Mandy Charlton - Photographer, Writer, Blogger

Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Monday, November 15, 2021

Family Safety: Tips for Keeping Your Car in Top Shape

Family Safety: Tips for Keeping Your Car in Top Shape

Being a parent is hard already – being a parent who has unwittingly caused an injury to their child is even more so. Make sure you keep your whole family safe on the UK's roads with the following tips to keep your car in top shape. Simple steps of caring for your vehicle go a long way and keep you and your family protected when you are out on the road. Pampering your car is definitely going to pay back and improve your car's performance.

Maintain It

Regular maintenance is the key to keeping any piece of machinery running smoothly, and your car is no different. Write up a system of checks on your vehicle, from the most cursory visual inspections to more detailed torch and touch checks (when you run your fingertips over the whole vehicle, feeling for distortions or blemishes, and use a torch to check the underside of the car and closely inspect the tyres) and adhere to it stringently.

Service It

Most vehicle manufacturers have a recommended service schedule which can be found in your instruction manual or online, on the manufacturer's website. Making sure your car is serviced regularly is another form of a maintenance schedule, albeit more intensive one, looking more deeply into your engine than you would be able to do.


Any vehicle in the UK must have an MOT once it is three years old, and annually thereafter. The only exception is Ireland where cars are four before their first MOT. An MOT is a check of roadworthiness, designed to make sure that your vehicle is visible to other road users, can be safely controlled by you, even in the event of an emergency (so you can move to the side of the road and stop, then activating your hazard lights, for example), and that you have a clear view of the road, its environs and everyone in the vicinity. Making sure your MOT certificate is up to date is a great way to ensure that your family stays safe on the roads. If you are looking for an MOT in London or nearby, why not try Iverson Tyres – call them now on 020 8566 4666.

Plan Ahead

It is seldom a good idea to barrel into a route without some forethought and planning, especially if it is going to be a long drive. Plan your route, making sure there are rest stops and hotel breaks along the way, and also ensuring that the roads you will be using are well-maintained and will not cause damage to your car.

Drive Defensively

Finally, learn to drive defensively, actively looking out for hazards and being aware of all the other road users at all times. This might sound strenuous, but you adapt to it surprisingly quickly and fairly soon you will drive defensively as a matter of course, keeping your family safe on the roads and doing your bit towards looking after other families too!


Monday, November 08, 2021

11 gifts your friends will thank you for this Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching and so you'll be glad to hear that I have suggestions for 11 gifts your friends will thank you for this Christmas.  You see, this year, more than ever I'm consciously gifting, I'm making, I'm buying vintage and I'm only buying things for my friends that I know they'll love and want.  I've been listening out for their cues all year and now I'm happy to reveal this year's 2021 Christmas gift guide.

1. For your David Bowie loving friends check out these gorgeous prints from Ink and Drop.  Two of my oldest and dearest friends are massive Bowie fans and I'm not much further behind, I adore "We could be Heroes and I thought these two prints could be framed and go on the wall in my office/creative studio.

2. From the Wizarding World of Harry Potter comes this amazing enamel pin, Looby collects pin badges and loves Harry Potter, as does Abigail so there may be a fight between my two young adult daughters as to who gets this in their Christmas stocking on Christmas morning.

3. My friend Rachel adores peacocks and she doesn't mind a glass of champagne either so these beautiful midnight peacock design champagne flutes from Artland would be perfect for her, they're electro-plated and absolutely stunning.

4.  My daughter Abigail, lives, breathes and does not function without copious amounts of caffeine and so the worlds strongest coffee from Black Insomnia is going to ensure she is wide awake for quite some time to come.

5. My lovely friend Robyn loves to journal, in fact, she's got 2 crates of notebooks, it's definitely her thing!!  Good sleep is paramount for optimum mental health and so this end of day wellness journal from Echor is going to ensure that she can clear her mind every night before she goes to sleep ensuring only the most refreshing slumber.
6. I have loved After the Rain perfume from Arran, sense of Scotland for as long as I can remember and you know that the best gifts are the ones we give ourselves so this one is going under the tree just for me, everything Arran make is inspired by their surroundings and as you know, Scotland is my happy place so it's the perfect self-gifting opportunity for me.

7. My friend Steph, is adventure Steph, she loves a challenge and often takes herself off for the biggest, longest hikes, in fact, the longest walk I've ever done without stopping was with Steph last year when we walked to the pedestrian Tyne Tunnel during the winter lockdown.  I am sure that she's going to love this Kleen Kanteen 16oz insulated TKWide bottle which keeps drinks hot for 14 hours and cold for up to 47 hours, perfect for new year adventures in the hills.

