Welcome to The North Atlantic Arc. Since 1998, I have been traveling
to Scotland annually, with side trips to a number of other places in the North
Atlantic. It happens that most of these places lie along the route of the Viking
diaspora across the sea, with Norway as the eastern terminus of the Arc and the
Atlantic provinces of Canada at the western end. My purpose in creating this
site is to share with you the experiences I've had in the Celtic and Nordic
realms and their fringes. Below are the pages you can peruse here, each with a
summary of highlights. If you want to read all of the pages in more-or-less chronological order, you can follow
The North Atlantic Ring, which you will
find at the top and bottom of each page. Otherwise, after each page, return to The North Atlantic
Arc (this page) and link directly to the next page you want to read.
The photographs on this website are intended to be seen on a large screen, ideally your home desktop. A laptop or tablet will do, but if you're reading this on your phone, I suggest you put it aside until you have a chance to give it a proper look.
Your comments, questions, corrections, and suggestions are most welcome; please feel free to contact me at MrTattieHeid@aol.com.
MR TATTIE HEID
revised April 2011
revised July 2016
Iceland 1999 ~ Shetland 2000 ~ Faroe Islands 2001 ~ Ireland 2002
October In Orkney 2002 ~ France 2003 ~ Norway 2004
MF2MoG 2005 ~ GG2BoB 2006 ~ SP2BoL 2007 ~ HW2IoE 2008
WoS2GV 2009 ~ HI2IoI 2010 ~ GF2RoI 2011 ~ GoStL2SotH 2012 BL2SN 2013 ~ YiS&IP 2014 ~ S2O 2015 ~ RTF 2016
Return To Fřroyar. Iceland, Faroe Islands, UK, Netherlands. Hey, finish up 2015, will you?
From Saguenay to Řresund. Part 1, Québec: Lake Champlain, Hero Islands, Richelieu River, Chambly, cidreries, Sorel ferry, Île d'Orléans, Sue, Marc, Charlevoix, Le Massif, Baie-St-Paul, Isle-aux-Coudres, Fjord Du Saguenay, Chicoutimi, Saguenay flood, fjord cruise, La Petite Maison Blanche, Lac St-Jean, Tadoussac, whale watch, north shore towns, Baie Comeau, ferry to Matane, Reford Gardens, Rimouski, Le Bic, the Empress of Ireland, Rivičre-du-Loup, south shore towns, ferry to Quebec City, the long drive home; plus seventeen (count 'em) seventeen brewpubs and many, many pints of beer.
Part two, Sweden, Denmark, Scotland, England, Iceland. Under construction.
A Year in Scotland and Incidental Passages. Chester, journals, Flight to Brussels, Bruges, Belgian beer, moules et frîtes, 't Brugs Bertje, De Garre, canal trip to Damme, gin joint, jazz bar, 't Poatersgat, canceled trip to France, train to Amsterdam, Café 't Smalle, Gollem's Proeflokaal, hat search, Vondelpark, ferry to Newcastle, Seahouses, the Olde Ship, beach walking, Warkworth, Church Hill, Alnmouth Beer Festival, rain day, shopping in Edinburgh, Stirling, Cambuskenneth Abbey, the Portcullis, Stirling Bridge, Wallace Monument, Stirling Castle. Ron arrives; Firth of Clyde, Inveraray, Glen Coe, Plockton session, Calum's seal trip, Raasay, Brochel Castle, Screapadal, Calum's Road, Old Man of Storr, the Quirang, ferry to Harris, Tarbert, Harris tweed, Rodel, Harris beaches, MacLeod's Stone, Lewis, Stornoway, Tolsta, the Bridge to Nowhere, Lord Leverhulme, Dun Carloway, Callanish, Uig Sands, Lewis chessmen, Abhainn Dearg, glimpse of St Kilda, Callanish again, Cross Inn, Skigersta, Ness, the Butt of Lewis, St Moluag's Church, the sea god Seonaidh, Steinacleit, Clach an Truiseil, the Iolaire, crossing to Ullapool, Kylesku Hotel, Sir John A Macdonald, Dornoch Castle Hotel, the Clootie Well, Fortrose, the Fairy Glen, the Anderson Hotel, Fort George, Dalmunach, Craigellachie, the Highlander, Gorm and Big Mac and Ian Logan, the Speyside Way to Aberlour, the Penny Brig, the new Quaich Bar, Cairngorms National Park, Braemar, Anstruther, Cellardyke, Anstruther Fish Bar, Crail, Queensferry, Forth Bridges, the Bow Bar, Willie and Bud Light and Gorm and Big Mac, the Cumberland Bar, a year in Scotland, hazy day in Edinburgh, Glasgow Botanical Gardens, Byres Road, Tennent's, Kelvingrove Park, Inn Deep, the Sanderling, flight to Iceland, Microbar, Nora Magasin, Dillon Whiskey Bar, National Museum of Iceland, suburban mini-mall, Hallgrímskirkja, Harpa, Ţufa, hot pink panties, Café Loki, flight home, ode to Chester.
