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About Scotland
First Aid at the Slochd near Inverness

I'm just back from two days well spent at the Slochd Mohr Lodge Hostel near Carrbridge, Invernesshire. I was taking part in a two day course on First Aid where the practicals were undertaken out of doors or snow and on the ground.

The course is based at the Hostel and the practicals take place outside the base. It is run by the British Association of Ski Patrollers (BASP). It was a demanding two days and tiring but also rewarding. I can recommend the course to anyone but especially those who lead outdoor activities such as walking, mountain biking, skiing etc.

I give the course a score of ten out of ten.

Link to BASP.


I can recommend the Slochd Mohr Lodge Hostel (an independent Hostel) where I stayed for two nights. It is bright and airy, clean and the owners are two lovely people. Ian and Liz make you welcome and ensure that the place is kept to a high standard. They also offer ski instruction which you can see on their web site. Once again when you use hostels you meet people from all over the world which is a bonus.

Link to Slochd Mohr Lodge Hostel

Annie Sutherland, Games Old and New. Scotlands Traditional Games.
For fourteen years Annie Sutherland has been delivering workshops in traditional and new games all over Scotland. She has carried out a substantial programme of workshops in Primary Schools teaching traditional and new games. She has also delivered workshops for Teachers and their assistants for In Service Training within schools.
Annie has presented come and try workshops at many events in Scotland. She has helped people of all ages, five years to eighty years, experience the joy of playing with traditional toys such as the gird and cleek and the whip and peerie. An example of a very successful event is Pollok Family Day in Glasgow at which Annie has presented traditional games sessions for over ten years.
Children of Struthers Primary School in Ayrshire enjoy traditional games.
For the long winter evenings Annie puts on a smashing evenings entertainment with gird races and whip and peerie spinning competitions, singing and skipping. Members of Womens Guilds and Womens Rural Institutes have a fun evening when Annie puts on her show.
Annie has worked all over Scotland - The Orkney Islands, St Andrews, The Scottish Borders, Argyll and Bute, Arran, Lanark, Newmill Keith, Inverness plus.
In 2008 Annie presented workshops and participation sessions in Verona as part of Tocati (you try it!) a Traditional Games Festival. Her contribution was well received. On our first working day 500 Primary School children participated in games. Annie was assisted by about thirty student teachers. It was great fun for everyone who took part.
To obtain more information on Annie Sutherland Games Old and New use the following contact information.
You can contact Annie as follows -
Telephone 0141 633 2228
Address 661 Clarkston Road, GLASGOW, G44 3QL.
Web site
Glendoick Gardens and Garden Centre, Glendoick, Perthshire PH2 7NS

Rhododendrons mail order and export.
Tel: 01738 860 205  Fax 01734 860 630  Email
Kenneth Cox           Photography by Ray Cox

The first full colour Guidebook to the Gardens, Garden Centres and Nurseries of Scotland. 492 pages 500 full colour pictures
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd 2009  ISBN-13: 978-1841585765 Reprinted with updates March 2010 (OUT NOW)

Describes over 500 Scottish gardens, nurseries and garden centres

  • Contacts of specialist societies and organisations.
  • Pithy, humorous and opinionated.
  • Introduction on history of ScottishGardens and issues of Conservation and Marketing of gardens. 
  • Detailed maps of locations and extensive 'Best of' lists

Winner   UK Garden Reference Book of the Year 2009  

Judges Comments: 'This book deserves a place in the glove compartment of every driver on a tour of Scotland’s gardens. It’s comprehensive, featuring the large and well-known gardens plus lesser-known treasures. It has enough practical detail to make finding and visiting the gardens straightforward. It is lively and enjoyable reading too.' 


'Scotland for Gardeners is no mere anodyne guidebook.. rather it is a comprehensive catalogue of Scotland's gardens and garden heritage...beautifully illustrated. The authors's enthusiasm is so beguiling and he packs in so much information. ... I anticipate that Scotland for Gardeners will become a constant companion and reliable source of information for garden and nursery visiting.' Claire Fletcher, Hortus

'Occasionally a book is published which you wonder how you lived without. Scotland for Gardeners is emphatically in this category. This book is the ideal travel companion: amusing, robust and, above all, trustworthy.' Jennie MacFie, The Sunday Herald Magazine

Scotland for Gardeners is almost certainly the best gardening book I've come across in a long time. Gaby Soutar, Lothian Life

'With a combination of honest critique and captivating photography, Scotland for Gardeners delivers a Lonely Planet-style volume for anyone wishing to have a comprehensive guide to the landscapes of Scotland.' Lisa Trainer The Courier

"This is an essential book for anyone with the slightest interest in Scottish Gardens" - BBC Gardens Illustrated



This is a valuable book which I use to inform the programmes of garden walks and tours I undertake. It is comprehensive, so far as Scotlands Gardens are concerned and is full of useful information and contacts.



Brian Sutherland, Scotlands Gardens and Landscapes, 2012.

