Travels inspired by the Wombles

Sunday, 13 April 2014

It's cold in the Cairngorms...

Cairngorm in the Cairngorms
While one of the best-known Wombles has Scottish links - step forward, Tobermory - there is another one whom fans of the books and TV series might remember.  Cairngorm McWomble the Terrible once came down to Wimbledon, causing chaos (and making quite a lot of noise).  I had a chance to return the favour recently and pay a brief visit to Cairngorm's home patch.  This involved a train from London to Edinburgh; a dash from the station to my Edinburgh hotel where I would later return for the night; and a dash back to the station for another two hours on the train up to Blair Atholl, where the station has been awarded 'Bronze Tidy Station Standard' by Keep Scotland Beautiful.  The waiting room certainly had no rubbish.  But that might have been because it also had no door, enabling any rubbish to be blown away...  There is a small but twee gift shop, unoccupied at the time of my arrival but with a sign: 'Winter opening - I may not always be here at said times, but if you are passing and something catches your eye, please call [number] for assistance'.
My visit was to nearby Blair Castle - an extraordinary place of which more, perhaps, another time - and, as it was early spring in Scotland, there was a distinct chill in the air.  Added to which, Edinburgh is always cold whenever I visit that fair city.  It has many virtues, but a warm climate is not one of them.  Still, Cairngorm got a day out, which was just as well as he'd only have spent the rest of the year - and probably longer - complaining if he hadn't travelled with me.