Halloween is becoming more and more fashionable here in the UK, almost as popular as Christmas, when I was a kid growing up in the 80’s Halloween was a one day thing only, now people decorate weeks in advance.
Social network’s like Pinterest are great for planning decorations, recipes and foods, and costume ideas, everything you want to do is just one little pin away. I love Pinterest, and we use the phrase ‘Pinterest mum’ in our house a lot. And secretly its because we all want to be one of these seemingly perfect mums who knows how to do everything.
Of course this is far from true in my house, we are so unorganised and more of the ‘ last minute mums’ than organised Pinterest mums but it’s fun all the same to plan ahead.
Here is a link to our Pinterest if you want to keep up to date with all the things we think are cool or inspiring at the moment.
Halloween (are you a fan or not?)
We LOVE Halloween. Tristan and Pamela worked day and night to finish his awesome costume on time and they were very proud of their efforts, and I think our little Minecraft Diamond Steve looked adorable.
We have so many trick-or-treaters each year that our sweeties are usually gone within an hour. Do you think Halloween is just as good now as it was years ago?
Hallowe’en when i was little was about getting dressed up in your costumes that you had planned for months, then you would travel door to door with your friends (no parents in sight) and you visited your own street and maybe a couple of streets right next to you and that was it.
How many of you experience car loads of kids appearing from other towns to trick or treat?
This is common in our area now and you run out of sweeties before the kids you know have managed to get to your door, perhaps I’m being a little unreasonable but I prefer to see the local kids at my door as that’s who I’m buying the sweets for.
Also what age should kids stop Trick or Treating?.
Let me know your opinions of Halloween in the comments below
To me personally, Autumn means it’s time for Cosy jumpers, fluffy socks and Chai Tea Lattes.
As Photographers Autumn is definitely one of our favourite times of year, everything looks stunning in Autumn, all those warm oranges and yellows on the trees and floating in our lochs really make it an incredible site to see. Sufficed to say, we chose to do a spot of travelling around this time, mostly for Pamela’s Vlogs, but as you know Tristan and I like to be involved in those for moral support (more so for munchies in the car and good views) so here is a list of our favourite Autumn spots we have visited this year.
Every season for us usually starts in and around this area, as we live so close to the absolutely beautiful Campsie Fells, the Glen at the bottom is usually where we start our adventures.
The Campsie Fells (Monadh Chamaisidh) are the hills you see when you are in Glasgow or on the outskirts in East Dunbartonshire, they span from Dumgoyne where you will find the largest point, which is called Earl’s Seat, all the way to Stirlingshire. The name Campsie Fells is a mix of Gaelic and Old Norse, and really means ‘Crooked Fairy Hill’, I love how everything goes back to the Faeries in Scotland.
Aside from Faeries, the Fells are very historic, the first man to ever Ski in Scotland, William W Naismith, used the Fells and marked their place in history as the origins of Scottish Skiing.
They are on top of a Fault line know as the Campsie Fault and have been around for a very long time, there is evidence of thirty lava flows dating back to the Carboniferous Period over 300 million years ago.
You start your walk at the car park at Campsie Glen, locally called Clachan of Campsie (Clachan Chamais), walk around the right hand side of the little shops and the path starts there.
As you pass through the first gate along the path you are officially crossing the Campsie Fault Line, if you are a bit of a geology buff like me you’ll love the Campsie Glen. One of the first things you can see if you were to venture down near the stream are the rock formations on the stream bed known as the Ballagan Beds, these are made up of Mudstones and Limestones and were formed approximately 350 million years ago when Scotland had a tropical climate, and they were formed in tropical lagoons, nowadays they are small waterfalls and I assure you are far from tropical and have been known in the winter to freeze over.
A little further up stream you come to a waterfall with a beautiful pool at the bottom called the James Linn, there are a number of waterfalls on this stream and one of the pools is locally known as ‘The Coffin” but I’m unsure which one. The James Linn is a Basalt Dyke, formed possibly 300 million years ago, there were a series of earthquakes in the area and molten magma was forced up through the Campsie fault and created the dykes. Nearing the end of the path there is a wall of rock and a little waterfall tumbling down, this wall of rock was also caused by lava flow
It’s such a gorgeous place to visit and on a summers day is usually very busy with families splashing in the water or having picnics. At the beginning of the path there is a fork with a spiral path leading up the hill, if you climb up the hill you come to a small wooden gate that takes you down to the main Campsie Glen Waterfall which can also be accessed from the Crow Road Car Park (locally known as ‘the car park in the sky’) the path to the waterfall has eroded over the years and is not accessible for all, extreme caution is needed especially with children as there is a steep drop into the glen below. I have wandered down this route many times over the years, but generally opt now for a drones eye view.
Watch Pamela’s Vlogs that cover this area:
Schoenstatt (Which means ‘Beautiful Place’)
There are over 90 Schoenstatt shrines spread over 5 continents, with the Original shrine in Schoenstatt in Germany. Each Shrine looks the same, and we have one in Clachan of Campsie. The shrine is part of the Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement, according to their website:
“We seek to grow as free, dedicated, and active witnesses of Christ in modern life by uniting our faith with our everyday lives. We look to Mary to educate us in this task and to guide us in becoming better followers of Christ.”
We are non-religious, but believe everyone has the right to believe in what they want to. I find churches very peaceful and can certainly see why people consider them a place of quiet reflection. Whilst filming Pamela’s first Autumn Vlog we stumbled upon the gate for Schoenstatt in Clachan of Campsie and took a wander down, we felt it was disrespectful to film whilst walking around so put the camera away.
