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Showing posts from March, 2011

The Castle of Mey

The Castle of Mey Watercolour 25 x 36 cm

The Castle of Mey is one of the main visitor attractions in Caithness, and closely associated with the late Queen Mother. She bought it in a run-down state shortly after the death of her husband King George VI. Over the years she supervised renovation works and the construction of a garden, which is one of the popular features of the castle. The property is now managed by The Castle of Mey Trust, but HRH Prince Charles maintains the Royal connection by visiting for a few days each year.
For me, the attraction is not the tourist trail, but the solid presence and sense of history of the castle in this bleak northern landscape.

The End of the Road

The End of the Road Watercolour 16 x 26 cm

This is another abandoned farm, although it isn't a ruin and the barns and fields still seem to be used. It lies at the head of Dunbeath Strath (a "strath" being the name for a valley in this area). A rough stone track leads up to it, from the village on the coast, and goes on to a few fishing huts. There are a few ruins and small fields along the way, but the landscape becomes increasingly wilder. Beyond the farm there is just a vast area of moorland and bogs, with a few small lochs. The transition seems quite sudden: on one side there are walls and buildings with sheep grazing, while on the other there is wilderness.