Category: countryside

Slieve Croob and the surrounding countryside, Northern Ireland

Slieve Croob can be translated to ‘Mountain of the Hoof’ and though it is not very high (534 m), it is apparently over 380 Million years old, even older than the Mourne Mountains, which you can see looming on the other side. This whole area was once shaped by big ice sheets pushing down from Donegal during the Ice Age. On top of Slieve Croob you find the 12 Cairns, which are Neolithic burial chambers (possibly put together from one big one originally). Neolithic farming communities would settle in the fertile valleys below between 4000BC and 2000BC and they have erected many impressive stone structures all around the area. Slieve Croob was also traditionally the place where Lughnasa was celebrated, the festival dedicated to the Celtic sun god Lugh. It was celebrated in August to prolong the period of sunshine into the harvest months. People would pick bilberries (also known as ‘blaeberries’, giving it the name ‘Blaeberry Sunday’) on the way up and then sing, dance and play the fiddle. This was done on Slieve Croob well into the 1950s.

A Northern Ireland vlog is up on Youtube. 

First Day of my Shetland adventure! I’m planning a series with these, one video per full day on Shetland. It’s once again lo-fi, but it has Shetland ponies! 😀 

I wanted to vlog, but since it was three of us, it wasn’t possible, so I decided to do a voice-over instead. I will try to improve the sound quality for the next videos, but until then I hope you enjoy this one. 🙂

Inchewan Path near Dunkeld, Scotland

This was a wholesome walk on a lovely day with just a few soft showers thrown into the mix. For me, this area never fails to deliver in scenery and beauty and it is one of my favourite walks, as you may already know. Along the way, I have continued my experimentation with close-up photography and I ended up ‘accidentally’ finding many critters, when I was trying to photograph the plants. It just shows you how alive this place is.  

Forteviot | Perthshire | Scotland

This tiny and picturesque village has great historical importance for Scotland. Even though today’s buildings, save the parish church,

are from the 1920s, underneath the village are the remains of the 9th Century Pictish royal palace of Kenneth MacAlpin, who died here in 860AD, as well as a royal tomb from the early Bronze Age (around 2000BC). The parish church was built in 1778 and houses some historical Pictish items. We visited it during Doors Open Day and were able to see some original Pictish stones on display. To celebrate this historical connection and Forteviot’s status as an early Christian site, a new Pictish cross was commissioned with stone-carver David McGovern and unveiled in the centre of the village in 2018. 

Walking the Scottish Highlands | Glencoe | Coire Gabhail – The Hidden Valley

Walking the Scottish Highlands | Glencoe | The Hidden Valley – Coire Gabhail

Part 1 | Part 2

The Hidden Valley (“Coire Gabhail” in Gaelic, meaning “hollow of the spoils”) is somewhere that can only be reached by ascending a fairly steep and rocky path (or descending from the mountains surrounding it). It was used by members of Clan MacDonald to hide the cattle that they had stolen, for which they demanded ransom from the owners. Cattle raiding was a custom that stretched into prehistory, but was simply considered a nuisance by the 17th Century. Clan MacDonald often had feuds with Clan Campbell, which resulted in the Glencoe Massacre in 1692. The surviving members of Clan MacDonald took refuge in the Hidden Valley.

Walking the Scottish Highlands | Glencoe | The Hidden Valley – Coire Gabhail

Part 1 | Part 2

The Hidden Valley (“Coire Gabhail” in Gaelic, meaning “hollow of the spoils”) is somewhere that can only be reached by ascending a fairly steep and rocky path (or descending from the mountains surrounding it). It was used by members of Clan MacDonald to hide the cattle that they had stolen, for which they demanded ransom from the owners. Cattle raiding was a custom that stretched into prehistory, but was simply considered a nuisance by the 17th Century. Clan MacDonald often had feuds with Clan Campbell, which resulted in the Glencoe Massacre in 1692. The surviving members of Clan MacDonald took refuge in the Hidden Valley.

Driving through the Western Scottish Highlands | Trossachs National Park and Glencoe

Revisiting Places: McDuff’s Monument and Lynedoch Obelisk, Perthshire

Where I feel at home 🍂🌲

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