Latest Blog, Places to Stay

Gateway to an adventure at Dalraddy!

We had not been to Dalraddy Holiday Park for a really long time so we thought we would try it out again. The campsite is located just a few miles from Aviemore with lots of activities on and off site.

Our Pitch

The site itself is large with chalets, residential caravans, seasonal & touring pitches as well as tent pitches. Around the site there is a main toilet block with showers, dishwashing and laundry. There is a smaller shower block as well as other small toilet blocks. At the reception you can find a small shop stocking the essentials. There is a great play park for the kids and an abundance of picnic benches. If you are in a group there is a fantastic bbq area if you want to get everyone together.

Alvie Tractor Train

At the entrance of the site you will find Alvie Forest Food a fantastic food van with beautifully prepared dishes and a recent addition of a coffee cart called Cabin coffee. Quad biking treks are available to book at the gate there are plenty of other activities and it is worth checking out the Alvie Estate website for something that suits you.

Alvie Forest Foods

For me Dalraddy is a great place to get walking and biking. There is a fantastic walk to the Duke of Gordon Monument. You can walk/cycle along the Speyside way. We headed to Kincraig and Loch Insh and got a pint at the Boathouse before heading back.

Duke of Gordon Monument

If you would like to explore the area there is plenty to do within a 10-15 mile drive.

Highland Wildlife park is around 5 miles away. At the park you can drive through the reserve and see the polar bears, snow leopards, amur tigers and many other animals then visit the wildlife discovery centre. Entry fees do apply.

Loch Insh Outdoor Centre is around 3 1/2 miles. Where you find a large selection of watersports as well as tubing, skating and archery. Prices vary depending on activity.

Loch Insh

Cairngorm Mountain Railway is around 12 miles away. The railway has only just reopened after being closed for some time. You don’t have to take part in snowsports to go up the railway you can just take a trip up to enjoy the views and have coffee and cake at The Ptarmigan restaurant. Return tickets can be purchased at Cairngorm Mountain resort.

Cairngorm Mountain looking down to the Ptarmigan restaurant!

Strathspey Steam Railway is only 4 miles away at Aviemore and is a fantastic day out for everyone including your dogs. You are taking along the line from Aviemore to Broomhill and return in a beautiful steam locomotive. There is an option to enjoy a light lunch or afternoon tea along the way. Booking available online or at the station.

Strathspey Steam Railway

This is only a very small selection of activities available!

Dalraddy is a great site to visit with everything you need and so much to do just on your doorstep!

https://www.campinginaviemore.co.uk/

https://www.visitcairngorms.com/

Tried and Tested Activities

Paddleboard Lessons at Paddle Bliss

I took a while to decide where to go for a Paddleboard lesson. I considered location, groups sizes and equipment. We was going on holiday and I was taking my board with me but wanted help on self rescues and who I chose didn’t disappoint.

Leanne at Paddle bliss is an amazing teacher her lessons are located at a fantastic place at a Trout Fishery near Nairn. She took her time to show me various self rescues as well as other skills that gave me more confidence in the water. I managed to get out when I was away but of course I didn’t fall in even with the dogs on the board! I will definitely have more lessons this year when the weather improves!

Please go and check out Paddle Bliss for yourself!

https://www.facebook.com/paddleblissnairn

Latest Blog, Places to Stay

Relax and Put you feet up at Barrow Campsite

Starting off my new sections to my website with where I have spent the last 2 weeks. Barrow Campsite is an independent campsite situated in the beautiful countryside only a few miles out of Nairn. It is a relatively new site and ideal you if you want to explore the area or relax and put your feet up.

Onsite you will find a range of hardstanding and grass pitches with a semi wild area camping area. Also a couple glamping pods. In the summer months we usually park on the grass area but in the winter we prefer to have a hardstanding pitch with hookup. The facilities are clean and modern with toilets, showers, a dishwashing and laundry room.

Around the site there is a small kids playpark, it is very dog friendly with fantastic walks and an enclosed area with a good sized pond. I have done a bit of paddleboarding in the pond. There is a fantastic bothy with seating and a bbq area which is a great place to get together or shelter out the rain. Not far from the bothy you will find Hangman hill which is a well preserved bronze age barrow hence the name Barrow Campsite.

Nairn is only 3 1/2 miles away and if you are feeling energetic you could walk or cycle along the quiet country road. The town has a fantastic range of independent shops, supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, takeaways and a leisure centre. You also will find a beautiful beach on the Moray Firth with excellent views across the water. If you would like to treat yourself you could book a spa day at the Golf View hotel. There are also excellent public transport links to Inverness.

If you are like us and you want to explore the area there is so much to do within a 10-15 mile drive.

Brodie Castle is around an 8.5 mile drive where you can have a guided tour, explore the grounds and have an excellent play area. Entry fees do apply or free to National trust members.

Cawdor Castle is around a 5 mile drive and open in the summer months. Although we have never visited it is renowned for its beautiful garden and grounds. Entry fees do apply

Fort George is around an 8 mile drive and is the mightist artillery fortification in Britian and was built in the 18th century following the defeat at Culloden. Entry fees do apply or free to Historic Scotland members.

Culloden Battlefield is around a 9 mile drive and it is the site of the bloody battle of the Jacobite rising. Although a very eery it has an excellent visitors centre and a fascinating place to go. Entry fees to the visitors centre do apply or free to National trust members.

Brodie Countryfare is around an 8.5 miles drive and is almost next door to the Castle. This is a fantastic shop to explore their extensive range of clothing, giftware and food range and you can’t leave Brodie without visiting their fantastic restaurant.

