500 MILES OF JOY
Thank you for your article in the April issue (Is This The World’s Greatest Road Trip?). I read it as my husband and I were eating breakfast. We had some leave booked and no plans, so we decided to hire a campervan and try a road trip; your article suggested the North Coast 500 would be a great taster.
Well, we’ve just returned from the most exciting and stunning holiday we have had in a long time. The weather was lovely, which I am sure helped, but the views from the road were breathtaking, and using your article as a guide we found ourselves seal watching, visiting amazing castles, some ruined and some still lived in. The food was
amazing and put paid to the idea that the Scots culinary claim to fame is the deep-fried Mars Bar; we feasted on beautiful fresh seafood and haggis, of course. We visited headlands and beaches, mountains and valleys, swimming in lochs and the sea, relishing the space and freedom, as well as the wonderful hospitality of those we met, and admiring the creativity in the many craft and art exhibitions.
Thank you for the inspiration; we will be going back. As your article rightly suggests: “rather like a fine single malt, it deserves to be savoured rather than gulped”.
Carolyn Bailey Bourne, Lincolnshire
I have been a guide in Dartmoor National Park for 40 years and have always given advice to walkers about ticks. Tom Heap’s recent piece on Countryfile (29 July) and the article on your website (countryfile .com /article/ticks-how-to-protectyour-dog) are very informative.
However, where you advise removing ticks promptly, it should have been explained how to make a safe removal.
A tick will often indicate its presence by causing itching and a feeling of heat. Its removal should be done carefully, either with tweezers or a tick card, anticlockwise, and most importantly, making sure the head has not been left in the skin, causing it to turn septic. Then consult your doctor if necessary.
Martin Stephens-Hodge Okehampton, Devon
This 84-year-old grandfather was pleasantly surprised to have one very special memory of time spent with grandchildren brought back to life, evoked by your August article about Holkham Beach (From the Pine to the Sea). The occasion? A summer ramble from Burham Norton Beach, running, paddling, skipping, dawdling towards Wellsnext-the-Sea, where we all knew fish and chips awaited. By the time we reached Holkham Gap, the three grandchildren – Lucy, Natalie and Jess (and Jess’s boyfriend Dan) – were tiring under the sun so we found some respite in the pine woods. Entering a small, silent clearing carpeted with pine needles, suddenly there it was: our fantastic Norfolk Pine. It was a very special tree; massively rugged and tall, yet from only four feet from the ground the main trunk divided into two enormous side branches. The whole tree just shouted to be climbed. Off with the rucksacks and up they all went.
And then, out of the blue, a flash back from many years ago! Another similar scene with children grinning down from an old pine tree, but this time our second son Simon posing for a publicity photo to advertise a local production of The Sound of
Music. Simon, only nine at the time, has gone on to become a successful professional actor. I include photos of the two memorable scenes (below), decades apart.