If you haven’t gotten your Willard yet, you will soon! It began going out Tuesday morning (that’s today!), so everyone should have it by Friday. There are a few surprises in there, I don’t want to give them away, so in the meantime . . . MUSICA! Let’s travel a bit, shall we? Good old comfy armchair travel. Let’s take our kitty with us.

But first, Oh Dash! Oh Victoria! Oh Lord M!  Prince Albert and his selfish, cruel “Uncle Leopold!”  Tell me no secrets and I’ll tell you no lies.  Sunday night’s Victoria was a teary one.  I did like the puppy though, all was not lost.

A cold and dreary wet day it is out here in the wild Atlantic ocean. But I have my wee cup of Constant Comment in my Castle Cottage cup, the fire is burning, can’t really ask for anything more. I thought I might take us to Scotland today! I hear lots of you are going to Scotland, or might go, or want to go, so if you do, I thought I’d show you a wonderful castle we stayed in, maybe you would like to stay there too.  So off we go to the land of clans, lochs, lairds, lads and lasses, Bonny Prince Charlie, Outlander, and Balmoral, the beloved home of Queen Victoria.

 It was late evening when we went looking for the two rooms that our friend Elizabeth had “found online.”  We were traveling together, Joe and I, Elizabeth and Mike ~ she had no idea what this place would be like and neither did we. But how could we go wrong, we were together and having a great time.

Through tunnels of Scottish trees we went looking for a sign that said “Stravithie” on it. It was out there somewhere, so we were told! We’d traveled up from Edinburgh that day, the long way, along the Fife coast, stopping to eat, walk along the beach, pick up sea glass, go to a fishing museum . . . it’s where the cutest little  fishing villages are, all festively criss-crossed with bunting flapping in the wind ~ now we were stopping overnight on our way to St. Andrews.

I was crazy about Edinburgh, everything I loved about York, there was twice as much of it in Edinburgh . . .  the red line on this map traces the world famous Fife Coast where we’d been that day.

We probably passed it twice, but finally we quit talking and started concentrating, and there it was. What a nice little sign we all thought, very low key, and a cute little guardhouse too. So far, so good!

We turned down the drive . . . the lovely drive . . . Not too fancy, kind of real . . . the suspense is building, what will we find?????

This was our first glimpse of the house . . . ooooh, aaaah . . .

We drove around to the front, and this is when we began to call it a castle. Isn’t it the MOST? Couldn’t Jane Eyre be living in that pointed turret? We were saying to Elizabeth, “Where did you say you found this?” The thrill of discovery! You really never know what you might stumble upon . . . 

 The Laird of the Manor, David Chalmers, with his cute Scottish accent, came out to welcome us. We were already peering into the hall, at the doors, the heads and horns on the walls, the lamps. What mysteries lie ahead?

I thought I would show you a better photo of David. Such a very nice man! And he knows all the best restaurants!

So into the front hall we went. I loved the lamp, I loved the ceiling trim and the little bit of green. I loved the whole thing. This is David’s home, he lives here, on  30 acres of gardens and a river with his wife and two children, so it’s a home they love to share with others, because as you can imagine, it’s fascinating!

I don’t know what they call this long, deep wood-paneled room, but there is the very old head of an alligator up on top of that dresser. The hunt room, perhaps. Leathery and manly, perhaps the smoking room.

I took photos of everything! Pretty lamp, pretty molding.

The dining room was filled with old carved furniture and things from days gone by.

Elegant old china and cut glass and silver . . .

Mrs. Chalmers came in a little later . . . we could hear one of their children practicing the piano somewhere in the house. Made it even more perfect.

Very much a family home. “My parents gave it to me.”  That’s what David said when we asked how he came to live here. Of course they did!

Off we went to our separate wings to see our rooms . . . Joe and I climbed the red stairs in the turret . . .

looking up as we climbed . . . those are stairs. How did they do that? We don’t know. (I take that back, I’m sure Joe knows, but it’s not even light out yet, he would not want me to wake him to get this question answered!) My job is to admire curves and shadows.

