Archive for February, 2013

Hunting Holidays in Scotland

hunting

Coming from a family who have always hunted and a mother who, aged only eight, was often to be found wringing chickens or pointing at the chicken about to be carved and informing any dinner guests, ‘that is Cluck Cluck’, it probably comes as no surprise to anyone that I, myself, enjoy shooting. And because I enjoy shooting and daring to say as much often results in being lectured on how awful I am for letting dogs chase foxes, I’d like to clarify that I neither hunt foxes nor do I encourage dogs to savage them.

Rather, I enjoy holidays in which I can fish and grouse shoot in the Highlands, through hunting portals.For information about hunting and to help dispel some of the myths about the sort of people who hunt and how people hunt, as well as how you can begin hunting, www.hunting-scotland.com is a great place to start. People have a lot of misconceptions as to what hunting is and about who ‘hunting folk’ are.

Take me, what I probably enjoy most during our annual hunting holidays is catching up with my family; my father enjoys fishing, my grandfather enjoys grouse shooting, my brother will only shoot clay pigeons and my mum enjoys cooking our various catches (except the clay, of course) . Hunting in Scotland allows all of my family to huntor fish how or what they enjoy best while also allowing us all to stay within the same place; for us this is traditionally the Scottish Highlands. Scotland and the portals there provide some of the best hunting, fishing, scenery and accommodations I know of.

Hence, I’d recommend a hunting holiday to every family looking for an alternative to another year traipsing around artificial ‘adventure parks’ or baking themselves on foreign shores.Contrary to the popular misconception, you don’t have to be of a particular class, background or persuasion beyond having an open and curious mind and a natural curiosity. If you’ve never sat to a meal with your family that you have yourself caught, your father has prepared and your mother has cooked, then you’re probably indicative of the average modern British family. I’m not much dissimilar to you, even when I holiday; I enjoy holidays as a time in which expectations of us are somewhat removed, I can relax, explore beautiful places and enjoy time with my family. If this sounds like fun, then you may just enjoy a hunting, shooting or fishing holiday. The truth of the matter is, you can’t tell me I’m wrong until you’ve tried it, but I can say I’m sure you won’t tell me I’m wrong if you do!

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Strike While The Iron (And The Weather) Is Hot!

Planning a holiday or day trip in the UK doesn’t always end well, usually with the weather to blame for a failed trip or cancelled journey. When you do get a good weekend though, the British countryside can be glorious – with the unexpected aspect adding to the excitement!

Last weekend the weather took a decidedly bright turn which was particularly pleasant after the mixtures of snow, rain and gale force winds which have been prevalent so far in the year. After getting woken up by the bright sunlight for possibly the first time this year, I decided to go on a bit of an impromptu adventure to the Lake District as it was only a quick train journey away!

After calling up a couple of friends who were more than happy to enjoy the day out (probably helped along by their lack of hangover from the night before), we arranged to meet up and head out..

windermere

Unfortunately I forgot about my post Christmas bank balance, which had taken a bit of a hit after Christmas and the annoyingly timed Birthdays in January. I was a bit short on cash, but knew I would get paid well next week, so I took it upon myself to embrace the day and get in touch with Speedy Dosh. They provide payday loans, which I had heard mixed reports on until a friend of mine needed a repair on his car and said the whole process was quick and easy. I am inclined to agree too, as the money was quickly into my account and I was on the train heading up to the Lakes before I knew it.

Once we got to Bowness-on-Windermere we enjoyed the brisk walk in the afternoon sun, which made a nice change from wind and rain making us look forward to summer and think of some plans for longer camping trips away (once the weather gets a bit better – it got cold quickly once it got dark!).

After nice walks, a quick stock up at Helen’s Chocolates and a pint or two of locally brewed beer in some quaint, typically English pubs, we decided to head back home. Everybody enjoyed their little pre-cursor to summer and hopefully many more trips out and about will happen this summer (if the weather holds out!).

So if the weather takes a turn for the better and you have nothing else planned, don’t just sit around indoors, live for today and treat yourself to a little adventure!

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My First Culinary Tour of Spain

Me and my partner are always looking for new ways to holiday. Like many Brits living on the West Coast, we spend the majority of the year fighting against the jet stream of the North Atlantic, just to make it into the office each morning. Don’t get me wrong; we enjoy our work, but we love our holidays.

We take it in turns to pick holiday destinations. Last year, my partner decided to shun tradition and opted to whisk, or rather drive, us both to a campsite in Scotland. I was tempted to divorce him. For me a holiday means an aeroplane.  An aeroplane that will take me far, far away; if getting there takes less time than my daily commute, I am not going to be impressed.

notcamping

Thinking about what I didn’t enjoy about camping though, it wasn’t the toilet facilities (which we surprisingly high quality) or even the weather (which managed to hold up). What got to me, in the end, was cooking my own meals or venturing out to nearby pubs and restaurants to eat stodgy meals and sandwiches we can get across the road from where we live. Then, my Dad suggested a culinary holiday after we brought no holiday snaps back and instead just snappy moods.

If I’m honest, I had a preconceived idea about moving from one restaurant to another, staring at plates of food better organised than my home life and sighing out of windows at the beach I dreamed of being on. And I guess that’s what’s lead me to write this blog.

madrid1

The Culinary Tour in Spain we opted for, like those provided by The Unique Traveller, was put together by a team who are actually Spanish. Hence, they knew their stuff. Me and my bloke have never swallowed our reservations so easily. We did opt for a private tour, it being our first culinary holiday, but my bloke’s already suggesting that next year we pick another country and this time joining a group.

We decided to visit Spain, having been a favourite holiday destination for Brits for so long now, and having never been. We explained who we were, why we were interested in a culinary tour and how little we knew about Spain and they did the rest. Madrid was the place for us, as non-wine drinkers with a love of history and art. When we weren’t exploring Spain geographically we were exploring it gastronomically and we came home with tans, tons of photos (mostly of plates of food, granted) and a taste for the culinary tour.

What’s more, I ‘out holidayed’ the hubby without having to bungee jump or venture into a rainforest. Perfecto!

 

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