A hidden wee gem

Posted by on 25, Sep 2023 in 2023 - Cathedrals, Europe, Tilly the Tandem, UK, Western Europe

A hidden wee gem
Blowing a hoolie on the Moray Firth
Suffolk like countryside
Stunning coastline
Sleepy fishing villages scattered along the coast
And always a castle….
Tilly not too keen on the Beach art….!
Lunch stop…
Biblical gardens at Elgin
Turriff Coo
Coast also lined with the best drying spots !
Many villages along the coast lined the hedgerows and open spaces with wild flowers .

We left Inverness and began our slow cycle along the coast which has to be some of the most wonderful cycling you can imagine.  The coast is just gorgeous and although it’s hilly there’s no real mountains to cross. In fact the area more resembles Suffolk with undulating hills and corn and barley everywhere you look, than the Scotland of heather and lochs.

Our first stop was at Brodie, a very posh pub which had a cracking Sunday evening offer on for a room. We ate there as well and the food was excellent but we had the usual posh chef scenario of only one option for veggies, didn’t do decaf tea and refused to make an omelette for breakfast as they only did Scrambled or poached. There were 6 guests in total and we all had to be staggered for Breakfast in 15 minute intervals too. Ridiculous.

Anyway, the cycle winds its way through deserted lanes and the scenery under a gorgeous blue sky was fabulous. We just couldn’t get our head round the fact that we were still in Scotland though.

We had been cycling daily for too many days in a row for our legs which were now complaining bitterly and telling us to sod off when we tried to go uphill. So a rest day was in order.

We booked in at an Airbnb in the sleepy village of Findochty right on the coast in a lovely self catering pad complete with hot tub.. It was just the ticket and so much so we had 2 days off.

The village had a shop, a pub and on Thursday afternoons a coffee afternoon at the village hall. There was absolutely nothing to do, so we enthusiastically did nothing.

We managed to walk around the harbour twice, walked up a hill to the war memorial, to the village shop a couple of times to get an ice cream as it was lovely and managed to get to the pub for lunch and generally gave our legs a good rest.

Refreshed we then headed to Turriff, home of the famous Cow, in Scottish this is the Turra Cooooo. The cow became famous when National Insurance became compulsory and the local farmers refused to pay it. The cow was seized as payment but then couldnt be moved by the Revenue as the locals and auctioneers wouldn’t help. A special public sale was held where the cow was sold, after a riot where the Revenue were pelted with fruit and soot, but was bought back from the purchaser by the town for the farmer by the locals and 3000 people turned up to welcome it, kill it then ate it. (I may have made up that last bit). There’s a sculpture of the Coooo in the town.

We camped again here at the town campsite run by the community which and some of the best shower / toilet blocks we’ve ever seen.

Aberdeen was next with a cycle along the old railway line which proved harder work than we thought, being nearly all gravel. In the end after another fab day, we fell short of the city and wimped out at the airport for the night. Linda phoned a hotel to ask if we could store the bike and the conversation seemed to go ‘certainly not, No, well possibly, I’m not sure, that shouldn’t be a problem, yes of course ‘ all in one sentence without Linda saying a word.

When we arrived the same lady wanted to carry our bags and push Tilly into the room for us too!

Aberdeen was a real suprise. We entered on a wonderful cobbled street lined with granite buildings, a university and quite a few tourists – a very bumpy but beautiful ride.

The centre of Aberdeen has the largest Granite buildings in Europe and is unsurprisingly called the Granite city. Our cathedral visit conincided with a service which we watched from the back, and in a shock move Linda declined the free wine.

It was nice to watch and see such a diverse congregation, not what I remember from my youth fellowship days in the church in Stowmarket.

We continued our southward trek along this beautiful coast to Montrose nabbing the last room in the town at a ridiculously inflated rate due to the offshore companies booking rooms en masse. Our hosts said they had 12 rooms, 10 of which were permanently booked by offshore companies and it was nice to have some real guests for a change.

We hadn’t opted for the breakfast as they usually aren’t great for us and at £14 a head a lot more than two Tesco’s porridge pots in bed!

So when our host asked if we’d like breakfast we declined saying we didn’t usually get value for money on it being veggies, so she said well you can have it complimentary! Naturally we accepted her offer! We think she was pleased to be able to make breakfast as all the offshore people leave before breakfast starts.

We went out for dinner that evening at Scotland’s highly acclaimed award winning Indian restaurant after which I promptly felt unwell all night and then had to decline the complimentary breakfast!

So, having not eaten, we set off (no rooms in Montrose) and straight into the hills. These, rather surprisingly considering my lack of food, weren’t too bad and with the sun shining we enjoyed the cycle down to Arbroath where we stopped for an award winning Scone – well it would be rude not to wouldn’t it! (Seemed to be stumbling across the award winners !) Delicious they were too and I managed to keep it down… Then it was on to Broughty Ferry for another restful day off…. or what should have been a restful day off….


  1. Superb reference to the Turra Coooo!

    • Thanks Colin, we had some language coaching….

  2. It really brings back memories of our wedding trip reading about that route, we encountered a deer on the cobbled street of Aberdeen. Nice to see you both in T-shirts ????

    • A deer in Aberdeen, wow what a pleasant surprise!

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