Down this hallway-sitting room we went . . . loving the furniture,

Loving the fabric . . .

Loving the lamp . . .

Loving all the lamps!

Into our charming room with a view of the lawn and the river,

. . . framed by the heavy, lined drapes you find everywhere  in the UK.

We came in through the hall on the right, the bathroom is off that hall, and the kitchen is through the door on the left … We each (meaning each couple) had our own kitchen. I’m happy, Joe’s happy, everyone is happy!

Perfectly appointed, all you need, bright and clean. . .

And more . . . they’d left everything we could possibly want for breakfast, Scottish bacon, ham, fresh eggs, sweet rolls, bread, butter, jam, tea, milk, juice, yogurt and cereal, a feast! And the table was set . . .

So pretty in front of the window . . .

And the view . . . How did Elizabeth ever find such a place?! Must hang out with her more!

We unpacked, went out to dinner to a wonderful restaurant David suggested, and toasted Elizabeth, and our friendship, and Scotland, and life and all good things!

And came back to the castle under this beautiful moon . . .


The next morning, of course we had to go for a walk, across the lawn and along the river we could see from our bedroom windows.

On a path through the woods. The perfect antidote to modern times.

Let’s to church! as they said in Shakespeare in Love. Yes, let’s!  A lovely quiet spot out in the middle of nowhere with a beautiful old sleepy graveyard.

I imagine this walled lawn may have been a vegetable garden at one time. But I was most curious about the little rock sitting on the stone. There was something on it.

I came closer . . .a small piece of slate or maybe granite with something scratched into it:

My imagination says it may have been here since 1993. But if I let myself go, maybe 1593. Or maybe, stretching, just plain 93, as in Druids. We don’t know, but we didn’t touch it, left it as it was for other lucky travelers to happen upon. I automatically think very highly of the person who put it there. Little magic-maker. Hope she’s reading this.  Love is the Law. Truly, it should be.

Back through the ancient wood the merrie folk did go.

We climbed a hill and came upon these worn stone steps and, oddly, that hole filled with water (I guess, needless to say, no one tasted it). 😜 Unmarked. No explanation.  A hot tub for fairies? A little last-resort bathtub? (One of our Girlfriends suggested it was a “tail wash for dragons!”😂) But why here when there is a perfectly good river nearby? We had no idea. We saw no hose bib. I know it rains a lot here, but this much?

It’s perched on a kind of ledge, actually, the entire thing is rock. You could step behind those ferns on the left, walk off the edge and fall, maybe 20 feet? (I’m not good at falling distances.) There’s a very old, moss-covered, slippery-looking stone stairway to the bottom of the ravine that no one wanted to go on. But the boys wanted to see how deep the hole was. Nothing pulled Mike in, which was good. I stayed about this far away from it the whole time wishing I had my dangerous mastiff at my side.

And again, an answer from one of our Girlfriends. It’s a Druid’s well! It’s an actual thing. You can read more about it HERE! Fun!

Flowering things grew wild from the rocks. Because it’s Scotland. Did you know the national animal for Scotland is the Unicorn? Oh yes. Magical Scotland, land of legends and ghosts.

It was a wonderful time. If you would like to stay in a castle in Scotland, you can, so easily. Go to  Or write or phone 01334 880251 It’s close to lots of nice things. And tell David we said Hello!

As promised in the new WILLARD, a Giveaway! This England, this green and pleasant land, this cup. For thee. And the book . . . a signed copy of A Fine Romance. That’s one.

And behind door number two, the new Spring cup, and one of my brand new cross stitch kits for Home Sweet Home, because they kind of match, and go together. Also for thee. Two giveaways! They won’t arrive from England until the first of April, so you’ll have to wait for spring. I’ll be away, but Sheri will make sure you get them the moment they arrive. All you need to do to sign up for both giveaways is leave a comment at the bottom of this post, where you see the teeeeeny tiny word that says, “comments,” click there, say anything, and voila, you’re in the drawing! I’ll contact you if you win, but you can come back in a few days to see if Vanna chose your name. Life is good!

Must go now . . . Say Goodbye to my muses, these . . .

