The Mountain Setting in the Highlands of North Carolina
Valle Crucis - photo by Jean Wood
The setting for the Jink & Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling is the Valle Crucis Conference Center, nestled in the mountains of northwestern North Carolina and originally established as a mission to local native Americans and pioneer settlers. Jinkers are accommodated in three historic buildings on the campus - two old houses, the Mission House and the Farm House - and the Inn, a property which has filled many roles over the decades, one of which was as a girls' boarding school. Detailed information on the facilities can be found by clicking on the image link above.
Meals are served in the main Dining Hall from where there is a nice view overlooking the valley below to the mountains beyond. This same view can be enjoyed from both the Inn and the Farm House.
Our classes are held in many interesting locations on campus! The original and all time favourite for large groups is the Apple Barn on the lower campus, next to the Mission House, now with a newly renovated space for small groups added in 2014; close by is our second classroom space, Crab Orchard Hall; then "up the hill" we go to the tastefully contemporary Bishop Johnson Hall facility with two superb classroom spaces - and a lovely view.
Each of the accommodation buildings has a kitchen with a refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave - and all three buildings also have front porches with rocking chairs. Three meals a day with vegetarian options are served in the Dining Hall.
Rocking chairs on the Inn porch
Attire is informal to suit the July/August weather in the North Carolina mountains - shorts and Ts work most of the time, but sometimes it gets a bit cooler. There can be dense morning fog which usually lifts by 8 or 9 am but you will want to bring jeans and a fleece at the very least.
Bring your kilt (if you have one) for the ceilidh and ball - but otherwise casual and comfortable is the order of the day. The hardy might want to bring a swimsuit.
A short hike upward from Bishop Johnson Hall will bring you to Craborchard Creek, a mountain stream that cascades down to the valley as a series of waterfalls which calls like a siren to the young - and the young at heart.