Category Archives: Scotland, the North and North East

United Kingdom, Scotland – Invergorden, Dornoch, Scrabster (Thurso) and Wick plus a few wee drams and the empty sandy beaches!

Next stop up the Scottish coast was Invergordan. Rather than go into Inverness, I decided to visit Glenmorangie (which translates to Glen of Tranquility) Distillery and enjoyed the tour and learning some of the secrets of making good whisky. I have also realised that I like whisky best with some water added (but never ice)! I also found out that they age the whisky in casks from the sherry region of Spain and the port regions of Portugal – both of which I’ve toured over the past two years. Nice to see recycling in action.

Studying hard to understand the ins and outs of whisky making

Feeling very mellow we stopped off at Dornoch – a sweet little town with apparently a very famous golf course which was lost on me but I walked up to take a look anyway – but very quiet on a Sunday afternoon! Well I thought it was sweet until I learned that back in the 1200s the Bishop introduced a new “butter tax” – turned out to be one tax too many for the locals so they captured him and drowned him in a vat of boiling butter…,

Church in Dornoch and the famous Golf Course

Today we docked at Scrabster – a short shuttle ride into Thurso or a leisurely 45 minute coastal walk.

Seabourn Ovation docked at Scrabster

I decided you can never know too much about whisky making so today visited another single malt distillery called Old Pulteney in Wick and worked hard at tasting a lot of different drams (allin the name of self edu action) including a couple of cask strength – which I’ve learned is the whisky as it is in the barrel before water is added and it is bottled. In other words – bloody strong but not at all bad:)

I didn’t know that Wick used to house a Nazi Prisoner of War camp which also included quite a few ordinary German soldier PoWs – some of whom used to help farm the land and settled there permanently after the war.

In and around Wick

Also Wick officially has the smallest street in the world – Ebenezer Place – it stretches from the first E to the last E.

The smallest street in the world

On to John O’Groats which for my non British readers is the most Northern part of the UK (Land’s End being the furthest south). It’s kind of cool to visit this well known part of the country and I liked the sign pointing due south to Bluff NZ.

The long and winding road – that ends at John O’Groats

John O’Groats in the sunshine

I also now realise why Scotland is hard to beat when the sunshine shines – which it did all day. We could clearly see all of the Orkney Islands from JoG and often none of them are visible so very lucky.

Then had a lovely hour in Thurso – the most northerly town in the UK and as it was so sunny I walked back along the coast to the ship.

The old crumbling Kirk in Thurso still worth a visit.

Coastal walk from Thurso back to the ship. Perfect waking weather.

Fabulous. I’m smitten 🥰.