Winter in Scotland
Earlier this year Stewart revealed that his favourite season to visit Scotland is winter. If you found yourself wondering why did he choose winter, this magical story is for you. Also, if you have ever been unsure if winter is the right time for you to explore Scotland, this post might just convince you to come to Scotland now!
A Winter in the Village
By Stewart McCulloch
Winter in Scotland is the most beautiful time of the year, in my opinion, and it always makes me nostalgic.
It reminds me of when I was working in construction as a young man, the village I grew up in had a small population with only 200 houses, the bus service was unreliable at best, and this meant that growing up we had to walk everywhere if we wanted to be on time for anything (the nearest kinda big town was 5 miles away).
I happened to work in the town learning carpentry, late October I would work until 6 at night, and I would jog/walk home, the last part of the journey was a steep hill with no lights except maybe a few farmhouses dotted around. As I was coming oo’ r the brae the village lights would come into view, the rows of houses would open up to me, the frost would lay thick on the ground, the little white crystals illuminated by the street lamps, the smell of coal reek coming from the lums would fill my nostrils…. and it warmed me, of course, I don’t mean it warmed me in the sense that the frosty wind was making my cheeks glow red from heat, more like it filled my heart.
I would make my way down the hill, perhaps see a familiar face walking their furry friend, all wrapped up in their big jacket and tammy, a courteous hello in the passing and continue on my way, I would cut through a lane that would take me to the centre of the village and make my way home, as I was coming to the front garden I could see my mother by kitchen light making food, as I opened up the door my senses would be focused on the heat radiating through the house due to the fire, and the smell of homemade soup on the stove… of course, this concentration would be broken by my dismayed mothers cries “get those bloody boots off, their muck’et, an you get a bath, you must be freezing.”
At 18 I’d often have the weekends off, and I would walk in the surrounding areas when it was snowing because we were a small village with only two roads passing through, the snow ploughs and gritters never really bothered clearing our roads, which made for beautiful views, the next village over was around 3 miles away. I would put my boots with my thick woolly socks, my thermals under my jeans, my t-shirt, woolly jumper, jacket, gloves and tammy on and I’d set off in the afternoon heading to the nearest pub (3 miles away).
After having a few games of pool, sitting by the fire talking with the village elders over a few ales, I’d set off for home, making my way out of that 17th-century pub, up the narrow winding streets that would lead to the main road taking me back to my village.
As the lights would fade behind me, I couldn’t help but take note of how often it seemed to me, how cloudless the sky was, the moon would be shining brightly lighting my way home, making the snow a brilliant white, standing out against the darkness.
The blankets of snow covering the vast farmlands surrounding my village, made the silhouettes of the trees and rolling hills stand out stark against the night.
This raw beauty is undoubtedly ingrained in my mind.
If you decide to visit Scotland in winter, please be sensible in your choice of attire. We don’t get snow as consistently any more, but it can still get pretty cold, for you cold weather dwellers, it’s not the sub-zero temperatures that will get you in Scotland, it is the strong winds and constant rain that will seep into your bones if not properly kitted out.
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