Scottish Settings with Christina Courtenay!

Photo2Today it is my very great pleasure to welcome back to the blog Honorary Word Wench Christina Courtenay! Christina is the award winning author of wonderful historical fiction and today she is joining me to talk about her latest novel Highland Storms and her love of Scotland. As I have recently returned from a trip to the Highlands and the Scottish Borders this was a very popular topic with me and I hope with lots of other Wench readers too.

"The world is full of romantic settings, but I think for me the absolute favourite has to be the Scottish Highlands.

Being half Swedish, I ought to enthuse about the Scandinavian forests and lakes, the midnight sun and the aurora borealis of course, but although these are lovely too, I’m even more drawn to the lochs and craggy hillsides of the Highlands.  I really can’t explain it, but every time I go there I just feel as if the landscape pulls me in and casts some kind of spell on me.  It’s steeped in history in a way that’s hard to pinpoint, and when the mists hang over the glens or the sun illuminates the heather, I fall in love, completely and utterly.

I take every opportunity I can to visit and the last time I was there I drove around scouting for locationsEileanDonan[1] in which to set my latest novel Highland Storms.  I have to say I was spoiled for choice.  First, I needed a castle (as you do) and visited several to see which one I liked best.  In the end I couldn’t decide on just one so I made my fictional one an amalgamation of them all.  The setting of Eilean Donan, for instance, on a tiny island/peninsula sticking out into a loch was perfect, as was the craggy exterior.  The inside of other castles seemed more suitable though as sadly Eilean Donan doesn’t have its original interior, having been reconstructed in the early 20th century.  Culcreuch Castle, which is now a hotel, had extremely thick (twelve foot?) walls – essential to my plot – and the views over Loch Ness from Castle ScLochNessUrquhart are superb, exactly what I wanted.  The area around Loch Leven provided me with even more inspiration (as well as a chance to test how cold the water was!).  Of course, wherever you go in the Highlands, you are bombarded with sights that set your mind turning.  Even my younger daughter, who normally finds landscapes and sight-seeing boring, was hanging out of the car window exclaiming in awe at every new vista that opened up before us.  I had to agree and I could totally understand why the people who were forced to emigrate never forgot their beautiful homeland.

On a practical level, visiting the Highland Folk Museum at Newtonmore nearScotland_002new Kingussie (and isn’t that a lovely name?!) proved the most rewarding for me.  There, I had the chance to see for myself what an old Highland dwelling looked like and how it was built using materials available locally – stone, timber, turf and heather.  I was also able to experience what it felt like to be inside one.  I sat next to a peat fire, breathing in the scent of wood smoke (which also stayed in my hair and clothes afterwards – and how!), my eyes had to adjust to the gloom, and I imagined what it must have been like to huddle in there by the meager fire on a cold and wet autumn evening.  With a few cows at one end in a byre, and the hut crammed with people, it was probably a lot warmer than just being on my own in there and quite cosy.  Sitting on tiny stools round the fire you escape the worst of the smoke, which rises and seeps out through the thatch in the roof.  A cauldron hanging over the hearth would spread the appetizing aroma of nettle soup or beef broth and I saw how bannocks would have been cooked on a griddle.  It was all very simple, but since the inhabitants spent most of their time outdoors and had very few possessions, all they needed was warmth and shelter for the night.  It was perfect!

ScThatchedHutsThis outdoor folk museum contained lots of different dwellings, a larger one for the tacksman – the most important man of the township (village) – and smaller ones for the cottars and for craftsmen such as the weaver.  I was surprised to find that weavers were most often men who went from village to village, being employed to make cloth out of the supply of wool created by the women during the year.  I suppose the women were too busy with other things most of the time as the inhabitants would have been largely self-sufficient – it was definitely a hard life!

Near the township was a reconstructed shieling hut.  The shielings, as you probably know, were the summer pasture grounds high up on the hillsides, where at least half the village spent a few months while the cattle grazed and grew fat.  I needed a shieling hut for the plot of my story and if I hadn’t seen one with my own eyes and gone inside I wouldn’t have known that my six-foot-plus hero would have to stand bent over inside as well, not just in the very low doorway.  Not to mention having to sleep curled up, which wouldn’t be very comfortable – the sleeping platform was too short even for me and I’m only 5 foot 3 on a good day!

Another open air museum in Auchindrain (again, such a lovely evocative name!) near Inveraray gave meScotland2_045 further inspiration, even though the buildings there were of a later date than my story.  When I visited, a wet mist hung all around the fields and hills nearby and the moisture in the air really felt as though it was seeping into my very bones.  All the houses were damp inside and I realized that a peat fire wouldn’t have stood much chance in conditions like that.  No wonder Highlanders were said to be used to being wet and not mind it!

