Scotland in December means shorter days and questionable weather, from bright sunny days to rain or snow, especially on the higher ground. It also means beautiful starlight skies and auroras if you are really lucky.
When you spend time in Scotland, it is easy to overlook how far north our latitude we are. Did you know we are on par with Kodiak Island in Alaska and that if you visit Kirkwall on Orkney, you are closer to Norway than London?
There is, however, something special about the evenings drawing in, sitting beside a warm fire and drawing the majestic Country House curtains to keep the cold out.
Of course, December is a time of Christmas markets, Christmastime Carols, Skating Rinks, and other events, details of which can be found here.
Locally, we have Brodie Castle Illuminations with the Castle lit up in with superb colours as you walk around the romantic grounds enjoying a whole new view of the Castle.
For the first time this year, Moray Speyside has a unique Winter Festival and you can learn more about the range of events happening between November and January.
Local towns have lovely Christmas markets, and you can never beat the relaxed feel of Logie Steading, decorated for Christmas, again with Christmas Carols in the background and a lovely range of gifts for everyone. Maybe a hot Chocolate or something stronger. This is the way to do any Christmas shopping you have to do in real style!
Here at the house, outside jobs all need to be done earlier; the dogs walked, and the horses Rosie and Derry need to come in for their tea earlier. Rosie can be a little contrary and sometimes tells me she does not want to be caught, but since she is an older lady, I encourage her to take advantage of a warm rug and an inside stable, especially if it is likely to rain. Derry is altogether more pragmatic and keen to have her tea!
However, December also means a quieter time for visitors visiting Scotland, but plenty is going on behind the scenes in preparation for a busy Summer. Every day brings new enquiries from individual guests and travel agents looking for 5-star accommodation in Scotland and making reservations for 2024. Even as I write, we already have many sold-out days.
A time to Reconsider and Re-evaluate for Scotland
For many of us, December is a time to reconsider and re-evaluate our lives and businesses, especially if we consider New Year’s resolutions. This is something we try to do at Blervie. After a busy Summer, it is good to see how we can change, what we should retain and what we should be doing better. Reading some of the beautiful reviews we have received helps with this, but we also take on board areas that we need to improve. We have met many new guests and have many past guests looking forward to being able to visit again now travel has opened up.
To this effect, you can look for more news about dining options later in the New Year. That is as much as I can say for now!
In the meantime, we have updated our rates and booking conditions while allowing everyone the flexibility required for travel these days. We are always available by email or telephone to work something out or hold some rooms while plans fall into place. Please remember that you will always get the best price by booking online or contacting us directly. You can always look over our availability online here as well.
With the cost of living increasing like everyone else, we must look at our power costs. As part of the renovations, we installed Biomass using 100% Renewable Energy for our heating and water, but we also have 100% LED lighting throughout the house. When staying here, many guests tour the system to learn how it works. As a listed building, there are measures such as double glazing we are not allowed to install, but it is encouraging to know that the measures we put in place mean we can at least be proud of the reduction of our Carbon Footprint and help to keep our costs down.
My Winter 2023/24 project is to submit our information to achieve our Green Tourism Certification. We are proud to do as much as possible to help the environment and nature. This year, we implemented projects to encourage Wildlife on the Estate and new walks for guests to enjoy the Flora and Fauna.
On top of that, furniture and fixings will be reviewed, some lovely new paintings will be put in place, and some new refrigeration will be installed. I am also keen to place some of my Robertson Clan photos on display.
The Loch recently enjoyed a clean-out. Of course, since then, we have had minimal rainfall, leaving the Loch at quite a low water level. I imagine that this Winter, this is likely to change, and we will see the Loch return to its normal water levels but in a healthier state. The water is now so clear the three little Islands in the Loch will again be providing a haven for nesting ducks and other wildlife in the spring. More than that, the Loch provides a peaceful, picturesque spot from which to contemplate the world going by.
This is one of my favourite places to listen to the birds singing, watch the herons, or spot a Roe Deer. Even just sitting in the sunshine is a lovely way to relax.
From the Loch on the walk through the woods back to the house, you can look out for Red Squirrels – they will be around in Summer. For now, the only signs of them are where they have been gathering and hiding their winter food.
So, all in all, there is lots to do and think about and time to re-evaluate and re-energise, but equally a time to relax and recharge your batteries enjoying the beauty Scotland in December can offer. There is never a wrong time to be in Scotland!