In the afternoon we decided to go on a family walk. Sam was going to take us to the Campsies but we decided on the more local Loch Ardinning nature reserve. It is only a 15 min drive out of Glasgow and lies more or less opposite Mugdock Country Park, a well known and loved destination for city dwellers seeking the great outdoors with the comfort of a coffee shop, a small garden centre and a play ground. It can be very busy there. The nature reserve is not very well known and parking is not great, making it a great destination if you seek Scottish wilderness at its best without a three hour drive.
Our walk took us through many different landscapes. Starting off with a Highlands feel you soon get on top of a moor where the winds are so fierce that little children struggle to remain on their feet. From there, a hike through the high moor leads down into the woodlands where soon the bluebells will start to appear. From there the path leads down towards the Loch and the landscape changes to pasture and then to bog. It is there where we took a turn of the main path (following a 10 year old leader), leading us into the bog proper. Imagine dense woodland in a marsh. Several willies were left behind, it was squelchy and wet and spongy. It remains a mystery to me how some of the grassy mounds completely disappear in the bog when you step on them and others remain perfectly firm, giving a good foothold. Eventually, we ended up where we had started. It was quite a picture, 6 muddy creatures, red faced, wind swept and tired.
Up in the high moor we found shelter behind rocks and Sam prepared tea and hot chocolate on his camp stove. We also enjoyed hazelnut short bread that I made on Friday following this recipe on Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse's blog. It was quite heavenly.
We spent the rest of the afternoon doing our own little things. Sam was playing MineCraft, Annie was making table decorations for our dinner, James and Alistair were playing the Wii, Richard was tinkering with our heating system and I sewed a little tunic for a friends daughter.
The muddy boot are still in the porch, drying out.
I hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend, too. Cx