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 [email protected] 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. Carol Jolly says:

    I am so appreciative for you and Joe sharing your trip dreaming with me. An extended holiday to the UK, including side trips to Ireland and Scotland has been a bucket list dream for this Scottish lass for many years. Perhaps a similar trip is in my future…if not, at least I can share your adventures.

  2. Mary Large says:

    Love your castle in Scotland. Spent 3 days in Edinburgh in 2005. Loved every minute. Hope to go back again some day, until then traveling with you is so much fun. Thank you for the adventure.

  3. Sandra in Santa Barbara says:

    Would love the cup – PRETTY PLEASE & THANK YOU!!! If we have a choice with the drawing….I’m the one (or one of many that begged for lamb cup).Especially after I broke my Santa Mug.

    So much to say….business first. Do you know of Coast to Coast (fine china, etc) in Santa Barbara?They’re in arcade where P.S. Limited was….thinking maybe they’d carry your things. In you spare time (haha) check em out on line – if you’re interested I can go and talk with them. Unfortunately Hugh and Marge Peterson who owned P.S. Limited & the shopping arcade both died 🙁 – huge loss to the world!

    There’s also Sweet English Tea Shop in Ojai – perfect place for your things.
    Again, check out and let me know.

    Thanks for prescreenig possible friendships! Yea! Connected with FayE in CA. 10 miles away. Many telephone conversations, emails, picture exchanges (cats of course, her Grayson is a distant cousin to my Grasshopper – both lynx point siamese with sky blue eyes & vocal). So nice to connect with a like minded person. She’s coming for lunch tomorrow.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t know of either of them, Sandra, but I would love to have an outlet in wonderful Santa Barbara. I just haven’t had time yet to make that happen. If you’re out and a about, and find someone YOU REALLY LIKE, let me know! Fantastic that FayE is coming to lunch!!! Hug each other for me!

  4. Pam says:

    Ah, Susan! The places you’ve been to and the things you have seen! Thanks for taking us all along on your adventures!

  5. Patti Eckert says:

    I love the photos, especially Jack!😉

  6. Harmony A. says:

    I whole-heartedly agree with your comment Nanny D.
    A Susan Branch Guide to Scotland would be wonderful!

  7. Tracy Magie says:

    Your life of Living Your Passion is very inspiring! A friend of mine that knew of you when you lived in CA, she is from Santa Rosa, introduced me to your wonderful books! I pull the appropriate one off my shelf for the upcoming season as they come around each year!
    I love rereading each one of them and am very inspired by your travels to the UK via The Queen Mary II. I’m excited about following your next adventure on the Queen Victoria and beyond!!

  8. Pat R. says:

    Thank you for sharing your trips, friends, and imagination with all of us. What fun.

  9. Sharon Whittlesey says:

    I get together once a month with four high school friends for lunch. This year for our Christmas drawing I have one of your books, Fairy Tale Girl. My friend loves it. We are in your age league, so totally relate. Thanks for the memories.

  10. Connie Haltermann says:

    Next on our Bucket List is Scotland, Ireland and Northern England–hopefully this Spring. I’m determined to find time to read your three autobiographical books (I’ve had them for a while) before we set out on our adventure. In the meantime, I’m going to take a good look at the new recipes in your new edition of “Heart of the Home.” (Did I see somewhere that you are going to release a new edition of “Vineyard Seasons”? (That would be wonderful.) Vinyard Seasons has the most beautiful pages for displaying on my red SB cookbook stand on my kitchen counter (except for Christmas recipes, of course). By the way, I would love to see a new edition of “Christmas Heart of the Home as well. I think everyone would. It’s gorgeous.

  11. ~ Del Gato Gordo Y Descarado ~ says:

    Many thanks for this blog,
    I always make a cup of tea, sit down and savor what you post-
    I get so many ideas from it.

    ~ Many blessings to you and yours ~

  12. Jane P S says:

    Dearest Susan,

    Thank you so much for all you gladly give to through your beautiful art, colorful photos and your delightful sharing of your thoughts, experiences and stories!!

    May you and Joe enjoy safe and magical travels! So looking forward to joining you through your posts!


  13. Wendy Langseth says:

    I have always loved your joyful artwork and quotes to ponder. Your style always leaves a smile. (That might be a new quote for you.)

