We had an overnight trip* to Inverness last week for half term.
The early morning light at Clava Cairns was very special. It is a beautiful, very peaceful, site which we only discovered that morning. The well-preserved burial cairns are around 4000 years old and the whole site has an incredibly impressive feel to it.
|Climbing on rocks not the cairns!|
We, or rather the children, are early risers and Clava nicely filled time until Culloden opened at 10am. We have been hoping to visit Culloden for a while having heard very good reviews since a recent Visitor Centre upgrade. And, really, a battlefield does need good interpretation to bring it to life…..with the best will in the world a bleak moor on which a battle was fought over 250 years ago isn’t very exciting (……………even with the addition of flags to show where the battle lines were drawn up).
The visitor centre and it’s interpretation did a truly fantastic job of engaging our interest and of explaining the history which led to the battle being fought. The perspective of the two opposing sides – British government and Jacobites – was put across clearly and I found myself sympathising with both sides at different stages. This last battle of the Jacobites, although short-lived, was extremely bloody and very final – and the rebelllion and rising of Bonnie Prince Charlie was at an end.
The children loved dressing up in a plaid, complete with basket sword and targe. Very fierce!
We broke the journey home with a stop at Tiso in Perth. Tiso’s is a bit of Scottish institution for outdoor enthusiasts – I remember visiting to get my first pair of walking boots when I was the age my children are now. The Perth shop has a 30 foot indoor climbing wall which kids can use if there is a staff member free. Finn, Angus and Islay loved it and would have carried on and on if they had been allowed. It was so good to see them working their way up the wall……I climbed quite a lot as a student and really enjoyed it. But I would be quite torn if any of them wanted to take it up seriously – I know of a fair few nasty, and some fatal too, outdoor climbing and mountaineering accidents. I suppose I shouldn’t start worrying yet!
I’m feeling a bit strange today. It didn’t seem time for the small people to be back at school. But they were happy to go which is a good thing. I hope everyone enjoyed a sunny weekend like we had – I can’t begin to say how much I enjoyed the feel of warmth in the air yesterday. And it is definitely lighter longer too. If this carries on much longer I may have to wash windows and clean cupboards!
*Thanks to Tesco vouchers we stayed in an ensuite family room in the SYHA hostel. The hostel was clean and spacious…………having an ensuite bathroom, in a hostel, felt like a real luxury!