Scotland the Best – Coral Beach, Mountain Top Snow and a Munroe

For me there are two outdoor activities in this country that top the lot.  Camping and a visit, especially some walking, in the Scottish Highlands.  My 8 yr. old has done both of these before, though not for three years so we were all really excited about our trip  last week to one of the last great wildernesses in Western Europe.

Walking Equipment

We camped at Morvich in the heart of Glen Shiel  by Glen Affric and just off the Road to Skye.  Quite a lot of home comforts here – a good tent, good facilities, all the equipment we needed and luckily for us as the nights were still cold no midges.  There were also some country comforts, birdsong from dawn to dusk, that every elusive cuckoo, heard but not seen, carpets of bluebells on view from out tent and, of course, the sight of those mountains.

snug in a sleeping bag

Someone was as snug as a bug in a rug.

 

Coral Beach Plockton

Our trip started with a visit to a coral beach.  I hadn’t realised that you get coral around the UK, though apparently you do.  However, this beach was not actually made of coral, but of dead fragments of strange hard seaweed called maerl.  This has been, crushed by the waves and bleached by the sun so you have a beach of white crunchy pieces of what certainly look like coral.  Worth looking out for if you are in western Scotland.  I have since learnt that living maerl is a beautiful purple-pink, and forms spiky underwater ‘carpets’ on the seabed.  These seaweeds deposit lime in their cell walls as they grow, giving them a hard, brittle skeleton and making them coral – like.

Coral Beach Plockton

Coral Beach Plockton

Walking in Glen Shiel

Scotland has had heavy snowfall this year and it has remained cold.  Nevertheless, I have never seen, and was surprised to see so much snow on the tops.  Our walk in Glen Shiel provided the opportunity to check it out.

June snow  in Glen Shiel

Walking in Glen Shiel

And when it wasn’t snow there were loads of tarns to test the depth of.

We had a great day out.  My son is now faster on the mountain than me –  I’m hoping that’s because he doesn’t mind getting very wet and muddy and that on drier terrain I’ll still be able to hold my own!

The next day another adventure was in store, one which had been long in the planning.  One which I had mixed feelings about – not least because it was by invite only and I was not on the invite list.  A one night back packing trip with a campout and a mountain summit for my hubby and son was planned.  Yes I had made a few objections.  I did feel left out.  However I had accepted that the backpacking tent was (conveniently) only big enough for two and it would be a great bonding exercise for father and son.  So they left early one morning to walk into Glen Affric from the campsite.

And what did I do while they were away? – Well, of course, I took the opportunity to visit a garden and I worried.

I needn’t have they were back down by 1 o’clock the next afternoon having had a great time.  My son had climbed his first Munroe (this is a mountain in Scotland above 3,000 feet) – not one just off the roadside as many are, but on in a remote glen and the 22nd highest.    So proud of him.  And he still had the energy to run about on the campsite all afternoon.

Anyone else been walking with their children in the mountains?

I am linking up this post with Countrykids at Coombemill and the Outdoor Play Party. Please stop by and take a look at the other blog posts on these sites.  You will be inspired.

 

 

 

 

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13 Responses to Scotland the Best – Coral Beach, Mountain Top Snow and a Munroe

  1. Sarah June 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    Beautiful! I would love to take our family there someday!

    • Lynda June 13, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

      Please do – May is a great time to go to Scotland

  2. Coombemill - Fiona June 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    What a fantastic trip! I think it ticks all the boxes of enjoying the great outdoors, and well done to your son for coping with it all. How beautiful is Scotland, so very picturesque. The beach is fascinating as are the accompanying pictures. Thanks for linking up a great post to Country Kids.

    • Lynda June 13, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

      Your right it did tick off all the boxes. We even managed to spot 4 dolphins off the north west coast of Skye – a real highlight for me

      • Coombemill June 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

        wow to the dolphins! We sometimes see seals or basking sharks off the coast here in Cornwall, always a treat!

  3. Sara (@mumturnedmom) June 9, 2013 at 2:30 am #

    Oh, that has made me quite homesick! Well done to your son on doing the Munro :) And, no midges is always a bonus! We’ve been chased into our tent too many times by them :)

    • Lynda June 13, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

      The frozen nose whilst sleeping was certainly worth the no midges – sounds like you are an experienced Scottish camper

  4. Kierna Corr (@CiarnaC) June 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    Looks so beautiful, sometimes we forgot how much beauty there is on our own doorsteps. Thanks for linking up again & all your support.

    • Lynda June 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

      thanks for your comments. Scottish Highlands are one of my favourite locations, so pleased that my son is loving the area as well

  5. Kel (@MoolBoots) June 11, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    Looks amazing, somewhere I could take my kids!

    • Lynda June 13, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

      thanks for your comments

  6. www.thegardeningshoe.blogspot.com June 13, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Wow – it looks absolutely wonderful. The maerl is beautiful. Many congratulations to your son for bagging his first Monro and well done you for grabbing the opportunity for a garden visit!

    • Lynda June 20, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

      Many thanks for your comments. We were very proud of our son. Hope it bodes well for future trips.