National Parks Week

Last week was National Parks Week and this is a picture which was taken while walking off the Cairngorm Plateau.  My son (David Simpson Photography) captured this shot when he was out walking with my grand-daughters.  The Cairngorms is one of the parks that is listed on the National Park list and is our closest one.

Based in the heart of the Highlands, Cairngorms National Park is the largest National Park in the UK.  There is so much to do from watching the amazing wildlife, walking, cycling, visiting one of the many distilleries and castles or just taking in the wonderful views!

For those that love being out in the great outdoors or simply just want to have a stroll and take in the views then make sure you plan a visit and see this truly beautiful park!

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Green Flag Awards

Did you know that Duthie Park, Hazlehead Park, Aden Country Park, Haddo Country Park, Seaton Park and Johnson Gardens were all winners of the Green Flag Awards 2017! And what is great about that is that one of the winners is only 5 miles away from us!

We regularly visit Haddo House and we also visited many of the wonderful parks and gardens in and around Aberdeen last year so you can catch up with our visits if you missed this on previous blogs.

These parks have all met high standards and so many volunteers and staff work hard to keep the parks and open spaces up to the high standards required to achieve this award.

So why not get out and enjoy a park near you and help celebrate this, especially when the sun is shining!

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Aberdeen Beach

With all the amazing weather that we have been getting this week, I thought that a beach picture this week would be perfect for the blog!  This is Aberdeen Beach in the sunshine!  And not a cloud in the sky…..  It is 20 degrees just now and  the forecast for the next few days is still sunshine.

The beach received the Resort Seaside Award in 2013 and is great for a walk along its curved length.  There is plenty of parking at the beach and if you park down at the River Don, you can walk all the way round and head up towards the restaurants and cafes and get a nice hot, or cold drink maybe to cool down!

Enjoy this fantastic weather and make the most of visiting the many wonderful beaches we have on our doorstep.

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Something for the weekend?

If you are looking for something to do at the weekend then why not go on a walking tour of the City.  This Saturday, Scot Free Tours will be holding a walking tour around Aberdeen City Centre.  This is a fantastic way to see the sights and also learn more about the history of Aberdeen.  The tour starts at Mercat Cross in the Castlegate and takes place between 11.00 – 12.30pm.  The tour is free but donations are welcome as the tours are funded this way.

If you want to make a day out then there is another tour on at 1.00pm so just enough time to grab a quick bite to eat!  The Nuart Aberdeen Walking Tour is also on this Saturday and this leaves from The Green.  These are also free and are suitable for all ages.  A great way to take in all the amazing and wonderful street art and murals that are being showcased around the city.

Why not get out and explore the City, learn about its past and admire the wonderful sights and art work!

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Portsoy – Scottish Traditional Boat Festival

I was having a wee look at some of the Festivals that are taking place over the next few months and noticed that the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival (STBF) is on in Portsoy on the 30th June and 1st July.  This will be the 25th year that the STBF has been running and the weekend sounds to be packed full of great things to do!  These include skiff racing, historic boats, crafts, a superb music programme and some wonderful food and drink!  There is also plenty to do for the younger members of the family including bouncy castles, face painting and story telling.  It certainly sounds like a fantastic weekend jam packed full of activities!

We have visited Portsoy a few times and 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.  This was originally built back in 1550.  By 1692, Sir Patrick Ogilvie, the 8th Laird of Boyne had replaced the original harbour with a new one which was built entirely of stone.  If you look at the harbour you will see that the large stones are set vertically.  It also has a large breakwater on the seaward side as well as a number of quays.  By placing the stones this way, it was believed that there would be less risk of them being washed away by the sea!.

Why not add the SCBF weekend dates to your diary and take a trip and enjoy the celebrations!  For more information, visit the website to find out more information on prices and programme details.

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Cruden Bay in the Sunshine!

At the weekend, our Grand-daughters were staying with us and as it was such a beautiful day on Saturday, we decided to take a drive to Cruden Bay with them and have a picnic and a play on the beach.  What a fantastic day it was – the sun was shining, it was hot and the girls were loving playing on the beach.

This is a picture of one of the dunes.  The sky is just so blue!  Cruden Bay is one of my favourite beaches and it is one that we visit regularly.  It is only 18 miles from the Bothy and is located just out past Forvie Nature Reserve.  It is a haven for wildlife with so many different things to spot.

We are so lucky to have such wonderful beaches so close to us and it is great to be able to enjoy them.  The girls had a great time playing and the dog certainly had a ball!  In and out the sea chasing after a stick – all good fun!

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Stonehaven Outdoor Swimming Pool

Stonehaven outdoor swimming pool is now open for the summer!  I mentioned it last year on the blog but it was certainly not weather for it in January!  However, the amazing spell of weather that we have been getting lately certainly makes visiting a great idea!

The pool is a 50m Olympic sized pool that is heated to a temperature of 29 degrees Celsius.  Open right through the summer months, there is lane swimming, inflatable sessions, a paddling pool for younger children and a cafe! The pool is classed as a Scottish Tourist Board 4-star Visitor Attraction and it received a Certificate of Excellence 2018 on Trip Advisor.  It is also the number 2 thing to do in Stonehaven.

Why not visit the website to check out the opening times, prices and to also see what special events they have taking place throughout the summer months!  There is lots going on and such a great thing to do on a nice sunny day!

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