A last minute stay in the Scottish Borders proved to be the perfect escape before school starts.
At the weekend the Sketcher Clan took a camping break to a favourite campsite; Ruberslaw in the Scottish Borders. Just an hour and a half away in the car, the stunning location sits between Hawick and Jedburgh in the heart of the rolling border hills.
Although we had meant to be there for three nights we stayed for two and a wonderful three days in the country, disconnected from our gadgets. The above sketch is of their beautiful glass house which sits within a walled garden.
James and Zoe had a great time playing into the dark with children on the campsite, including what looked like a toasted marshmallow eating tent crawl !
It was my mistake about the length of stay, I had mistakenly thought the schools in Edinburgh went back a day later than they actual did. The error did mean however that we could take our time packing up on the Tuesday morning and also fit in another walk up the hill to see the sheep and the ‘truly wild’ camping pitches (and safari tents) up in the woods.
Perhaps next time we will venture further from the comforts of the walled garden and communal hub!
Take a look at this family friendly campsite via their website HERE
We have visited Ruberlaw Wild Woods Camping before, back in 2016 and HERE is my post and sketches from then.
Christmas is my favourite time of the year and this time I enjoyed two full weeks away from the computer.
Although I couldn’t stop myself from sketching occasionally I did take the fortnight off to spend with family and friends and enjoyed the lack of screen time, returning in the second week of January refreshed and ready to plan my 2017.
Here are my sketchings from the time off, now scanned in and cleaned up for you to see.
I know Christmas already feels a long time ago but these are very happy memories for me, and only 10 months until we do it all again 😉
Filled with Christmas cards, family photos and happy memories. Our festive fireplace makes me happy 🙂
This is the Sketcher family fireplace, and looking at it makes me feel all Christmassy. I hope you are all having a lovely relaxed time with family and friends, or just enjoying some peace and quiet over the festive period and recharging the batteries for the new year to come.
As green spaces are turned orange with fallen leaves and the evenings are getting darker quicker, it is time once again to wrap up warm and head to Edinburgh’s Botanic gardens for a light show to amaze and stimulate.
After being out of the country for a week it was great to be back in Edinburgh and what better way to soak up the autumnal weather which greated us but with a walk around the Botanics. Usually a haven of peace and calm, for a short time every autumn the famous landscaped gardens are transformed into a trail of colour, sound, light and projection.
There are food and drinks carts to warm you as you walk – the marsh mallows, hot chocolate and mulled wine went down very well with the Sketcher Clan.
I captured a few of the sights in my sketch book but there was so much more to see, we all enjoyed changing the colour of the trees with little touch screens, and especially the water show on the duck pond which had all the crowd gasping and cheering.
Head along to see the event which runs to November 6th, it will put you in the cosy wintry mood for sure. Book via the links below, tickets cost around £7.50 to £15.00.
All sketches were made with black fine liner and a watercolour wash.
The past weekend the Sketcher Clan took a short break in the Borders to try out our new tent and found a beautiful little campsite hidden in the woods.
With twins who are five and a half Mrs Sketcher and I though it was a good time to invest in a family tent and introduce the kids to the wonderful world of camping.
Although not the sleeping on hard ground, crawling in and out of your tent, getting dressed without standing up camping that I knew as a boy, oh no. This was more like glamping to me – blow up beds and a 6 man tent with seperate rooms, that you can walk through without ducking once! The words ‘don’t know you’re born’ came to mind but I resisted.
We set off from Edinburgh after collecting the wee ones from school and were headed to a campsite near Berwick but unfortunately half way there we found out they had closed so had a slightly panicked internet search to find another one with space and our one must have – the freedom to light a fire.
This was more like glamping to me – blow up beds and a 6 man tent with seperate rooms
So after a slight detour we found our self at Ruberslaw Wild Woods Camping just outside Hawick.
We couldn’t of been more pleased, the site is partly within a walled garden, surrounded by trees and with cars kept to the very close car park it is perfect for kids to make friends and wander free. Plus we had our own fire pit sit around at night toasting marshmallows. Pure Bliss.
Hopefully autumn still has a few sunny weekends to come so if you can head along for a mini break before they close at the end of October.
At the weekend the Sketcher Twins and I soaked up some Summerhall magic.
The Edinburgh creative hub for the arts is home to studio and workshop spaces, and is situated close to the east end of the Meadows park in Edinburgh’s south side. It’s a favourite place for me, drop in for a coffee or bite to eat and there is always some interesting a new artwork or creativity to see.
From the 1st to the 8th of July the venue, and others around the city has been taken over by the Edinburgh International Magic Festival. I took the twins there on Sunday for the ‘Magic Fair Family Morning’ which ran on Saturday and Sunday.
The twins loved it … as did I
The entrance fee of £12 (under 7’s were free, children over 7 £7), got you 4 hours of access to various magic shows, magic related craft and even a mini magic school.
The twins loved it (as did I – the magicians were very funny) and combining the shows with the arts and crafts was a good way of breaking up the day and avoiding too much queuing or waiting around.
Although that particular session was only on for the weekend there are plenty of other shows to see before the finale on the 8th July. Click through the links below to find out more, and remember to book the Magic Fair Family Morning next year!
The sketch above was drawn from photos taken on the day, in black ink and watercolour.