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School rulers

Back To School With Style

Back To School With Style


Caramel baby and child

Caramel baby and child

There is a definite chill in the air as we all gather our reserves and steel ourselves for the return to school. Saying goodbye to late breakfasts and carefree summer days and hello to routine can be a little dreary especially on those for whom the shorter days can take their toll. Here are my favourite little pics to cheer me up..

School rulers






Back to school

Caramel Boys

Caramel tights and socks

Cosy Tights And Socks




These are from one of my favourite brands, Caramel Baby And Child and the ever popular Etsy.




5 Activities For Kids When Holidaying In Scotland


Mackerel Fishing

5 Activities For Kids When Holidaying In Scotland

The end of the school holiday is upon us, the uniforms have been tried on and either replaced, handed down, debobbled or defluffed and our holiday to Oban is a distant memory. We had a typical mix of sunshine, rain and clouds ( I read somewhere that Scotland gets the most varied weather on earth, I think that is a blessing?) and we had our typical mix of activities including fishing, playing board games, splitting logs and walking Biba. This year we threw in a bow and arrow and that was a huge success with son no2, as well as the Highlands and Islands version of Monopoly which was a slight distraction for my daughter who was having to go cold turkey without wifi.


1. Archery



2. Monopoly

Although she did manage to persuade her dad to help her row over to the marina at the opposite end of the loch to gain access to their wifi but it was deserted…


3. Rowing

so he also helped her avoid pining for Snapchat by whizzing her around the garden on the quad bike…..


4. Quadbiking

and taking us all out mackerel fishing ( his favourite pastime).

Mackerel Fishing
5. Mackerel Fishing

So from all on The Hooded Towel team we wish everyone a fabulous new term and a great school year!

Outdoor swimming pool

Time And Tide Wait For No Man

No 3 Tarlair Outdoor Pool, Banff, Aberdeenshire

Outdoor swimming pool

Tarlair outdoor pool

Although this is a fairly depressing photograph of what was once a community meeting place, can you image how much it would have been used in the glorious summer we have just been experiencing if it was not in such a poor state of disrepair? This is the feeling of many residents of the nearby town of Macduff, known as Macduffers ( I want to move there just to be a Macduffer!) and also the Friends Of Tarlair, who were set up in 2012 to lead efforts to persuade the council of the merits of restoring this A listed complex and its beautiful surroundings.

The complex, which includes a swimming pool, art deco tea room and boating pond, was designed by John Miller, the architect, who was also the burgh surveyor for Macduff, he designed the pool’s outer wall to be fractionally below high-tide level, enabling waves to roll in over the edge, refilling it with clean sea water twice a day. The pool first opened in 1931 but due to the rise in cheap holidays abroad in the 70’s and health and safety concerns was forced to close its doors in 1995.

Last year, a range of options put forward by historic conservation experts Addison Conservation and Design were considered, from taking no action to full refurbishment at a cost of £2.5 million.The work agreed upon will see the old boating pond fixed and a series of repairs to the associated buildings and roads at a cost of £300,000.

Outdoor pool, Tarlair

Tarlair in its heyday.

When this beautiful area has its outdoor pool up and running again I’ll be sure to visit and post some pics.

Hooded towels

Scottish Kids Show

We’re going to be in Aberdeen this weekend, 28th-29th June, for the Scottish Kids Show. The show is open at the Aberdeen Exhibition Conference Centre and the kids go free. If you’re looking for something to do, make sure you come and visit us!

Stonehaven Outdoor pool

Reasons To Visit This Beautiful Outdoor Pool

No 2  Stonehaven Open Air Pool

Last week I spoke about the outdoor pool at Gourock on the west coast of Scotland near to me. This week I’m venturing about 2 and a half hours away to the east coast where, in the lovely fishing town of Stonehaven is an Olympic sized swimming pool, that has been kept alive and thriving by volunteers when it was threatened with closure in the 90’s.

This month Stonehaven pool celebrates its 80th birthday and Fred MacAulay was there visiting with the BBC to see just why it is so special. BBC website.

This Art Deco  building was built in 1934 and after having been threatened with closure at one point it is now thriving, with the Stonehaven Leisure Centre next door to draw more people along. Like the Gourock pool this is filled with  seawater  that has been cleaned and heated to 29C, which means it’s lovely when you’re in but have your hooded towel close by when you climb out.

Stonehaven opens from the 1st Sunday in June through to September with midnight swims and a disco once a week and don’t just go for the pool, the town of Stonehaven is beautiful with it’s picturesque harbour and little coffee shops.Stonehaven Outdoor pool


Gourock Outdoor Pool

Outdoor Pools/Lidos

Benefits Of An Outdoor Swim


I thought about doing a series of blogs on the world of outdoor water, big subject to cover I know, but I wanted to focus on the kind of outdoor water that man has managed to harness. From outdoor chlorinated pools to fresh and seawater pools, I’ll be covering the most basic tidal swimming pools to the more modern heated sea water lidos.

 Even though I prefer a warm heated pool there are certain benefits to swimming in cold water, a Czech study found that people who immersed themselves in cold water three times a week experienced a significant increase in their white blood cell count — immune cells important for fighting off infection.The researchers put this down to cold water acting like a mild stressor, activating the immune system and giving it a workout.

Another, similar study found that cold water immersion may improve our sex lives by increasing the levels of testosterone and oestrogen in men and women respectively.

But it is swimming in salty sea water that may be particularly beneficial. A study published in the  International Journal of Dermatology found that magnesium-rich sea water  promotes the retention of moisture in  the skin.

So swimming in the open could add a few fun filled, psoriasis free years on to your life, what’s not to like.

No1 Gourock OutDoor Pool

My first foray is into my local outdoor pool, Gourock, because our hooded towels are stocked there and Kenny the manager is always very helpful.

Gourock Outdoor Pool

Gourock Outdoor Pool


The pool originally opened in 1909 with the water heating system being put in 1969. The seawater goes through a cleaning and filtering process before being heated to 29C, at first I thought warm seawater just didn’t seem right after spending a lot of time at our Oban house freezing our n***s off, but now I’m a convert and should really spend more time here. Being on the coast you get all the smells of the seaside without the cold bit until you get out, then on a cold day, it’s a quick dash to the changing rooms. These have had a revamp, along with the gym and the seating area and it is all looking very spruced up, especially as it has my husbands showers and taps in situ.

Saving the best till last here is a photo I took today of the beautiful view across to Loch Long and The Holy Loch from Gourock outdoor pool.

Gourock Outdoor Pool

Views over to the Holy Loch






summer holiday with the hooded towel co

Get Kitted Up For Summer!

The summer holidays are fast approaching and no doubt for most of you the kids are ecstatic about going to the beach and swimming pool. So we’ve put together a shopping list to make sure they have everything they need to make the absolute most of their summer holidays. Get kitted up for summer!

1. Swimming Goggles – make sure to keep the chlorine and salt water out of the kids eyes.

Kids swimming goggles2. Floats- keep the kids safe with a float so they can have endless fun.

SwimFin Swimming Float3. Flippers – a great accessory for the kids to use when exploring in the water, hunting for hidden treasures or pretending to be mermaids.

Silicone flippers for kidsmermaid flippers

4. Water Shoes – protect those little feet from nasty cuts when rock pooling and exploring out of the sea.

Kids water shoes5.  A Hooded Towel – of course, after all the fun on the beach or in the pool the kids need to get dry and what better way to do it than with one of our hassle-free hooded towels!

 Hooded Towel for kids

Hooded towels for Threads