8. I have been a convert to CBD products for a few years now and I always wonder why my anxiety is so much worse when I'm not taking them so when Alphagreen who I worked with on my 2020 gift guide got in touch about their own brand of CBD gummies and CBD oil, it's fair to say I didn't even pause, I just said yes.  I'm not a doctor and I can only speak for me personally but they really do help with my anxiety.

9. I couldn't forget Carter (who I still call Baby Carter even though he's approaching 6 years old) and inclusivity is incredibly important to me so I know that he's going to absolutely adore this selection of children's books from Little Box of Books.  I know that mum Stacey will also love this as she's on a mission to make sure that Carter grows up fully rounded and accepting of all human beings and really, she's doing such a great job.  We need more Carter's in the world.

10.  My daughter Abigail is allergic to all dairy and so when Buttermilk got in touch I knew I had to feature their brand new plant-based chocolate treats, dairy-free treats which still taste absolutely amazing, it's Christmas, we should definitely be able to indulge whether we're dairy-free, vegan or just regular old chocoholics.

11. It's Christmas and we cannot forget our beloved pets, so treats and tasty nibbles, as well as fun pet toys, arrived from Webbox for Holly Bobbins, Iris and little Maggie Pie and I know that they'll love them all, I also like that each product indicates if it's suitable for puppies or kittens.

I'd like to thank all of the participants in this year's Christmas gift guide, it's possibly my smallest guide that I've ever put out but it's also my most conscious, there's nothing here that won't be loved, used or indeed gifted and none of this would have happened without the companies who've gifted me the products wanting to be involved.  I hope that it's given you some inspiration and I hope that you have the merriest Christmas ever.


Monday, October 11, 2021

What happens when you go viral on TikTok?

You may have noticed that I have not been blogging lately and honestly, it's mostly down to TikTok.  For all of the love I have for social media, nothing has been so impactful as TikTok and as I've recently gone viral I thought I would share what actually happens when you go viral on TikTok.

I started doing TikTok for fun during the winter lockdown, I shared the walks that I was doing and my aim was to get to 1000 followers.  Within a month I accidentally had a semi-viral post of my pets being ridiculous and I started to get a few more followers, I then had a gradual build until I posted about some money-saving travel hacks and that got me to around 7000 followers, it was lovely and slow and steady and then suddenly I found my feet.

If you want to be successful on social media you need to add value or entertain, teaching people to do things in one minute or less seemed to me like a challenge and as I make things for Christmas every year I thought I would share the process.  I made a few videos that had some good views and I could see myself reaching 10,000 followers and being able to join the creator fund.  Then I posted a 1-minute Tiktok documenting myself making Rhubarb gin and everything changed.

Mandy your tiktok mum makes cinder toffee, mandy charlton photographer, writer, blogger

Since I posted that TikTok on the 22nd of September my follower count has risen from just over 8k to just over 40k and that one TikTok has reached over 465000 people, let's just think about how many people that would be in real life?!!  It's not only brought me followers but it's made me the loveliest community, a community of people who love making things, who love gin and who adore Christmas.  It is the best community and if you fancy joining me I'm Mandyyourtiktokmum I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up the content ideas but honestly, the internet is so full of things you can make that I can't see me running out of ideas anytime soon.

Has it changed my life or lead to my business going viral and selling out?  No, honestly, it hasn't but I use TikTok not to push my businesses but because I've always wanted to be a creator, I love making things and I love creating content.  I do have some added extras on my profile like my shop is connected in my profile through Shopify and yes, I definitely get sales that way but I would never encourage anyone to go viral on TikTok with the expectation that it's going to skyrocket their business.  It might do in certain circumstances and it really depends on what your TT that goes viral is all about.  

In the future I'd love to teach people how to make things, it's where I began all those years ago working in the craft industry.  Abi moves out at the end of this week and I'm turning that room into my craft room.  I plan to make things not just for me but also for Philomena's Boutique I've bought a Cricut, and I have managed to get my hands on a second-hand dye-sublimation printer and my next work purchase is going to be a mug press and T-Shirt/Bag press.  I can't wait to be more creative, especially as the winter is coming and my Jan-March calendar is never all that busy.

