What You See Is What You Get. This is a journal blog, an explore-blog, a bit of this and that blog. Sharing where the mood takes me. Perhaps it will take you too.

Menootanaboot; YAMster Leaves The Hutch; 4th Leg

Remember, you can click the 'trip' label at the bottom to look back at the other 'legs'!

Continuing away from Hilton, we were headed for Tain, on the rim of the Dornoch Firth. Here's the map again.

We are now following the 'orange trail.' The drive itself is scenic - let's face it, there are not many drives in Scotland that don't yield lots of astonishingly lovely views, even in foul weather! Anyway, Tain was the place my father used to go to at the weekend as a teenager. It was the town to go for lads looking for a fun time! This is only a matter of scale. At that time, Invergordon was much smaller, and Tain had a picture house and a dance hall without lots of nosy elders. But I digress.

For those interested in such things, when thinking about ancient burghs in Scotland, often St Andrews comes to mind, as it holds the oldest university (est 1413). However, Tain lays claim to being the oldest Royal Burgh in this Bonny Land. The charter was granted in the year 1066 - yes, the year of the Domesday Book...[corr: As Gail points out in comments - that should be Battle of Hastings!] There are some extremely old structures in and around the town, but most of the buildings now date from the 19th century, and they are charming.

The main street was also very well decorated with all those fantastic hanging baskets. There is also a Royal Garden (which doesn't permit dogs, so we didn't explore it at length. I just popped in to get the deets from the board).

You might need to biggify that one if you wish to read it all - but the key point is the garden was opened in 1966 by the Queen Mother, and it was created to commemorate the 1066 connection. Then in 2009, the garden also featured on The Beechgrove Garden, a BBC Scotland program, when the team helped to turn it into a proper community garden. This is something else I will have to spend more time visiting on another tour!

Above the garden (and hiding behind Gabby and F in that shot of them) stands a monument...but first a gratuitous portrait of Mac1 and a closer look at those baskets!

The plaque tells you what you need to know about that. If the bust is a true likeness, Mr Murray was a handsome fellow, as well as being publicly useful in his short life!

Along the street from here, I was determined to find the building with the incredible fairy-tale roof. It is easily seen as one drives into the town, but it could not be easily seen from street level. When we came to a most imposing door, we realised this was the place, but I had to cross the street to get any kind of photograph worth having - although there were details close up that made for interest, too.

If you cannot biggify the info board, you can read something of the history on this link. However, the basics are that it was built in the 17th century but was ransacked by Cromwell's troops and had to be substantially refurbished in the 18th century. It has served as an administrative council and courthouse throughout.

After an hour of enjoying the street views and gazing into windows to see community notices and to assess the property situation of the area (it's more expensive than Dunoon...but cheap by main city standards), I treated us all to scampi and chips from the shop that DIDn't smell like it was cooking; very clean, very efficient and, we all agreed, exceptionally well-cooked chips! F drove us down to the shorefront, and we watched the sun lighting up parts of the firth where the sandy beaches that abound here glowed in the late light under the glowering clouds. 

Our day was not yet ended, but I leave it here and will pick up the little surprise we had on the return journey next Thursday.


  1. It looks like such a lovely place to visit.

  2. This has been an interesting and fun trip.

  3. Ah, the chips. That is a fave of mine.

    The towns there have so much history. Amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for the interesting tour around of Tain. I once passed through the town on a bicycle tour, and have always meant to return for a proper look.
    Cheers, Gail.
    PS 1066 Battle of Hastings. Domesday book a bit later?

  5. oh I would love to be there... that is so interesting to dive deep into history...

  6. Love the flowers. But did I read that right? A park where dogs were not allowed? Weird.

    We had the best fish and chips in NI the other day. I was sadly underwhelmed and fear for the rest if this was top!

    Brom says hi

    1. Hari OM
      Not a park - a community garden. Not at all large. There is no lawn or wide space for pups there - and of course where dogs go so does poop... Yxx

  7. This is a wonderful tour, and places I would love to visit.
    Isn't it the Queen Mother who opened the Rose Garden in 1966?

    1. Hari Om
      ...in my head that is what I typed... I just reread the post myself because I couldn't understand the comment... but lo! the 'mother' didn't reach the page. You are correct of course and I was aware of it, but this is a good example of how even 10x proofing, things can escape the eye!!! Ta, will correct it. Yxx

  8. to me those buildings are all super amazing! so very different than our part of the world, so always something i want to see more of. the baskets of flowers are spectacular!!!! never seen them displayed that way and shaped. the perfect place to visit and wander.

  9. Yam how very very special for you ladies to walk where Dad did in his youth. And such a beautiful town too.
    Bryan will enjoy reading this tonight as much as I did this morning.
    I loved this sentence
    Tain was the place my father used to go to at the weekend as a teenager.
    Hugs Cecilia

  10. Wow - it is just gorgeous and so much history!

  11. What a great place to visit and it's filled with so much history to make it more interesting.

  12. Again, so much wonderful history!! The flower pots, bot hanging and planted in boxes are so pretty! Also, this has prompted me to explore what the "Inver" (Invergordon, Inverness)in some Scottish town names represents and discovered the Gaelic prefix is often used in towns at the mouth of a river!

    Way cool!

  13. Hi Yam - you've really tempted me to make a plan to visit this area - when or if, is another matter. But it looks just wonderful - quiet and peaceful ... so pleased you had lots of fun - fish and chips always delicious, but if the chips excel ... then oh oh oh ... cheers Hilary


Inquiry and debate are encouraged.
For personal contact, please use the email box on the Wild YAM/Contact page.