Week 2: Southward to England

Week 1 took us from home to mainland Orkney and then to Scotland. We were last seen at Culloden Moor.

We left Culloden Moor on Monday morning, having business in Elgin and Turriff, and ended the day at Huntly Castle caravan park. We stayed for two nights at this peaceful  location. We have visited Huntly before and no doubt will do so again. 

We chose the scenic route from Huntly to Cellardyke. It would have been stunning if the weather had played ball but thick humid air and low cloud served only to obscure the otherwise wonderful views. It was still a pleasant drive, when not actually chucking it down – though a long one. We stopped at Braemar to make lunch. The weather improved considerably after that point.

Somewhere around Glenshee, with photography limited to shooting through the car window

We had booked two nights at the Silverdyke caravan site but when we found that The Cellar had a cancellation and therefore a table available for Thursday dinner, we promptly booked another night and stayed until Saturday morning.

I am growing very fond of this part of Scotland and will be happy to return to Fife and the East Neuk time and again.

Cellardyke

Saturday took us to Sunnyhills . It felt like a long drive in the hot sun and Bank Holiday weekend traffic as we worked our way slowly around Edinburgh and southward to the Border.

Ceridwen approaches England

On Sunday morning we enjoyed a Full English at Sunnyhills then set off for Sweethope Loughs.

Sunnyhills Breakfast

We sat out the rest of the holiday weekend in peace and quiet… chilling out, eating and strolling with the dog.

We sought out the circular route around the larger lough

Week three will start by wandering down to Co Durham tomorrow. From there we will go to York and Pocklington, then break the onward journey to the Channel Tunnel with a couple of nights in Cambridgeshire. Week four will begin with the Channel crossing. The adventure will finally begin.

Snail Spaces: Sweethope Loughs

A CMC Certificated Location, beautifully situated in the middle of nowhere, Sweethope is extremely low-key. Aimed mainly, we would guess, at the angling fraternity it nevertheless suits us well.

The smaller lough

Five hard core pitches, don’t even approximate to level and ramps are recommended. The ground around is boggy.  Grass is rough cut. There  are flies and midges but there is a lake, which is a bonus and the rest tends to go with it.

The pitches are in a contained area bordering onto the smaller lough

Water is  on pitch and the hookups work. There is chem disposal and rinsing water and waste bins. 

Shared showers and toilets are a walk away through the wood. There are separate disabled facilities.

Plenty of walking opportunities.

Management is warm, relaxed and welcoming. 

Cheap and cheerful and perfect if all you want is peace and quiet. We had the place to ourselves on our first visit (Dec 2016) and shared with two caravans on our second visit (August Bank Holiday weekend)

Last Visit: August 2017

Sweethope

All I can say is that at the Hadrian’s Wall caravan site there appears to be no such thing as the 6 metre rule. We were packed in last night between two caravans at close quarters. How close? Well we were woken first thing by the sound of breakfast TV on our left hand side.

No such problems tonight,

We emptied and filled before setting off, not without problems as the leaky pipe was shedding the patch repair we had done before leaving Kippford. It was a dull grey morning and we were robbed of much of the scenery that I know is there along the wall. It was a short run of about 25 miles to Sweethope.

Vincent on the top pitch of five

Sweethope Loughs is a 5-van Certificated Location sited in the middle of nowhere by the side of a lough, the smaller of a pair. It’s rough and ready with pitches that are approximately level and serviced with water and electricity. It is extremely peaceful, feeling more like wild camping than many “wilding” sites do. It is after all accessed by a private road reached after more than two miles of single track unclassified road off the A68.

The Lower lough

We walked out with the dog soon after our arrival, wanting to make the best of what daylight we had. We set out to walk around the Lower Lough then hoping to circumnavigate the main lough.

Vincent at the Lower Lough

Site rules and the general bogginess of the ground combined to make circumnavigation impossible, so we settled for walking past the fishery and back up to the road. There was plenty to point the camera at so I was not at all unhappy. Better light might have been appreciated!

We love it here and think we shall return time and again. I imagine that it will be midge-ridden in season though.

Tomorrow we leave here and go to Wark, where we have a room and dinner booked. There is a bath with my name on it. I have Badedas. Am hoping for large white fluffy towels.