Day 44 – Onwards to Classy Dornoch

Tain to Dornoch, 13Km

For the first time in two years the Royal Burgh of Tain Pipe Band took to the streets. Life is getting back to normal! If there was a Weybridge Pipe Band and it took to the streets there would be an outcry. But in Tain everyone filled the town centre at sunset to dance to the music of Scotland and the band marched to and fro. It was a moment to flush the dregs of any Scottish blood remaining in my DNA and wave the Saltire, the oldest flag in Europe, and defy the English way down south over the Southern Uplands. If you care to taste the experience there is a 30 seconds video at the bottom.

The owner of my B&B probably works for British Airways. Instead of the usual cheerful breakfast I found a tray outside my door this morning containing a small packet of cereal, a banana and a couple of long life croissants. Rose paid less for her suite in the Royal Hotel overlooking the town centre with a sumptuous breakfast.

We set off on the 4th stage of this challenging trail which took us over a very long bridge across the Dornoch Firth. Soon after the bridge, a path led us down the embankment and we faced the day’s only obstacle: a fence with a style which we both hopped over without difficulty. Believe me, the excitement you’re waiting for, the snake pits with hissing vipers, impenetrable gorse, fields of bracken, cliff edge paths with sheer drops into the deep and raging torrents to be forded without a bridge; all coming in a few days.

Tonight I’m staying in the Dornoch Hotel, a relic of another age. 110 rooms, huge dining and reception rooms, all empty. Perhaps it will come to life later but for now it feels like The Overlook Hotel, just after Jack Nicholson took over for the winter. It will come to life later. I’m off to prune the hedges.

Today’s bridge, over the Dornoch Firth
Time to drop down to the shore
We are not lost
Standing Stone: if you stand a little to the right it lines up perfectly with the Cathedral. Spooky
The 13th century Cathedral’s graveyard
The top of the graveyard gates
The Dornoch Hotel
30 seconds of
The Royal Burgh of Tain Pipe Band

8 comments on “Day 44 – Onwards to Classy Dornoch

  1. Roger Clarkson

    Luckily you didn’t clash with the Royal Dornoch Golf Club tounament or you might not have got a room.
    Hope all is going well.
    The parade reminded me of Hastings for some reason.

    • I’m just opposite the golf course. The Shining reminds me of Hastings for another reason. I first saw it in The Classic.

  2. Wedge the back of a chair under the door handle tonight, if you want to be around for porridge tomorrow…

    • Thanks for the advice but honestly I’ll be straight out of the window if the twins turn up

  3. Continuing to follow you with great interest Tim – and a hint of jealousy! Tim

    • Hi Tim I think it’s likely that the interest will increase and the jealousy will decrease over the coming days. Tim

  4. I loved the video Tim. I would have been doing the highland fling if I was there. Surprised so few people were dancing. If that had been Holne, the whole village would have been dancing up and down the street!

    • The traditional Scottish dancing involves standing quite still and just moving your feet very slightly. The under fives were doing the Highland Fling!

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