A Highland Fling


Alex talks weekend get-away-from-it-alls!

Outside of the bank holiday weekends and summer holidays, the road up north can be pretty quiet. The A9 was unusually relaxed last Friday as we headed up for a weekend in the Highlands – just the odd lorry or car with a family’s worth of bikes strapped all over or a big canoe on top.

Sometimes it’s nice to see something different of a weekend. A change of scene is as good as a rest, they say, and we really enjoy going somewhere where all there is to think about is “What’s for breakfast?”, “Where shall we have lunch?”, “What shall we have for dinner?” and everything inbetween you can just make up as you go along. I love that we live in a world now where you can find good food in some really far-out places – I’d recommend a trip up north for foodies as much as anyone else…

You never know what you’ll see in the Highlands, either. We saw a black alpaca running around a field on his own and dozens of expensive sports cars racing around (I’ve read that posh car companies send journalists up here to test cars). We also saw lots of cheery waves from drivers coming the other way – I forgot they do that around here. Even more so over in the islands.

We also saw the sign above, which bore the many stickers of motorbikers who’d been touring up this way over the years. It reminded me of old suitcases, covered in stickers from destinations around the world. I’m sure I’ve seen that Isle of Man one before – those folks must really get around. Seeing the broad sweep of the road behind it, I can’t blame them for coming – these roads must be fab on two wheels.

There’s my van, with its one remaining hubcap.

Then there’s the fun of singletrack roads, dodging in and out of passing places as traffic comes the other way. You get used to them very quickly, though they’re not big, so you have to slow down quite quickly in quite a short space sometimes. My wife soon developed her own “brace” position for such moments.

I tend to do things in a bit of a rush, and although we had a grand weekend, I was jealous of the couple at our B&B who were taking two weeks up here. Our Willie Shand would agree, I’m sure – the longer you can afford to spend up here, the more the gentle pace of the place seeps into you and takes effect. It really is a special place.

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Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.

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