From the Border Lands to Snćfellsnes. Boundaries, Icelandair, Edinburgh, Scotland Street, pub crawl, shopping day, Willie in the Bow, New Town ramble, the Stockbridge Tap, Musselburgh, Soutra Aisle, Kelso, the Cobbles, Kirk Yetholm, the Border Hotel, Town Yetholm, St Cuthbert's Way, Wideopen Hill, Morebattle, the Plough Hotel, Cocklawfoot, Dere Street, the Pennine Way, Chew Green, darkness and blisters, sandwiches at the Plough, three border crossings, the Kielder Water, Corbridge, a creepy B&B, the Angel Inn, lazy day at the Golden Lion, laundry in Hexham, Allendale, Allenheads Inn, Saturday night in Corbridge, Wall country, Morpeth, Newbiggin-by-the-sea, Alnwick, the John Bull, Barter Books, session at the Fleece, Alnmouth, the Sun, the Red Lion, Rothbury, the Armstrongs, Seahouses, the Olde Ship, the X18, a walk from Alnmouth to Low Newton-by-the-sea, the Black Swan, a walk to Bamburgh, the Lowther Hills, Moniaive, the Craigdarroch Arms, the George, Sanquhar, Wanlockhead, Glasgow, Byres Road, the Lismore, Brewdog, Inn Deep, Ňran Mór, Kelvingrove Park, Kelvingrove Gallery, Peter Gabriel, the Ubiquitous Chip, the Battlefield Band, Gourock-Dunoon ferry, Glen Coe, rain in Fort William, Plockton, Skye, Glen Brittle, Lochcarron, Bealach Na Bŕ, Lochcarron Hotel, Commando Memorial, more rain in Fort William, Glasgow, Tennents, the Red Sox win the Series, last pint in Scotland. Win meets me at Keflavik, West Fjords lost, Reykjavik, MicroBar, Iceland Airwaves, Cafe Babalú, Hallgrímskirkja, Maritime Museum, Harpa, Dillon Whiskey Bar, Ţingvellir, Vík, Halldórskaffi, glaciers and stuff, loads of scenery on the Ring Road, Jökulsárlón, Reynisfjall, Dyrhólaey, Hvalfjörđur Tunnel, Borgarnes, Snćfellsnes, Stykkishólmur, Kirkjufell, Saxhóll, Laugarbrekka, Guđríđur Ţorbjarnardóttir, Reykjavik again, farewell party, a lot of down days and way too many naps.
From the Gulf of St Lawrence to the Sea of the Hebrides. Part 1, Canada: Canadian reverie, the Airline Road, border improvements, Île Sainte-Croix, St Andrews-by-the-sea, the Algonquin, reversing falls, Saint John, the Acadian Princess, Digby, Brier Island, Joshua Slocum, Margaret Davis, Lavena's Catch Café, Balancing Rock, crossing Nova Scotia, Lunenburg, the Bluenose II, bumps, St John's Anglican Church, Ironworks Distillery, Burncoat Head, Pictou, the Hector, Myriad View Distillery, ferry to les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, an awkward start, Cap-aux-Meules, Belle-Anse, L'Étang-du-Nord, Ŕ l’Abri de la Tempęte, Aux Pas Perdus, Red Josée, Île du Havre aux Maisons, Dune-du-Sud, Île Boudreau, Grande-Entrée, Plage de la Grande Échouerie, Plage de la Pointe aux Loups, the Ivan Quinn, Ile d'Entrée, Big Hill, Craig Quinn, the Corfu Island, Île du Havre Aubert, La Grave, Café de la Grave, election night, Musée de la Mer, Pointe des Canots, Dune de l'Ouest, Bassin, ferry to PEI, East Point Light, Prince Edward Distillery, Charlottetown, Pilot House, Japanese girls, St Dunstan's Basilica, The Bookman, Port-la-Joye/Fort Amherst, Confederation Bridge, Cape Jourimain, Bayfield Cemetery, Baie Verte, Shy Ben, Sackville, Fort Beauséjour, Tantramar Marshes, Riverview, St Martins, Lubec.