I could go on, but instead I’d love for you to tell me which is the most romantic setting in the world for you?  I look forward to reading about them! One commenter between now and midnight Tuesday will win a copy of Highland Storms.

Thank you very much, Christina, for a peek into your research and your inspiration. I do agree that Eilean Donan Castle has to be one of the most wonderful settings for a castle anywhere in the world. I'm looking forward to hearing about the other places people think are equally romantic!

Highland Storms, ISBN: 978-1-906931-71-1, is published by Choc Lit 1st November 2011 and is available from http://amzn.to/vuef8C

Here is an extract:

Who can you trust?

Betrayed by his brother and his childhood love, Brice Kinross needs a fresh start. So he welcomes the opportunity to leave Sweden for the Scottish Highlands to take over the family estate.

But there’s trouble afoot at Rosyth in 1754 and Brice finds himself unwelcome. The estate is in ruin and money is disappearing.  He discovers an ally in Marsaili Buchanan, the beautiful redheaded housekeeper, but can he trust her?

Marsaili is determined to build a good life. She works hard at being housekeeper and harder still at avoiding men who want to take advantage of her.  But she’s irresistibly drawn to the new clan chief, even though he’s made it plain he doesn’t want to be shackled to anyone.

And the young laird has more than romance on his mind. His investigations are stirring up an enemy.  Someone who will stop at nothing to get what he wants – including Marsaili – even if that means destroying Brice’s life forever …

There is a link to an excerpt here - http://bit.ly/svPrBg

 Christina's website is at: www.christinacourtenay.com 

125 thoughts on “Scottish Settings with Christina Courtenay!”

  1. Great post, Christina and Nicola! For me, the most romantic setting ever is Ireland, on the wind-swept coast of Galway Bay. There’s just something about the sun going down over the water, the sea mist clinging to you as you walk along the a beach, and the absolutely lovely west-of-Ireland brogue that catches the heart and never lets go.
    I love your description of the folk museum. When I was in Ireland, I visited Bunratty Castle and its Folk Park, which is built as a 19th Century Irish village. Wonderful for research!

    Reply
  2. Great post, Christina and Nicola! For me, the most romantic setting ever is Ireland, on the wind-swept coast of Galway Bay. There’s just something about the sun going down over the water, the sea mist clinging to you as you walk along the a beach, and the absolutely lovely west-of-Ireland brogue that catches the heart and never lets go.
    I love your description of the folk museum. When I was in Ireland, I visited Bunratty Castle and its Folk Park, which is built as a 19th Century Irish village. Wonderful for research!

    Reply
  3. Great post, Christina and Nicola! For me, the most romantic setting ever is Ireland, on the wind-swept coast of Galway Bay. There’s just something about the sun going down over the water, the sea mist clinging to you as you walk along the a beach, and the absolutely lovely west-of-Ireland brogue that catches the heart and never lets go.
    I love your description of the folk museum. When I was in Ireland, I visited Bunratty Castle and its Folk Park, which is built as a 19th Century Irish village. Wonderful for research!

    Reply
  4. Great post, Christina and Nicola! For me, the most romantic setting ever is Ireland, on the wind-swept coast of Galway Bay. There’s just something about the sun going down over the water, the sea mist clinging to you as you walk along the a beach, and the absolutely lovely west-of-Ireland brogue that catches the heart and never lets go.
    I love your description of the folk museum. When I was in Ireland, I visited Bunratty Castle and its Folk Park, which is built as a 19th Century Irish village. Wonderful for research!

    Reply
  5. Great post, Christina and Nicola! For me, the most romantic setting ever is Ireland, on the wind-swept coast of Galway Bay. There’s just something about the sun going down over the water, the sea mist clinging to you as you walk along the a beach, and the absolutely lovely west-of-Ireland brogue that catches the heart and never lets go.
    I love your description of the folk museum. When I was in Ireland, I visited Bunratty Castle and its Folk Park, which is built as a 19th Century Irish village. Wonderful for research!

    Reply
  6. I was in the Cairngorms just a few weeks ago, and agree, the landscape and the light really grab the imagination.
    Lovely post, Christina. The Folk Museum sounds a must. Can’t wait to read Highland Storms; it sounds thrilling.

    Reply
  7. I was in the Cairngorms just a few weeks ago, and agree, the landscape and the light really grab the imagination.
    Lovely post, Christina. The Folk Museum sounds a must. Can’t wait to read Highland Storms; it sounds thrilling.