Am I worried that in January people will stop watching my content?  Not really because I'm building up a community that is all about making (and gin) and we can make things together all year round.  Handmade things aren't just for Christmas.  Plus I know how to add value in so many areas, I have been practising for this moment for years on other forms of social media, it's just how I happened to have found my people on TikTok.

Between various forms of social media and my blog I can reach way over 100k people a month, in fact, the last month alone on TikTok I've reached around 1 million people in total and we're only just at the start of video content, this is only going to keep growing over the years and I am there for it, I love it all!!

Do I get trolled?  Yes, occasionally, it's the curse of social media but I just block and delete, I'm pretty laid back when it comes to such things and I have the most supportive group of cheerleading friends who are all there behind me to keep me grounded and remind me that I am enough.

So if you're missing my daily updates you can find me on TikTok and I promise to still try and find the time to write, it didn't help that I shot 5 weddings in the space of 2 weeks and I've only just come out of the editing hole I was in for a month!!  Life moves pretty fast, I heard that somewhere...


Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Therapy is Necessary

Therapy is Necessary, mandy charlton photographer, writer, blogger, mental health, autism, bipolar disorder

This is a collaborative post in association with Psymplicity

Therapy is Necessary

Therapy is important to make sure you can live your life as well as possible, whether you’re trying to overcome the stress of daily life or you’re hoping to overcome an addiction or mental illness. But despite the benefits of therapy, many people avoid it for one reason or another. Perhaps they feel embarrassed to admit they need help, or maybe they don’t want to spend the money on it. 

Why Therapy Is Necessary

Therapists aren’t just there to tell you that everything is going to be okay. Therapy can, and often does, help us through difficult periods in our lives when we need a guiding hand and a shoulder to lean on. Therapy isn’t just for those who have major issues in their lives: everyone has problems and challenges, and therapy can provide solutions where self-help books fall short. The benefits of seeing a therapist include:

Learn new coping skills -- In some cases, people turn to unhealthy habits as a way of coping with stress or traumatic events. When individuals have nowhere else to turn but themselves, these destructive behaviours may become worse without intervention from professionals with specialised training. Learning more productive ways of dealing with emotions and stressors not only promotes healthier habits but can also lead to a higher quality of life overall.

My experience with autism and bipolar disorder

I was diagnosed with both autism and bipolar disorder in my late 20s. I’ve worked hard to manage these diagnoses, but nothing beats therapy. Both conditions are chronic, so you need someone who can help you deal with the long-term. A combination of periods of therapy and good mental health medication has helped to keep the worst symptoms of bipolar at bay and helped me to learn to appreciate my technicolour neurodiverse mind.  

If you’re dealing with something similar or know somebody who is, it would be a good idea to see a counsellor. Therapy isn’t just about supporting your current mental health—it’s also about building resilience against future problems. As we age, our brains change physically and cognitively, so it makes sense that we should constantly reevaluate our self-care routines as well. Everyone needs guidance and support when they're in crisis or facing significant stressors (like losing a job). If we don't take care of ourselves mentally and emotionally we're likely going to end up mentally ill; there's no guarantee that even if you think like somebody without an illness that one won't pop up because of environmental factors such as poverty or an abusive relationship.

How to Choose a Therapist

The first step in getting therapy is choosing a therapist. It’s not as hard as you might think, but there are still some things to consider when looking into private psychiatry. How long has your prospective therapist been practising? Is he or she licensed and insured? A good rule of thumb: Don’t work with someone who isn’t qualified to do so. 

What Should I Expect From Therapy?

Your therapist isn’t there to give you advice but will encourage you to do your own deep thinking about how you can get what you want out of life. Your therapist will help you better understand yourself, other people and different types of relationships. If something in your life doesn’t feel right, therapy can be a safe place to look at why that might be so.

My life now

My life now is stable and good, I get to be creative every single day and my neurodiverse brain is content with life, I have best friends who love me for who I am and appreciate that my honesty will never let them doubt how I feel about them, the world and everything.  Not every day is plain sailing and I realise that I see the world very different from your average neurotypical person but I'm happier now than I have ever been and long may that continue!


The Big Change, Scary but Inevitable

Philomena's Christmas Boutique, Christmas gift shop, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

The big change...

Change is scary but it's not something I'm scared of, I'm not scared to ask for help, I used to feel ashamed when I had to ask for help, when I didn't understand why something was happening or when something was wrong but I couldn't fix it myself.  I have learned that shame is a very personal thing, we own it, it's ours, we actually do not need to respond to it, just acknowledge that it is there.  

