My mission was to restore Strathpeffer to the glory of its Victorian status of sought-after spa town and top holiday resort. Braving the midges I set off along the river to the ornate former railway station, which I heard had recently been converted into a restaurant.
Already I could see that some additional signage would make ‘riverside walks’ a popular holiday activity. I wondered what the food would be like in the restaurant.
Instead of a dining room, I found a pool inside the building. Around the edge with their bodies almost submerged, some ‘swimmers’ sat in silence. Others were strapped into white plastic chairs that were being pulled along in the water by an attendant. I wanted to experience the chair therapy, but all places were taken. I waited a long time for my turn, during which I almost accidentally drowned a disabled person at the water’s edge. In the end I discovered that it really wasn’t worth hanging around to be dragged through lukewarm water by a bored council worker.
Strathpeffer had some way to go before I could recommend it as a top twenty-first century holiday destination.