And this one. I’m thinking of changing his name to Dash. Beloved puppy of mine. Have a wonderful day dear ones. Keep in touch! There are adventures and more surprises ahead! 

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2,469 Responses to STRAVITHIE CASTLE

  1. Nanny D says:

    Please give us more Scotland! A book perhaps?

  2. Laurel in VA says:

    There you go again brightening up my day! You inspire me to travel or at least read about traveling.

  3. Margaret Naluai says:

    Honolulu, HI
    Thank you for the wonderful “staying in a Scottish Castle” experience.
    I GASPED when I saw the kitchen right off your bedroom and double
    GASPED when I saw the fireplace IN the kitchen! The shocking pink fuchsias in bloom right outside the large kitchen window put it over the top!

  4. Jo'L says:

    Me and tea and thee in Scotland by words and pictures and magic!

  5. Mary Bolton says:

    Thank you for taking me along on your adventures! Just lovely to see a part of the world my ancestors left in the early 1700’s. Can you imagine? Throwing your bundle into the hull of a wooden boat, saying goodbyes that would be for the last time…..

  6. Jan W. says:

    I just love your writing, painting, photography, and your sense of humor! Thank you so much for sharing all your lovely ideas with the world. WE are all blessed so much by your sharing! I have been to England once 20 years ago, loved it, and do feel it may be about time to return! You have once again kindled that wish, so who knows, ha!

  7. Corinne says:

    I also love Victoria! And I’m completely obsessed with Dash (and other famous TV dogs, like Buddy from Doc Martin and Garrick from Poldark). Sorry, Jack! xo

  8. Isabel Simpson says:

    Would so, so love to be the lucky recipient of your giveaways and so appreciate you giving us all the chance to win.
    Enjoy your much anticipated trip and I look forward to you reading about your adventures in that ‘green and pleasant land’.
    Take care,
    Isabel Simpson

  9. beth says:

    Dear Susan, I am so looking forward to reading about your upcoming travel adventures with “your Joe”. Also excited about your giveaways. I am currently reading Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams and have found it has been helping me with things I have been going through, thank you.

  10. Laura says:

    Just made my way over to your blog (I’m a little slow, still don’t have Facebook), but have been a fan since the late-80’s when I used to save your art pages from country living magazine. And still have all my snail-mail Willards—made my day when they arrived!
    Perfect time to find your Scotland blog—my husband just started talking about planning a Scotland-Iceland trip.

  11. Laura Croyle says:

    How fun to get to stay in a house that looks like a castle! Can’t wait to see your posts from your upcoming trip! Wow! Three months in England, Wales and Ireland!! Sounds like a dream come true! The time to sail away will be here before you know it! Bon Voyage!

  12. Pat says:

    Love your photos! They remind me of a trip to Scotland with my parents in 1965!

  13. Jane Armour says:

    Oh goodness! Now I need to go to Scotland and stay in a castle! Thank you for sharing your adventures with us!

  14. Teresa Lynn says:

    Thank you for the joy you give away in addition to your give-aways! So very kind of you! xo

  15. Carole Kurth says:

    Susan, thank you for sharing the delightful moments of your life! It is such a wonderful respite from the stresses of Life❤️ Please enter me in your contest! I’ve looked and looked back & forth between Willard & Blog— can find nothing! I would be thrilled to win a treat from YOU! Hugs!

  16. Kim Wilson says:

    Thank you Susan for sharing everything with us. I can’t wait to watch (hopefully ) you two sail away from the harbor via the Verazzano Bridge cam.

    Kim Wilson in San Luis Obispo

  17. Valerie says:

    I’m so glad you’re my girlfriend. Going through a bit of a rough time and you always encourage the bright side of life. Blessings to you, Joe and your friends that will be traveling with you.

  18. Wendy Zenor says:

    I always enjoy reading your posts! Thank you for taking all of us on your adventures with you!! 🙂

  19. Nancy Brown says:

    Dear Susan,
    Our personalities are very similar, and when I read your words I sometimes think they are my own. I am also emmursed in Victoria, and am following The Crown too.Dilly, dilly! Our puppy is an 11 year old Corgi named Chester, (Queen Elizabeth’s ) but I would love a Dash!
    Safe travels. May God bless you!

