This week we had some guests come to stay – Katherine’s friend Alison and her rescue doggy Blade, he came from a place called Animal Lifeline in Stoke-On-Trent but has had a lovely home with Alison for several years now. We picked them up from Motherwell train station and our first stop was Bothwell Castle which wasn’t too far away and gave us a chance for us dogs to get to know each other a bit. Fly wasn’t too sure about this strange new dog that was around at all but when food was on offer she would sit with him close by. Then it was the long journey home. Unfortunately poor Blade got a bit car sick though!

Our first full day together involved heading to a nice coastal town called Stonehaven and from here we walked along the cliffs to a mysterious castle that lurked in the mist – Dunnottar Castle.

Considering Dunnottar Castle is only around half an hour away from where we live, and we have walked the coastal route to it a few times, this was the first time we have ever actually gone into the actual castle!  As you may have guessed, this castle allows dogs too (in fact they have a dog as their official mascot – a very pretty collie we happen to know on Facebook)! We had a lot of fun exploring the castle though there wasn’t much of a view because of the mist that was all around us.  We are sure that there are some very nice views on a sunny day so we will have to make a return trip in better weather!  We explored the various rooms in the castle going up and down stairs and looking out of windows, though someone (i.e. Fly) did go getting herself a bit stuck in one of the windows!  It was only into one of the rooms so don’t worry she wasn’t in any danger!  She jumped up on the ledge but found she couldn’t go forwards because the window was too narrow, it was too tight for her to turn around and she couldn’t reach the steps with her back legs to reverse out! Fortunately she managed to work her way back out though otherwise we would have had to leave her there!

While walking back from Dunnottar Castle the mist started to thicken and that resulted in us having a change of plans.  The original plan was to stick to the coast but that was out of the question so instead we turned and headed inland.  We had a nice walk through the Blued Door at Edzell and then decided to head on to Edzell Castle, which also allows dogs!  So there was more fun to be had exploring another castle going up stairs and down stairs and in and out of much fun to be had!  Though sticking us in the bread oven was just mean...

Just as well it is no longer in use as an oven!

We weren’t alone in Edzell Castle though...and we don’t mean the peacocks that kept calling around us though they were hiding from us, a tail peeking above a wall gave away ones hiding place.  At Edzell Castle we got our photo taken with a ghost!

Can you see the misty ghost sitting next to Fly?  Saying goodbye to the ghost, it was time to head back to base as the mist was starting to catch up with us and the next day would lead to more adventures heading up to Glen Doll.

As you can see the mist was still around but that didn’t stop us having two good walks around the forest.  One route we hadn’t taken before (it is one of the shorter routes and we usually do the longer routes) but we really liked this short route as it lead to a brilliant pool to swim in!  Will definitely be heading that way again!  The three of us also posed nicely for a group photo.

We stopped for a picnic and then headed off again on one of the longer routes up to Corrie Fee National Nature Reserve.  We reached the corrie and followed the path across to a big waterfall, you can see it in the background of this photo of us three posing again!

You can probably see the mist the time we reached the waterfall it was descending and bringing some rain with it.  That meant it was a soggy walk back to the car with the cameras put away.  But we were already soggy anyway as we had been swimming and the rain doesn’t bother us so we still had plenty of fun running along the forest trails, though we were very happy to get in front of a nice warm fire at the nearby Glen Clova Hotel (who allow dogs in their Climbers Bar).  Unfortunately their kitchen was closed for refurbishment so the lovely food they normally do wasn’t on offer, so it was just warming up in the hotel with a few (non-alcoholic) drinks before heading back home.

As Blade was not very good at travelling in the car we had to stay fairly close to home, so where better to go the next day than to our favourite beach at Lunan Bay?  Though Blade seemed a bit unimpressed by the beach, what a strange dog he is!  We love the beach and enjoyed ourselves swimming and running around.  We then donned our bathrobes before heading across to the farm shop and cafe for a spot of lunch (well, Millie snatched a runaway roll that got blown of the table and ate it before any of us could get a look in!).

Our next stop came about thanks to a tip-off from one of our friends from the dog club.  Balgavies Loch is currently home to a pair of ospreys so we decided to pop in and pay them a visit and we were very lucky to have them give us a few close fly-bys!

Us dogs well-walked, Katherine and Alison took the chance to go somewhere us dogs couldn’t join them, a tour of Mountains Animal Sanctuary.  They are our local equine rescue, they have a lot of horses, donkeys, ponies and a couple of sheep!  We’ve been there a few times before, one of the donkeys always brays at us, we think he does it deliberately to wind us up!  When we went at Christmas he stood in front of the car shouting at us while we were sitting in the back of the car.  He seems to find it funny...  

We think the dark donkey on the left is the one that tries to wind us up when we visit...

The sanctuary is a very nice place to visit, and we know for a fact we will be back there again later on in the year!  But it was time to say goodbye to the donkeys and head home where we had a walk “up the hill” across the river from where we live.  There is a big wood there where you can often see red squirrels.  Alison has never seen a red squirrel so we were sent off to go find her one...according to Millie this is a red squirrel...

Looks very much like a tennis ball doesn’t it?

The “squirrel” left behind – let’s face it, who needs a tatty old tennis ball when we have our lovely ChuckIt! Balls to play with? – we continued on our walk giving Blade and Alison a tour of where we live.  It isn’t a very long tour and we were soon back at home for our final night with our visitors.  The next day we were saying our goodbyes and they were heading home, while we headed off on another adventure...which we will tell you all about in our next blog!

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