Just lately at Philomena's Boutique, things have not been going so well, I actually thought I was just going to close the boutique because despite all of our efforts we didn't reach our next funding target,  we're still 10% away but we did get a lot of sales during a clearance that meant we could start planning for our future. I refuse to give up just yet and though the boutique has been valued at a decent sum of money, I wanted to get it to 2 years before I even consider selling it.  The boutique was set up in such unique circumstances that maybe it isn't a forever business, maybe it was my saviour when I couldn't work as a photographer and that's okay, everything that comes into our lives is for a reason or a season.

There are a couple of things happening, big decisions I've taken, full of love and positivity for the future -

Philomena's Christmas Boutique 

The boutique is becoming Philomena's Christmas Boutique and we'll be selling everything for the festive home plus gorgeous gifts you might just want to keep for yourself, in fact, I've already placed an order with the jewellery company we used before and we have some fantastic things on the way.  No one knows and loves Christmas like I do, Christmas has been at the very centre of my calendar for many years and it's well known that I try to out Christmas myself every single year.  I throw a grand party for all of my closest friends and because we couldn't hold one last year, this year's promises to be better and bigger than ever.

My love of colour is eternal and working on my Colour My World project actively over the next 2 years  I'll be promoting the Colour my World collection through the Colour My World page but they'll still be sold on the boutique site because I can't bear to make another website, I have way too many as it is.

When we do get our new stock at Philomena's Boutique we'll be a lot like TK Maxx or Homesense, we may only get 1, 3, 6 of each product and once they're gone we can't promise to get them back against if you see something you love, you'll need to grab it immediately as we won't be holding loads of stock. We haven't yet worked out how often we'll do a restock as it depends on a few things but we'll hopefully get new things at least once a month.

Photography is back!!!

I am working more as a photographer than I was previously, I have a real love for wedding photography and I'm really good at what I do. It's amazing to be working properly again so it's all a bit of a juggle but Looby will be running the boutique mostly and I am even getting Abigail involved where possible as a way of supporting them both through further education. I'll continue to do all of the social media and the admin but with any luck, it's all going to work well.  Looby was already doing all of the orders herself anyway as her way of paying for the stabling for Sil, her horse so she's totally capable and way better at wrapping orders than I ever am!

It's probable that we may close the boutique in January for a little snooze once the usual end of season sale is done and when we come back is the big question. To me being happy is everything and so I'll just keep working towards freedom and happiness which go hand in hand.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you. I will be giving away a £100 gift certificate to celebrate when we do reach our funding target which hopefully won't be too much longer, especially with all of the things on the way like vegan chocolate, beautiful eco-friendly jewellery, gorgeous Christmas decorations and things to make your home smell yummy and seasonal.  The future is much brighter than I imagined it would be this time last month so I hope you'll stick with us as we continue to rebuild what covid took away.

Ways to support my writing

If you have enjoyed this article or found it useful and would like to support my writing I'd love a virtual coffee

I also have a lovely Facebook group I'd love you to come and join 

You could also come and follow me on Instagram or  keep up with my adventures, I really am grateful for all

of your love and support.

Oh and of course, you could just treat yourself to something lovely from Philomena's Boutique, my gift boutique

which is diverse, sustainable and totally lush!


Monday, August 16, 2021

Colour My World, an Artistic Project

Colour My World - A life lived in colour is a life made better.

Sunset colourful Newcastle Street, Colour My World, Mandy Charlton, Photographer

Colour is everywhere and I don't know if it's just me but I am noticing it more and more since the end of lockdown, it's like the world is on a mission to fill itself with the most colourful places and even the street art seems brighter and more vibrant than it ever was before.  Even the smallest of cafes have decorated their tiny yards to be bright, colourful havens from the world and I for one plan to celebrate that.

Over the next 2 years, I plan to create and curate my first exhibition entitled "Colour My World" and I've already started to create the work for it.  I have lived a colourful life my entire life but even more so since I became single 7 years ago.  I am currently in the process of applying for a grant from the arts council so things are getting very real but in as much as I can self-support to a certain extent, things are still incredibly financially tricky due to covid and its after-effects.

For years I have collected images of bright happy places, amazing colourful street art and I've also turned my house into my own explosion of colour, my kitchen is yellow, blue and pink.  I've even changed the boutique to sell only the most colourful of things, the monochrome collection is an exception as black and white are also colours.

Colour to me, means happiness and I think if you are surrounded by colour it makes you happier in your heart.  I'd love to look at the effect of colours in the environment and I think it's amazing how we have fully embraced today's art by decorating buildings and walls everywhere.

