For a woman who loves to travel, my geography is pretty rubbish. Example- I once suggested that we could drive from Northern Germany to Moscow. I didn’t realise Poland and Belarus were in the way and overlooked that Russia is bloody massive. Why am I admitting to this? To illustrate the point that I might always know where I want to go, but I don’t always appreciate the scale of getting there. Take our Easter trip from Edinburgh up to the Orkney . Ferries booked, pretty farmhouse rented. And then Mr THL pointed out that the drive up to the ferry would be upwards of five hours.
That’s upwards of five hours crammed into the car with three kids and a young, bouncy dog. The thought of that had me hitting the internet to find a stopover and break the journey. Hello, Invergordon.
Invergordon. A small town in the Highlands known for it’s distillery, for the oil rigs that line the Firth on which it sits and for being an access point to the many attractions of Northern Scotland, particularly for thousands of tourists who sail in aboard cruise liners every year.
What the place should be known for : friendly locals, community spirit and the fantastic murals that can be found across the town. The 17 strong mural trail celebrates the history of the town itself and the Scottish Highlands generally and has got to earn Invergordon a punt at the title of most artistic town in Scotland.
The murals of Invergordon were created by a dedicated group of local volunteers that go collectively by the name of Invergordon Off the Wall. The images were created by local people in partnership with professional artists to create an outdoor living gallery that reflects local history, culture and natural environment.
Today, if you want to get a feel for the place, the murals are a grand way to do it. Each one highlights an aspect of life in this Highland town. Community groups involved in creating the murals include the local RNLI, sports clubs, schools and the Invergordon Fire Brigade.
As much as we enjoyed exploring Invergordon, that part of our trip was a bonus. Our actual destination being a short drive up the road to a sanity saving stopover at Delny Glamping. Pitched as, ‘more than just your usual glampsite’, this village of unique wooden lodgings is located in the grounds of the historic Delny House. As well as places to bed down for the night, there’s a shared kitchen/dishes area, a play area and a sheltered BBQ area with seating. This is Scotland after all, who knows when the weather might catch you out.
After being welcomed like old friends by the lovely Claire, we settled into our lodgings for the night. This came in the form of a ‘Muckle Bothy’. The dog friendly accommodation is a beautiful marriage of style and function with two bedrooms, shower and toilet, flat screen TV and tea/coffee-making facilities. Comfort and quality, a warm welcome, a place that feels like home however short your stay.
The whole place, accommodation and communal areas, is just spot on. This is a family owned and run site and you can feel it. The owners have invested to some real heart into the place. It’s all the best bits of camping combined with some luxury touches that elevate the whole experience. For smaller Parties there are also smaller bothies or ‘Wee Nip’ and ‘Hot Toddy’ lodgings that look like whiskey Barrels. Brilliant.
We passed the evening exploring the fields around the site with the dog and getting acquainted with the other Delny residents; a pair of Pygmy goats and a variety of chickens and geese. I don’t care how old you are, hanging out with goats is fun. Especially when they go by the names of Tina and Cher.
Sunset delivered some beautiful skies, and then night closed in. We joined some fellow guests in the BBQ hut. There’s another thing to love about the place- the lay out of the lodgings and the communal area in the middle encourages community and fellowship. Bit of a sketchy start when our dog stole one of their burgers. Luckily, they saw the funny side. Small world kind of conversation in which we discovered that they were also a military family and currently posted in Germany, which was our last posting. They were headed South to Edinburgh as we were heading North towards Gills Bay to take the car ferry across too Orkney. I hope they enjoyed the onward journey as much as we did ours… but that’s all for another post.
This post was originally published in April 2019. The blog has grown a bit since then and I’ve learned a bit along the way. If you ever read the original post, I hope you’ve found the updated and republished version an improvement. If you’re reading for the first time, I hope you’ve enjoyed a glimpse into an adventure from the past. Either way, I hope you’ll forgive my updating and recycling and enjoyed the post. Thanks a million times over for being part of my blogging journey.