For some of us, there are places we remember all our lives, and for John Lennon one of these places was Durness on the north coast of Scotland where he and his cousins used to spend holidays as children and he had this place in mind when he wrote the song ‘In my Life’ – you can see extracts from this song on the slate slabs which form a local memorial to him, along with some bizarre artefacts possibly left by fans. It wouldn’t surprise me if he played as a child on one of the amazing local beaches, one of many in remote parts of northern Scotland.
The scenery changed from rugged hills and mountains to heather moorland and back again as we travelled eastwards along the northern coastal route, before levelling out to the greener and much flatter coastal parts towards the north eastern tip and John o’ Groats. Before we turned south to follow the eastern seaboard, we visited the Castle of Mey, the Queen Mother’s property now managed by a trust but still visited by Royals. The gardens, mainly a walled garden, were a disappointment though, appearing somewhat unkempt – apparently Prince Charles slways visits at the end of July do perhaps the maintenance regime has slipped rather since his visit was over! Most impressive were several borders of Primula florindae – impressive, but why so many of them?
Revisiting Dunrobin Castle, a picture postcard castle and garden on the northeastern coast was also on the agenda and proved to be a more worthwhile visit, even though the doubly huge obelisks were not a patch on the Golfer’s!