Walking essentials

Who knew there was a sock manufacturer in Moray?

When you do lots of walking there is 2 vital pieces of equipment you need. Good boots and comfy socks. The perfect pair of both will enable you to walk further and longer.

Last week Heather at Scottish Womans walking group posted some monogramed SWWG merino wool socks that were made in North East Scotland. So I was very interested to find out where. After a wee search I found Caledonia Hosiery on social media.

After wee chat online with the owner Steve he invited me along to his socks factory. I jumped at the chance. The inner geek came out as I am very interested in how things are made.

The company is situated in Forres Moray. It was started in October 2019 and started producing in April 2020. The owner Steve has actually spent half his working life making socks and is very passionate about it. This has now rubbed off on his wife Sue too.

Onsite the couple are producing 1000 pairs of socks a week each pair of socks taking around 8 mins to make. They produce various styles made from wool and cotton. They are all hand finished onsite. That includes washing and air drying before pressing on a shiny sock shaped hot press!

Although the company mainly design and produce socks for brands just recently they have set up a online shop at The Country Side store (link will be posted below). In the shop they have a selection of styles including their signature outdoor socks that I have been gifted to try.

I am super excited to try as not only are they locally produced. Compared to some socks I have purchased over the year they are very reasonabled priced.

My initial review they fit and feel very comfortable. I will be putting the them to some hike tests before I fully review but I do plan to purchase other styles.

I would like to thank Steve for inviting me along and giving a wee insite to how socks are made!

Thank you for reading Tracy x

https://caledoniahosiery.com/

https://www.thecountrysidestore.co.uk/seller/caledonia-hosiery/

Summer holidays 2021

Our Summer holiday 2021 part 3

Our next few days was spent at Camping Skye at Broadford was time to chill out! Also a chance to do some washing as they have great laundry and drying facilities! The first night was very wet and windy we felt so sorry for the poor people in tents! The carried on most of the next day too. We sat binged watched Netflix and rested.

The second day the weather was a lot better so we managed to get out with the dogs. We just had a wee stroll along to the wee harbour area.

The dogs got a run about. I did some sea glass collecting and Mr C did some stone skimming.

Later on we treated ourselves and went to Cafesia for our tea! Pizza and baked Alaska what more could you want.

In the morning it was time to pack up and make our next move. We set off up the road we had all day to get to Uig for our ferry. I had made a list of places to stop en route.

First stop was the bridge at Sligachan for a few photos.

Parking wasn’t to good for the van so it was just a quick stop.

Just a few miles up the road we made another stop at Dun Beag Broch.

We had drove past it lots of time and never stopped. I actually couldn’t believe how big it was and how thick the walks were. Although mind the sheep poop if you visit as it is in a sheep park.

Little big further along the road we drove past Dunvegan Castle. We had talked about going in for a look. But honestly it was busy and I was happy to get a view of the castle so that’s what we did.

We did take a wee detour to Portree to get a supermarket and a look at the harbour.

As expected it was busy so didn’t hang about. We was ready to get away from busy places. Our final stop was Uig. Before parking at the ferry car park we took the short walk down to the Falls of Rha.

They are huge and worth the visit it is a total hidden gem. I had a wee look around the Uig pottery and treated myself to a stunning Cullins mug. I dropped in to the Isle of Skye Brewery and get a wee present for a friend. For food we popped in to the Hebriden Shack.

Mr C had some amazing scallops and I had monk fish scampi.

By the time we did all that and had a wee nap it was time for the ferry to Uist.

There was a great area for us to sit and relax with the dogs and it passed pretty quickly. We got off of the ferry when the sun wasn’t far from setting. So we put the postcode in the satnav and headed for the St Kilda view point. We didn’t have too far to go and we was just on time to watch the sunset and get a great view of St Kilda.

After our journey I was excited for our adventure ahead. So we had a early night and a good nights sleep.

We got up early the next day, made our breakfast and headed off. We had a lot to fit in on our first day. First stop was Scolpaig Tower for a wee photo.

We drove along enjoying the views of Vallay Tidal island (we have put it on our bucket list for next time). Just along the road we found a wee snack stop called The Wee Kitchen so couldn’t resist a second breakfast with a amazing beach view.

We took a wee drive to Berneray before our next stop. Parking up at Langass woods and went to follow the trail of bear foot prints. The trail lead us to the final resting place of Hercules the bear and Andy Robin. Myself and my husband have both fantastic memories of the pair visiting Keith Show in the 80’s so this was a must place to visit for us.

On our travels we found a fan Seafood cafe but it was unfortunately closed that day but the factory shop was open.

