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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Ballindalloch Castle

A 9am start today heading towards Ballindalloch Castle and Inverness. The scenery changed to broom and conifers as we climbed a bit. It was fairly chilly.
We had a morning break at the town of Ballater where, with the help of a fellow participant, I found a post office disguised as a co-op. I joined the queue and learned quite a lot about local affairs as I waited my turn.
There was s good bookshop in Ballater and an antique shop in both of which members of our group found a few bargains and treasures.
The drive to Ballindalloch was another two hours, through beautiful country.

The driving conditions for our big bus demanded, and got, great care from our driver. We heard that a large truck had overturned ahead of us, so developed a contingency plan, which we didn't need as the road had been cleared before we arrived at the accident.
Ballindalloch emerges from the forrest with the expectation of a fairytale, turrets, knot-garden, crests and flag flying.
It has, however, tea rooms, holiday lets and shop. It was very busy.

We had soup, sandwiches and cake - all good - during which the heir to the Estate popped in to find Phillipa and do a bit of a meet and greet. Very charming and pleasant. Some of the conversation was about the difficulty of preserving textiles as opposed to other family treasures
The castle is a family home, well organised and presented for display, with good information sheets in each room. They have interesting collections in odd corners, such as silver pincushions or porcelain figures.

Again, I decided against the upstairs rooms, watching instead a half hour TV program Monty Don did on the Castle and family. It focused on how the family had, in recent years, created a business from the home by opening the house, breeding Aberdeen Angus, opening the estate for fishing and leisure activity.  
We headed on to Inverness about 4pm,
arriving at 5. We are staying at the Kingsmill Hotel for three nights, 
doing quite a bit of stitching and visiting one place each day. It is a pleasant setting, 
My room is spacious 
 - even space for children, had I been able to bring any! 
No formal stitching tonight and a relaxing day tomorrow.


  1. The countryside is so wonderfully green. Enjoying the journey Jillian. Thanks.

  2. Good to see a family making a go of keeping and using a family home and estate. Lovely scenery, very nostalgic. Thanks for this blog, vicarious travel is most enjoyable

  3. I am a little intrigued by the formal stitching!

    1. Formal stitching is an organised class. Informal is when we just stitch either individually or as a group in our own time.

  4. Lovely scenery, in many places similar to parts of Canada north and east of here. But I imagine it still feels quite different. Scotland is very high on my list of places still to visit, and I have this fantasy that it might be a nice place to live, too.

    Too bad so many places didn't allow indoor photos! I would have liked a look at the Suzani.