I woke up early on our first morning in Scotland. We’d gone to bed late the night before (after that beautiful formal dinner), but I couldn’t resist getting up early to watch the sun rise over Arthur’s Seat. My alarm rang at 7am…and then at 7.15am too. The room was pitch black and totally silent, and rising from the sheets wasn’t easy. I put on every layer of knitwear I’d managed to fit into my little suitcase, and headed outside about ten minutes before the sun was due to rise. The hotel staff promised to have a fire and a coffee waiting for me when I got back in…
The sunrise more than lived up to expectation. A deep purple sky turning pinker and pinker as the sun rose, with streaks of peach sitting low over the treeline. Getting to watch it in all its bright, short-lived glory was worth the cold toes (I missed not having my wellies and thick socks to hand, I can tell you), the colder fingers, and the coldest nose.
When I got back in to the hotel (and was installed in front of a fire in the ‘Whiskey Room’, with coffee in one hand and Elle Interiors in the other), the very first article I read began with the following:
“Scottish-American naturalist and author John Muir has this advice: ‘Keep close to nature’s heart…and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.’
I can’t think of any advice I’ve ever been more inclined to follow.