    Reply
  8. I was in the Cairngorms just a few weeks ago, and agree, the landscape and the light really grab the imagination.
    Lovely post, Christina. The Folk Museum sounds a must. Can’t wait to read Highland Storms; it sounds thrilling.

    Reply
  9. I was in the Cairngorms just a few weeks ago, and agree, the landscape and the light really grab the imagination.
    Lovely post, Christina. The Folk Museum sounds a must. Can’t wait to read Highland Storms; it sounds thrilling.

    Reply
  10. I was in the Cairngorms just a few weeks ago, and agree, the landscape and the light really grab the imagination.
    Lovely post, Christina. The Folk Museum sounds a must. Can’t wait to read Highland Storms; it sounds thrilling.

    Reply
  11. Hi Christina,
    a wonderful photo 😉
    for the first i saw Austria from one movie – chasing liberty, i have fell in love with this country but i know that each country in the world have their own beautiful place 😉

    Reply
  12. Hi Christina,
    a wonderful photo 😉
    for the first i saw Austria from one movie – chasing liberty, i have fell in love with this country but i know that each country in the world have their own beautiful place 😉

    Reply
  13. Hi Christina,
    a wonderful photo 😉
    for the first i saw Austria from one movie – chasing liberty, i have fell in love with this country but i know that each country in the world have their own beautiful place 😉

    Reply
  14. Hi Christina,
    a wonderful photo 😉
    for the first i saw Austria from one movie – chasing liberty, i have fell in love with this country but i know that each country in the world have their own beautiful place 😉

    Reply
  15. Hi Christina,
    a wonderful photo 😉
    for the first i saw Austria from one movie – chasing liberty, i have fell in love with this country but i know that each country in the world have their own beautiful place 😉

    Reply
  16. Loved the post Christina! I would have to agree that there’s just something special about the Scottish Highlands that calls to the romantic in me. I do like the white sand beaches in the Caribbean too but when it comes to historical books, it’s always the Scottish Highlands that have my heart!

    Reply
  17. Loved the post Christina! I would have to agree that there’s just something special about the Scottish Highlands that calls to the romantic in me. I do like the white sand beaches in the Caribbean too but when it comes to historical books, it’s always the Scottish Highlands that have my heart!

    Reply
  18. Loved the post Christina! I would have to agree that there’s just something special about the Scottish Highlands that calls to the romantic in me. I do like the white sand beaches in the Caribbean too but when it comes to historical books, it’s always the Scottish Highlands that have my heart!

    Reply
  19. Loved the post Christina! I would have to agree that there’s just something special about the Scottish Highlands that calls to the romantic in me. I do like the white sand beaches in the Caribbean too but when it comes to historical books, it’s always the Scottish Highlands that have my heart!

    Reply
  20. Loved the post Christina! I would have to agree that there’s just something special about the Scottish Highlands that calls to the romantic in me. I do like the white sand beaches in the Caribbean too but when it comes to historical books, it’s always the Scottish Highlands that have my heart!

    Reply
  21. I enjoyed this post greatly. For me the most romantic and beautiful area is A small town set on the Italian Riviera, Levanto. Natural beauty right on the seaside.

    Reply
  22. I enjoyed this post greatly. For me the most romantic and beautiful area is A small town set on the Italian Riviera, Levanto. Natural beauty right on the seaside.

    Reply
  23. I enjoyed this post greatly. For me the most romantic and beautiful area is A small town set on the Italian Riviera, Levanto. Natural beauty right on the seaside.

    Reply
  24. I enjoyed this post greatly. For me the most romantic and beautiful area is A small town set on the Italian Riviera, Levanto. Natural beauty right on the seaside.

    Reply
  25. I enjoyed this post greatly. For me the most romantic and beautiful area is A small town set on the Italian Riviera, Levanto. Natural beauty right on the seaside.

    Reply
  26. I don’t know that I have ever thought about a particular place as the most romantic. I think it all depends on how you see it. I think New York City is romantic with the excitement of the bustle and so many places to go and things to see but someone else might not like the noise and crowds.

    Reply
  27. I don’t know that I have ever thought about a particular place as the most romantic. I think it all depends on how you see it. I think New York City is romantic with the excitement of the bustle and so many places to go and things to see but someone else might not like the noise and crowds.

    Reply
  28. I don’t know that I have ever thought about a particular place as the most romantic. I think it all depends on how you see it. I think New York City is romantic with the excitement of the bustle and so many places to go and things to see but someone else might not like the noise and crowds.