Brian MacCool Sutherland Jnr's Website is an archive of photographs paintings and videos.
URR LODGE HOSTEL in the Haugh of Urr, near Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway is a good base from which to explore South West Scotland. Galloway is one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland and has many fine gardens and nurseries which are open to visitors.  The accomodation in Urr Lodge is excellent and good value for money.
Enjoying a relaxing break at Urr lodge.
This is a link to the Urr Lodge Hostel web site.
Rua Reidh Lighthouse, Near Gairloch.
Not only is this a fabulous location it is also well placed for visiting Inverewe gardens, Poolewe. The independant hostel is comfortable and excellent value for money. The Officers quarters have been used as a hostel for over twenty five years. The Lighthouse is one hundred years old this year. 


 A large conservatory at one end of the building is a comfortable dining space. You can self cater or book meals in advance.
You can also eat out. The Melvaig Inn between Rua Reidh  and Gairloch is recommended for atmosphere and good food.
Good walking may be enjoyed and Guided Walks can be booked in advance.
Proprietors Chris Barrett and Fran Cree will make you welcome and cater for you if required. They are quite low key and leave you to relax and enjoy the very special ambiance of Rua Reidu.
Rua Reidh Lighthouse
Telephone. +44(0)1445 771 263
Moira Thomson, co founder with Cameron Thomson, of the SEER Trust shows off some of the vegetables grown with the benefit of pulverised rock dust. Described as the remineralisation of the soil the use of rock dust along with the addition of organic matter, for example Farm Yard Manure, helps to create a soil which encourages good growth.
tel. 01250 881789
SEER Centre Trust
Straloch Farm
PH10 7PJ.
Summer Isles Sea Tours

Sail on board 'Isabella' and see the beautiful Summer Isles. See seals, rock formations and caves. Spend an hour on the stunning Isle of Tenara Mor. Booking is essential to avoid disappointment.


Ian MacLeod


By Ullapool

IV26 2YG

Telephone 07927 920592



For "Girls (and boys if you insist!) Who Do Coffee" - Tea and Scones - watch this space as the list grows.

We enjoy a break on our journeys to visit gardens and landscapes in Scotland. We enjoyed the places we list here and can recommend them to others.
Kind Kyttocks Kitchen, Falkland in the Kingdom of Fife.
Cross Wynd, Falkland. KY15 7BE
01337 857477
Lovely atmosphere and good fresh scones.
Boogie Woogie Keith. Halfway between Aberdeen and Inverness.
 Elizabeth and Elizabeth relax after our visit. The rest won't come oot!
2 Regent Square
Keith AB55 5DX
01542 888077
Excellent fresh scones. The shop has unusual gifts and classy clothes on display. Even shortly after 10 am the cafe was very busy. We enjoyed the whole experience.

Cullen Harbour Hostel

Cullen Harbour.


A mention of Cullen Harbour Hostel is long overdue. I have used it as a base for visiting the gardens and landscapes of Banffshire and Aberdeenshire for a number of years now. It is equally well placed for visiting the gardens and landscapes of Moray and it is a first class starting or finishing point for the Speyside Way.

It is a cosy place with a super log burning stove in the kitchen/dinning area. There are two dorms, a flat and a holiday cottage available. Everyone I have shared holidays with has enjoyed it very much.

If you want a break from self catering there are two good takeaways three minutes walk from the hostel. Excellent Fish and Chips and for a change a Chinese take away.



The cosy hostel. Right. A Septembers day looking down on Cullen Harbour Hostel.

Photograph by Howard Owens.



Elizabeth MacGregor Violas and Cottage Garden Plants 2013

If you love cottage gardens and want to create one in your own garden, plants from Elizabeth MacGregor, Ellenbank in Kirkcudbright will fit the bill perfectly. Grown to perfection and well presented with a huge choice of species and varieties.

The walled garden at Ellenbank is "a must visit" destination when you are in Galloway in the summer. Check opening arrangements before you go. The catalogue is excellent too.


Photograph by Elizabeth MacGregor.


Elizabeth MacGregor,


Tongland Road,




Telephone and FAX 01557 330620


Catalogue available at,





Joy Mann is a graduate of the Keith Kilt School and a member of the Traditional Kilt Makers Guild. She is also a founding member of Speyside Artisans.

Joy hand sews traditional and contemporary kilts to order. Using the very best quality tartan cloth Joy specialises in kilts and plaids. She is currently making kilts for Jamie and me. We were up for a fitting this weekend and the kilts look smashing.



You can reach Joy as follows

Telephone: 01542 886311


Web site –


Dalton Tree Solutions - Tree Care

It is difficult to obtain the services of qualified and experienced tree men or arboriculturists. There are many “tree cowboys” out there.

Make sure you obtain three quotations and check the insurance cover of the contractors before you instruct the work to be carried out.


I had to remove a Larch Tree which was towering over the house and was fortunate to have the work carried out by Dalton Tree Solutions.

The tree was removed piece by piece and as it was three metres from the gable end of the house. I was pleased with the quality of the workmanship which was used to complete the job.

Dalton Tree Solutions are based in Cambuslang and Stepps, Glasgow.

0141 641 0245

0778 654 8072

Web site.