Family stuff has brought me north again. It has all been rather stressful and emotionally hard so my Dad, sister and I played hooky for the afternoon and went for a meander.
The biggest “things” in central Scotland at the moment are the recently opened Kelpies sculpture in Falkirk. So we headed there.
They really are pretty impressive. What was more impressive was the infrastructure around them – a huge park, miles of off road cycle path, a enormous and very exciting looking kids play park and a big lake to swim, kayak and windsurf on. What was even more impressive was how many people were there using it on a term time Friday afternoon.
Afterwards we went for a meander along the canal tow path and checked out the Falkirk wheel. All very pleasant on a gloriously sunny afternoon.
I was off work last week and needed to catch up with my multitude of elderly and not so elderly relatives so I headed up the East Coast mainline home to Scotland.
While I was there it seemed churlish not to attempt to do something so I persuaded my reluctant father out on a day trip or two. Once we had negotiated the complexities (primarily who got to drive – him) we had a pretty good time.
On a bitterly cold day we ventured west to Culzean castle. I enjoyed my wander around both the castle and the immaculate grounds. The sun came out in the early afternoon although it remained freezing and we had a very pleasant poodle up the ayrshire coast to Glasgow to return home.
Day 2 saw us heading north to the National Trust for Scotland’s (NTS) newest and shiniest attraction Bannockburn. Sadly both my Dad and I were disappointed despite the multimillion facelift and apparently revolutionary use of technology we both felt we struggled to fully understand the context of the battle, the significance of the land that we were standing on and the historical time period in which it was placed. Listening to the other visitors we were not alone. It was also hideously expensive – adult entry (if you aren’t a member of the NTS or National Trust) is £11. Ouch.
After our disappointment there we headed over the Kincardine bridge to Culross. I haven’t been there since I was a child and can’t remember if I’ve ever been round the palace before. This is another NTS property and the context could not have been more marked – there was a very informative introductory film which fully explained the context in which Culross developed.
The highlight of my visit were the fabulous historically accurate textiles made by local needlewoman and displayed throughout the palace. We also got a really interesting guided tour from one of the volunteers. So thumbs up to a traditional NTS property and a big boo to the all singing and dancing shiny one!