Rosamunde Pilcher Winter Solstice Tour – visit Kingsferry and Corrydale in the footsteps of Oscar and Elfrida
Our Winter Solstice tour finds us exploring Kingsferry and Corrydale, as Oscar and Elfrida did, in the novel by Rosamunde Pilcher. Rosamunde was also kind enough to agree to check and endorse our tour content. We visit these places in broadly the right order because it helps visitors to remember and rediscover her charming story. This review is specifically about this tour if you would like an independent view.
We travel north from Inverness across the Black Isle to the pretty towns of Tain, Dornoch, Golspie and Brora. We see a number of historic sites and enjoy a walk on Dornoch Beach and in the town. As a result there will be time to appreciate some of the local craft and gift shops, and indulge in a little retail therapy.
Our Rosamunde Pilcher Winter Solstice Tour is also perfect for people who have never read the book, and know nothing about it. This is because it offers much of the very best of the scenery, history and wildlife of the Scottish Highlands, including visits to ancient church, castle, cathedral and the pretty little towns of the east coast. If you just want those places, then we are happy to deliver this tour without mention of the book. We describe these locations more fully below.
Rosamunde Pilcher Winter Solstice Tour – Kingsferry (Tain)
We begin by travelling north from Inverness, as Elfrida and Oscar did. The town where the characters purchased essential supplies, and also bought most of their thoughtful Christmas gifts was Kingsferry (Tain). We will call in at this, the oldest Royal Burgh in Scotland (1066) on our way. You will enjoy some free time here, to either wander around the shops, or if you prefer, you may visit the characterful Collegiate Church dating from the 1400’s.
Corrydale from the Winter Solstice novel (Skibo Castle)
Oscar and Elfrida had to go to Corrydale next. Corrydale in the book is based upon the luxury hotel to the stars – Skibo Castle, where Guy Ritchie and Madonna were married. Sadly it is not now open to the public for a morning coffee.
Corrydale from the Winter Solstice TV series (Dunrobin Castle)
From here we travel on past Creagan (Dornoch). One extra option that is highly recommended while travelling north is Dunrobin Castle. This huge castle is the home of the Earls of Sutherland, and one of the Great Houses of the North. The entry fee for the castle also covers a stunning falconry display in the grounds at 11.30am. Morning Coffee can also be taken within the castle. It also starred as Corrydale in the TV mini-series of Winter Solstice.
Next on the agenda is Buckly (Brora), home to McTaggart’s (Hunter’s) Mills. It was here that Sam Howard was employed, trying to bring the mills back to life after their disastrous flooding. We will also show you the hotel, “the Duke’s Arms” where Carrie tried the Whisky Mac. There may even be time for you to try one, who knows?
Loch Fhada (Loch Fleet)
On the return journey south we will take the route taken by Sam and Carrie – the narrow back road by Loch Fhada (Loch Fleet). You will have the chance to see the birds and waders, the seals, the small hamlet of Littleferry, and the ancient crumbling castle of Skelbo.
Creagan (Dornoch) – a fitting close to a Winter Solstice Tour
This is the culmination of our tour; the very pretty town of Creagan (Dornoch). Our characters settled into the Estate House and had many adventures. Carrie and Lucy came to the Creagan Estate House later, and like them you will have free time to have a walk, see the town, the shops, and the beach and Golf Course. The last chapter in Winter Solstice saw Oscar becoming reconciled to the past, and playing Beethoven’s “Song of Joy” for Christmas in Creagan’s church [Dornoch Cathedral]. Our last chapter will be similar. We will visit the Cathedral – a magnificent building erected in 1224 by Gilbert de Moravia. We will see the organ which Oscar played. This was also the organ in which police found paparazzi hiding, in 2000, prior to the christening of Guy Ritchie and Madonna’s son Rocco.
As we have come to the end of Rosamunde’s story, we turn and head south for Inverness, with a tale well told and a tour complete.
Rosamunde Pilcher Winter Solstice Tour – Price
£450 for the tour.
Rosamunde Pilcher Winter Solstice Tour – Departure
The tour departs from your Inverness accommodation, or any transport hub, such as bus station, train station or airport. You tell us, and we’ll be there.