  20. Karen says:

    As I sit eating my breakfast in sunny California, I love reading about snow, rain and a warm fire. Thank you Susan for opening your home. Last week I came home from work to the wonderful surprise of a box containing the castle cottage tea cup. I love the size and feel. Have a wonderful trip.

  21. Elaine Koenig says:

    Wish I was there. Thanks for the mini trip!E

  22. Linda Folkerts says:

    Willard arrived on the day I most needed a lift! Lovely pics and stories, not to mention a Druids well! Throw my name in the hat for a chance at a bit of lovely England and Susan’s charming cups. 💕💕 Wishing you a most wondrous time!

  23. Kim Tomes Dietz says:

    Hi Susan,

    I really enjoyed your trip to Scotland! Beautiful writing and pictures! I have been to Scotland on a cruise, but really want to get out into the countryside and hit the road in a car! I am from Texas, but my peeps are from Scotland. One of my grandfathers from the early
    1800’s wrote a fabulous journal while living in Edinburgh and going to medical school. We brought his writings and followed his cobblestone paths, walked by the old town clock he spoke of, sat in his candle lit church were he said the minister had a wild chopping motion with his arm as he yelled at the congregation, and wandered through the lush green meadow below the ancient church on a distant hill he loved so much. You are very inspiring Susan and I look forward to reading your blogs and have loved all of your books! Have a great time and be safe! Can’t wait to read about all of your adventures!

    Vaya con Dios!
    Kim Dietz

    • sbranch says:

      Gracias, Kim … my dad used to say that! LOVE your trip with a diary, how lucky you are!

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Kim, I can’t imagine how moving it must have been to follow in your grandfather’s steps in Edinburgh. It is a magical city! One of my grandfathers was of Scots blood. He carried a pocket watch with “I’m Scots” on the little fob. Thank you for your personal memory.
      Debbie in Tampa

  24. Donna Hrehor says:

    Susan, Willard is awesome!!! I’m am so excited to follow you on your trip! Thanks for sharing you!!! Donna (Idaho)

  25. MJ says:

    Hi Susan. No trip to the UK this year for me, but I will be in Martha’s Vineyard in the fall and am so looking forward to it. Thank you for Willard and your posts.
    Always lovely. Happy traveling!

  26. Judy says:

    I feel like I’ve been on the trip to Scotland too after reading your post. I so enjoy them all.

  27. Robin says:

    Traveling with you is the best! Travel Blessings,

  28. Donna Morgan says:

    Love is Law. ❤️

  29. Libby says:

    Dear Susan,
    I hope, I hope that you might have the time and inspiration to write and illustrate another beautiful book for us about your upcoming new trip to Britain. If ever I were able to go there myself, the places you visit are just like the ones I think I would choose.
    Thank you so much for all the adventures you share. My horizons are broadened because if it.

  30. Barb Cowles says:

    Hope I am in time for the drawing. Loved this post. Unicorn is the national animal. Druid’s well. Magic. Thank you. Barbora

  31. Bonnie Sanderson says:

    Love love your site! I always feel refreshed and excited about life after I read your blogs! Thank you for being so real!

  32. Just reading about your experiences elevates my soul!

  33. Carol says:

    Love your posts. Hope you have a splendid time on your voyage. I will be checking your blog.

  34. Theresa says:

    The day I receive “Willard” is a very good day!! Your cups are wonderful!

  35. Susanne says:

    I am amazed at all you manage to do and where all you are able to go and, especially, how you are able to document everything so beautifully! I love your whimsical style and creativity! Blessings!

  36. Diane Felder says:

    Thank you for sharing Scotland with us, that’s all I’ve been reading about lately. Have you seen the trailer for the movie Peter Rabbit? Just my type of movie! Glad you are coming to Charleston!

