Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Dunnottar Castle

Last Sunday we took friends to visit my absolute favourite castle, the magnificant Dunnottar Castle, which also happens to be just a 15 minute drive from home.
 It has the most stunning setting of any castle I've ever visited (and I'm a bit of a castleoholic so I've visited quite a few!). 

Dunnottar has seen its fair share of significant historical events, the most famous of which is that the Honours of Scotland (Scottish Crown Jewels) were stored here after Charles II had been crowned at Scone. 

Oliver Cromwell had taken Edinburgh Castle, so the jewels couldn't be returned there - instead they remained at Dunnottar for safe keeping.  When Cromwell's army besieged the castle the Honours were smuggled out to keep his sticky paws off them. 

There are a few stories about how this was done, but the most popular is that they were lowered down the cliff to a woman on the beach who hid them in her basket or under her petticoats (depending on which version you like best!). 

It is definite fact that they were taken to nearby Kinneff Church and were safely buried in the churchyard for eleven years before being returned to Edinburgh.

In a week when the nation is gripped by Royal Wedding fever, I spotted this happy couple who look very much at home in a castle of their own!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Money tree

We enjoyed some fabulous walks in the Lake District on holiday last week.  Beautiful views, great weather (most of the time) and lots of fresh air!

On our first day we visited the National Trust owned Aira Force beside Ullswater.  There's an easy walk up to this beautiful waterfall.

As we walked back to the car park, the kids spotted this felled tree.  Of course, kids being kids, it was like a magnet to them and it absolutely had to be walked along!

Now take a closer look at it...

and closer still...

I've never come across anything like this before.  There were so many coins really firmly jammed in that I assumed it had been done as an art project, but later in the week on another walk, we came across a fallen tree with a few coins jammed into its trunk.

Maybe this happens a lot?  Do people go for walks with a handful of change and a hammer?  Can anyone shed any light on it? 

Whatever the reason, it is well worth the walk to see it!

Whilst we were there I took a 'day off' from our holiday to visit the British Crafts Trade Fair in Harrogate.  It is the best trade fair by far for shops like mine.  Everything is handmade and everything is British, which is what Starfish Studio is all about :)