Last scurry across Scotland and time to Brexit

Our next Scottish airbnb was located 10miles west of Inverness in the small town of Beauly. The town is built around the site of Beauly Prior, a Valliscaulian monastic community. The quirkiest thing we found with the town was the street names…

Sure did make it a bit confusing when finding our place… but we located our little ‘house on the priory’. We had a very welcoming family home to stay in, complete with two furry friends…

In the morning, we went for a leisurely walk around Beauly, checking out the Abbey ruins and the river.

After lunch we visited the city of Inverness. We thought Inverness was a rather pretty city and enjoyed a stroll along the River Ness.

Later in the afternoon, we drove onto Culloden Battlefield. Again, our National Trust memberships saving us on our visit (£2 parking £22 visitor centre fee). Inside the visitor centre there was a great display on the history. We mostly enjoyed the virtual reality room, which made us feel like we were standing in the middle of the battlefield. Outside, the rain clouds looming around us added to the gloomy feel of this place…

The next day the rainy weather was still hanging around. However, it was our last day in the area, so we dressed in our wet weather gear and headed north. We drove through lots of farm land…

We continued our drive to the Dunrobin Castle (not a National Trust attraction – but we think worth the additional fee). We timed our arrival to see the falconry show. The show runs from April-September (so we managed by only days to catch one of the final shows for the season). We were very thankful to have weatherproof pants as well as jackets – giving us the ability to comfortably seat ourselves in the front row. Despite the weather, the show went on and the birds of prey put on a great show for all the brave tourists…

Since we were already outside, we continued to explore the gardens and admire the exterior of the castle in the rain…

Feeling rather cold and damp, we decided to escape to the grand indoors…

The best part was the cosy fireplace -which made it hard to leave…

On the way back to our airbnb we couldn’t help but notice the many stacked oil rigs in the Moray Firth.

The next morning, we checked-out, bound for Edinburgh. We had originally planned to spend the day around Aberdeen, but it was still rainy, so we decided to stick to the A9, driving through the Cairngorms National Park. The weather cleared enough during our drive for us to enjoy a pleasant stroll around Loch Morlich.

Further down the road we found ourselves back in Perth!

The Perth Bridge and the town was looking extra spectacular during our visit due to the still conditions creating ‘perth-fic’ reflections…

But the absolute highlight of Perth was the museum & art gallery! Strangely enough it had some New Zealand Moari carvings on display for a special exhibition (making it doubly special for us). But the main reason this became our highlight of the day was because it had a ‘dress like a highlander’ corner…

We then drove over another beautiful bridge towards Edinburgh.

We found our airbnb in the city centre (which came with free parking). With only two-nights booked, we really only had one full day to explore the city. It was pretty chilly, so we rugged up the next morning and walked into the city centre…

After a quick stop for lunch, we headed for the Museum of Scotland, which we’d heard had a good view of the city from the 7th floor observation deck (all free of course). We ended up staying for much longer because it turned out to be an amazing museum (and not as crowded as the London museums).

Next, we walked across town to the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens. The trees in the garden were beginning to lose their leaves and we found some cute fluffy friends too.

On our walk home, we followed the Water of Leith, stopping in at the picturesque Dean Village.

The next morning, we checked out and made our journey south via the coast. However, we were told we couldn’t leave Scotland without visiting at least one distillery. So, we detoured to the Glenkinchie Distillery (founded in 1837), where we went on an interesting tour to learn all about the history and process of making Scotch whisky.

We continued our drive along the coast, stopping in at a small village called ‘Cove,’ just north of the Scottish/English border. We followed the track to the beach below to have our picnic lunch by the sea. The track came to a tunnel through the cliff face which took us out to a secluded harbour.

Back on the road, we soon passed the border and found ourselves back in England. We arrived in our cosy cottage on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Our host had the woodfire lit for us, and we enjoyed a toasty and relaxed evening.

The next day, we stayed by the fire and watched the All Blacks vs. Canada game. After lunch, we decided to head outdoors and explore the nearby national park. We chose to visit Fountains Abbey (another National Trust site; saving £32). I was pretty excited when we came across the first building on the grounds, ‘Fountains Hall,’ because I instantly recognised the exterior from the 1993 Secret Garden film. Although, we didn’t discover the secret garden, we did find an apple orchard and the historic Fountains Mill.

Next, we came across the main attraction, Fountains Abbey itself. Built in 1132, it was one of the wealthiest monasteries in England until its dissolution in 1539 by King Henry VIII. This was a fun place to explore…

The grounds also included a deer park, St. Mary’s Church and the Studley Royal Water Garden. We also had some planes entertaining us with aerial tricks from above (perhaps just training drills).

Our last stop for the day was Brimham Rocks. Also maintained by the National Trust, so our membership saved us the £6 parking fee. This was the perfect place to end our time in the UK and we were treated with a pleasant evening as we wandered around this beautiful landscape.

The next morning, we drove back to the rental car place in north London. We had one more night staying with friends, before a very early morning flight to Israel. Our UK road trip worked out at 3098 miles (4985.75kms) in 30 days:

Our National Trust memberships worked out well too. We paid £120, and after calculating all the fees for non-members for visiting each site and utilising the parking, we would have spent £302.50 … £182.50 savings! Although, most importantly, the memberships encouraged us to visit different places around the UK.

Like the UK… it’s time for us to Brexit! …And just like the UK, we’re not sure what that’ll look like either 😉

Have fun at work!

Gemma

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