  14. Martha Ellen says:

    Oh Susan, I love that you and Joe are returning to Great Britain. Once you go, you always want to return! Grayden and I celebrated our 50th anniversary there last fall and we already want to go back. I’m looking forward to your new book about your adventures this time in Ireland and Wales. If the Lord is willing, we will return one day. March will be here before you know it and you will again be on the adventure of a lifetime. Godspeed to you and Joe! XOXO ♥

    • sbranch says:

      We feel like we’re leaving tomorrow, so many loose ends to tie down before we go! SO EXCITED! Thank you Martha Ellen!

  15. Janet Grausam says:

    Beautiful new cups! Beautiful new journey! And isn’t much of the fun just in the planning and dreaming!!!! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  16. Bev says:

    Dear Susan,
    Enchanting! Your descriptions make all of us want to be there too. Thank you for sharing your world with us!

  17. Carol Leatherman says:

    Ah, Scotland!! Dreaming of going one day soon – and yes, will stay in a castle; nothing else will do –
    Thank you –

  18. Karen Pedevillano says:

    Love all your adventures. I have been keeping journals all my life. In the last few years I have been writing travel journals. Wish I had your talent for drawing. I use photos instead. Can’t wait to come along on your England adventure. We went two years ago after reading your 1st England book. Safe journey.

  19. Thank you for the delightful castle visit! After a dozen trips to the UK, it’s hard to say which region is my favorite, but Scotland is certainly up near the top. The Fife coast you described, with the charming fishing villages and coastline, is beguiling, but I also love the Hebrides, especially the Isle of Harris and Lewis. I’ll be looking forward to your next book (was smitten with the first three!).

  20. Irene Harrison says:

    Thanks for taking us with you!!

  21. Marianne from Peoria says:

    LOVE Scotland! Thank you for this blog and photos of one of my favorite places in the world!

  22. Rhonda D. says:

    Loved this little trip through Scotland. Thank you so much. I am going to make a note of Stravithie Castle for when I get my trip to Scotland. Such a lovely place. You should create us a journal with “Dreams” on the cover. It would be a treasure for us…a place to dream our dreams. Something else that would be awesome is a mug for Scotland, with castles, and plaid and bagpipes. I’m just dreaming, you’ve taught us very well. Really love the new line-up of mugs you have coming out. They are darling.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Rhonda! I will try to do that Dream book one day, I have wanted to do a diary for everyone for a long time.

      • Rhonda D. says:

        Awesome! I’ve already seen that Dream book in your new Willard, so we’re half way there. Another idea for you to think about……(oh no, here she goes again). You could eventually make us mugs for all the places you are visiting in Britain. You have one done for England, so one for Scotland, Ireland and Wales to remember our adventures with you.

  23. Darla Unger says:

    Thanks for the darling Pictures!!

  24. Karen says:

    What could be better on a dreary Sunday morning in New England, than a blog from Scotland. I loved reading every single word. Thanks Susie Q. Now it’s on to Willard…..

  25. Sharon says:

    I just wanted to tell you thank you. Your excitement when you write and tell story’s entices my soul…. Your the one thing so many of us need when we are dealing with hard times. We can turn to you and your writings and let the light shine in… Thanks again for inspiring me to do great things… Your the Best…♥️Muah

  26. Laura says:

    Have you been to Ireland before? The people there are so friendly and happy🍀🍀. Galway and Kinsale were our favorites. So excited for you!!!

    • sbranch says:

      We are staying in Galway Bay … eeek! So excited, and yes, it’s our first!

      • Anne Miller says:

        Susan, will you be taking the ferry from Galway Bay to Inishmore? it is so otherworldly. The fort there (Dun Aengus) predates the pyramids. It is a lovely hike. Standing there and looking out to sea you feel like you are hanging off the edge of the world. I love the Cliffs of Moher, but Dun Aengus was IT for me. Wild and Remote. Mind you, I am not a “lets go up to the edge person”, but Inshore and the fort DunAengus stirred the adventurer in me.

  27. Sherry hall says:


  28. Jennifer Lauri says:

    How is it possible that you always come up with designs that are more appealing than the last ones I admired? Love you, Susan Branch <3

    • sbranch says:

      I always tell anyone who’s learning to paint what a HUGE thing practice can be! Same with everything I guess, but definitely with cup design!

  29. Jeanne says:

    How magical and wonderful it must be to stay in a castle.