  37. Miss Virginia says:

    Hi Susan, hope you and Joe are well and enjoying your trip planning….so exciting!!! I love this blog and the Willard. Oh, and seeing that castle….enchanting! Thanks for sharing. Have a great day, you MADE mine! Virginia

  38. Martha says:

    Gorgeous! How romantic the UK is! My favorite picture is Jack in the box!

  39. Lauri Hyde says:

    Oh, my! What a wonderful journey you were privileged to make! Thank you ever so much for sharing it with us. Please include me in your next contest for your beautiful new mugs. They are gorgeous! I didn’t know you were doing another lambie-pie one? Oh, dear. What to choose? Well, in the case of the contest, I will gladly take whatever I am granted, should Vanna pull my name. Thank you once again and now I will go read your latest Willard! Be well.

  40. Mary S. says:

    Thank you for showing us in detail the castle in Scotland! I LOVE it!! Do you ever watch Midsomer Murders? Every episode has the most enchanting English House’s and cottages! I really wanted your winter mug but I didn’t order it in time 😭. I’m not going to let that happen with your English cottages mug!! Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA xoxo

  41. Terry says:

    I’m dreaming of a cup of Earl Grey ☕️ Thanks for the chance. Safe travels when you head out again 🌹

  42. Yankeegirl says:

    Love the new cups! So beautiful

  43. Ginette Wheeler says:

    Susan, you certainly know how to make a girl want to fly! All your beautiful photos and stories of such lovely grand places, the darling little finds and the wonderful people you meet, I sit on my comfy arm chair and enjoy where ever you want to go! I love your cups, I fear I may have to redo my whole homes decor based on them (twist my arm please)
    It is my puppy Emma’s birthday today! She is a big seven years old, a beautiful yellow lab though she’s mostly white. Thee most sincere good girl and most deserving of a birthday party, though I wonder if I’m making too big a deal of it and maybe making my grown son lament of her receiving more attention then he might feel he does? Nevertheless a dinner party with lovely friends invited, I think we will be eating on the back porch since the weather has been warm though breezy, more room for the dogs! So goodbye for now my wandering traveler!

  44. Janet P says:

    Love not only your posts but the lovely comments as well. Thanks for such positive words!

  45. Diana Walker says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I enjoyed the trip.

  46. Alison Eisinger says:

    Susan, I’m always so excited when I see your email in my inbox. I know it’s time to go on an adventure, and you never disappoint! Reading your stories, I feel like I’m traveling along! I’ll probably never really be able to go to Scotland, but I can “with you”. Thank you for sharing the world with me!

  47. Connie Martin says:

    What a wonderful Castle. I can’t imagine finding it and being stocked with bacon and eggs!! If I go to Scotland, that is where I am going to stay. Hoping to win.

  48. Denise W. Jose says:

    Susan ; Thank you for all your wonderful posts. Truly inspirational. Fun to look through the pictures of the English countryside. Brings back memories of trips taken with my husband that has passed

  49. Pam Black says:

    Dear Susan, So proud to travel with you and yours anytime! Such a delight❤️

  50. Lisa says:

    I just love reading about the places you have been! You make them sound so magical! You certainly make me want to visit and experience all the castles and fishing villages and country sides! Keep writing and sharing. Thank you!!!

  51. Kim Rossetti says:

    Susan ~ I LOVE your gorgeous mugs! I may have to splurge and treat myself to them! 🙂

  52. Mary Shearer says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thanks for sharing the beauty of Scotland. It must have been so romantic and exciting to stay in such a grand castle – a dream come true! Loved all the furniture and light fixtures!


  53. Cynthia says:

    What a perfect way to start a relaxing Saturday morning with a dreamy tour of Scotland and a cup of tea! Thank you for sharing your travels, the pictures are very inspirational.

  54. Cindy Shruell says:

    What a lovely travel diary – I want to go there now!! I love Victoria too! Thank you for your inspiring blog!

  55. Valerie says:

    Thank you for the chance to enter your drawing! I would be thrilled if I won something. If I did win, it would be a tough decision – keep it for myself or share with a close friend? Would it be considered selfish of me to keep it?

