Braemar Gathering

Have you ever had the chance to enjoy a day out at a Highland Games?  If the answer is no then a must visit is a trip to Braemar for the Braemar Gathering which is on tomorrow.  This is one of the most famous Highland Games and is such a great day out for all the family.  There will be caber tossing, throwing the hammer, tug of war and Highland dancing to name a few of the events.  And not forgetting some of the finest pipe bands to watch and listen to.  The day starts at 9.30am and normally finishes about 5.00pm.

There have been gatherings at Braemar as far back as King Malcolm Canmore, which was nine hundred years ago.  The Gathering nowadays has been running in its current form since 1832.

The weather forecast looks good for the weekend so why not make the most of it and enjoy a great day out!  Visit the website for more information on tickets, prices and how to get there.

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Busy few days in the garden

This week has been spent working in the garden.  With the lovely warm weather over the weekend and on Monday, it was a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy it and do some work at the same time!  It is amazing how quickly everything grows, especially when there is some rain followed by a spell of warm weather!

The geraniums out the front are still flowering and looking vibrant.  Nice to be able to enjoy all their colours.  For our guests in the Bothy, this is just the perfect spot to enjoy a spot of lunch or a hot drink and to enjoy the view looking out over the garden.  When the sun shines it is just lovely!

And for those of you that love spending time in the garden then Pitmedden Garden are holding a tour of the garden and plants with the Head Gardener Scott this Saturday at 2.00pm.  To find out more then visit the NTS website.

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A visit to Crovie

Have you visited the lovely little village of Crovie?  This is such a charming little fishing village which comprises of a single row of houses which have been built on an extremely narrow ledge at the bottom of the cliffs which form the east side of Gamrie Bay.  The ledge on which the village is built on is so narrow it only has room for a row of cottages and a narrow footpath in front of them.  As you can see from the picture, the drop to the sea is only a mere few feet away from the cottages!

Crovie was established by families who had been moved off the land to make room for the landlord’s sheep in the late 18th Century.  Having been moved here off their land, they started operating fishing boats which were owned by the landlord.  By the mid 19th Century some fishermen had built their own boats, and by the end of the century some 50 such owner-operated boats sailed from the tiny harbour.

The fishing industry declined in the 20th Century and finally came to an abrupt end in January of 1953.  On 31st January 1953, an extremely fierce storm that brought hurricane force winds and huge seas washed away the sea defences and a number of houses and structures.  Many of the residents were forced to flee the village.

What makes Crovie unique is that there are no roads in the village! Residents have to park their cars at one end of the village and walk to their houses on foot! There is an incredibly steep hill leading down to the village and visitors are encouraged to leave their cars at the car park at the top and walk down the steps and path to the harbour.  Because of Crovie’s location and restrictions on development, it is said to be one of the most preserved fishing villages in Europe!

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Dolphinwatch at Torry Battery

Have you managed to spot any dolphins throughout the summer months?  If the answer is no then you still have one last weekend to join the RSPB Van at Torry Battery!  The team have been there from April with this Sunday being the last day.  Depending on the weather for this weekend, they will be there today, tomorrow and Sunday between 11.00am and 5.00pm.

The team provide binoculars, spotting scopes and lots of information about the dolphins.  You can park in Torry Battery car park which is just off of Greyhope Road.

This is a great spot to see the dolphins and they can actually be spotted here all year round.  Make sure to keep an eye out for other marine wildlife too including birds and seals.

Check out the Facebook page for more information – hopefully the weather will brighten up and we can enjoy the last weekend with the team and manage to spot these wonderful animals!

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Aberdeen Beach

How lovely has the weather been the last few weeks?  It has been just glorious and when the weather is lovely, there is nothing more that I enjoy than a walk along the beach!  This is the view looking out at Aberdeen Beach.  If we have been in town and are on our way back home, we like to stop here and take a walk.  Having plenty of space to park along the road, it is ideal.

The lovely golden sandy beach curves right round between the harbour and the mouth of the River Don. It is an ideal place for visitors to the city to come to as it is just a short distance from the City Centre.  The beach received the Resort Seaside Award in 2013 and is very popular for walkers, cyclists and joggers.  If you decided to take a walk then a nice place to start from is Fittie (Footdee), which is an old fishing village at the east end of the harbour.  You can walk right along the beach – if the tide is in then you can walk on the promenade and take in the views and see what wildlife you can spot.

And if you decide that you need a light refreshment to keep cool in this weather then why not enjoy a cold drink or an ice cream at one of the cafes along the front!

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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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