  30. Nancy says:

    Awwww! This was just what I needed today. Your adventures brighten my spirits so much!

  31. Anne says:

    That was fun! It’s amazing – the castle looks so forbidding from the outside but so warm and cozy looking on the inside. I can’t imagine living in a castle year round! Lucky them☺️ Thanks for the last couple posts and the Willard! I’m catching up this morning while drinking my coffee out of the Winter mug! I think it’s the prettiest 👍😍 Thank you too for the cranberry splash in water tip☺️ My 57 year old bladder needed that😉 Happy Sunday to you, Joe and Jack – hope you had a nice walk this morning😍🌤🌊

  32. Arlene Koktavy says:

    Hi Susan, You always inspire and amaze me. You would not believe what a difference your blog and Willards have made such a positive difference in my life. Just thinking of the coziness and creativity is so uplifting. I’ve been a fan of yours for many years. Please put me in for the drawing of the book and mug. Thanks Arlene

  33. Kim Laird says:

    You have the best adventures! such a gift you give us. Thankyou!

  34. Mer says:

    Just finished reading the latest Willard. Oh dear, I think I must have a Jack mug! Cats, books, and tea, the ‘homey’ trinity. I can’t wait! Also looking forward to hearing and seeing pictures of your next trip. Happy travels!

  35. Annita Sooy says:

    Will be looking forward to your next book… the one which will be inspired by or from your upcoming trip to England, Wales and Ireland. Love reading about your adventures!

  36. Love the Druid’s Well and knowing that the unicorn is Scotland’s official animal! The whole post makes me think of my favorite childhood book, The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge – just magical.😍

  37. Michele from Duvall says:

    Loved learning about the unicorn being a national icon, and that was a Druid’s Well?! How magical (heavy sigh). Dreaming of Scotland…thank you for the lovely post!

  38. Debra Braz says:

    Oh my! As always such lovely pictures to delight the eyes! Thank you for sharing your trips, your daily adventures, and new things to learn and dream of!

  39. MaryAnn Nichelini says:

    I loved your castle in Scotland. I went to a couple of castles in Scotland but they were not that nice. They weren’t set up for guests. We did stay in an old convent converted for guests. Brought back fond memories of childhood. Scotland is so beautiful, I cried at the beauty. Looking forward to more pictures.

  40. Anne Miller says:

    Susan, Ive been transported, as always. Thank you for this lovely post and sharing these treasures of memories. This past week I was in Gambier Ohio to hear James Rebanks, author and advisor to UNESCO. He has a family owned farm and is a shepherd. His family has herded sheep and farmed in the Lake District of England for six centuries. Remarkable man with a remarkable story…truly one where “every dream precedes the goal.” The name of his first book is “The shepherd’s Life: People’s History of the Lake District.” Maybe you have read this gem. Sending best thoughts and energy your way.

  41. Connie T. says:

    Lovely! I would love to stay in that castle! How thoughtful of the hosts to even have the table set for you and all that delicious food for you! I was drooling also at all your photos of the furnishings, the moldings, the lamps…..just EVERYTHING! Shabby Chic is my style so that bedspread, headboard and the chairs were everything to me! The hallway chair and pillows too. The carved chest downstairs with the dishes on it had me dropping my jaw. SO in love with it! Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking us along to that castle. And thank you for the giveaways and for the pictures you will be posting on your Spring trip this year. I am hoping sweet, flighty Vanna draws MY name for one of your giveaways! Have a lovely day!

  42. Ellen says:

    Now anxious for the new book!!

  43. Sammie McLallen Travis says:

    I only found you last year, but feel that we have known each other forever. My ancestors are from Scotland, Ireland and Wales with a bit of German Amish. You encourage me as I grow a wee bit older to cherish every memory and feel proud of their blood in my veins. My son teases me about my feeling for my land in Vermont–calls it my “Scarlet O’Hara in me and that my fairies are my ancestry. Thank you for sharing with all of us and helping us to be proud from whence we come.

    • sbranch says:

      All that came before is what makes us what we are. A culmination of, I like to believe, love, love and more love.

  44. Terri Smith says:

    Love the pictures and your post about your trip- You are such a talented writer and artist! Thanks for a chance at the giveaways!

  45. Carol S. says:

    I visited Edinburgh two years ago and loved it. Now I need to see more of beautiful Scotland. Thank you for these lovely pictures.