  56. Diedra Lanphear says:

    Dear Susan – as always, your blog post was delightful and brought me much joy! And, I was enjoying it while drinking out of my beautiful, cozy Winter cup! Yay! Receiving a new blog posting from you is always a wondrous way to start the day! Thank you for sharing all the amazing details of your glorious travel experiences. It truly does feel like the next best thing to being there! The new Willard was wonderful too! Always something to anticipate and look forward to! Unexpectedly, I ended up having to have another cancer surgery in December, and was actually in the hospital at Christmas. But, everything went very well, and I am recuperating nicely. As you know, I live in Durham, North Carolina, and we had quite a snowfall (for us) recently! We got about 11 inches which is substantial for here. So, it worked out quite well that while I was home bound anyway recuperating, we got snowed in for a few days, and it was so lovely and comforting to be all warm and cozy inside, while looking outside at an absolute winter wonderland! My husband and I may get to take our first ever trip to Ireland in April or May, and I’m also planning on trying to make it to the picnic on May 11th. Yay! If so, I will see you there! In the meantime, you and Joe enjoy getting ready for your wonderful trip, keep us posted, and have an absolutely amazing time! Love, Diedra 💞

  57. Julie from Michigan says:

    Please sign me up for the give-aways! I can’t get Willards for some reason.
    Thank you!

  58. Carol Ann says:

    Thanks for taking me to places that I dream about going . You take us there and I cannot thank you enough for sharing your trips. What a blessing!!
    On another note, I was kicking myself for not ordering the winter cup. And then this package came and I had ordered it. It was such a surprise!! Made my day and I am enjoying tea right now.
    Carol Ann

  59. Peggy Ott says:

    Wow…2,044 comments!!! Now that says something! Where can you open a page today and be taken to a calm, warming place, where you can simply look out a window at the birds and your heart sings. Or look at plans of travel and only dream of being there, when your heart sings and longs to go because your Mother is buried there. My heart walks those roads, stays in those wonderful places and visits with the happy hearts that live there. Yes, Susan, those are the wonderful few moments of our days where we are taken
    away, even for just a few moments, to feel peace and comfort. I just can’t wait until my next email newsletter arrives. And thank you for taking us all along on this next trip. It will be so much fun, even if we can’t be there in person. Hearts and warm wishes to you and yours!

  60. Michelle says:

    Since you and Joe are in planning mode for England, I would like to recommend to you (and any readers interested) a great tour guide in the Lake District – Andy Binns with Lake District Tours. Your “A Fine Romance” inspired us to visit Hilltop and Andy was our guide for the day. He was great fun! We are touring other parts of the Lake District with Andy this year.

  61. Ivannia Diaz says:

    Perfect post, just on time. I’m going to Scotland in May (first time)!!

  62. Kay Phillips says:

    Another wonderful post, thank you! A nice way to begin the day~~a virtual trip to the Fife coast.

  63. Autumn H says:

    What a lovely adventure to start my Saturday with! Thank you for sharing your Scottish dream and hosting this cute giveaway!

  64. Frances Fowler says:

    The hallway sitting room? I would feel as if I were dreaming just for that! It would be a dreamy living room for most, all of it just beautiful, but still (at least in these photos) very earthy and elegantly low key. Love Jack-in-the-Box (or drawer). What is it with cats having to claim keyboards, bags, and boxes as a roost of sorts, provided that the human intent isn’t obvious? As for Victoria – oh, loving my precious eleven year old boy as I do, it was just heartbreaking to watch the scene with Dash. Oh, for the understated comic relief always provided by Prince Ernest, with Princess Ada of Aldenberg! So looking forward to Willard 🙂

  65. Judy from So.Cal says:

    I love the idea of a dragon tail wash,,and thank you for the lovely pictures
    of Scotland,,judy

  66. Deb Edinger says:

    Thanks for your post of an area of Scotland to which I’ve never been. So many wonderful places to see and explore!

  67. Bonnie says:

    This post filled all those childhood dreams of castles, Woods, and fairies! Thanks so much.