When we arrived at the shop I was amazed by the amount of scallop shells that lined the shore. Next took a wee tour round Benbecula stopping off at the Lady of the Isles statue.

Then it was time to find our friends house. We tracked down the area they lived and took a wee look about and chatted to some of the ponies at Loch Skiport before messaging Lindsay. It then turned out we had passed their house not long before.

Lindsay and DJ took us on a tour of South Uist pointing out places we never have found. We visited the most westerly point in Uist and even managed to get a photo taken together for a change.

That night we parked up not far from theirs. After a long lie we wakening up to ponies at the van. Once organised we headed along the the road and parked up to go for a hike in the hope to see a sea eagle.

It is such a beautiful area the photos don’t do it justice.

The afternoon was spent enjoying the views while exploring South Uist. After a failed attempt looking for the whale bones on the most amazing beach.

We did see some seals and found them on our second attempt. That night we parked up close to the beach and made plans for the next day.

It was our last day on Uist so made it a bit of a chilled one. We took a drive to Eriskay where I miraculously found a ladies ring. I did find the owner quickly with the power of Facebook.

Lunch was had at the Am Politician and a look round the shop. Before heading back to the beach for one last beach walk.

Our ferry next day was just after 6am so needed to get parked up close to by the terminal. We found a spot then took a walk to the Lochboisdale Hotel for a lovely meal. Then headed to the van and set the alarm for 4.45. To catch the ferry back to the main land it was almost the end of our holiday!

Going to end it here! We had a fantastic holiday and didn’t want to come home! I have posted some useful links below.

Thank you for reading Tracy x

https://campingskye.com/

https://www.cafesia.co.uk/

https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/dun-beag-broch/

https://www.dunvegancastle.com/

https://www.uigpottery.co.uk/

https://skyeale.com/

https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/Deli/Hebridean-Shack-108109487672789/

https://www.visitouterhebrides.co.uk/hebrideanway

Summer holidays 2021

Our Summer Holidays 2021 part 2

Once we was up organised and everything packed up. We made sure the water bottles were full as we didn’t know expect from the campsite I had booked the day before. We headed for Cromarty to catch the Nigg ferry. We had wanted to take this wee ferry for so long but it was never running when we was in the area. It was a bit nerve racking going on and off but it was a good wee hurl and I was chuffed to bits!

Once off the ferry we headed for Balintore to find the Mermaid of the North. She was on my bucket list and well worth a visit although the story about her is a little dark.

Mr C was meeting one of his friends just along the road so it gave me the opportunity to go beach combing for sea glass and I got a nice little haul.

Back on the road again our next stop was the Falls of Shin for a wee look.

There was no salmon leaping that day but plenty of midges. We did notice there was a lovely smell coming from burger van outside the visitors centre. We resisted though. We did notice there was a grey/chemical disposal in the carpark as well as water and bins. Good to know for another time.

The next part of the drive was like a scene from Mad Max there wasn’t much but hills and lochs. We soon got to Tongue as we drove over the Causeway we admired the amazing beach. It was only a few miles to get to Talmine. We had booked in to the Bayview Campsite but we had a wee look along to the harbour first. Wow the beach, the water, the sand it is beautiful.

The campsite well lets just say it had what we needed. It was just needing a wee bit of work but for £12 it was grand. It was only a stop off before heading west.

Next morning we just got up and we got moving we already planned to cook our breakfast at the causeway layby. I then failed to check my direction for going to Lochiver and we got rather shouty when I told Mr C to go the wrong way! Once we was going in the right direction. We passed through Durness but we didn’t stop as it was very busy. Our next planned stop was Kylesku bridge for some photos.

We took a wee detour for some pies from the famous Larder at Lochinver they were lush as usual. I had sweet potato and goats cheese as it’s my favourite followed by a peach and pear one.(Well it was lunch time)

Next we went on to Ardwreck Castle but just as I was crossing the road I noticed a waterfall. I did go over and take some photos at the castle.

But I wanted to go back to the waterfall it was lovely. I managed to walk all the way rounds as there was some stepping stones at the top. It is a total hidden gem.

Next stop was Knockan Crag although the weather wasn’t the best. I had a wee stroll around the trail Mr C gave it a miss as the midges were biting.

Our stop for the next couple days was Broomfield Campsite. We arrived early as we knew it would be busy. We wasn’t wrong they were queuing by 5pm. We was there by early afternoon and got our favourite spot. We booked in for 2 nights and couldn’t really be bothered to go to the shop. We had spent much of the afternoon watching the rain. I took a walk round to the fish and chip shop to pick up something for tea at the Seaforth. It was very busy but worth the wait. Mr C had scampi and I had fish in a bun it was lush.

