dunnottar Castle, Christian Grainger – Reverend James’ wife – smuggled the Crown Jewels out of the castle and hid them under the floor in the church.  They remained hidden here until 1660, when they were transferred to Edinburgh Castle.

In 1738, the church was rebuilt and there were further alterations to the church over the years.

By 1976, Kinneff Old Church was no longer a worshipping church.  In 1979, Kinneff Old Church Preservation Trust was set up to restore and maintain the Church and what a wonderful job they have done!  It is great to spend some time walking around and admiring all the displays that are on show inside the church.  It is open everyday throughout the year between 9.00am and 6.00pm.

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A trip to St Cyrus Beach!

We love to go for a walk on a beach and this one is another of our favourites!  This is St Cyrus beach and is just over 30 miles from the Bothy.  We have family who stay not too far away from St Cyrus and we always like trying to take a walk here when we visit.

This is at the north end of the beach near the cliffs and was captured by my son on one of his visits.  St Cyrus is home to a National Nature Reserve and this can be found between the village and the North Sea.  The Nature Reserve is full of wonderful wildlife with over 70 species of birds having been recorded here including kestrel, curlew, oystercatcher, yellowhammer and redshank to name just a few.

There is nothing better than a lovely walk on a beautiful beach and enjoying the sun, listening to the wildlife and watching the waves.  Have a lovely bank holiday weekend whatever you have planned!

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DolphinFest Aberdeen

Today is the start of the first ever Dolphin Festival, organised by the RSPB Scotland, which takes place in Aberdeen.  A celebration of the wildlife and marine life around the area, this certainly sounds like a great few days!  The festival will run until Sunday and will be taking place at 4 locations across the city. There will be a host of great activities taking place, including guided walks, guest speakers, talks, rock pooling, beach cleaning, a science day and a family day at Duthie Park – lots going on and great to get involved in!.  For more information and details then visit the website www.rspb.org.uk/dolphinwatch

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Local Park Run

I thought that I would post something different on the blog this week and opted for some information about our local Park Runs!  If you like to take part in these then there are a few not far from the Bothy to try out.  Our closest one is Ellon but there are also ones in Aberdeen at the Beach and at Hazlehead Park.  For those wishing to venture slightly further away then Crathes and Stonehaven also hold them too.

Parkrun organise a 5km run every Saturday morning and they are free and open to everyone.  A great activity to get involved in and great to try out different  runs especially if you are in the area.  Check out the Parkrun website for more details and information.

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Spring is coming!

As the milder and sunnier spell of weather continues this week, it is all go in the garden!  The crocuses have stopped flowering but it is the turn of the daffodils and tulips as they are now out and in full bloom!  The grass is growing and the birds are singing away – it certainly sounds like spring is on its way!

As the clocks go forward this weekend it will mean the return of the lighter nights.  We can get more done in the garden and start planning what home grown vegetables we are going to plant this year!  The lighter nights also mean that there are more options for getting out for a walk after tea.  We have so many wonderful places to explore and not far from the Bothy.

So for us it will be pottering about in the garden while listening to the birds this weekend – and we will no doubt head out for a walk at some point too!

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