    Reply
  29. I don’t know that I have ever thought about a particular place as the most romantic. I think it all depends on how you see it. I think New York City is romantic with the excitement of the bustle and so many places to go and things to see but someone else might not like the noise and crowds.

    Reply
  30. I don’t know that I have ever thought about a particular place as the most romantic. I think it all depends on how you see it. I think New York City is romantic with the excitement of the bustle and so many places to go and things to see but someone else might not like the noise and crowds.

    Reply
  31. Welcome back to the Word Wenches, Christina! The highland hut you described at the museum sounds very like one I visited in Harris and Lewis. Very–basic. *g*
    I agree that there are incredible, romantic places everywhere, from the wild Highlands and Islands to the dazzle of New York City. But if one wants comfort as well as romance, a place the like British Virgin Islands is hard to beat *g*

    Reply
  32. Welcome back to the Word Wenches, Christina! The highland hut you described at the museum sounds very like one I visited in Harris and Lewis. Very–basic. *g*
    I agree that there are incredible, romantic places everywhere, from the wild Highlands and Islands to the dazzle of New York City. But if one wants comfort as well as romance, a place the like British Virgin Islands is hard to beat *g*

    Reply
  33. Welcome back to the Word Wenches, Christina! The highland hut you described at the museum sounds very like one I visited in Harris and Lewis. Very–basic. *g*
    I agree that there are incredible, romantic places everywhere, from the wild Highlands and Islands to the dazzle of New York City. But if one wants comfort as well as romance, a place the like British Virgin Islands is hard to beat *g*

    Reply
  34. Welcome back to the Word Wenches, Christina! The highland hut you described at the museum sounds very like one I visited in Harris and Lewis. Very–basic. *g*
    I agree that there are incredible, romantic places everywhere, from the wild Highlands and Islands to the dazzle of New York City. But if one wants comfort as well as romance, a place the like British Virgin Islands is hard to beat *g*

    Reply
  35. Welcome back to the Word Wenches, Christina! The highland hut you described at the museum sounds very like one I visited in Harris and Lewis. Very–basic. *g*
    I agree that there are incredible, romantic places everywhere, from the wild Highlands and Islands to the dazzle of New York City. But if one wants comfort as well as romance, a place the like British Virgin Islands is hard to beat *g*

    Reply
  36. Romantic areas which appeal to me are either a secluded beachside setting such as Fiji or Tahiti or a historic and unique setting which is fascinating and memorable such as Lerici in Italy.

    Reply
  37. Romantic areas which appeal to me are either a secluded beachside setting such as Fiji or Tahiti or a historic and unique setting which is fascinating and memorable such as Lerici in Italy.

    Reply
  38. Romantic areas which appeal to me are either a secluded beachside setting such as Fiji or Tahiti or a historic and unique setting which is fascinating and memorable such as Lerici in Italy.

    Reply
  39. Romantic areas which appeal to me are either a secluded beachside setting such as Fiji or Tahiti or a historic and unique setting which is fascinating and memorable such as Lerici in Italy.

    Reply
  40. Romantic areas which appeal to me are either a secluded beachside setting such as Fiji or Tahiti or a historic and unique setting which is fascinating and memorable such as Lerici in Italy.

    Reply
  41. Wherever my husband is is the most romantic spot for me.
    As for a geographical place, there are so many. Barcelona, with its Gaudi buildings and setting on the Mediterranean is quite romantic. On my honeymoon my husband and I took a train from Florence to Venice; it was late spring, the air smelled of honeysuckle, and the Italian countryside was immensely romantic. As Maureen says, NYC and its energy and museums and music and food is a great place to go as a person in or out of love. Ireland is Romance with a capital R. I once visited a monastery in Austria that fit the description of the Scottish castles here: it was set on a peninsula in a lake, which the day I visited were covered in mist. Quite romantic, even if that idea is somewhat odd when thinking of a place set aside for celibate men.

    Reply
  42. Wherever my husband is is the most romantic spot for me.
    As for a geographical place, there are so many. Barcelona, with its Gaudi buildings and setting on the Mediterranean is quite romantic. On my honeymoon my husband and I took a train from Florence to Venice; it was late spring, the air smelled of honeysuckle, and the Italian countryside was immensely romantic. As Maureen says, NYC and its energy and museums and music and food is a great place to go as a person in or out of love. Ireland is Romance with a capital R. I once visited a monastery in Austria that fit the description of the Scottish castles here: it was set on a peninsula in a lake, which the day I visited were covered in mist. Quite romantic, even if that idea is somewhat odd when thinking of a place set aside for celibate men.

