Scotland Day 3 part 1: Bow Fiddle Rock @ Portknockie


21st March: Waking up in a doss-house

07:45 | 0ºC, blue sky, light breeze, dry.
I do not recall ever staying in a ‘doss’ house before but this is certainly one. It is very unpleasant and for a while this morning I thought I was going to have to make do with a cold strip-wash. Leaving the shower running for at least five minutes and playing around with one of the controls seemed to get it working, after a fashion.

My eyes feel heavy and tired and sleeping on a very old badly sprung single mattress has not helped. When was the last time I slept in a single bed? I cannot remember. What I do know is that my brain clearly had a conversation with my body and told it to move as little as possible. Turning over meant waking up first and making sure I was fully alert before attempting to manoeuvre. If I want a tea or coffee there is a paper cup provided.

My bed for the night. It looks sort-of okay but actually it wasn’t.

In one sense it has been an informative experience. Many people have little or no choice but to live in a place like this: a tiny room with a tiny shower cubicle, a tiny bed scrunched up to the wall so you can get in it, a kettle and a bin. To stay here is just £30 per night, which is very inexpensive. However, I am not at all sure it is worth even that meagre payment.

Informative though it might be, I have reached a time in my life where I want a bit of luxury. Not much, just a bit. I am on a ‘trip of a lifetime’ which for me suggests accommodation to suit: something a bit special and certainly comfortable.

Following a straightforward fifteen minute drive from Buckie along the ‘scenic’ route rather than the quickest route – well worth it – we arrived at Portknockie, a fine little harbour town. The harbour is well worth a look and a few snaps; it is very picturesque.

To Bow Fiddle


Set off to Bow Fiddle Rock, arriving just 15 minutes later. We were blown away by the coastal scenery and, despite the fact that so many photographs have already been taken, we took some of our own. We spent longer here than we thought we would but it was well worth it.

The sky was clear blue with no clouds and, whilst warm in the sun (I actually ended up with a bit of a tan, by which I mean red of face!) it was quite bracing in the shade. I parked the car at the end of Patrol Road – it actually does end, which is not at all clear from Google Maps – and walked up to the coast – all of five minutes.

Bow Fiddle Rock taken on my iPhone 13 Pro Max. I took a large number of snaps on my Sony DSLR – they will have to wait until I return home!

To say the coastal scenery is stunning is an understatement, and not just Bow Fiddle Rock itself, which must have been photographed more often than there are people in Britain, but all the coastal scenery around it and as far as the eye could see.

The sun was still quite low in the sky and creating some great light and shade on the rock, which of course we photographed umpteen times – all three of us. Goodness knows how many rolls of film we would have used in old money.

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