The reason I didn't want to do Cnoc Mor in the last post, apart from having done it before and having only limited views due to tree cover, was that I wanted to visit the unique village that is Strathpeffer. In 50 years of exploring Scotland's towns and villages I can report that there is not another place in the country like it. That's not true for England, as Strathpeffer resembles many towns and villages in the Lake District and other hilly, wooded scenic areas south of the border. Gardens, woodland, and architecture wise- it's slightly similar to a Highland Bearsden or maybe rural Kilmacolm in Renfrewshire, but with many more grand hotels. It's these massive buildings that dominate the slopes rising above the main street and give Strathpeffer its unique feel.
This is where black mage and mountaineer Aleister Crowley met serial flirt and recently married then widowed Rose Kelly around 1903. Crowley was of course in full highland dress and cut a dashing figure in his kilt and tartans, even though he probably didn't have a drop of Scottish blood in him but like most Victorian's under their esteemed Queen's influence at nearby Balmoral, the newly cleared Highlands of Scotland were there for the taking as an early theme and game park where they could dress up and party. As Crowley had recently acquired Boleskine House and landscaped grounds near Loch Ness he had taken to calling himself -The Laird of Boleskine, Aleister MacGregor, even in letters to friends ... a practice that continues to this day in many parts of Scotland I've noticed- even if its a newly installed hotel manager from the English Midlands in a highland castle on the outskirts of Glasgow. "The new 'Laird of Glen Gurgle' welcomes visitors to his home." .....all part of the tourist trade.
It turned out the recently widowed Rose had a fever of her own and had not been very good at keeping herself pure in thought and was now being pursued by two ardent suitors she had agreed to marry. Both of them unaware of each other but soon to find out.
Crowley's brilliant solution was to snatch her away from any rivals that same day and marry her himself. Today's society might well label him bipolar or borderline personality disorder as he was often prone to impulsive behaviour. He'd only just met her and she him so maybe they were well matched in temperament... or maybe not... as it didn't last.
And a step further back in time for anyone who enjoys nostalgia for past decades. A likable family go back to the Victorian period and their ability to leave modern living behind completely, makes this excellent BBC series work. The same family, The Robshaws, did the 1950s to the present day in another series I enjoyed more as I obviously lived through that time period as a child so identified with it fully but both are informative and highly entertaining. Filled in the gaps by showing how technological innovations often changed lifestyles overnight, then as now, which I'd never realized happened so fast before watching this. I believe some full episodes are still available to watch on You Tube or BBC i Player... So this is just a trailer.