    Reply
  43. Wherever my husband is is the most romantic spot for me.
    As for a geographical place, there are so many. Barcelona, with its Gaudi buildings and setting on the Mediterranean is quite romantic. On my honeymoon my husband and I took a train from Florence to Venice; it was late spring, the air smelled of honeysuckle, and the Italian countryside was immensely romantic. As Maureen says, NYC and its energy and museums and music and food is a great place to go as a person in or out of love. Ireland is Romance with a capital R. I once visited a monastery in Austria that fit the description of the Scottish castles here: it was set on a peninsula in a lake, which the day I visited were covered in mist. Quite romantic, even if that idea is somewhat odd when thinking of a place set aside for celibate men.

    Reply
  44. Wherever my husband is is the most romantic spot for me.
    As for a geographical place, there are so many. Barcelona, with its Gaudi buildings and setting on the Mediterranean is quite romantic. On my honeymoon my husband and I took a train from Florence to Venice; it was late spring, the air smelled of honeysuckle, and the Italian countryside was immensely romantic. As Maureen says, NYC and its energy and museums and music and food is a great place to go as a person in or out of love. Ireland is Romance with a capital R. I once visited a monastery in Austria that fit the description of the Scottish castles here: it was set on a peninsula in a lake, which the day I visited were covered in mist. Quite romantic, even if that idea is somewhat odd when thinking of a place set aside for celibate men.

    Reply
  45. Wherever my husband is is the most romantic spot for me.
    As for a geographical place, there are so many. Barcelona, with its Gaudi buildings and setting on the Mediterranean is quite romantic. On my honeymoon my husband and I took a train from Florence to Venice; it was late spring, the air smelled of honeysuckle, and the Italian countryside was immensely romantic. As Maureen says, NYC and its energy and museums and music and food is a great place to go as a person in or out of love. Ireland is Romance with a capital R. I once visited a monastery in Austria that fit the description of the Scottish castles here: it was set on a peninsula in a lake, which the day I visited were covered in mist. Quite romantic, even if that idea is somewhat odd when thinking of a place set aside for celibate men.

    Reply
  46. P.S. The picture of the Austrian monastery is incomplete — meant to say that it was on a peninsula in a lake surrounded by mountains which were mist-covered.

    Reply
  47. P.S. The picture of the Austrian monastery is incomplete — meant to say that it was on a peninsula in a lake surrounded by mountains which were mist-covered.

    Reply
  48. P.S. The picture of the Austrian monastery is incomplete — meant to say that it was on a peninsula in a lake surrounded by mountains which were mist-covered.

    Reply
  49. P.S. The picture of the Austrian monastery is incomplete — meant to say that it was on a peninsula in a lake surrounded by mountains which were mist-covered.

    Reply
  50. P.S. The picture of the Austrian monastery is incomplete — meant to say that it was on a peninsula in a lake surrounded by mountains which were mist-covered.

    Reply
  51. Thanks Maria, glad you agree! But yes, the Caribbean is lovely too and of course brings to mind the pirates …
    Ruth – I’m getting so many travel destinations out of this, would love to go Levanto and other parts of Italy. I have been to Venice, which was very romantic in a brooding sort of way, but haven’t visited any other parts of the country. Must remedy that!
    Maureen – yes, it’s all very subjective isn’t it. And it might depend on the mood we’re in when we go there perhaps?

    Reply
  52. Thanks Maria, glad you agree! But yes, the Caribbean is lovely too and of course brings to mind the pirates …
    Ruth – I’m getting so many travel destinations out of this, would love to go Levanto and other parts of Italy. I have been to Venice, which was very romantic in a brooding sort of way, but haven’t visited any other parts of the country. Must remedy that!
    Maureen – yes, it’s all very subjective isn’t it. And it might depend on the mood we’re in when we go there perhaps?

    Reply
  53. Thanks Maria, glad you agree! But yes, the Caribbean is lovely too and of course brings to mind the pirates …
    Ruth – I’m getting so many travel destinations out of this, would love to go Levanto and other parts of Italy. I have been to Venice, which was very romantic in a brooding sort of way, but haven’t visited any other parts of the country. Must remedy that!
    Maureen – yes, it’s all very subjective isn’t it. And it might depend on the mood we’re in when we go there perhaps?

    Reply
  54. Thanks Maria, glad you agree! But yes, the Caribbean is lovely too and of course brings to mind the pirates …
    Ruth – I’m getting so many travel destinations out of this, would love to go Levanto and other parts of Italy. I have been to Venice, which was very romantic in a brooding sort of way, but haven’t visited any other parts of the country. Must remedy that!
    Maureen – yes, it’s all very subjective isn’t it. And it might depend on the mood we’re in when we go there perhaps?

