Greenest Self Catering in UK

They are officially the greenest of the green.

Our friends and neighbours at Bluebell Croft just won the 'Green Tourism Goldstar'.  

That prestigious award recognises them as the most environmentally friendly self catering business in the Green Tourism Scheme - throughout the whole of the UK.  

(The activity centre award went to Glenmore Lodge where I've filmed twice this month.)

At Bluebell Cottage, Bill and Sukie Barber have a wind turbine, large solar array and massive wood burner, which means they don't burn any oil or gas.  

With a few cows (that's daisy), two pigs (who occasionally escape) and loads of hens, ducks and geese they raise most of their own meat.  Their large poly tunnel and vast veg patch produces just about everything else.

Guests seem to enjoy feeding the birds, helping with the milking or just tickling the pigs behind their ears (which they love too).  They run courses on meat & fish smoking, and also basket making.  

Oh, and the self-catering houses are wonderful!  Their hot-tub must have the best view in the UK.  Check out their website.

Video - Filming on Spainish Via Ferrata for Adventure Show


A couple of weeks ago I was hired by Triple Echo Productions to film in Spain for The Adventure Show, part of which involved climbing a 'sport' Via Ferrata.

With us was Inma, a friend of our featured guide Jose Miguel, and a second guide called Jamie, who also works in TV.

Jamie (on the left in the photo) took along a GoPro camera and this is the result.

You can see my version in the June edition of The Adventure Show (I think) - transmision date yet to be confirmed.  It'll be on BBC-2 Scotland, Sky, Freesat and iPlayer.

100 mph Human Powered Bicycle?

World record speed cyclist Graeme Obree is building a bike in his kitchen in an attempt to break the human-powered land speed record.

In the video below he speaks of riding at 85mph. 

In the talk he gave in Aberfeldy on Saturday, Graeme said 100mph was possible.

He'll be lying down, chin barely above the front wheel, with hands on its front axle.  And he hopes to attempt it this year.

Remember, this is the guy whose homemade bike famously included parts from an old washing machine.

He broke the world one-hour record twice and won the world championships on two occasions.  He is a self-confessed obsessive, studying aerodynamics to produce his radical 'tuck' and then 'superman' sitting positions, and the biology of gas exchange to devise a new breathing method.

There's no British Cycling velodrome or team of sports scientists helping.  It's Graeme in his kitchen cooking up a new bike.  His is a superb tale, captured in the book:  The Flying Scotsman: The Graeme Obree Story.  There's also a Kindle version here.

Here's Graeme's website.  There's also an interview by Nigel Brown on which the video below appears.

Fantastic Weather Kayaking Raasay & Rona

On Tuesday and Wednesday just gone we kayaked around Raasay and Rona.  The top end of Rona was rather lively, with swell and a northerly wind, but most of hte trip was just gorgeous weather.  

As this goes live I'm on my way to Spain to film for Triple Echo Productions and the  The Adventure Show where I doubt we'll get better conditons.  

If the weather holds, and it should, then this weekend's Mid-West Symposium organised by KariTek will be fantastic. There are a few places left - so if you're suffering in the rain soaked south - head north west!


Video - Puffins on the Treshnish Islands

We try to kayak across to the Treshnish Islands off the Isle of Mull, Scotland in April to see the puffins building their nests in rabbit burrows on Lunga Mor.  I shot this on Liz's stills camera and previously posted some photos here.