We only walked around the front of a main building and past a little shrine at the front of the gardens and then into the forest, however we started talking to a woman who lived locally and visits the shrine frequently, she took us up through the grounds to the old shrine building and inside a little shop where anyone is welcome to have a coffee and relax. It is a very peaceful place. The Shrine itself architecturally is an amazing building, we only looked inside from the door quietly as someone was praying inside and we did not want to interrupt her, but it was like an old wooden church inside.
Definitely a must see if you follow their faith and are here in Scotland in this area.
Loch Lomond And The Trossachs National Park
I have to admit, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs are one of my favourite places in Scotland to visit, they are an easy day trip from our house and they never fail to deliver spectacular views no matter what season, and of course Autumn is no exception.
We spend most of our spare time in the National Park somewhere, as it is a Photographers delight.
Over the last few weeks we have been here a couple of times looking for Autumnal colours for Pamela’s vlogs and personally i was looking to get a good drone pic or two of the trees from above, our first stop was Three Lochs Forest Drive, this is just off Aberfoyle, you follow the A821 through the Trossachs in the locally named ‘Duke’s Pass’ – named after The Duke Of Montrose who built the road in 1885. It rises to 240 metres (790ft) above sea level) and boast some spectacular views of the local mountains and lochs in the area.
Three Lochs Forest Drive is just off of the Dukes pass and is a 7 mile, one-track, one-way route through the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, weaving in and out of trees and around the three lochs, Lochan Reoidhte, Loch Drunkie and Loch Achray. The drive is common for deer, red squirrels and Osprey. There are some really good walks in the area too with different levels of ease depending on your fitness levels, we are yet to try any but have read that they are mostly gravel paths. The drive eventually comes back out onto the The Dukes Pass and you can start the descent down to the other side of Loch Achray passing the beginning of the walks to Ben Venue and Ben A’an.
This is also an excellent place for views of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) if they are strong in Scotland. The first time i ever saw them without the use of a camera (which picks them up better than the naked eye) was halfway up the Dukes Pass, they look white or very pale green and do indeed dance very slowly across the night sky, it such an amazing experience to witness and reminds you how incredibly breathtaking nature really can be. Tristan has seen the Northern Lights with us many times and we hope to see them again this winter and show them to you too.
Another part of the Trossachs area we love is heading North from Aberfoyle towards Kinlochard, along the A821 ‘The Pass of Aberfoyle’, we drive along the side of Loch Ard with its gorgeous views and little boat houses dotted all along. If you keep following the road you pass Loch Chon and Loch Arklet where you get an amazing view of the Arrochar Alps at the end of the loch. The first time we found this road it was sunset and the Arrochar Alps were topped with snow and we were completely speechless, it was absolutely beautiful you would honestly think you were looking at the Swiss Alps.
River Garry, Garry Bridge Pitlochry
Pitlochry is pretty stunning most times of the year, but Autumn is when it comes alive the most, we were a little early to catch the best of the Autumn Colours here but it was stunning all the same, our journey here was literally all driving, then thirty minutes standing on Garry Bridge in the rain, and then driving home. But it was worth it for the photo Pamela got and i got a few seconds time lapse. This is definitely a part of Scotland we want to investigate further. We never got to adventure into Faskally Forest but have been told that it is amazing for Autumn colours and after our last visit to Faskally Forest during our Camper Van Trip, i can quite imagine it would be gorgeous in Autumn.
This was found as a quick google search on our way home from buying a present for Tristan in Glenrothes, we were looking for somewhere to photograph Autumnal Colours in the Area and were driving down past Culross area and stumbled across this and realised it was on our way home so we thought we would check it out, I’m really happy we did and we will certainly come back with Tristan, he would love the trails.
We took the Red Squirrel Trail which is a short circular walk, it is pretty accessible with good paths throughout, we passed a lot of prams on our way and I walked along with a walking stick without any troubles, it was a little muddy though, so wellies or walking boots are a good idea.
The Red Squirrel trail is appropriately named as there are of course Squirrels in the area. We didn’t see any unfortunately, but it was really busy with dogs barking at the time. The walk takes you around a little Lochan which we sent the drone over to take a peek from above. It takes you through a Pine and Birch woodland and we found a lot of baby Oak Trees too, which were bright yellow and stood out in contrast to the darker colours of the pines.
We spent an hour just walking slowly around and taking it all in, it was absolutely gorgeous.
Check it out in Pamela’s Vlog below
Lennox Castle Hospital
Most people from Glasgow area will have heard of Lennox Castle Hospital, it was pretty notorious once, it was originally built in the 1830’s for John Lennox Kincaid and was the family home until 1927, when it was sold to Glasgow Council to be used as a ‘Mental Deficiency Instituton’ and was reopened in 1936. It was considered the best hospital in the UK of its kind at the time.
There was a maternity ward opened briefly too, but it became notorious as a Psychiatric Hospital, unfortunately due to underfunding, understaffing and overcrowding the hospital began to deteriorate and patients were left to fend for themselves, punishments became cruel and dehumanising and patients became malnourished.
It was finally closed in 2002 and any remaining patients were reintegrated back into their local communities or transferred to more modern psychiatric facilities.
Most people in the area know of someone who worked at or in the Hospital and there is always a story to tell, my grandad was a Porter and driver and worked there for many years and eventually worked as night security and had many creepy stories to tell.
Nowadays the building is in complete ruin and sits there with this ominous eerie look, hidden in the Lennox Forest looming over Lennoxtown below. It’s a very creepy place, so we thought we’d go visit for Pamela’s Halloween vlog.
Have a watch and see what you think, would you visit in the dark of night?
There are many many other places in Scotland to visit that are great for Autumnal colours, so this list could go on and on, but these are the only ones we have visited this year.
I wonder how many places we’ll list for Winter.
I hope everyone had an awesome Halloween and enjoyed all the beautiful colours this Autumn had to offer.
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