    Reply
  55. Thanks Maria, glad you agree! But yes, the Caribbean is lovely too and of course brings to mind the pirates …
    Ruth – I’m getting so many travel destinations out of this, would love to go Levanto and other parts of Italy. I have been to Venice, which was very romantic in a brooding sort of way, but haven’t visited any other parts of the country. Must remedy that!
    Maureen – yes, it’s all very subjective isn’t it. And it might depend on the mood we’re in when we go there perhaps?

    Reply
  56. Thank you, Mary Jo, it’s lovely to be back! Yes, those huts were extremely basic, but I suppose being warm and relatively dry was all the people then really cared about. British Virgin Islands – another destination to add to my wishlist!
    Anne – Fiji and Tahiti do sound lovely and would make a great setting for a romantic novel, as would probably anywhere in Italy. Thanks for your suggestions!
    Susan – I really like your definition of a romantic place as ‘wherever your husband is’, that’s great! And a monastery by a lake conjures up all sorts of interesting story ideas – thank you 🙂

    Reply
  57. Thank you, Mary Jo, it’s lovely to be back! Yes, those huts were extremely basic, but I suppose being warm and relatively dry was all the people then really cared about. British Virgin Islands – another destination to add to my wishlist!
    Anne – Fiji and Tahiti do sound lovely and would make a great setting for a romantic novel, as would probably anywhere in Italy. Thanks for your suggestions!
    Susan – I really like your definition of a romantic place as ‘wherever your husband is’, that’s great! And a monastery by a lake conjures up all sorts of interesting story ideas – thank you 🙂

    Reply
  58. Thank you, Mary Jo, it’s lovely to be back! Yes, those huts were extremely basic, but I suppose being warm and relatively dry was all the people then really cared about. British Virgin Islands – another destination to add to my wishlist!
    Anne – Fiji and Tahiti do sound lovely and would make a great setting for a romantic novel, as would probably anywhere in Italy. Thanks for your suggestions!
    Susan – I really like your definition of a romantic place as ‘wherever your husband is’, that’s great! And a monastery by a lake conjures up all sorts of interesting story ideas – thank you 🙂

    Reply
  59. Thank you, Mary Jo, it’s lovely to be back! Yes, those huts were extremely basic, but I suppose being warm and relatively dry was all the people then really cared about. British Virgin Islands – another destination to add to my wishlist!
    Anne – Fiji and Tahiti do sound lovely and would make a great setting for a romantic novel, as would probably anywhere in Italy. Thanks for your suggestions!
    Susan – I really like your definition of a romantic place as ‘wherever your husband is’, that’s great! And a monastery by a lake conjures up all sorts of interesting story ideas – thank you 🙂

    Reply
  60. Thank you, Mary Jo, it’s lovely to be back! Yes, those huts were extremely basic, but I suppose being warm and relatively dry was all the people then really cared about. British Virgin Islands – another destination to add to my wishlist!
    Anne – Fiji and Tahiti do sound lovely and would make a great setting for a romantic novel, as would probably anywhere in Italy. Thanks for your suggestions!
    Susan – I really like your definition of a romantic place as ‘wherever your husband is’, that’s great! And a monastery by a lake conjures up all sorts of interesting story ideas – thank you 🙂

    Reply
  61. There are so many places I couldn’t pick just one. Greece & Italy are certainly two (& they are warm too). But there is certainly something about the Scottish Highlands that is very special & romantic, they call on the strength of the characters.

    Reply
  62. There are so many places I couldn’t pick just one. Greece & Italy are certainly two (& they are warm too). But there is certainly something about the Scottish Highlands that is very special & romantic, they call on the strength of the characters.

    Reply
  63. There are so many places I couldn’t pick just one. Greece & Italy are certainly two (& they are warm too). But there is certainly something about the Scottish Highlands that is very special & romantic, they call on the strength of the characters.

    Reply
  64. There are so many places I couldn’t pick just one. Greece & Italy are certainly two (& they are warm too). But there is certainly something about the Scottish Highlands that is very special & romantic, they call on the strength of the characters.

    Reply
  65. There are so many places I couldn’t pick just one. Greece & Italy are certainly two (& they are warm too). But there is certainly something about the Scottish Highlands that is very special & romantic, they call on the strength of the characters.