Part 2, UK: Hexham Abbey, Hadrian's Wall, Seahouses, the Olde Ship, a long walk to Craster, missed taxi, Ketley Ridge, Duddo Stone Circle, Edinburgh, a literary pub tour, Calton Hill, Scott Monument, perpetual tramworks, Coda and Cadenhead's, Willie at the Bow, Win departs. Oban, Ferry to Coll, Coll Hotel, Hogh Bay and Ben Hogh, CalMac vs RSBP, Sorisdale, Důn Morbhaidh, Trŕigh Garbh, Breachacha Castles, Crossapol, Feall Bay, Arinagour, ferry to Tiree, Důn Mňr, two chapels, two hotels, the Tiree Wave Classic, Millton, the seal of disapproval, Balephuil Bay, MacLean's Cross, memory loss, fallen stones, a string of beaches, Kilkenneth Chapel, Oban again, memory regained, Eilean Donan at twilight, Plockton, Plockton Inn session, Skye, Elgol, Cill Chriosd, Suisnish, Boreraig, Ullapool, the Hector again, the Seaforth, Ardvreck Castle, Kylesku, ascent of Quinag, Sandwood Bay, Tongue, the Strathnaver Clearances, Grummore and Grumbeg, Rosal, Lairg, Bonar Bridge, Craigellachie, the Highlander, the Speyside Way, Aberlour, the ubiquitous Mr Telford. Amsterdam, Vondel Park, pub crawls, Hurricane Sandy, döner kebab, les pas perdus.
From the Great Fen to the Rhinns of Islay. Late tomatoes, blitz tour of Paris, Notre-Dame, St-Germain-des-Prés, Northampton, the Unthanks, Ely Cathedral, C57, the Fens, the Boston Stump, roomless in Lincoln, Lincoln Cathedral, Strugglers Inn, Lincoln Castle, Beverley, York, Brigantes, the Shambles, River Ouse, Wharram Percy, Hovingham, Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, Reeth reverie, Seahouses, breakfast at last, Beadnell, Low Newton-by-the-sea, Ship Inn, Olde Ship Hotel, Bamburgh Beach, Budle Bay, Edin's Hall Broch, Edinburgh, Bud Light, Bow Bar. Ron arrives, squalls at the Stockbridge Tap, Jolly Toper whisky tasting, Coda, Cadenhead's, Bow Bar, Tatsuye, Café Rouge, Irn Bru on the train, Good Spirits Company, Milngavie, Martin Carthy solo, the Singing Conductor, Glen Lyon, the Fortingall Yew, Fortingall Hotel, Kingussie, Craigellachie, Highlander Inn, Aberlour, Findhorn, Burghead, stalking Tatsuye in the Muckle Cross, Spynie Palace, Duffus Castle, dinner with Ian Logan, Lochcarron Spar, Lochcarron Bistro, Strome Castle, Plockton, Raasay, Dun Caan, The Creags, Dubh-Ŕird, session at the Plockton Inn, Mike's 50th birthday, Mallaig, Inverie, Old Forge, the Seven Men of Knoydart, Camusdarach, stranded in Oban, Oransay lost, Colonsay Hotel, Colonsay Brewery, two nights' bill, inaccessible Dun Eibhinn, Kiloran Bay, Dun Cholla, Port Charlotte Hotel session, Islay brewery, Bridgend cemetery, barnacle geese, Kilchiaran Chapel, Bruichladdich webcam, Finlaggan, Keills, An Tigh Seinnse, Knapdale, Keills Chapel, Tayvallich Inn, Ardfern, Galley of Lorne Inn, Loch Awe, return to Edinburgh, Deacon Brodie's Tavern, Willie in the Bow Bar, Ron departs. Calton Hill, Cadenhead's again, the Bow Bar again, Café Rouge again, Stockbridge Tap again, Portobello, Chricton Castle, Carter Bar, Hexham, one time too many at Wetherspoon's, Tap & Spile, lazy birthday, Novemberland, Warkworth, North Sea farewell, Hadrian's Wall, Amsterdam, multilingual dinner, Café 't Smalle, early blizzard and a week in the dark.