Inverness is around a 15 mile drive but if you don’t want to venture into the city there is a large retail park on the outskirts that has a good selection of shops, a cinema and a large supermarket.

This is only a small selection of places to visit that are close by, there are many more plus Barrow is a great start/end point for the fabulous North Coast 500 route.

Barrow gets a thumbs up from us we love it here and it is definitely a home from home!!!

https://www.barrowcampsite.com/https://nairnscotland.co.uk/

https://www.nts.org.uk/

https://www.historicenvironment.scot/

https://nairnscotland.co.uk/https://nairnscotland.co.uk/

Latest Blog

2022 is almost over……

I had great expectations for 2022. I bought a fancy new diary and I had great plans to get myself into a better routine,write regular blog posts, lose some weight and just be the best version of myself. Little did I know what was ahead of me!!!!

We started 2022 coming home from an amazing relaxing holiday in our favourite campsite in Skye and was all set to go back to work I was all prepared to get back to the gym and get myself sorted out.

But my life was turned upside down when my mum was taken to hospital the day I was going back to work. The next couple months were spent juggling work and hospital visits she did get home for a little while but sadly at the start of March my mum passed away.

After she passed I went back to work quite soon after I did not want to stay at home and overthink. But then if things could not get any worse after 2 years avoiding it I got covid!!! So that was the first quarter of the year gone and not a single thing had been written in my diary.

Cullen from Castle hill

Spring came and the fuel costs were rising so I spent my days off exploring my local area being careful not to go too far. Moray and Aberdeenshire has some amazing picturestic places to visit many with fantastic well marked paths. So I don’t need to travel far to find some great places.

Roseisle
Ullapool

We did manage a few weekends away to Ullapool, Nairn and the bike racing at Knockhill. We were truly blessed with some amazing weather which definitely helped my mood. I kind of failed to make any contact with my friends and avoided all social events in fear of people asking if I am ok. I must admit my husband has been a complete rock through the tough times.

Knockhill

Almost half way through the year had I written in my diary, stuck to a diet or went to the gym??? The simple answer was no. I did try to get motivated but my head was not in it. Instead I decided to try something new. One day we were sitting in Cullen beach carpark watching folk out paddleboarding I thought I would like to do that! By the time we were home I had ordered a board and a wetsuit. Which was one of my better ideas. Why? Because when you’re on that board all you think about is not falling off nothing else matters.

In June we went to Glencoe and we had some amazing weather so much so I did some wild swimming at the natural pool at Red Squirrel campsite which I loved.

We had such a great weekend soaking up the much needed vitamin D. I think it was the first weekend I had really enjoyed myself but I felt guilty afterwards. Looking back I should not ever have felt like that but grief does funny things to you.

Glencoe

Summer was spent exploring, we had several weekends in Nairn so I could paddleboard on the pond and went along to Paddlebliss for a lesson which was totally out my comfort zone and I had a amazing time. I also ventured further afield to Loch Inch one day to explore parts I had never been.

Cairngorms

I even managed to drag my friend Gem up Ben Aigan even though she hated me when I said we were nearly at the top several times we made it eventually!

Ben Aigan with Gem

Our Summer Holidays could not come quick enough I organised them like a military operation between campsites and ferries. Visiting some of our favourite places as well as exploring some new ones. Paddleboarding and wild swimming at Arisaig was one of my highlights.

Paddleboarding at Arisaig

Portavadie was our little bit of luxury.

Infinity pool at Portavadie

Mull and Iona were just simply amazing.

Iona
Tobermory, Isle of Mull

Summer sadly came to an end and we went back to work but no sooner we were back to than we ended up in Aberfeldy for a weekend with a bunch of folk we mostly only ever spoke to on Facebook. We went kayaking down the Tay which was bloody amazing. We were so proud of ourselves that day.

Kayaking on the Tay

Autumn fast approached and finally after so long we decided for our wedding anniversary we would head to Falkirk and Stirling. We wanted to go to the Kelpies and the Falkirk wheel for ages but just never quite got there. They did not disappoint the Kelpies were amazing.

The Kelpies

No one ever actually told me what the Falkirk wheel was. I actually thought it was some kind of hydro electric making type contraption, so when I got on the wee boat for the tour I was totally amazed. I would put it in my top 10 places to visit in Scotland.

Falkirk Wheel

Through most of the summer and autumn I had been suffering from regular sore heads which I had actually thought I just needed new glasses but that did not help. I did finally go to the doctors in October but I actually started back at the gym and pool at the same time, wow the headaches just disappeared. So removing some screen time and destressing at the gym was the best medicine, which I kind of already knew but putting things into practice is not always that easy.

Cullen at Sunrise

I caught a couple of amazing sunrises in November. We also managed to get away a few times spending a night in Findhorn and took to run to Edinburgh one day so we stopped in past the Hermitage,Dunkeld on the way down and spent a night in Aviemore on the way home.

Findhorn
The Hermitage
Loch an Eilein

December finally arrived which filled me with dread so we decided we would go away for Christmas and just chill out, watch Netflix and enjoy our time off. So no plans have been made to visit anywhere or do anything. This will be my first Christmas without my mum and honestly I still can’t quite believe she is no longer here and this is just a bad dream.

With only 11 days of 2022 left have I written in my posh diary???? Have I hell!!! Have I lost any weight???? Not a single pound!!! But I have not wasted the year we have had lots of good times, I have tried some new things. It certainly has not turned out the way I thought but life is too short and it is time to write my 2023 bucket list!

Am I buying a 2023 diary??? No I don’t think I will bother!!!!

2023 Bucket list coming soon…………..