  46. Hello Me Dearies,
    Love the castle home-it is enchanting! Thanks for sharing.
    Also love the pics of charming Jack in the desk drawer. I have my own M. Poirot and Miss Marple curled up into little balls of snoring contentment on the table under the desk lamp to my right. The essence of cozy.
    Keep warm and cozy yourself through the storms!

  47. Jill Brown says:

    What a wonderful way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon, dreaming of a future stay at Stravivthie Castle! Thank you!

  48. Jennifer Bowles says:

    I so love seeing your wonderful pictures and reading all the little snippets of poetry and literature! One feels so good after indulging in pretties and poetry! Thank you!

  49. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    Just received my Love Stays quote stand, and it is perfect in it’s beauty and simplicity. I love my mugs and tea pot plate, but somehow this piece went straight to my heart. I put it on my white kitchen window sill and there it will stay. Thank you! Now all I need is that little Courage vase to sit next to it.😊 Is it still in the pipeline? You create such wonderful things for us!! ❤️❤️❤️

  50. Kara says:

    Thank you for sharing your amazing trip to Scotland. I’ve now added another trip to my bucket list because of you:)

  51. Anita M. Stumpf says:

    here I am again, too excited for words. Everything about England, Wales,Scotland and a bit of Ireland are so interesting to me. my Grandparents came to the USA from Wigan, England so I definetly have it in my blood. lov your books about your travels. thank you.

  52. Susan M. says:

    Lovely and refreshing, as always. Thanks.

  53. Alice says:

    Your blog and Willard cheer up the dull parts of winter. Don’t get me wrong–I love winter in the South and its mix of cold, snow, rain, and just resting days, with a few warm days sprinkled in. But sometimes we need an infusion of color and light, and you always have it. Love the music, too.

  54. Deborah in Odessa says:

    Love this blog too!!! Imagine that. I am all a dither trying to figure out which mug or mugs to order. I love Scotland and Ireland. Have always said if ever I get a chance to cross the sea to Ireland……and watch the sunset on GalwayBay…. but probably not. Thank you for sharing so much, it is like going. looking forward to next post. This one is wonderful. I will re-read a few more times as I ponder those mugs. Jack for sure….maybe 2.

  55. Joanie says:

    Dear Susan, I would so love to be the recipient of one of your new teacups. So beautiful!! Makes me feel that springtime isn’t too far away! Thanks for the wonderful blog and Willard!

  56. Shannon says:

    Dreamy. Thank you <3

  57. Joanie B says:

    This post was just what I needed, I felt the tension ooze away from my shoulders as I was transported to Scotland, thanks Sue for the lovely vacation. Of all the over 2000 posts I would love to have my name drawn, someday!!

  58. Thoroughly enjoying living vicariously through your travel posts, Susan. Many thanks from a busy mom who doesn’t get to travel much!

  59. Katherine says:

    Hello! Here I am! Just in time I hope. Thank you for the chance! Must tell my grand-daughter about Scotland’s special honor of the Unicorn. She’s very into them right now. Perhaps you could wrangle a small one into your luggage and offer it as a giveaway?! A little magic goes a long way. All the best on your travels.

  60. Brandi says:

    Your sharings always bring me to a place of peace – I truly look forward to reading all that you share with us all, especially updates on your sweet kitty, Jack. Just received my first fine bone china cup (the Love birds) – I’ve used it everyday, all day long (coffee, water and tea). Hubby even knows it’s my go-to cup now and fills it with warm water every morning, which is our pre-warming method so our coffee stays warm longer – cold New England mornings cause coffee to cool quicker. The cup is lovely and big – would’ve loved the winter cup but missed the opportunity. Wishing safe travels for your upcoming trip!

  61. April T. says:

    I LOVE your adventures!! Please keep having more, I am vicariously living through you!!

  62. Lonnie - south of Seattle says:

    Oh Susan, I can’t believe it…..a lovely Spring cup with cute “lambies” on it. My favorite to add to my collection. The British Isles are on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Lonnie

  63. Peggy Poole says:

    Oh Susan I am putting this castle on my bucket list. Love love it. Thank you so much to you and Joe for sharing your life with us. Met you when you came to Georgia. See you in England.

  64. Thanks for the lovely pictures…..yearning to visit England again and up to Scotland this time and stay in a Castle!!!! I really enjoy all of your comments and artistic creative sharing. Hugs from the PNW where we get plenty of rain.

