Our Year in Travel 2017

Travel 2017

This year has not contained as much travel as I would have liked but it has been all go in other respects. I yet again returned to education and completed a Masters degree in the environmental sector and oh yeah, we got married!  Despite being super busy and a little shorter on funds, we still made the most of our travel plans so here are some highlights from our year!

Our Loch Lomond wedding

Image courtesy of our lovely photographer Kirsty Winfield

So in the lead up to our wedding it often felt like there wasn’t much time for anything. Our wedding was actually a fairly low-budget and laid back affair so there were no extravagant plans to work out but we it still took up most of our time. Come February and our big day we had a perfect location if not quite the perfect weather but what do you expected getting married during a Scottish winter? One very Scottish wedding day later, complete with tartan, Caledonia and of course lots of loch-side photography, we were hitched and free to head on our honeymoon…only I was back to university on the Monday! No instant jet-away for us.

The Scottish Cairngorms

Perhaps I’ve found my calling as a reindeer whisperer

Since we didn’t have much of a chance to escape for a full honeymoon we opted for the next best thing – a reindeer mini-moon. We travelled up to Aviemore for a few days two weeks after our wedding to visit the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd and the Highland Wildlife Park at Kingussie.  Not content with just one weekend away in the Cairngorms, we returned later in the year for another Reindeer-themed trip away as part of the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd’s Adopters’ Weekend. Both fantastic experiences and something I’d highly recommend if you’re in the area!

As well as double reindeer fun there was also some environmental field work for me also based up in Aviemore, in the Scottish Highlands. This time though I got to experience a winter wonderland….only in spring! Such sudden and dramatically heavy snow is not characteristic in the Cairngorms but like anywhere in Scotland the weather can be utterly unpredictable. With such crazy weather, early morning work plans were cancelled but since I was up at 5am anyway what better time to spend exploring Loch Morlich and the completely deserted roads around Glenmore. Definitely a highlight of 2017.

Snow in the Cairngorms
A Snow Covered Glenmore in the Cairngorms

Surrey, England

Come September, it was time for another family wedding this time a little further travel was required and a week in Surrey, England was on the cards. While there wasn’t a great deal of time for sightseeing, we stayed in one of the most picturesque locations in England.

Shere in Surrey England
Some of the beautiful houses in Shere, England

Based in the little village of Shere, we were able to get out to see a few of the local sights between family meet-ups and wedding duties but even from our short stay it’s clear this is a beautiful part of the country.  Surrey is full of greenery, pretty little villages and very big stately homes. We managed to explore only a few of these traits with trips of Royal Horticultural Society at Wisley – a rather famous and quite prestigious garden,  and the Winkworth Arboretum which was a lovely spot for a walk.

A Week in Montenegro

Montenegro Quick Guide
View from the Kotor City Walls over Boka Bay, Montenegro

With not much of a break between our English wedding and our second reindeer trip of the year, we had a much needed trip to the sunshine. Taking advantage of some discount flight deals and low cost Airbnb options, we booked a week in Budva, Montenegro. Travelling in October is certainly the off-season but we found it suited us just fine as lots of the tourist locations are much quieter and accommodation and entrance fees lower.

It was a welcome break and a chance to explore some unique places. This was our first visit to any or the Balkan countries but we found the main tourist areas very visitor friendly. We stayed around the Budva Riviera for most of our trip enjoying some time to relax. But it wasn’t all lounging around and beach days we also explored neighbouring Kotor – climbing the city walls and tackling the Austrian-Hungarian road to Mount Locven. We also enjoyed a stop at Montenegro’s former capital Cetinje and took in the fantastic views over Skada Lake and the Crnojević River. We’d definitely recommend Montenegro to others and you never know we might be back in the future to catch the bits we missed.

WANT TO KNOW MORE – A Quick Guide to Montenegro

Scottish Trips, Events and Weekends Away in 2017

Of course, fewer far away travels in 2017 has meant more time to explore our own wonderful country of Scotland and that is never a bad thing! It was a pleasure to get better acquainted with our local area and find some hidden gems on our doorstep. While our summer was not a spectacular one, we took advantage of good days to get out an about and found some new nature places just a short drive from us including the oddly named Boden Boo which gives great views over the Clyde and the Erskine Bridge. Other local spots that are certainly worth a mention include Ardmore Point near Helensburgh and Dumbarton Castle, which is in Dumbarton funnily enough. We also found some new experiences in old haunts, trying out our first escape room at Pollok House and finally exploring inside the grand country house and gardens.

Boats at Kippford, Dumfries and Galloway
Kippord on the Dumfries and Galloway Coast

We ended the year with trip to Kippford in Dumfries and Galloway. Staying in a little hotel right on the Galloway coast gave us a chance to explore a little more of the area with winter wonderland walks to Rockcliffe and exploring local towns such a Kirkcudbright and Dalbeattie. Our trip home also gave us an unexpected find with another excellent hidden gem by way of Drumcoltran Tower. If we take away nothing else from our 2017 travel adventures it will be that spontaneous trips can lead to excellent finds so we’ll be aiming for plenty more of that in the next year.

As well as wanders near and far, there was  lots to enjoy right here in Glasgow and toward the end of the year we got involved in plenty of the local events. A quick hop over to Paisley and then another fireworks fiesta in Glasgow Green made sure we also had Guy Fawkes Night covered. And a highlight was certainly the West End Festivals St Andrew’s Day Torchlight Parade though it turned out a lot chillier than expected with our lanterns not really producing enough heat to neutralise the -1C temperatures. Brrrr….

Guy Fawkes Night at Paisley Abbey
Fireworks over Paisley Abbey to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night

Christmas for us was a busy affair too attending a few festive fixtures, including the RSNO Christmas Concert, festive film screenings and spending plenty of time looking in wonder at the festive lights. Sadly, there were no Christmas Markets this year but we’ll be upping our organisation skills in 2018 to make sure we hit plenty next Christmas.

We’re not sure what our 2018 will hold yet but as we make busy planning adventures we want to thank you all for your continued support here on the tinberry travels. A big thanks to everyone who follows along on our travels near and far! Remember you can also find us on all your social media feeds so do follow us over on twitter, facebook and instagram and come and say hi!

What have been your travel highlights of the year? 

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What did 2017 have in store for the tinberry travels? Find out our travel highlights over the year from our trips near and far.