Out and About in Lochaber

Finally - snow!!

The snow has finally arrived in Fort William.  I’ve been hearing about the snowfall down south and even further north, and looking at people’s snowy gardens and the snowmen they have made with some envy.  This morning I woke to our little croft covered in the white stuff! I had made plans to go running with a friend exploring some ruins today but she took a look at the snow and decided against it, so the only thing to do in snow and ice is – swim!

I love open water swimming.  I love the freedom it gives you, the feeling of floating and the shock of the cold water first hitting your body that then becomes comforting the more it envelopes your body.  I have many friends who share this love with me but due to current restrictions meeting up with them to swim has become difficult so I’m lucky I have the loch out my front door and can access it anytime I like.  So why not, on the first snowy day of the year! 

I have recently invested in a new wetsuit, but at the same time as I have discovered I really enjoy not wearing it!  So, today I ventured down the croft in my swimming costume and jumped  (or  more tentatively, stepped) in and felt the cold envelope me.  It was about 5 degrees so my ‘swim’ was actually only 5 minutes in the water and then out, but I feel I received the benefits of the cold water on my body.  

On the way back up the croft we have an old bath sitting in the field that was for our previous cows to drink out of, and you always hear about the benefits of ice baths, so I thought why not?  I jumped in long enough to take a photo for fun.

I hope the snow lasts for longer than I was in the loch!


Goodbye 2020

As 2020 drew to a close we had some beautiful wintery weather, crisp frosty mornings, turning into gorgeous sunny days with the sun stretching a wee bit longer in the day.  Living in such a beautiful place we need to take advantage of these days and  spent a lovely day running along the shore of Loch Morar , over the hill to Tarbet on Loch Nevis.  This is a truly beautiful part of the world and one I recommend exploring on your next visit here.  It is an well maintained path, that can be walked, ran or cycled, with glorious views down the loch and many ruins of old villages and crofts along the way to pique your interest if you’re interested in history.  Once we arrived in Tarbet there was fabulous views over the snowy hills of Knoydart, which is another definite place to visit on your travels, it boasts the most remote pub in Britain!  Once we returned, we stopped at Arisaig for a cup of tea from the flask overlooking the islands of Rum and Eigg, with their snowy capped peaks and the boats bobbing up and down in the harbour.

To finish 2020 in style my swimming group, the positive pod, took our final dip in Loch Linnhe for the year.  It was -4 degrees air temperature but a balmy  8.2 in the water. The moon was full and high in the sky, with the mist rolling off the loch, and just the snowy peaks of the surrounding hills in view.  It’s truly the best way to start your day and an activity I recommend trying on your next visit to Fort William.

Happy New Year and I hope to welcome you to our lovely slice of paradise in 2021.

With Summer and lockdown (hopefully) behind us, and the gorgeous autumnal colours coming through on the hills it was time to dust off the hill shoes and get back on the hills.  With my super fit friends (I’m not fit, they just let me tag along and they’re happy to wait for me) we ventured up a local hill, Banavie Hill.  We set off on a beautiful autumnal day, running and blethering along the side of the canal where the reflections of the trees in the water was beautiful.   We then headed back along the road and began our ascent up the hill.  Whilst the other two set the pace I meandered up and took the excuse of taking lots of photos on the way up for my reason for taking so long!  The view from the summit was amazing – surrounded by hills and the sun setting over the Loch Linnhe.  It’s a pleasure to live in such a beautiful part of the world where we can swim in the lochs in the morning while the sun is coming up, and then finish the day on the hills with the sun setting.