  68. Mandy Tackett says:

    I hope your trip is fabulous! Thank you for thinking of sweet Jack and leaving him safe at home with wonderful friends and in the surroundings he loves. Our fur babies are always the biggest concern, aren’t they? XOXO

  69. Sunny says:

    I so enjoy reading your blog – warm and cozy!

    Thank you for writing it 🙂

  70. Carole says:

    Thank you for another beautiful blog post and Willard, Susan! Wishing you a wonderful trip, and looking forward to reading all about it!

  71. Samantha says:

    So excited to go along with you on your upcoming trip!! I just wish I could actually be there with a picnic basket on a blanket at Castle Cottage! But, I will happily settle in with a cup of tea and my Castle Cottage mug and enjoy the virtual trip! Thanks for sharing the experience with all of us!! Can’t wait!! 🐑🍀🐑🍀

  72. Sydney Stocks says:

    I love reading the posts of your travel adventures! Looking forward already to the ones you send of your trip this spring. Thank you so much for taking the time to share them with us stay-at-home fans. I would love to go myself but for now will be happy with viewing it all through your wonderful photos and writing.

  73. ann in E. oregon says:

    Lovely, Susan, as usual! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your adventures and your beautiful creations.

  74. Colleen says:

    What a lovely place. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us armchair travelers. I’m looking foward to the books to come after your next trips.

  75. Donna says:

    ..Have to admit, I have a huge crush on Lord M….sigh….

  76. Stephanie B says:

    It has been a long and tiring past couple of weeks for me; I needed that little trip to Scotland. Thank you :). I’ve been to Scotland, and the first time I laid eyes on it, I was in love. I like to say, If Scotland were a man, I’d marry him.

  77. Bobbie Calgaro says:

    I loved this post, this castle, the Druid well. You need to write a book about Scotland. It’s all so lovely. It makes my heart happy.

  78. Deena Salvatore says:

    Love it all! Pick me! Pick me! 😚


  79. Kathy says:

    Oh, that was fun! So looking forward to “our” upcoming trip to the U.K.! Love the new mugs! Cheers! Kathy

  80. Judy Ann from Georgia says:

    Oh Susan, thank you for taking us on a trip thru that wonderful castle. I always wanted to stay all night in a castle. Now you made my dreams come true. Maybe one day I will find my prince charming and he will take me to the real Scotland and I can go to this castle and be a real princess.
    Thank you for your beautiful posts.

  81. FayE in CA! says:

    Squeezy hugs and whisker kisses!

    My, oh my…and ahhhhhhs and sighs to everything! What can I say that hasn’t been said. You know how I LOVE your photography…through the window photos…ALL of it.

    New product idea: Bottle up some of YOU to spray on me, oh admirable woman!
    Call it EWE du Sue…one quick spritz and peace, joy and creativity are
    guaranteed. Best seller. Put it in a crystal bottle with a pink heart for the stopper.

    Cheers to your countdown to All Aboard…our linen hankies will be waving bon-voyage and dabbing tears. Even though I will be traveling with you, I will feel the distance grow. I know that I will love your photo journaling and pictures of low calorie desserts! I am looking forward to having your new book in my SB library of charm.

    Grayson’s invitation is still open for Jack to come stay with us while you are gone. I would have to buy a bunch of ponytail bands and practice shooting them across the room to make Jack’s stay feel like home. I can even open a desk drawer and put a pillow in it for him…OR!…he can bring his pillow from home. I will put some watercolors and paper next to it so he won’t be scared.


    • sbranch says:

      I would send Jack to Grayson, who I know would take such good care of hem, but Jack is such a homebody, I don’t think I can pry him loose!

  82. Madalyn says:

    I love seeing the delightful places you stay, inspires me to look for ‘out of the ordinary’ myself. Thank you for sharing! I am so looking forward to reading about your future adventures.

  83. Suzette Shoulders says:

    Oh, my gosh, Susan! That Stravithie Estate is beyond belief! I have never been to Scotland, but always wanted to, and now David’s family estate is definitely on my Scotland list! Do, please , enter my name for the lovely china mug and the signed book! I have given away 4 or 5 copies of that book, there are so many Anglophiles among my friends! Excited about your upcoming NEW travels, Suzette in snowy Oregon

  84. Beth, Lover of all things English says:

    Oh Dash! Oh Victoria! Exactly. Goodness, what an episode! Your castle post has brightened my day!