Can you help by nominating your favourite colourful place?

Whilst I have already collected quite a few images I'm also on the lookout for more so if you have a colourful spot near you, a cool cafe with an awesome back garden or you know of a great floral entrance please do get in touch.  I'd also love to get this project published one day so although I could go down the self-publishing route if you're reading this and you are a photographers agent or a publisher please let's have a chat!

Being an autistic neurodiverse person it's blatantly obvious that I see the world in a completely different way to the neurotypical but that's what makes this such a magical project, I get to share how I see the world in my own unique way to the world en masse.  It's an amazing opportunity to show how magical the world is when you are neurodiverse and for all being autistic does have its challenges, it's also my greatest creative superpower.

I'm on a mission to change my life over the next 2 years and this is the main part of it, to finally be taken seriously as an artist, I just want to leave my mark on the world, it's a hilarious ambition to have a blue plaque and I'll never find out if I achieve it as you only get them when you're dead!!

Colour my world club, a monthly art card subscription from mandy charlton, photographer and artist

Hop on board, join me on my adventures 

If you hop on board this journey with you can get a monthly art postcard for your wall or to gift to a friend, any mail that isn't a bill is most definitely happy mail and colourful art to brighten the walls is never a bad thing, you will also be supporting an artist on a quest to change her entire life in the next 2 years.  Not only will you get beautiful art for your walls, you'll also get exclusive content as well as the story behind each image for £3 a month, you can't even buy a coffee with that these days.

Ways to support my writing

If you have enjoyed this article or found it useful and would like to support my writing I'd love a virtual coffee
I also have a lovely Facebook group I'd love you to come and join 
You could also come and follow me on Instagram or  TikTok keep up with my adventures, I really am grateful for all
of your love and support.
Oh and of course, you could just treat yourself to something lovely from Philomena's Boutique, my gift boutique
which is diverse, sustainable and totally lush!


Thursday, August 12, 2021

2 years to change my life - Part 1

2 years to change my life.

A few weeks ago I had the sudden realisation that I wanted to change my life for the better, I'd had a sit down meeting with my doctor where she'd ordered me to lose weight and it really shook me up, first of all, I became an unintentional influencer on the subject of weight stigma on TikTok! Around the same time I realised the boutique was no longer working as it had been, its purpose was to get me through the lockdowns but as we are opening up and shops are open all the time again, it's really deflected from online shopping for small businesses. We will get it back again in the autumn however but something needed to change.
2 years to change my life, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

Here's my plan to change my life completely over the next 2 years -

1. I want to change my health and fitness for the better, I've already lost half a stone over the last month and I can walk up Dean Street in Newcastle without getting out of breath. I've just signed up to walk a virtual NC500 so 800km, I've given myself 90 days to do it but want to do it quicker, I just didn't want to put too much pressure on myself. I also want to state that your weight does not equal your self-worth and I'm doing this for holistic self-improvement.
2. I want to make money selling my art and turn this into my main stream of income. I've committed to trying to shoot 30 weddings (if I can get the bookings) in 2022 which should give me some savings to help achieve this. I'm also keeping Philomena's Boutique and I'm selling brightly coloured things to help people live a life of glorious technicolour. I find it incredibly easy to get enthusiastic about colour as I've lived a colourful life forever and even more so since I've been single, I love colour and I think if you're constantly surrounded by it, it makes you a happier person.
3. I have ditched all of the dating apps, I am so happy in myself, probably happier than I have ever been and if I am going to meet someone, I want it to happen organically so I'm leaving it up to the universe. Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, they never really sat comfortably with me anyway, I am older and old school I reckon. All I want to do is see someone and they see me and we like each other and we go on a date, I don't think that's too much to ask for.

Fine art print London is Pride by Mandy Charlton, photographer

4. I want to travel with my camera more often looking for the most colourful places in the country (and possibly the globe eventually). Doing this really does depend on if I can sell my art from my first collection. If other people love my art then I'll know I am on the right path but I feel it in my bones that there are others just waiting to fill their walls with gloriously technicoloured fine art photographic prints.
So far, I have social media, I have my I have my websites and I have my blog so between those it's got to be possible to make a proper income again and that's why I'm doing this now, I've come out of the pandemic with not much more than I had in 2007 when I started my first business. I've nothing to lose really and as I'm going to be 50 in just over 2 years it's really very much a case of "if not now, when?" I've also started a monthly subscription through my coffee account where you get postcards of my art every month for just £3, it's all part of the grand plan to support myself through art and photography.
I don't want to seem entitled and I'm not asking for anything but I firmly believe that if I make one small change every day that puts me on the path to where I want to be then I'll get there and if I can help and inspire other people in my life stage then that's a bonus.
The last 18 months have for the most part been absolutely bloody horrible but I have worked on myself so much and I believe I'm a wholly better more intuitive, more stable and all-around calmer nicer person than I have ever been. I don't think I've got a single toxic person in my life now and I guess shedding the last of those was where my grand plan began because if you choose to surround yourself with only positive people you can achieve anything!