    Reply
  66. Diane – I like Greece and Italy, but prefer places that are not warm (must be my Viking genes!). The Scottish Highlands definitely make for strong characters, I agree!
    Theresa – yes, the Lake District is beautiful too! I went there a long time ago, hope you get to go too.

    Reply
  67. Diane – I like Greece and Italy, but prefer places that are not warm (must be my Viking genes!). The Scottish Highlands definitely make for strong characters, I agree!
    Theresa – yes, the Lake District is beautiful too! I went there a long time ago, hope you get to go too.

    Reply
  68. Diane – I like Greece and Italy, but prefer places that are not warm (must be my Viking genes!). The Scottish Highlands definitely make for strong characters, I agree!
    Theresa – yes, the Lake District is beautiful too! I went there a long time ago, hope you get to go too.

    Reply
  69. Diane – I like Greece and Italy, but prefer places that are not warm (must be my Viking genes!). The Scottish Highlands definitely make for strong characters, I agree!
    Theresa – yes, the Lake District is beautiful too! I went there a long time ago, hope you get to go too.

    Reply
  70. Diane – I like Greece and Italy, but prefer places that are not warm (must be my Viking genes!). The Scottish Highlands definitely make for strong characters, I agree!
    Theresa – yes, the Lake District is beautiful too! I went there a long time ago, hope you get to go too.

    Reply
  71. The most romantic setting in the world to me is anywhere my true love is. But if I had to choose, I’d probably pick Scotland, especially the Highlands because they sound so rugged and beautiful.

    Reply
  72. The most romantic setting in the world to me is anywhere my true love is. But if I had to choose, I’d probably pick Scotland, especially the Highlands because they sound so rugged and beautiful.

    Reply
  73. The most romantic setting in the world to me is anywhere my true love is. But if I had to choose, I’d probably pick Scotland, especially the Highlands because they sound so rugged and beautiful.

    Reply
  74. The most romantic setting in the world to me is anywhere my true love is. But if I had to choose, I’d probably pick Scotland, especially the Highlands because they sound so rugged and beautiful.

    Reply
  75. The most romantic setting in the world to me is anywhere my true love is. But if I had to choose, I’d probably pick Scotland, especially the Highlands because they sound so rugged and beautiful.

    Reply
  76. I think mine will be unusual. LOL. Um, I think the most romantic setting.. would be when I worked for a commercial airline. The maintenance base was located right next to the Air Guard. There was a picnic table right by the chain link fence that separated the bases. I used to sit there in the dark (I worked nights) and watch the F-16s take off. Sometimes my man was with me. To me, that was the most romantic place to be, cuddling and watching the gorgeous jets take off. There’s nothing else like it.
    I’m not entering the contest, but thank you for posting this post. I’m a huge fan of Christina’s. 🙂

    Reply
  77. I think mine will be unusual. LOL. Um, I think the most romantic setting.. would be when I worked for a commercial airline. The maintenance base was located right next to the Air Guard. There was a picnic table right by the chain link fence that separated the bases. I used to sit there in the dark (I worked nights) and watch the F-16s take off. Sometimes my man was with me. To me, that was the most romantic place to be, cuddling and watching the gorgeous jets take off. There’s nothing else like it.
    I’m not entering the contest, but thank you for posting this post. I’m a huge fan of Christina’s. 🙂

    Reply
  78. I think mine will be unusual. LOL. Um, I think the most romantic setting.. would be when I worked for a commercial airline. The maintenance base was located right next to the Air Guard. There was a picnic table right by the chain link fence that separated the bases. I used to sit there in the dark (I worked nights) and watch the F-16s take off. Sometimes my man was with me. To me, that was the most romantic place to be, cuddling and watching the gorgeous jets take off. There’s nothing else like it.
    I’m not entering the contest, but thank you for posting this post. I’m a huge fan of Christina’s. 🙂

    Reply
  79. I think mine will be unusual. LOL. Um, I think the most romantic setting.. would be when I worked for a commercial airline. The maintenance base was located right next to the Air Guard. There was a picnic table right by the chain link fence that separated the bases. I used to sit there in the dark (I worked nights) and watch the F-16s take off. Sometimes my man was with me. To me, that was the most romantic place to be, cuddling and watching the gorgeous jets take off. There’s nothing else like it.
    I’m not entering the contest, but thank you for posting this post. I’m a huge fan of Christina’s. 🙂

    Reply
  80. I think mine will be unusual. LOL. Um, I think the most romantic setting.. would be when I worked for a commercial airline. The maintenance base was located right next to the Air Guard. There was a picnic table right by the chain link fence that separated the bases. I used to sit there in the dark (I worked nights) and watch the F-16s take off. Sometimes my man was with me. To me, that was the most romantic place to be, cuddling and watching the gorgeous jets take off. There’s nothing else like it.
    I’m not entering the contest, but thank you for posting this post. I’m a huge fan of Christina’s. 🙂

    Reply
  81. Lovely to have you back with us at the Word Wenches, Christina! I’ve been enjoying people’s most romantic settings very much. Mine, of course, is Ashdown House because it was built for love, it looks ludicrously romantic and also because I love it!

