When you visit Scotland you will no doubt want to visit castles such as Edinburgh Castle, Dunnotar Castle and Urquhart Castle. Whether you want to find out more about your ancestry, visit castles you have seen on postcards or online or even follow in the footsteps of a certain red haired man in a kilt (Outlander fan?) you’ll want to purchase a pass in order to save yourself some cash. Without a pass costs can really mount up, especially if you have a nice long wish list of “must sees”.
The next section of Scotland’s North Coast 500 begins in Durness. After a full Scottish breakfast at the Smoo Cave Hotel we doubled back a bit and took a little road to the west of Durness which took us to Balnakeil Beach. Another absolutely gorgeous beach which looks over towards Cape Wrath. The bay feels abandoned, wild and remote, and the waves crashing onto the sands from the ferocious North Atlantic give it an eerie empty feeling.
The area, including Fariad Head and Gracie Island, is used by the ministry of defence to train fighter pilots and test weapons. It’s only used at certain times though and will be completely closed off while in use. There are notices up in Durness with dates on if your in the area. Also beside the beach is the remains of Durness Old Church and graveyard where the Gaelic Poet Rob Dunn is buried, who was well known during the Jacobite years.
Last weekend I was asked along to Fife’s first Feast of Fife and wrote a blog about my experiences for the Welcome to Fife’s website.
A “Feast of Fife” the invitation said. A chance to meet some of Fife’s top food producers, visit some of the best restaurants and taste some wonderful food.
Food is becoming a big thing in Fife. There are two Michelin starred restaurants, and food producers are winning award after award at competitions across the country. Focusing on local produce and innovative cooking skills chefs are taking their dishes to the next level, as we were about to experience.
Perhaps it’s down to the mild climate, letting the crops grow to their full potential, or the fact Fife is lucky enough to have a 118 mile stretch of coastline giving fishermen easy access to some of the world’s finest fish and seafood. Or perhaps it’s the many acres of lush fertile farmland that give the meat and pork such a divine texture and taste. Whatever the reason, and it’s likely to be a combination of all three, Fife is now a haven for foodies.
Needless to say I accepted the invitation and last weekend I took part in Welcome to Fife’s inaugural Feast of Fife. I was joined for the two days by food bloggers and writers from across the country. How lovely to spend time with a group of people as obsessed with food as I am!
Our first morning began at the luxurious Eden Mansion Hotel in Guardbridge. Having already enjoyed the experience that is Afternoon Tea here before, I already knew I was in for a real treat and the team didn’t disappoint. We were greeted with coffee and fresh croissants before taking our seats in a grand and elegant room for an introduction by Fife Food Ambassador, chef and cookery writer Christopher Trotter.
To read more head over to the Welcome to Fife website