More than a Highland fling: making wedding rings on a romantic Scottish holiday

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A beautifully decorated bothy amid ancient pinewoods in the Caledonian Forest is the setting for a relaxing creative break

Blanketed by snow, the forest is almost silent, with only the muffled crunch of boots, my frosty exhale and the occasional creak of laden branches. Low sunlight dazzles, glinting off curls of silver birch bark and branches festooned with lichen like forgotten tinsel. Ahead of us on the trail there are footprints of roe deer and red squirrel. This is Abernethy Forest, at 4,000 hectares the largest remaining section of the great Caledonian Forest that once covered much of Scotland. It’s worlds away from the monoculture of sitka spruce plantations and a balm to this urban dweller’s soul.

My partner, Euan, and I are staying on the edge of the woods in Arbor Bothy, a cabin for two in the village of Nethy Bridge. We’ve come to escape the city for a few nights, but our trip is more than a simple weekend away. The owners of the bothy, Amy and Graham Niven, a goldsmith and a photographer, offer creative workshops, and we’re here to make our wedding rings (and not from a twist of silver birch).

Amy and Graham loved holidaying in Nethy Bridge as children, and became year-round residents in 2019 shortly after starting a family. The property they found allowed them to have their own studio and had a bothy, a small dwelling for visitors, in the garden.

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