  65. Sandra Thompson says:

    SThank you so much for enriching my life!

  66. Grace DeShaw-Wilner says:

    What fun reading about your trip and the surprise castle! Thank you for sharing your photos and observations. I feel as though I’m on the trip as well. Have a lovely voyage in March!

  67. Lois Rehm says:

    You are the most productive person I know that also exudes a joyful and generous spirit. God bless you, Joe, and Jack-in-the-drawer. Thanks for
    your wonderful Scotland blog and the Willard.

    P.S. Please note I have a new e-mail address.

  68. Gill Smith says:

    How wonderful to see your adventures in Scotland Susan. No wonder you are so excited to return! We love Scotland……and Wales………and Ireland……..oh my you are going to have such a time. I’m very excited for you and Joe! Cannot wait for the new book!
    Almost time……..
    Gill from Devon U.K. Xx

  69. Kathy from Holland, MI says:

    Love reading your posts and seeing the photographs from Scotland. Your quotes are inspiring also. Can hardly wait to see the photos from Ireland. Especially Galway, and the winding streets of Kinsale.
    Thank you for taking us on the journey.

  70. The overcast skies and pitter patter of January rain has had me painting lambs and sheep to hang in my home. Just missing the fireplace:) my music is our three small children and the kick of the wee one in my belly growing fast. Thanks for your cheerful posts and paints! Would love to drink my morning cuppa from one of those lovely mugs!

  71. Susanb says:

    Good Morning,
    Off to work I go, Willard and a quick trip to Scotland this morning, life is good. Have a stupendous kind of day. My Kindergarteners await tails from Beatrix Potter! Soon I will start reading her stories to them. They always love Peter and friends so much. But until then, they must enjoy stories about my new kitten Molly! Life is good. 🙂

  72. Janet Duff says:

    Your trip sounds like such fun! What a thrill it would be. The cups are gorgeous! Happy travels!

  73. Deanna Taylor says:

    A chilly winter “good morning” from middle America to you…thanks for the wonderful trip to Scotland to start my day. I am re-reading your books and it’s been a great adventure all over again. Thanks for sharing your life with us in all it’s many seasons. Your cheerful and wise outlook on life is an inspiration to all of us. Happy trip planning! As some of my ancestors were from Wales I will eagerly be awaiting your stories and pictures from there.

  74. Anne Anderson says:

    You go to such wonderful places. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful details

  75. Cindy Chaplin says:

    Your blog and recent Willard just made my day! Such magical places you are planning to visit. Have a wonderful trip.
    ps: my daughter just gifted me three of your mugs and I just love them. Every morning I look forward to choosing which magical cup I shall drink from:)
    So thankful for her and you for your art.

  76. Debbie on Cape Cod says:

    Wonderful, I can only wish!

  77. Lucy de Leeuw says:

    Susan I just finished re-reading A Fine Romance for the 5th time. As you and Joe take me with you on your adventures it truly lifts one spirit. I also have the Woman’s World Book Club “Take A Trip To England” I do plan to get there one day! As I just received the latest three cups, I plan to be sipping Tea with you at Castle Cottage from a distance. I am getting ready to take the tour with you as we say from the virtual world.

    Thank you so much for sharing your inspirations! Bon Voyage I’m still smiling*

  78. Carol Ann Frederick says:

    I always have such a happy feeling after reading your blogs and emails! Like a little escape. Thanks so much for the pleasant words and adorable drawings. Looking forward to journing to England with you!

  79. Clare says:

    Susan, your dreamy travels make me swoon. xo Clare

  80. Senda says:

    I love the castle. Maybe on my dream trip to Scotland I can stay there🐦!

  81. Carol Lee says:

    Thank you for sharing, I feel like I’m tagging along with you!

  82. Suzan S. says:

    We ARE planning a trip to Scotland and Ireland, and I will so check availability at the castle! Hoping to win, of course, if not I’ll have to order!

  83. Colleen Darling says:

    Thank you so much for taking me on your trips. I just love it!

  84. mari1017 says:

    Love traveling with you! Thanks for a gorgeous post ♥ mari

  85. Darylene says:

    Bon Voyage!

