This half term we ventured north to the highlands of Scotland. After a very scary journey to the airport at 4am (avoiding fallen trees and a near miss with a branch and our winsdcreen) the wind finally dropped and we took off 3 hours late. The day before leaving we had literally dragged poor Bruno, our springer spaniel into kennels (not his idea of a holiday) and thrown some stuff into two holdalls.
We stayed in a great Forest log cabin on Loch Long overlooking Arrochar. The scenery was stunning the autumn colours on the hills were breathtaking, even the girls were inspired to go walking!
One of the best trips whilst there was to the Isle of Bute, a quick 10 minute ferry crossing which was an adventure for the girls. The weather was pretty kind to us and we had a wonderful explore around Mount Stuart a fabulous Victorian house built by the Stuarts. The house is full of quirky wood carvings and the most wonderful stained glass windows that represent the night sky and its constellations. If your purse is deep you can be married in the chapel and sleep in a fabulous room with an early conservatory (Stella McCartney was married here).
Our accommodation was more modest! Overlooking Arrochar on Loch Long the cabins were perfect for a week away. We sat in the hot tub marvelling at the view with the rain pelting us from all angles – bliss!
One of the places I had wanted to see was Loch Eck, a narrow Loch near where we were staying. A relative on my fathers side called Edward Ball (Ted Ball) was a landscape artist for Coalport China works towards the end of the 19th century and one of the pieces of Coalport China we own by him is of Loch Eck. Coalport and nearby Ironbridge are famous for their links to the early Industrial revolution and the production of china at Coalport. Other local potteries included Caughley and Benthall. All of these factories are near the Industrial town of Broseley where my family and I lived for many generations.
John Randall (1810-1910) was Coalport’s most famous painter and was born in Broseley. During his illustrious career at Coalport his work was exhibited widely including: the 1851 Exhibition; the 1871 International Exhibition and the 1876 Art Treasures Exhibition.
The short trip has inspired me to create a Scottish landscape quilt using lots of autumnal colours. I’m going to rummage through my hoard of fabrics and see where they take me!
Last but definitely not least, for those of you concerned about Brunsky’s welfare here he is home and happy! No dog free holidays planned for the near future…..