After a few years of overseas holidays in summer and winter, we spent our first summer at home for 5 years. We headed up to Scotland – lured in part by the Commonwealth Games, and part by the year’s big purchase of a touring caravan, we had a two-point holiday over a fortnight.
The first week, in the small town of Maybole in Ayrshire, was a chance to visit some of Katie’s childhood holiday destinations (Jean’s parents were from Ayrshire and Katie spent a lot of her childhood holidays in the area). The sun generally shone when we were there even though we seemed to have missed the big summer hot spell by a few days. We combined touring around with local chilling out and generally feeling comfy in the caravan. We swam in the sea. It was incredibly warm. We went to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow twice (for the Time Trial and the Road Race). It was just lovely. A great area and under-rated.
Week 1 highlights
- A day at the races – the Games were great – Glasgow welcomed visitors wonderfully. The girls enjoyed watching a bike race AND we got to see a city together. Closed roads and a big bike race is the best way to do so with a 6 year old in tow, I reckon.
- Nardinis in Largs. Mmmmm. Just Mmmmmmm. Lovely ice cream meets art deco weird ‘I’m on a film set’ feeling.
- Seeing Elsie belt round and round the caravan site on her bike. Perfect place for someone to just ride and play safely.
- Warm sea. Not just tolerable but properly warm. Gulf stream, no winds. Was strange but a mega-surprise.
- Quiet beaches, and beautiful ones. In mid summer season.
The second week was in the Highlands. Proper Scotland as my mountain-oriented brain sees it. After a great detour on the way up to see The Kelpies at Falkirk’s new Helix Park. A fairly amazing sight and a lovely place for a stop. Beats the hell out of motorway services. From there it was up to Bunree, 8 miles to the west of Fort William, for a week of mountains, sea lochs, walks, bike rides, lazy drives, more walks, and lots and lots of general playing around the caravan site for Elsie. The site was lovely, the landscape was ace. Not so sure we’d stay so long up there again for a family holiday. I think 4 or 5 days would be enough… .there are only 3 or 4 directions in which you can drive, the roads are impressive, but ultimately attractions for children tend to be far between. Plus, it did rain a bit.
Week 2 highlights
- The drive. It felt like that bit from Skyfall at times over Rannoch Moor, but James had his caravan on. So he was even cooler.
- Genuine shock on arrival at Bunree. Stunning lochside, immaculate caravan park, and barely a midge to speak of. No, really.
- How simple things like a taught awning can make Dave very very satisfied indeed.
- Big mountains are ace, but there are also some great forest walks by Forestry Commission Scotland for families with proper, useful leaflets. Perfect for the girls.
- Time-trialling round Loch Leven on a ‘cross bike with knobblies on and still setting quite a pace whilst the girls were all still asleep. And a few similar ones.
Photo set here on Flickr and a bit of a departure from me… a short family holiday video with no real dialogue and just a few flavours of the scenery