From Holy Island to the Isle of Iona. England, Scotland, and Amsterdam. Delayed start, Hexham, Hexham Abbey, Hadrian's Wall, Blanchland, Coldstream, Craster, Dunstanburgh, Lindisfarne, Flodden Field, Yetholm, Dere Street, Woden Law, Denholme, Jedburgh Abbey, Dryburgh Abbey, Smailholm Tower, Union Chain Bridge, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Coldingham Priory, St Abb's, Edinburgh. Scott and Win arrive: the Standing Order, Kathryn Tickell, Edinburgh Castle, St Giles Cathedral, Cadenhead's whisky shop, Win plays the pipes, Arthur's Seat, the Bow Bar, ferrying across Argyll, Tarbert, Kilmartin Glen, Inveraray, dinner at the George, Kilchurn Castle, Glen Coe, dolphins at Chanonry Point, the Anderson, Fortrose Cathedral, Urquhart Castle, Glenelg brochs, Kylerhea ferry, Plockton, Ben Tianavaig, Portree, the Quiraing, Plockton Inn session, Eilean Donan Castle, Beauly Priory, Craigellachie, Pennan, Gardenstown, Crovie, Aberlour, the River Spey, the Mash Tun, Huntly Castle, the Maiden Stone, Easter Aquhorthies Recumbent Stone Circle, Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, dinner with Andy at the Marine Hotel, Scott and Win depart. Collieston, Peterhead, Memsie Cairn, Fortrose again, Dornoch, Cŕrn Liath, Helmsdale, Wick, Pulteneytown, Pulteney Distillery, Camster Cairns, Wick Historical Museum, Castletown, St Mary's Chapel, Dounreay, Bettyhill, Strathnaver Museum, Farr Stone, Lochinver, the Caberfeidh, looking at Suilven, Ardvreck Castle, Kylesku, the road I had no business being on, Dun Dornaigil, Balnakiel, Plockton again, HMS Astute aground, the Haven Hotel, passed-out naked fat chick, Dubh-Ŕird, Camusdarroch, Acharacle, Mull, Calgary Bay, Fionnphort, Iona, Camus Cůl an-t-Saimh, Iona Abbey and Nunnery, St Columba Hotel, Matryrs Bay Pub, Lochbuie Stone Circle, Moy Castle, Tobermory, Tobermory Distillery, Park Lodge Hotel, Edinburgh, the Bow Bar, Dr Willie Jackson, folderol, Stockbridge Tap, layover in Amsterdam, and gallons upon gallons of Cullen skink.
From the Wick of Skaw to the Golden Valleys. Scotland and England. South Queensferry, the East Neuk of Fife, St Andrews, Stonehaven. Ron arrives; Huntly, Craigellachie, Glenglassaugh distillery, Portsoy, Rosemarkie, the Anderson, flight to Shetland, Jarlshof, Ness of Burgi, Lerwick, Culswick Broch, Staneydale Temple, Unst, Herma Ness, Muckle Flugga, the Wick of Skaw, Bordastubble Stone, St Olaf's Chapel, Muness Castle, Baltasound bus shelter, Yell, the White Wife, St Ninian's Isle, Quendale Mill, Croft House Museum, not Mousa again, Clickimin Broch, Shetland Museum, Esha Ness, Sullom Voe, Scalloway Castle, Trondra and the Burras, session at the Plockton Inn, the Old Man of Storr, Bodega, the long drive to Edinburgh, the Cambridge Bar, the Oxford Bar, the Bow Bar, the Cumberland Bar, Craigmillar Castle. Ron departs; Two Days of the Zombie, Bladnoch distillery, Isle of Whithorn, Logan Botanic Garden, the Mull of Galloway, Dave Broom, the Lake District, Hardknott Roman Fort, the Old Man of Coniston, the Peak District, Castleton, the Devil's Arse, Edale, Mam Tor, Stratford-upon-Avon, John Kirkpatrick, various Shakespeare sites, the Cotswolds, Chipping Campden, Banbury, the Battlefield Band, Rollright Stones, Moreton-in-Marsh, Stroud and (almost) the Golden Valleys, Cirencester, Uffington White Horse, Oxford, the Unthanks.
From Hadrian's Wall to the Isle of Ewe. England and Scotland. The Borders, Hexham, Allendale, Hadrian's Wall and associated Roman sites, Corbridge, Durham, Whitby, Robin Hood's Bay, Runswick Bay, Staithes, North York Moors, York, York Minster, Yorkshire Dales, the Battlefield Band in Reeth, the Tan Hill Inn, memories of Fremmie, Isle of Whithorn, Inveraray, Oban, Plockton, a walk in Skye, the brochs in Glenelg, Applecross, Shieldaig, the Loch Ewe Distillery at Drumchork Lodge, Achiltibuie, the Anderson, Glenmorangie distillery, Tarbat Discovery Centre, Craigellachie, Macallan and Glenfiddich distilleries, the Moray coast, Edinburgh, the Danes in the Bow Bar, Dunfermline, Linlithgow Palace, Rebus' Edinburgh, and many, many more abbeys than at which can be shaken a stick.
