This time last year I was living in a cottage in the Speyside village of Dufftown, twelve months on and we are now living on the East Coast, after having had three different addresses this year (the Year of Packing and Unpacking).
I haven’t been able to write this blog as much as I’d have liked since beginning it in April, but this is what 2014 looked like to me.
This was taken on the first day of 2014 – New Year’s Day walk around Millbuies Country Park outside Elgin. I love the Moray area, with its peaceful forests, stunning coastline and underrated beauty.
Not long into January my husband was offered a job in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Training Centre just outside Aberdeen and so we packed up, bid the Speyside hills goodbye and moved to Peterculter.
We settled into life in Culter and enjoyed being close to the scenic Royal Deeside area. At the end of February we headed for the hills and spent a day skiing in Glenshee.
Showered in spring sunshine we spent more time outdoors exploring the local area; with trips to Aberdeen beach and walks in the wood at nearby Drum Castle.
Between a trip to Edinburgh and Inverness we enjoyed a few days with family in Findhorn in April (a place that is curled into the roots of my heart).
We headed to Argyll in May for a short break and toured the area around Oban. I loved my trip to the Corryvreckan Whirlpool with SeaFari Adventures and our first family cycle in Glen Lonan. I was captivated by the rugged beauty of the Spittal of Glenshee as we returned north.
At the end of May, I discovered just how spectacular the coastline north of Aberdeen really is with a trip to the Bullers of Buchan. My search for puffins was unsuccessful but I fell in love with the picturesque coastline.
The month began with more puffin-searching, this time at the RSPB Fowlsheugh Reserve, home to an amazing seabird spectacle as well as the adorable puffins (and I was thrilled to spot four or five).
I was delighted to learn in June that I had won the #amazingABDN photography competition, which meant we were able to celebrate our second wedding anniversary at the luxury MacLeod House and Lodge on the Trump Golf Course. We also visited Troup Head to see the gannet colony and explored the enchanting town of Crovie.
One of my favourite places to walk in the Royal Deeside area is Glen Tanar, after discovering this tranquil estate in July.
Aberdeenshire has a dedicated Castle Trail and in July we visited both the fairytale Craigievar Castle and the impressive Crathes Castle.
Before heading to Pitlochry for a summer family holiday, and shortly after moving from Culter to Gourdon on the East Coast, I zipped out into the Moray Firth with North 58° Sea Adventures to look for dolphins. (I highly recommend this if you’re in the Moray area, it’s a wonderful way to see the coastline as well as look for local wildlife).
In Perthshire I loved the Hermitage near Dunkeld, where we spent a morning cycling. It is a beautiful, peaceful woodland with some of the country’s tallest trees – ideal for walking and cycling.
Another lovely place to walk is to Bruar Falls, near Blair Atholl.
At the end of August and start of September we headed south to the East Neuk of Fife for a short break, visiting gorgeous St Andrews on the way and basing ourselves in Elie.
One of the highlights for me was walking from Elie through St Monans to Pittenweem along the Fife Coastal Path.
We headed back to Perthshire in October for the mesmerising Enchanted Forest. This was my second year at the light and sound show and I was just as enchanted as I had been the previous year – a wonderful family event.
October and November were busy months but we did manage to squeeze in another trip south to Argyll for a few days, where we soaked up some winter sunshine.
We returned to Argyll towards the end of December to house-sit over Christmas and New Year, and it is here that I write this last post of 2014. The last few days (excluding today) have been stunningly beautiful, with frost hardened landscapes and gorgeous winter skies.
My highlight, and a wonderful way to top off this year, was a magical trip through Glencoe.
Thank you to everyone who has read, shared or commented on my blog posts over 2014 – it is greatly appreciated. Wishing you a very happy 2015 – here’s to all the journeys waiting to be taken and the roads yet to be travelled.