A Last Minute Break in Scotland

scottish self catering break

For the last week of the school holidays, I was home alone.

Rather than staring at the walls, I took the chance to join the rest of the Whittle clan for a few days on their annual trip to Scotland.

Way back in 1976, my grandparents spotted six wooden cabins on a remote beach in the Scottish borders. The following year, they went back. And then back again. And again.

My family has stayed in the cabins pretty much every year since, in various configurations. I wasn’t quite three years old when I first visited.

This year the clan included my parents, my brother and his family, two cousins with their kids and partners, a couple of friends, one aunt and uncle, and my sister-in-law’s Mum. Not forgetting the two dogs.

It’s a place that holds so many special memories.

When I was little, we’d go rock-pooling, and gather whelks. My grandfather would cook them in a big pot over the fire.

I remember my Mum sitting on the verandah and reading while all the kids organised games of hide and seek, water fights and football matches. Sometimes we visited at half-term, and I remember Easter Egg hunts and Halloween parties there.

Not much has changed since the 1970s – literally.

Aside from an odd new bed here and there, the cabins look the same as they ever did. They’re rough and ready, with tiny bathrooms and electricity meters. The cupboards are the same exact ones we slung our wellies into, almost 40 years ago.

There are no on-site facilities, and virtually no mobile signal, but that means there’s privacy and peace. Each cabin has huge picture windows facing the sea, and a wooden verandah where you can sit out and read, or spot seals in the distance.

Because there are no shops for miles, and only a handful of cottages in the village, it’s very safe. The children (and dogs) can run freely down to the beach, between the cabins, playing games and catching up with their cousins.

This year, my cousin Richard brought his boat, while my brother bought his kayak. There were boogie boards, and everyone had a wetsuit (it is Scotland, after all). There were long days on the beach. At night, fires were lit and beers opened, as we caught up, late into the night. 

We still organise family rounders matches after dinner, and Uncle Tony still pretends not to realise he’s out. The kids still hunt under the verandahs for the best bones and shells, and catch crabs in buckets.

It’s so special to see a fourth generation of our family make those discoveries. And at times like this, when Flea is away and I’m feeling lonely, it’s good to remember that our family is much more than just the two of us.

I could tell you where it is, but I sort of like that it’s our secret place. Also, my family would kill me. They all admit that when friends ask them where EXACTLY these cottages are, they change the subject…

 

 

 

 

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

6 Comments

  1. 4th September 2017 / 9:15 pm

    Oh I love this post! It makes a refreshing change from reading travel posts about upmarket hotels with all the gadgets. This is much more my sort of place. It’s a shame I’ll never know where it is! Glad you had a fab week.
    Nat.x
    Plutonium Sox recently posted..21 West Midlands Christmas days out 2017My Profile

    • 11th September 2017 / 12:29 am

      Thanks Nat. We aren’t above roughing it from time to time!

  2. 7th September 2017 / 9:24 am

    Sally that proper warmed up my stone cold heart that did – how wonderful. I love the history behind this and that you got to experience such a simple joy in life, spending time with your extended family.

    • 11th September 2017 / 12:30 am

      Aw. It is sort of weird that our kids are the fourth generation sleeping in those cabins. Weird but lush.

  3. 7th September 2017 / 11:17 pm

    This looks like such a beautiful place to visit. Don’t think I’ve never been here. Looks brilliant. What a lovely tradition. I love that you all have such a large extended family around you. Lots of fun x

    • 11th September 2017 / 12:29 am

      Thanks Susan, it’s a lovely spot and it’s so nice to connect with family x

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