Rosehaugh Estate

We’ve just returned from an fantastical festive break in the Highlands of Scotland. It had an ominous start though. We kept just ahead of the worsening weather on the train from London to Glasgow. But when we set out from Greenock with my doom-saying 89-year-old dad as co-driver the white out began in earnest.

Red Kite Cottage, Rosehaugh Estate

While we inched our way up the blizzarding A9 my snow hating Dad, ” the only place for snow is on a bloody christmas card”,  made constant pleas for sanity and a hasty retreat south. But when we finally slithered our way through the forest of the Rosehaugh Estate late at night to Red Kite Cottage we were as relieved as we were exhausted.

Birch forests in Rosehaugh

Our own little gingerbread house was everything we’d hoped for on the inside inside but it was only with the morning sun that we realised how lucky we were on the outside. Regular heavy snow falls and freezing temperatures, (down to -16 degrees celsius) meant we woke to find ourselves in a winter wonderland. The area north of Inverness that is known as the Black Isle had become the White Isle.

Trees bent under continual snowfalls

Despite living, working and playing in the north for  years I’d never seen conditions like it. Everywhere, trees bent under the weight of continual dumps of snow. Ice crystals grown by  frost glistened all around as drifts of freezing mist added to the drama of the landscape.

Snow crystals grown big by frosts

Day after day the conditions became more awe-inspiring. A lovely Christmas  with family, warming visits to friends, great meals burnt off by long walks and suicidal sledging made for the perfect holiday.

The Black Isle at dusk

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