If you have enjoyed this article or found it useful and would like to support my writing I'd love a virtual coffee
I also have a lovely Facebook group I'd love you to come and join 
You could also come and follow me on Instagram 
Oh and of course, you could just treat yourself to something lovely from Philomena's Boutique, my gift boutique
which is diverse, sustainable and totally lush!

Monday, July 12, 2021

10 Interesting Facts about Scotland You Might not Know

10 interesting facts about scotland you might not know, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

Scotland is a mythical and wonderful place, I've been going there as often as possible collecting all kinds of interesting information so here without further ado are 10 interesting facts about Scotland you might not know.

  1. On Inchconnan Island, which lies in the middle of Loch Lomond you'll find a colony of approximately 70 red-necked wallabies.  They were introduced by Lady Arran Colquhoun in the 1940s after she'd holidayed in Australia and fell in love with them.  She later died but the wallabies remained and there's said to be around 70 of them living on the small island.  Interestingly the island was put up for sale last July for £500,000 on the condition that you would have to have wallabies as your neighbours and you know what?  I am completely on board with that.
  2. There are no toll bridges in the whole of Scotland thanks to the people of the Isle of Skye. In 1995 a bridge was built connecting Skye to the mainland, previously you had to get the ferry from the Kyle of Lochalsh to Kyleakin. When the bridge was erected the toll charge to recoup the building costs were ridiculously high, even for the residents so they stopped paying, they staged protests, some of them went to jail and they took their fight right to the supreme court and in 2004, the toll charge was abolished and later in 2008, the whole of Scotland abolished tolls thanks to the amazing people of Skye.
  3. Doune Castle may be more recognisable as Castle Leoch, the head of Clan Mackenzie in Outlander but it was also used in the pilot episode of Game of Thrones as Winterfell.  In the Game of Thrones people wanted to use Scotland for the entire series but the Scottish government at the time wanted to charge them.  Meanwhile the Irish stepped in, offered them substantial tax breaks and so off they went to use the Republic of Ireland instead.
  4. Whilst we're on the subject of Game of Thrones, inspiration for the Red Wedding came from the massacres that happened in Glencoe, if you want to read about that horrific incident there's an article here that makes for better reading than I can fit into one small paragraph.
  5. If you're a Harry Potter fan you'll know that a lot of the locations are filmed in the north of England and also in Scotland, in fact, Hagrid's hut nearly remained in part it was built at in the West Highlands but the locals, (not wanting to have millions of visitors to a fake movie set hut) demanded that it was taken down after the filming.
  6. Just below Oban on the west coast of Scotland lie the silver sands of Morar, the sand comes from the Caribbean due to the jet stream and the temperatures notwithstanding, it's easy to believe you're in a much more tropical location.
  7. Although Scotland is most famous for its whisky, they also produce around 80% of the gin consumed in the whole of the UK.  Whisky takes years to distil whereas you can make a bottle of gin in a few hours and so the Scottish have turned their hands to craft gin, my favourite gin is Theodore Pictish Gin, produced in the Highlands and with distinct notes of grapefruit, it's yummy!
  8. Orkney is home to the shortest flight in the world at 2 minutes long, the flight from Westray to Papa Westray definitely doesn't have time for the duty-free trolley to make it down the aisle.
  9. The first-ever international football game was played at Partick in Scotland and who was it between?  Well, Scotland and England of course.
  10. The world's first colour photograph was taken in Scotland in 1861 by Thomas Sutton, it was a photograph of a tartan ribbon.

    If you have enjoyed this article or found it useful and would like to support my writing I'd love a virtual coffee
    I also have a lovely Facebook group I'd love you to come and join 
    You could also come and follow me on Instagram 
    Oh and of course, you could just treat yourself to something lovely from Philomena's Boutique, my gift boutique
    which is diverse, sustainable and totally lush!

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