UK: Scotland – Hogmanay in Pitlochry via St Andrews

Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the old year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year in the Scottish manner. It is normally followed by further celebration on the morning of New Year's Day. Some of the more famous historic ways to ring in the new year include exchanging gifts such as black buns and whisky, while many others partake in the classic tradition of first footing — which refers to the first person stepping into your home on January 1 determining your luck for the year ahead.

Continue ReadingUK: Scotland – Hogmanay in Pitlochry via St Andrews

UK: Scotland – Torridon

This is one of the most stunning parts of the North Coast 500. The Torridon is set in 58 acres of parkland at the end of a magnificent sea loch, The Torridon has one of the most spectacular and idyllic locations in the country. The area is superb for hiking, kayaking, fishing and mountain biking. Beinn Alligin means the Mountain of Beauty or Jeweled Mountain - and it lives up to the name offering one of the Torridon ridge traverses, with spectacular views and stunning terrain. It includes a traverse of the Horns, which offer reasonably straightforward summer scrambling. Challenging but worth every step (in good weather!).

Continue ReadingUK: Scotland – Torridon

UK: Scotland – 2022 Glen Coe and Bidean nam Bian

Bidean nam Bian is a complex range with many ridges and subsidiary peaks. It lies to the south of the spectacular area of Glen Coe which is situated in western Scotland and is the highest point in the former county of Argyll standing at 1,150m. The main summit of the munro is hidden from the road behind the Three Sisters and is accessed via a stunning hidden valley.

Continue ReadingUK: Scotland – 2022 Glen Coe and Bidean nam Bian

Portugal: Madeira – Day 8 – Hiking Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo Return

The hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo is the most famous hike on the island of Madeira in Portugal. This 11Km return tunnel-route leads hikers along narrow pathways, up and down ominous staircases, and through dark tunnel chambers. It is an adrenaline-filled test of endurance with steep inclines, causing some serious quad and calf burning on the trek. If you are up for the challenge, I promise you it will be the highlight of your trip to Madeira.

Continue ReadingPortugal: Madeira – Day 8 – Hiking Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo Return

Portugal: Madeira – Day 3 – Alecrim Levada Hike

Day 3: Cabo Girão: As if 580 metres wasn’t high enough to give you vertigo, in 2012 a glass skywalk, the highest in Europe, was fitted to the top of the cliff, taking the braver souls several metres out from the cliff edge.If that leaves you feeling hungry, try Faja dos Padres, an organic restaurant accessible by cable which is a short drive away ...

Continue ReadingPortugal: Madeira – Day 3 – Alecrim Levada Hike

UK: Ben’s Epic Roadtrip: From John O Groats to Lands End to Northern Ireland

Ben came to visit us from South Africa so we undertook a fantastic UK Roadtrip which went from John O Groats in the north to Lands End in the south and lots in between! He also enjoyed a trip to Northern Ireland ... we had Fun! Fun! Fun!

Continue ReadingUK: Ben’s Epic Roadtrip: From John O Groats to Lands End to Northern Ireland

Vietnam: Day 5 & 6 – Sapa

Sapa is located in the Lào Cai Province of Vietnam and is a region that draws visitors from across the world. The town is situated on the side of one of the many mountains in the massive Hoàng Liên Son mountain range. It overlooks the valley below. The valley floor is filled with rice terraces that change from bright green to yellow depending on the time of year that you visit.Most people visit Sapa to immerse themselves in the gorgeous landscape through trekking expeditions as the roads aren’t great and there are well-maintained footpaths. Trekking is definitely the best way to explore the region of Sapa, Vietnam. Sapa Sisters is an ethnic minority Hmong trekking group based in the beautiful northern mountainous highlands of Sapa, and the first organisation dedicated to paying guides fair wages for their trekking expertise - highly recommended!

Continue ReadingVietnam: Day 5 & 6 – Sapa