Apologies for the late post here. I was absent for the end of last week due to a migraine that kept on coming back! I was out of it, laid up in bed and reduced to darkness for around 5 days. While I was out of it, I was thinking back to one of the funniest holiday fails ever, that turned out to be one of the best… I decided to do a post about it because I think you need to know about this little secret hideout.
So this is probably my favourite trip I have taken in a long time. What makes it all the more special, is the fact that this wasn’t the original destination we had on the agenda…
Let me start from the beginning, so you can understand exactly how I was feeling. Safe to say disappointment was up there.
It all started with my birthday. I was turning 23, so it wasn’t a big one that needed to be celebrated, but with that, Luke booked me mini break. We haven’t been away together, abroad or anywhere really apart from London for a day, that was until this holiday.
When I was younger, I used to go horse riding at the stables in my village. I loved it, even though I was terrible and I had the OLDEST horse there. Therefore the pace was very slow, and it soon became very boring. I never continued, and eventually stopped horse riding all together. Fast forward to now, and I sit watching films with Luke and I’m lusting after horse riding on the beach, through the woods, galloping away and right there and then, I wish I continued.
Anyway, Luke surprised me with a trip to Isle of Man. I know, this is a post about Scotland… but Isle of Man was the original destination. A cute little cottage, with a hot tub on the decking, and a horse riding trip all pre booked and paid for. WOW. He really pulled it out of the bag with this one. I was SO excited, and considering this wasn’t for another few months, I had an agonising wait for it.
Time went on, and we got closer to going away for a few days. That was until Luke realised we had to pay for the ferry across to the island (he first thought this was included in the plan) and by this time, with no advance, the ferry was going to cost £200+ and we absolutely could not afford it.
This was all happening behind my back, and Luke came to pick me up from work. He started with ‘we have some bad news’… once he explained what had happened, I said we will look for somewhere else for the same dates. He had managed to get a refund which was very lucky, so we got our money back on the same day of realising we couldn’t go. What I didn’t know was that Luke had already booked another place.
He explained it’s a little different, but it’s an adventure. I was intrigued, until he explained that it was in fact a caravan in a tree in Scotland. Say what?
A. Caravan. In. A. Tree. In. Scotland.
He told me not to judge it until I see the photos… and I’m not sure how they would have helped because my god it looked AWFUL. He said if I didn’t want to go we could change it, but he had put thought into it and he knew when we were there we’d enjoy ourselves. Plus he chose it and I love him… so I had to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Now, if like me, you’re probably wondering what the hell a caravan is doing in a tree… Did strong winds put it there? What?
It is actually there because of a film. Jake Williams, the wonderful eccentric man who owns this caravan and the land it’s placed on, put it up in the tree for the film ‘Two Years at Sea’. While I haven’t seen the film, I have watched a trailer and it does seem very interesting. One day I must sit and watch it fully, especially after meeting the man himself.
We planned everything very well in advance, and brought our own hot water bottle, duvet and extra pillows and boy I’m glad we did. The journey took 6 hours, which was pretty decent considering it’s in the middle of nowhere. We ensured to get there in daylight as recommended, because there are no street lights around and of course, no signs. So it’s virtually impossible to find in the dark, as well as a little bit spooky. The caravan is located in Bogancloch, the nearest villages are Rhynie (a village with one shop) and Huntly (more shopping, a day in the town).
We got there a couple of hours later as we had slept in from our 4am wake up, so we got there around 2pm, luckily still plenty of sun for the rest of the day. We had a boot full of food and drink, and beer, gosh so much beer, so as soon as we got there, we lugged everything up to the top, while I sat in the caravan and tried to not break down. It was awful. It stunk, it was stamp, it was cold. I had a better image in mind and it was not what I thought. I worried, we had 4 nights in this place, what have we done?
Even Luke contemplated driving us back home because it was so bad. I tried to cheer him up and reassure him that this was going to be fun, because we were together and to not be upset. We had a can of beer and we both cheered up a little bit.
We got dressed and went for our first walk.
The cut down trees was quite upsetting to see, but as you can tell, there’s a lot more where they came from and they replanted more at the top! We walked to the very top of the hill and looked over the hills.
This is where Jake Lives (his garage anyway). It was so super cool to look around and see all of the random bits he had lying around. You can tell he just drives around and picks up bits that have been dumped and brings them all home. Making sure the beauty of Scotland isn’t ruined and all of the bits have a home at his. It’s really nice.
The first day wasn’t too bad, we walked around, saw little rivers and hills and basically wandered through the woods. What else is there to do in the middle of nowhere?
The gents loo was very funny…
This is the inside of the caravan, not much room so only a maximum of 2 can really stay here. When you’re snuggled on the plank of wood that is the bed, it can soon get very cosy. The wind slightly rocks the caravan too, which at first was VERY scary, but then it became a comfort and we knew we were safe.
That blue bucket with the white lid? That was the toilet. It was very gross. But we have to make do. It wasn’t too bad and I tell you what, once you go to the bathroom in the woods in a bucket in front of your other half, it’s probably safe to say you’re gonna last a long time.
Luke built this wicked camp fire as soon as we got back from our walk and we put up a wind shelter made out of a broken fence. It was super windy!
One of the main things to do there is climb big hills. We climbed Tap o’ Noth and it was FREEZING at the top, but oh so worth it. The views were incredible.
Luke decided to climb the rocky way, and I decided to walk around the hill… soon realising I was heading towards a smaller hill right next to it, I then climbed up the hill which turned out to be longer and higher than Luke’s route… very bad mistake. I got to what I thought was the top, only to see that there was another hill for me to climb, but upon getting there, I saw 2 deers running through meadow up there… it was truly something beautiful to be so close to them in their natural habitat!
We planned to climb another mountain/hill that we drove past throughout the trip, but it was far too cold and we didn’t have any water or food with us so we decided against it.
If you haven’t noticed already, this is when I was very snap happy and Luke didn’t like taking pictures… so there are very few of me and the majority are of Luke…
Tap o’ Noth is the second highest fort in Scotland. At the top there is a preserved wall (we walked on the top of it in the circle and tried to not fall due to heavy winds. There’s also a stone axe head dated to between c2000BC–c800BC, and a decorated bronze rein-ring dated to the 1st–3rd century AD.
We ventured to Huntly for the last couple of days, because there’s only so much walking you can do…
The town was absolutely lovely and the temptation to stay in a hotel was REAL. It got really cold and all we wanted a proper mattress to lay our heads down.
We went whiskey tasting, ate haggis and lots of cullen skink. It wasn’t long until I got a hangover from the whiskey tasting (I cannot drink it straight)… I then continued to a children’s play park with Luke where we continued to steal all of the rides from the kids.
The ruined Huntly Castle is picture above, you could go inside of it but it was SO expensive and we decided the park was more fun…
It’s not Scotland without a picture of a highland cow, am I right?
After going to Huntly for the day, we decided to leave a day earlier from the caravan. We really couldn’t stay another night as we hadn’t fully slept since night 1. We left, went to Huntly, got ourselves some Haggis and chips and documented the journey from the caravan to Huntly, to what I wanted to be the motorway until I realised it was too far away!
I hope you enjoy the video below!