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Today, I took a stroll around the beaches at Newquay which possibly ranks as the U.K.’s premier surfing resort. Notwithstanding being mid-winter and with continuous rain there were still a good number of hardy souls ( in wet suits) braving the elements to ride the waves which roll in off the Atlantic.

There was a reasonable swell today thus facilitating good surfing conditions and interesting photo opps, a selection of which are provided below. Although utterly drenched by the persistent rain, I am reasonably pleased with the outcome.

Although Fistral is probably the best know beach for surfing it appears that conditions were optimum at nearby Towan Beach which attracted a group of, maybe, twenty surfers prepared to tackle the rollers coming in from the west. 

Surfing at Newquay, Cornwall

Surfing at Newquay, Cornwall, England

Surfing at Newquay, Cornwall

Surfing at Newquay, Cornwall, England

Riding the Surf at Newquay, Cornwall

Riding the Surf at Newquay, Cornwall, England

 This is Fistral Beach taken during persistent rain in mid-winter.

Fistral Beach, Newquay

Fistral Beach, Newquay, in Winter

Elsewhere today, I have responded to a number of new tour enquiries and posted information to my Glasgow Ancestry blog on Robertson family history (Paisley).

Fingers crossed for improved weather tomorrow!

This afternoon, I am focusing on Castle Stalker which sits on the Rock of the Cormorants, an islet on the mouth of Loch Laich on the West of Scotland.This castle has, like many its peers a interesting history, viz:

  • First castle built by the MacDougal Lords of Lorn.
  • Present castle built by the Stewart Lords of Appin in 1388 with much of the surviving structure  the work of Sir John Stewart prior to 1463.
  • Controlled by Clan Campbell in 1620, possibly the result of a purchase.
  • Besieged by Appin clansmen in 1745 but they failed to overwhelm the defending Campbells.
  • Abandoned and ruined by 1840.
  • Sympathetically restored in 1960s.


Castle Stalker, Loch Laich

Castle Stalker, Loch Laich, Scotland


Castle Stalker is open to the public during specified dates. Access is by boat.

Elsewhere today:

  • I have received two new tour enquiries including a Speyside Whisky Tour.
  • Made progress with an upcoming ancestry themed tour and have just received a cemetery map to assist with identification of an ancestor’s burial place.
  • Visited Hawkhead Cemetery, Paisley to progress ancestry research.

This evening, I am paying a visit to Castle Sween situated on the edge of a sea loch (lake) called Sween in the West of Scotland.

This castle dates from the 12th century and features a high quadrangular stone wall, over 2m thick. At time of construction the castle formed part of the territory of the MacSweens who were lords of Knapdale. It may have been Dugald MacSween who promoted construction of the castle.

This is one of a group of Scottish castles built independent of the Norman influence and which share the following characteristics:

  • Built on a rocky promontory to an uncomplicated design.
  • Close access to water for communication purposes.
  • Local lord power manifested in a fleet of galleys-hence essential water access.
Castle Sween, Scotland

Castle Sween

Castle Sween, Knapdale

Castle Sween

Because this castle is located ‘out on a limb’ I tend to visit by special request only

Elsewhere today I have been busy with a wide range of tour enquiries including an interesting prehistory tour which I very much hope comes together.

Temperature tonight in Glasgow is just on zero C with a warming and rain forecast for tomorrow.