  85. Tina Flynt says:

    Your new cups are lovely!!! And hope you have a wonderful
    trip to England and Ireland! So glad we can ‘travel’ with you…..

    Love, Tina

  86. Darlene says:

    Enjoyed visiting Scotland with you (from my arm chair) Loved the castle and surrounding areas. On my bucket list!

  87. Jen says:

    Oh what lovely dream! Thank you for taking us along with you. My husband and I want to go to Scotland and Northern England next year. Stravithie Castle is now on my list of places to stay. OK, it’s the ONLY place on my list of places to stay! I’ve got to get on the ball 🙂

    The new mugs are GORGEOUS, especially the England one.


  88. Holly Simpson says:

    Would so love to travel to Scotland someday. You make it seem so magical!

  89. Cindy Tuning says:

    Beautiful post !! I could feel the cool and damp air from here and can almost smell the woodsy moss…or is that mossy woods?? Either way the new cups are gorgeous and I think Im going to NEED the Spring one…at least.

  90. Pam V says:

    Recently I found myself saying, “Who could ask for anything more” and I thought to myself that I sounded like Susan Branch…how wonderful! Your artwork and writing is all so lovely…much enjoyed, treasured, and appreciated!

  91. Eileen says:

    Just darted over from twitter to read new post—-loved it as usual. Put me in the mood for Scotland, so started re-reading “Winter Solstice” by Rosamunde Pilcher. All I need now is one of your beautiful mugs to enjoy a spot of tea while reading!

  92. Angela Williams,Oklahoma says:

    What a wonderful trip to Scotland…I loved Stravithie Castle!!

  93. Pam Knight says:

    We went to Scotland a lifetime ago, but we didn’t see that marvelous castle…what a pity. I’m so looking forward to the FULL report of your trip, and btw, the Lake District is one of our favorite spots ever.

  94. Suzanne says:

    Oh my, your adventure in Scottland looks amazing. Even cozy! Thank you for sharing. Your new paints look soooo very fun! I’ve always wondered about them. ive been using Daniel Smiths. I do love them. I find myself collecting paints 😳 A while back I asked you about how to publish the book I’ve been doing for my granddaughters. I found out my daughter in law has helped someone else publish a book. She has been helping me and I’ve learned a lot. Hopefully soon I will have a book in my hand.! I really appreciate your inspiration. It is beause of you I even tried to make the book. Thank you so much!!! It is a fun adventure. Have a wonderful journey!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I find myself collecting paints too! Hard to resist when you learn of something new. Good luck with your book, Suzanne. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

  95. Caroline Goff says:

    My favorite way to spend my Saturday- soup on the stovetop, hot cup of tea, warm blueberry muffin from the oven, a Willard, and a new blog post from you! Pure joy!

  96. Debra Matheney says:

    Scotland is the best. The people are warm and very welcoming. The landscape is divine.

  97. Janella says:

    I’m SO looking forward to your next trip. Thanks for taking us along with you!

  98. Sherri Fabbri says:

    Hi Susan! I can’t wait for the New England scenes mug! I want it terribly! I’m so happy to have 3 of your mugs so far! My husband actually gave me 2 of them! The other my parents bought me at the Apple Farm. I hope you have a wonderful and safe trip!💕

  99. Robin Crittenden says:

    What a marvelous life you have and I look forward to all your travels to England, Wales and particularly Ireland. I have always wanted to go. Life just has not worked that way for me.
    As for being gone from Jack, I would have a hard time leaving him. My husband had recent cancer surgery and we had to be away from our babies. I was worried the whole time. They were okay but put off with us. Cats are tough and spoiled.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes they are, but I’m sure they do a LOT better without us than we do without them! They like their home, and we are the incidentals.

  100. Elizabeth says:

    Beautiful country in Scotland. Hope to visit someday.

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