Helensdale - 1 accommodation (sleeps 6)
The beach is deserted, I have just taken the small drive to sandhead village shop to buy the morning paper and after finding out from the lady behind the counter that Logan Botanic Gardens are having a celebration day and that I should pay a visit during my stay.
I amble across the empty sands with the sound of the sea gently lapping at my feet I look across the village that runs along the length of the beach. It is quiet, just the small sounds of the postmans van stopping to deliver some mail and a curlews cry from the distance. This stillness is restorative, it repairs my senses and makes me enjoy a peace that my normal life misses.
The drive back to my remote holiday cottage is stunningly beautiful, this part of Scotland is a peninsula that borders the Solway Coast and the irish Sea, as I drive over to the gentle descent to the cottage I catch the view across to Ireland. The sun is shimmering over the waves and I see the welcome of my quiet retreat as it nestles in the cove on the western shore.Elspeth has restored this large home with flair and understated charm, it retains its natural elegance but benefits from the modern touches including the most comfortable matresses and bed linnen, a very well applianced kitchen which I make use of to prepare breakfast.
I take the advice given earlier and head off to Logan Botanic Garden where I meet the Head Gardener Richard who eagerly takes me on a tour of the Garden. As one of the Nation's Botanic Gardens this is linked to Edinburgh and Kew in London, they are part of our national heritage that ensures the future of many plants and Logan has a collection of plants from all over the world in particular there are over 1000 varieties of Eucalyptus. Richard is very knowlegable and so eager to convey the work that they carry out, but as he loses me as his eulagies drift off into Latin, I just admire how pretty it all is. I am surprised that we have the climate that seems to support such a wide variety of plants. I particluarly like the fish pond with its many large Coy that like to be stroked. The tour is finished off in the cafe and I enjoy the home baked cakes that festoon the counter top.
I return to the Helensdale many hours later, after a lovely meal at the local pub called the Tigh'Na'Mara, and relax in front of the blazing log fire and enjoy a spot of local Bladnoch Whiskey. I reflect how much my children would have loved a holiday here cross a quiet road to the beach, they would have played on the sand happily all day when they were young
...mmm I think we would probably enjoy a get together now come to think of it. The Auld schoolhouse would be perfect for a family re-union