Beaver and squirrel in Grant Park, Forres

Our north-east trip, going along the coast from Elgin to Fraserburgh was a great success (thanks for the tips). I'd forgotten what a big deal Britain in Bloom is up here. Granite is the local stone, so the towns and villages can be grey wee places, but they're full of civic pride and there are baskets of brightly coloured flowers everywhere.

Floral hedgehog in Grant Park, Forres

Nowhere more so than Forres, which has this amazing display in Grant Park, all documented on the Forres in Bloom website.


Even the little places, like Portknockie, get some flowers in somewhere. Yes, this sign does say "Welcome K'nockers". "Aye afloat" is the village's motto.


We were in and out of loads of these wee fishing villages. All similar but different. Most with their streets built at right angles to the sea to protect again the harsh north wind. Photos trickling onto Flickr. More to come throughout the week.

Is that topiary squirrel leaning heavily on a zimmer frame? Remarkable.

Although not quite as remarkable as 'Welcome Knockers'.

Hi Anne,

We just got back from fortnight in the North East. We spent a week in a caravan at Portknockie. I told people at work it was called Portnookie. I'll have to think up some carry on-ish tales for when I go back to work tomorrow.

Aberdeen had to stop entering the Britain n Bloom thing a few years ago cos it kept winning and they wanted to give other people a chance. I assumed everyone took it as serious and was fair proud of the city's achievement!

Oh, and all the ice-cream vans and cafes down the beach were run by Italians when I was a lad. No idea if they all came from any particular part of Italy.


Argh, we must have passed you. That's a shame. A week is a long time in Portknockie I bet (only joking K'nockers - it's a lovely wee place).

What did you get up to? We went to Aberdeen on the way home and I thought of you. Have you been to the Foam Factory place by the beach - magic!

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