|Loch Croispol Bookshop and Cafe (photo C Baird)|
A few miles from Cape Wrath, in the north western tip of mainland Britain, is the small settlement of Durness. It is famous for many things; spectacular beaches, Smoo Cave and a John Lennon Memorial. It is also home to one of most welcoming bookshops I have ever visited.
|North West Highlands Panorama (Photo C Baird)|
I first came to Durness in 2006 while on a tour of the Highlands. Then The Loch Croispol Bookshop and Cafe was nestled in the centre of the Balnakeil Craft Village. Even in summer cold winds bite hard up that end of the country and on that occasion, after a beach walk, sampling the cafe’s soup and hot chocolate was an essential before the serious business of browsing books began. I always planned to go back.
|Caravans and Cliffs (Photo C Baird)|
|(Photo C Baird)|
When I realized I would be holidaying in Ullapool (a mere seventy miles drive from Durness) I found my excuse. I phoned Kevin Crowe, the owner, and he was delighted to offer me an afternoon book signing slot. The store has now moved to a more prominent position by the craft village entrance. It is more spacious but has retained its cosy welcome. The extra space means more stock particularly in second hand books.
|Stunning (Photo C Baird)|
I spent a wonderful relaxed afternoon there, signing books, drinking delicious coffee served by Emily and Simon. And while the shop was quiet I delighted in my favorite pastime – browsing. I couldn’t resist buying a second hand Ladybird Book, a children’s picture book for my granddaughter and Carmina Gadelica, a book that has been on my wish list for a couple of years.
More signings like this please!
NB. If you have never visited this part of Scotland you are missing a true wilderness experience. Go soon before it too is covered in wind turbines