North by train

It's a long time since I've made the journey to Aberdeen by train. The east coast line is one of my favourite railway journeys. I still associate it with the last stage of the long haul up the length of Britain, when I was a student travelling north from London or France. It was always my preferred mode of travel, for the slow re-possession of my country from the Sussex Downs up to the Howe of the Mearns. Perhaps for this reason I couldn't stop taking photos on my journey on Sunday. Above, the Forth Road Bridge seen from the Forth Rail Bridge. Note the snow on the hills, off to the right of the shot.

Below, a jellyfish cloud over Edinburgh airport.

One of the great joys of a winter journey is seeing the naked forms of trees against the horizon.

The mosaic has cut off a feature of the middle shot that I only noticed once I'd downloaded the photos. I guess these must be some sort of spreaders or tanks - slurry, perhaps? But they look for all the world like two giant bottles.

Farming on one side, and on the other the sea. These are the twin livelihoods of this part of Scotland.

Below - red hulls seemed to be in favour, whether for big or little boats. In the middle, the river Tay. I always have a slight frisson when crossing the Tay by the rail bridge, remembering the collapse of the previous bridge. A long time ago, but still...

For the most part this is rich agricultural land.

Near Aberdeen the land is poorer on the clifftops, and farm buildings are stark and utilitarian, exposed to every wind that blows.

And this is what they look out over - The North Sea.

At Aberdeen station my long northbound train on the right is mirrored by the London train on the left, almost ready to set off down the length of the country.

All was calm on my journey north last week. I'm writing this now on a day when Scotland is hit by storm force winds, and rail services on the east coast line have been suspended.

Thank you to Jacqui at The Barefoot Crofter for the technical tips on mosaics, none of which I would have figured out for myself.


  1. Just a couple of weeks ago I took the Aberdeen to Edinburgh train too... it's nice to see I'm not the only one who snaps photos on the way! I always love that trip... a little part of me looks forward to it as much as the rest of me looks forward to visiting Edinburgh.
    I think I tend to spend almost the whole time looking out to sea, so it's nice to come over here and get an idea of what's passing on the other side of the train!

    P.S. Those storm force winds are still going strong up here in Aberdeen tonight!

  2. It was nice taking the ride with you. : )
    I used to ride the train to Aberdeen but only from Montrose.

  3. Your day looked beautiful. I heard that scotland was being buffeted by huge winds and rain today!

  4. Some lovely shots and lovely clouds!!!

  5. Oh, I think I am finally getting it. Your trip south was to be your trip home, right? Your dad must live in Aberdeen. You can tell, I just don't have the geography of Scotland in my mind. I think I need to look at my globe, which is the only map I have of your country. It is all a bit sketchy still but I will figure it out eventually. I must say that I did enjoy the pictures you took on the way north.

    Hope your bad weather will be over soon. Still, winter has a long way to go yet, so I'm sure you will be experiencing it for some time yet. Maybe you will have a few breaks in the weather though. Let's hope so.

  6. That looks like a beautiful rail journey, I love your shots of it. I've rarely traveled by rail (my longest and most memorable rail journey was in South Korea and I'll have to post some scans of it one day), but I'd like to try it some more. I've looked out over the North Sea many times from Holland, and occasionally from Norfolk!

  7. Jodi, I always enjoy the journey, but this time I was somehow driven to take photos of just about everything along the way. I thought my camera battery would give out. I was slightly disappointed to find that my reserved seat was on the landward side, but it made me look more closely at that aspect for a change. There are many more photos I didn't post here!

    Happyone, I'd forgotten that you used to live in this part of the world. I wonder how much it's changed. Aberdeen has certainly expanded southwards.

    RedPat, yes, we've had a bit of weather over the past day and night. We have power, but a lot of homes are still without this morning.

    Darlene, that's right, I was visiting my Dad in the north. He lives 60 miles north west of Aberdeen. That 60 miles takes and hour and a half by a slow train. I had to change trains in Aberdeen and get the train for Inverness. I should post a Google map thingy to situate some of my posts - if I can work out how to do it!

    Al, I'd love to see your South Korea scans. Train travel is so much better than air travel for getting under the skin of a country.

  8. Thank you for sharing your beautiful trip with us :o)

  9. i have always loved train journeys, especially in the u.k. you are very fortunate to still be able to travel that way. i know it can be a bit expensive but it is such a lovely way to get somewhere. i enjoyed your trip out the window as you travelled north. it's wonderful to see the landscapes.

  10. thanks for sharing this train ride with us :) Hope the hard winds are away now ...
    And yes rhe teddy bear glow at night ;)

  11. What brilliant photos of that train ride! I never tire of it.

  12. I like the mosaics. Your journey was interesting and educational. I really enjoyed seeing the sights both by land and by sea.

  13. Linda, good morning
    Many thanks for so interesting tour in your wonderful country!!!
    Your photos are very nice!!!
    I and my husband, we offen travel by train!
    We like it!
    Many greetings


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