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Published: October 21st 2007
Our most recent trip was to Scotland for a week with Erin’s parents, Lyn and David, and David’s sister, Kerrie. We met up in the north of England and all headed off in search of the Lakes District. 5 Adults, 2 cars, 2 Tom Toms (our GPS system) and we all still managed to get lost. The spectacular autumn scenery, however, kept us distracted from our frustrations.
The scenery in the Lakes District (Day 1) was one of the great surprises of the trip. We went in search of Hilltop, the home of Beatrix Potter, at Near Sawtrey in the Windermere area. After exploring her house, we indulged in an English High Tea to cap off the day. The night was spent in a B&B, which, unfortunately for Erin and Stacy, had serious plumbing issues….
Day 2 saw us exploring more breath-taking scenery and literary culture. We left Windermere and headed towards Grasmere, the place Wordsworth described as ‘The fairest place of all’ and where he and his family are buried. That afternoon we finally arrived in Edinburgh and settled into a well-presented 3 bedroom apartment - though looks can be deceiving… structural issues this time.
However it was very comfortable & had everything in it & even more.
Day 3 was spent at Edinburgh Castle immersing ourselves in Scottish history & keeping fit as we scrambled all around the castle in rain & freezing wind. All very Scottish. We stayed on wanting to hear the one o’clock gun, which of course is fired every day at 1pm. This also is very Scottish as true to their reputation the Scots historically always fired this gun at 1pm instead of the traditional time of midday because they didn’t want to waste 12 rounds of ammunition!
After lunch we had a change of pace by having a sporting experience by going to St Andrews Golf Course. This was a must for Kerrie as her husband is a golf tragic & was keen to have some personal photos (& anything else that might come his way) of this hallowed turf.
Day 4 was spent at Stirling castle & by the end of the morning we were ready for a break from castles (no reflection on Stirling castle, just castle overload). Loch Lomond seemed like a pleasant alternative & we had all been singing about it since primary
school, so it was definitely on our to do list. We had coffee & cake in a restaurant by the Lake which, you guessed it, had a baby grand piano, so following an invitation from the owner, David gave a quick & very fitting rendition of the song that had led us there.
Day 5 was spent mostly on the road travelling from Edinburgh to The Cotswolds -a long & very frustrating day especially for Erin & Stacy, whose Tom Tom led them on a two & a half hour detour to who knows where.
Finally, tempers somewhat frayed, we all met up at Cheltenham, with Tom Tom in total disgrace, having survived a near eviction as it was hurled across the car by Stacy. “He” was later relegated to the boot!!
Day 6 After a good nights rest in some expensive accommodation (you really should book if you are travelling on a budget or arrive a lot earlier to look for your accommodation), and with everyone feeling a lot less stressed, we had a very pleasant day exploring the Cotswalds. Our first discovery was Bourton-on-the-Water, picture perfect & lots of natural charm. Other discoveries included Stowe, Chipping
Campden (lots of old thatched roofs & very interesting box hedges) & Burford (more very old buildings that looked like they were about to fall down). We took our own advice & booked into a B&B early at Bourton-on-the-Water just because it was such a hit with all of us.
Day 7 saw us take the scenic route towards home but not before we spent some time at Bath where some of us took in the historical perspective while others preferred to potter around the shops and the river. Then it was decided that we should make a dash to see Stonehenge. We arrived in time to see the gates being closed, not that that mattered - a little illegal parking solved the problem, that is, until the police tow truck arrived! A mass exodus of other illegally parked cars ensued but it didn’t really matter since we had seen all we wanted to see without spending a penny!
Then the dreaded trip into London, but by now Tom Tom was back in favour until we hit the M25 carpark, & with another 25 miles in front of us we ditched him again. Erin was then able to
Oh so posh darling...
magically lop 10 miles off our trip because she had recognised the name of a shopping centre that was quite close to home. It was such a relief to be out of London’s horrible peak hour traffic!
Aye, a great trip was had by all and whilst the Tom Toms caused us grief (and Stacy may have been disappointed that it wasn’t stolen when his car was broken into the night after we arrived back in London), it took us through some amazing places that highways never do! As for Tom Tom, his relegation to the boot saved his bacon!!
So “tis farewell for now until our next wee trip!
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