The weather cleared up later and it turned warm we watched some ladies in for a wild dook. I was tempted but got the fear. As the sun was setting I went out and played with my camera settings. Was pretty chuffed with the results.

Next morning the weather was awful and we needed the shop. We waited will it went off a bit and took a walk and a detour to the harbour. Lucky we did as we was chuffed to see the Blue Clipper tall ship at the harbour so got a few photos before going shopping.

The rest of the day was spent people watching but landed lucky with a amazing sunset.

We got up at a decent time next day made coffee and packed up. We was read for our next road trip. We had to decide which way to go if we should detour Applecross but decided just to take the quickest route. We had been on the Bealach na ba lots of times and the road would be busy. We headed for the Garve road.

I had only planned two stops on the road. One to Manuelas Bakery and Fairy Gin Distillery and the view point for Eilan Donan Castle.

Parking wasn’t the easiest at the bakery and distillery but we got sorted. It was all so cute and quirky and the cakes wow they are lovely. The nice man at the bakery gave me some great advice on which gin to purchase and it’s so nice.

We only had a few more miles to go before we got to our next campsite in Skye.

Thank you for reading. I’ve posted some useful links below! Tracy x

http://www.highlandferries.co.uk/cromarty-nigg.asp

https://www.seaboardcentre.com/mermaid-of-the-north/

https://www.visitscotland.com/info/see-do/falls-of-shin-visitor-attraction-p1905721

https://www.bayviewcampsite.co.uk/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kylesku_Bridge

https://www.lochinverlarder.com/

https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/lochinver/ardvreckcastle/index.html

https://www.nature.scot/enjoying-outdoors/scotlands-national-nature-reserves/knockan-crag-national-nature-reserve

http://www.broomfieldhp.com/

https://www.theseaforth.com/

https://www.maybe-sailing.com/ship/blue-clipper/

https://m.facebook.com/Manuelas-Wee-Bakery-216741228486648/?fref=ts

https://fairytaledistillery.co.uk/

https://www.eileandonancastle.com/

Summer holidays 2021

Our Summer 2021 holidays! Part 1

After patiently waiting for Mr C to finish work all day we headed off on our way. After getting our 12v tv back the day before still broken we decided to go to Curry’s. We picked up a new tv and use a invertor when we don’t have a electric hook up. Once that was all sorted we spent our first night at one of our favourite campsite Barns highland at Nairn.

With the fridge full of goodies from The Larder. By 9 o’clock our bellies were full and we ready for bed!

We were wakened and organised reasonably early next day. Mr C had some boots saved from Highland Army Surplus so we nipped back there to pick them up. I got a wee dry bag for my pocket camera as I had left my one at home.

Once we had all that sorted we hit the road and finally had everything we could go to our next campsite Fortrose Bay. We did have a wee detour round to Chanonry point but it was very busy and we couldn’t get parked. I hopped out and got a quick few photos in the rain before going to the campsite.

Once parked up we just chilled and watched the rain just enjoying our first day of our holidays.

Later on we ventures back along to Chanonry point with the dogs. It was even busier this time we did sit at the beach area for a little while. With no sign of any dolphins we walked back and picked up a tasty fish supper from McGinty’s fish and chip stop in the village.

On our second day at Fortrose thankfully we woke up to nice weather as we had made plan for a good walk. After breakfast we headed for Rosemarkie.

I’ve been looking at photos of fairy glen and the waterfalls so I couldn’t wait to go. I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

The walk was lovely even though I had wet feet in the first 5 minutes. The dogs had a ball but did have to take Suzi in to the water at Rosemarkie beach to clean her up a bit!

After our 5 miles trek we left the dogs at the van and took a wander in to the village. We stopped off for a look at Fortrose cathedral.

What a amazing place to have in small village. By that time Mr C was ready for a pint. So we went on a mission to find a pub. We eventually found the Union Tavern. A very welcoming pub with good beer.

After a few pints we had a pit stop at the Coop for something for supper. That night we spent getting organised and packed up. The site was lovely and in a great spot with plenty to see and do. But it was time for our next part of our holiday.

Posted lots of links below of the places we stayed, places we visited and even where I got our food!

Thank you for reading Tracy x

https://m.facebook.com/thelarderhuntly/

https://www.barnshighland.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Highland-army-surplus-158985624225642/

https://www.moraydolphins.co.uk/chanonry-point.html

https://www.fortrosebaycampsite.co.uk/

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/lochness/Fairyglen.shtml

https://mcgintys.scot/https://

www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/fortrose-cathedral/

https://m.facebook.com/UnionTavernFortrose/