  86. Arline Arnold says:

    Thank you, Susan. So lovely to see. We just don’t have those colors in Southern California. Dear daughter is being considered for a doctorate in Edinburgh. We checked it out last year (and bought darling half gloves at Ragamuffin). Hoping it works out and we get another trip. Cant wait to follow along with you!

  87. Debbie Boerger says:

    I had been a bit down about being the Queen of bone breaks, but now I’m excited about traveling with you and Joe. We had to cancel our planned May, 2018 trip, but I think it was for the best. Next trip…if I can avoid any more “tripping”…we may stay longer in Old Blighty. If Carrie has someone caring for Holywell, we’ll stay there for 2 weeks, and a couple of as yet determined places.
    The Bayeux Tapestry will be at the British Museum in 2020. Tom will be 80, and I’ll be 75, so less driving may be in order. I adore the video clips of you in the car. I do exactly the same…either squeek or cover my eyes. But you can Not get to the really special places without those single lane tracks, Right?
    And…there is our train trip up to Chicago in late April, to look forward to. I’ll take you on that trip with us. Thank you my dear for doing all the many things you do for us!

    Debbie in Tampa

  88. Heidi says:

    Oh, Susan, I love your posts so. I am compulsively ordering all your cups. Very disappointed in myself that I did not pre-order the very first ones, as they are all gone. But I’ve learned my lesson. I am so impressed with how beautifully they are packed and shipped. Each one a treasure. Like you. 🙂

  89. Laurie Walt says:

    Hi Susan! Still no Willard in my e mail so I did re sign up. Can you post a link? Thanks

    • sbranch says:

      I will, next post, sorry Laurie. Put in your address book and see if that helps!

  90. Ellen says:

    Hello Susan,

    I am just catching up on reading this latest post and your ‘Willard’. I have been a fan of your artwork and writing for many years. Reading about your travels and all the other things you share about your life brings a smile to my face and makes a warm place in my heart, and your ‘Musica’ picks are just so comforting – thank you. I’ve also followed along (in pictures) when my daughter and son-in-law have traveled to Ireland and Scotland several times in the past few years. I may go myself one day, my daughter is determined to take me, but I just haven’t been able to make the leap (yet).

    When I saw your “Jack in the Books” cup, I just had to order it. I so enjoy reading about him as I have a couple of kitties of my own that I adore (and a couple of doggos too).

  91. Nancy T. says:

    Hello Susan,
    Not being able to travel to all these wonderful places, I feel as if I had traveled there, reading all your beautiful posts. Thank you for sharing so much with us. You and Joe truly are a remarkable couple!

  92. Mary Ellen says:

    So lovely, so beautiful…just love it…and you too, Susan! “Love is the Law” even though it wasn’t me, who wrote that there :)!

  93. Julie Marie says:

    What a lovely post!… I’m sipping tea in my Autumn cup as I read this, I simply cannot put it away just because Autumn is over… love it too much, the season AND your cup!… you and Joe have such a beautiful life together… much like me and my Jack, although I have not been across the pond to the wonderful places you have!… oh wait!… I just was!… your posts always carry me away to these beautiful spots!… sending much love, to you, Joe and Jack… xoxo… Julie Marie

  94. Kerry S. from Nolensville, TN says:

    What a fun post! I love the Druid’s Well story & photos! What an amazing place to spend time! Serendipity at work!
    Happy travels this spring!!

  95. Kristen Hamann says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful travels with us! 👍😊💕

  96. PJ Bronson says:

    Love hearing about your adventures! And, you share them in the mist delightful ways…. your words, photos artwork and sayings. A huge thank you!

  97. PJ Bronson says:

    Thank you for sharing your adventures! And, you share them in the most delightful ways….your words, photos, artwork and quotes. A huge thank you, to you!

  98. Janet - Grafton, WI says:

    Loved Scotland way back when – in 1976. Hoping to return someday and maybe stay in a castle 😉 Thanks for sharing, Susan.

  99. Deborah Robinson says:

    Ms. Susan,
    Again, another wonderful post and newsletter. If I haven’t told you before, your blog and newsletter are the highlights to my day. Thank you for taking me and the other “girlfriends” into your world as well as the delightful give aways.

  100. Grace says:

    Thank you for the Acorn TV recommendation. Hidden Villages” is wonderful. I love the Australian series, “A Place to Call Home”, set in the 1950s. As always, a great blog. So looking forward to following your travels!

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