    Reply
  82. Lovely to have you back with us at the Word Wenches, Christina! I’ve been enjoying people’s most romantic settings very much. Mine, of course, is Ashdown House because it was built for love, it looks ludicrously romantic and also because I love it!

    Reply
  83. Lovely to have you back with us at the Word Wenches, Christina! I’ve been enjoying people’s most romantic settings very much. Mine, of course, is Ashdown House because it was built for love, it looks ludicrously romantic and also because I love it!

    Reply
  84. Lovely to have you back with us at the Word Wenches, Christina! I’ve been enjoying people’s most romantic settings very much. Mine, of course, is Ashdown House because it was built for love, it looks ludicrously romantic and also because I love it!

    Reply
  85. Lovely to have you back with us at the Word Wenches, Christina! I’ve been enjoying people’s most romantic settings very much. Mine, of course, is Ashdown House because it was built for love, it looks ludicrously romantic and also because I love it!

    Reply
  86. Thank you again for having me, Nicola! I too am enjoying everyone’s choices. I have yet to visit Ashdown House, but must do so very soon!
    Barbara – glad you agree about the Highlands 🙂
    Liz – yes, Greece is lovely and the sea so wonderfully blue. I visited Athens once and found the Acropolis very romantic!
    Tara – that is definitely unusual 😀 I like your choice of the Taj Mahal though, very romantic indeed.

    Reply
  87. Thank you again for having me, Nicola! I too am enjoying everyone’s choices. I have yet to visit Ashdown House, but must do so very soon!
    Barbara – glad you agree about the Highlands 🙂
    Liz – yes, Greece is lovely and the sea so wonderfully blue. I visited Athens once and found the Acropolis very romantic!
    Tara – that is definitely unusual 😀 I like your choice of the Taj Mahal though, very romantic indeed.

    Reply
  88. Thank you again for having me, Nicola! I too am enjoying everyone’s choices. I have yet to visit Ashdown House, but must do so very soon!
    Barbara – glad you agree about the Highlands 🙂
    Liz – yes, Greece is lovely and the sea so wonderfully blue. I visited Athens once and found the Acropolis very romantic!
    Tara – that is definitely unusual 😀 I like your choice of the Taj Mahal though, very romantic indeed.

    Reply
  89. Thank you again for having me, Nicola! I too am enjoying everyone’s choices. I have yet to visit Ashdown House, but must do so very soon!
    Barbara – glad you agree about the Highlands 🙂
    Liz – yes, Greece is lovely and the sea so wonderfully blue. I visited Athens once and found the Acropolis very romantic!
    Tara – that is definitely unusual 😀 I like your choice of the Taj Mahal though, very romantic indeed.

    Reply
  90. Thank you again for having me, Nicola! I too am enjoying everyone’s choices. I have yet to visit Ashdown House, but must do so very soon!
    Barbara – glad you agree about the Highlands 🙂
    Liz – yes, Greece is lovely and the sea so wonderfully blue. I visited Athens once and found the Acropolis very romantic!
    Tara – that is definitely unusual 😀 I like your choice of the Taj Mahal though, very romantic indeed.

    Reply
  91. Luckily there are so many romantic settings in the world but my head lies in Scotland and Ireland. I love the wide open spaces and it must feel so free and calm there. A beautiful place to start a life with someone.

    Reply
  92. Luckily there are so many romantic settings in the world but my head lies in Scotland and Ireland. I love the wide open spaces and it must feel so free and calm there. A beautiful place to start a life with someone.

    Reply
  93. Luckily there are so many romantic settings in the world but my head lies in Scotland and Ireland. I love the wide open spaces and it must feel so free and calm there. A beautiful place to start a life with someone.

    Reply
  94. Luckily there are so many romantic settings in the world but my head lies in Scotland and Ireland. I love the wide open spaces and it must feel so free and calm there. A beautiful place to start a life with someone.

    Reply
  95. Luckily there are so many romantic settings in the world but my head lies in Scotland and Ireland. I love the wide open spaces and it must feel so free and calm there. A beautiful place to start a life with someone.

    Reply

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