From Salisbury Plain to the Butt of Lewis. England, Wales, Scotland. Stonehenge, Silbury Hill, Avebury, Lacock, Salisbury, Salisbury Cathedral, Bamber in Bristol, Caerphilly Castle, Penderyn distillery, St Davids, Pentre Ifan, Llandudno, Anglesey, Holy Island, Din Lligwy, Caernarfon, Conwy, Chester, Yorkshire Dales, Dent, Castlerigg Stone Circle, Caerlaverock, Cairnholy, Isle of Whithorn, Inveraray, Knoydart, Talisker, Plockton, Kenny and Jill in Crieff, Edinburgh, Kenny and Nick in the Bow Bar. Ron arrives; the Vaults, Dunnottar Castle, Craigellachie, Gordon & MacPhail, Aberlour, distilleries with Ian Logan, Moray coast (including Pennan, Gardenstown, and Crovie), Parker's Whiskies. Bobby arrives; Loanhead of Daviot, Glenlivet with Ian Logan, the Anderson, Ullapool, Stornoway, Callanish, Carloway, Clach An Truiseil, the Butt of Lewis, Dun Eistean, Harris, MacLeod's Stone, Rodel, North Uist, the Westford Inn, Langass, Teampull na Trionaid, Barra, the Cockle Strand, Cille Bharra, Kisimul Castle, Oban, the Clachaig Inn, Bidean Nam Bian, Glasgow, Nick and Ian in the Pot Still.
From Gretna Green to the Brough of Birsay. Isle of Whithorn, Bladnoch distillery, the Mull of Galloway, Carlisle (England), Caerlaverock Castle, Cairnholy, the Machars, St Ninian’s Cave; then Ron joins me for Plockton, Talisker, Dun Beag, Applecross, Loch Ewe distillery, Ullapool, and a trip to Orkney: Orphir, the Tomb of the Eagles, the Italian Chapel, the Brough of Deerness, Kirkwall, St Magnus Cathedral, archeological sites along Rousay's West Westness Walk, the Broch of Gurness, The Bishop's Palace, Maes Howe, Stenness, Brodgar, Skara Brae, the Broch of Borwick, Stromness, Birsay, Yesnaby. Back on the mainland, Duncansby Head, Camster Cairns, Fortrose, Urquhart Castle, Craigellachie, the Speyside Cooperage, Aberlour distillery, Chivas Brothers international brand ambassador Ian Logan, the Highlander Inn, Glenlivet and several other distilleries, Edinburgh, Nick and Kenny at the Bow Bar, Royal Botanic Gardens, the Vaults (Scotch Malt Whisky Society). Ron departs and I visit Arran, the Goat Fell, Arran distillery, and Skipness Castle, before ending the trip with five days in Islay: Bowmore/Bruichladdich/Lagavulin distilleries, Port Charlotte Hotel, the Big Strand.
From Muckle Flugga to the Mull of Galloway. My first full trip diary, although the trip was cut short because of my father's death. Return trip to Shetland, then Craigellachie, Glenfarclas and Balvenie distilleries; then Ron and Bobby arrive for the Falkirk Wheel, the Antonine Wall, Edinburgh, encounters with Nick and Kenny, Doune Castle, the Clachaig Inn, ferry from Oban to Islay via Colonsay, Caol Ila/Jura/Laphroaig/Ardbeg/Bruichladdich distilleries, the Port Charlotte Hotel bar, Portnahaven, Finlaggan, Kilmartin Glen, Inveraray, and the Mull of Galloway.
Win joins me again for an unscheduled layover in Amsterdam, then Trondheim, the most beautiful ferry trip ever, Bergen, and points south and north.
To be constructed.
October In Orkney 2002
I intended this as a travel article, but never sold it. A week with Win, visiting Urquhart Castle, Ullapool, and points north on the Scottish mainland, then Wideford Hill, Sanday (and the original Mr Tattie Heid!), Kirkwall, the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, Maes Howe, Stromness, Hoy, the Brough of Birsay, Westray, Rousay, and the Italian Chapel.
To be constructed.
Faroe Islands 2001
Fřroyar is an archipelago lying roughly halfway between Shetland and Iceland. Torshavn, Klaksvik, and points between and around.
A photographic survey of my first trip to Shetland, including Culswick Broch, St Ninian's Isle, Lerwick, Scalloway, and Muckle Flugga.
Five days in the proverbial land of fire and ice. Reykjanes Peninsula, the Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik, Hvítserkur, Borgarvirki, Akureyri, Gođafoss, Dettifoss, the Arctic Circle (almost), back to Reykjavik, Gullfoss, and the geyser Strokkur.