West Hill House B&B

Category Archives: Global Travel

Spring in Boston

April 13, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Flower pots

Spring blooms in Boston

Last week we were in Boston. Having only one full day to discover the wonders of this great city was, of course, not nearly long enough however we set off early to do as much exploring as we could in the time available.  We passed shops and homes decked with window boxes of bright flowers and tubs of spring blossoms keeping watch at doorways.

We had a lovely walk in Boston Common which we learned is one of the oldest city parks in the United States, dating from 1634. The ponds and fountains were being cleaned up ready for fresh water and the park was looking resplendent in its garb of spring colors.

Spring leaves

Boston Common spring colors

Only early April but the temperature reached nearly 90° and after this winter, the people in Boston were more than ready be in the park enjoying the sun! Despite the high temperature we had fun exploring the city, walking the Freedom Trail and learning some American history as we went along. A cool drink and a lovely French pastry at a sidewalk café concluded our day of adventuring.

While we look forward to another visit to Boston, we are happy to be back at  our quiet mountainside B&B welcoming guests and enjoying our own garden’s signs of spring… our first daffodils popped into full bloom yesterday! West Hill House B&B, a perfect place to come and relax.

National Tartan Day – in Boston

April 7, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Peter in his MacLaren tartan kilt

Peter getting ready for Tartan Day

In 1998 National Tartan Day was officially recognized on a permanent basis when the U.S. Senate passed Global Scot, an organization that seeks to develop and expand Scotland’s standing in the global business community by utilising the talents of leading Scots, and of people with an affinity for Scotland, to establish a worldwide network of individuals who are outstanding in their field.

The occasion was very enjoyable and provided one of the rare opportunities for Peter to wear his kilt. It also transpired that the Consul is a Sugarbush skier so we are hoping to return the hospitality at West Hill House one of these days!

PAII Conference in Austin TX

March 11, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Nighttime BBQ in downtown Austin

BBQ in downtown Austin

PAII Conference in Austin, Texas

PAII Conference in Austin, Texas

We spent this week at the annual conference of PAII – the Professional Association of Innkeepers International – in Austin, TX learning about trends in the industry. We picked up a number of great ideas, we had a wonderful chance to network with other innkeepers around the country, and had some fun as well! Watch our ongoing blogs for updates…


January 10, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

In addition to telling almost everything we can think about regarding West Hill House and the surrounding area, our website also has some useful links to other travel information.

Check these out for information on other B&Bs around the US and Canada that we can personally recommend, and for information about Scotland.

Almost every guest at West Hill House asks Peter about planning a visit to Scotland, or reminisces about visits already made. If you are interested in Scotland the links provide a good intro to helpful information and photos, but come and stay with us to talk some more…

The photo is of the famous Loch Ness. Click on it to be transported to Scotland!

Scotland 2009

August 11, 2009 by Peter MacLaren

Rob Roy's cave

Rob Roy's cave

Crathie Castle

Crathie Castle

Dundee City Center

Dundee City Center

Falkland Palace Gardens

Falkland Palace Gardens

Falkirk Wheel profile

Falkirk Wheel profile

Falkirk Wheel rotating

Falkirk Wheel rotating

It is Homecoming Year in Scotland in 2009, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the famed poet Robert Burns who was born in 1759. We took our first holiday since opening the B&B and spent 10 days visiting in July, mainly to see friends and family, but also to do some exploring. Here are some highlights:

  • A boat trip on the north end of Loch Lomond out of Tarbet.  Most visitors to Scotland’s largest loch tour the south end which has its own beauty, but the north end is more fiord like and quite awe inspiring, particularly on a cloudy day when the hills tower into the dark sky. This is Rob Roy country!
  • Royal Deeside is always spectacular, with its gorgeous vistas and many restored castles to visit. We dropped in at Drum Castle and Crathie Castle, both run by the National Trust for Scotland.  The gardens at Crathie are quite spectacular.
  • A city we have not visited before is Dundee.  The whole center of the city is now a beautiful pedestrian area with a huge selection of shops, cafés and restaurants.  Well worth stopping and spending a couple of hours just walking around. The area is surrounded by lots of multi-story parking.
  • A hidden gem in Fife, just south of St Andrews which is where most people go, is Falkland.  The Falkland Palace which dates to Mary Queen of Scots time is well worth a visit – also National Trust – again with beautiful gardens and one of the few catholic chapels that survived the purges of the Scottish Reformation. The surprise was the gorgeous village itself.  Every building is immaculate and there are flowers everywhere. The village even has a huge parking area hidden out of sight on a side road, which is a plus as many small towns in Scotland have limited parking.
  • And the highlight of our visit this year was the Falkirk Wheel which is a rotating boat lift connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. It is named after the nearby town of Falkirk in central Scotland. The two canals were previously connected by a series of 11 locks.