Since leaving the Lake District we have driven into Scotland and north to Pitlochry. To get our fill of history on the way up I got the driver to detour to Haltwhistle. Near Haltwhistle there is a pretty good section of Hadrian’s Wall to be seen. After seeing the rather old wall we retired for some scones and tea in Haltwhistle. The Mothership was saddened by the lack of clotted cream and addition of raisins. I think this means we will just have to have more scones. Hardly a hardship.
While in Haltwhistle I saw a wee brochure for Hexham Abbey so I asked for a further detour to go see it. After we were all touristed out we got back on the road bound for Pitlochry.
It was about 7pm when we finally arrived at The Old Mill where we had some stunning rooms. Mystery DIY Man had a really delicious Haggis, Neeps and Tatties entree for tea. He was desperately hoping to get some deep fried haggis from a chippy but that will have to wait for next time. Thanks to the very light evening we went and explored the town after dinner.
Our next night was to be spent in Broomhall Castle in Stirling so we took the scenic route to get there. The scenic route took us to Loch Tay and Lomond as well as the Trossochs (or highlands in miniature). Once we arrived in Stirling we hopped on a train, destination Edinburgh. I had a date with the Edinburgh Military Tattoo opening night and the Fringe Festival. Royal Mile was completely packed with fringe festival humanity so I took a bit of break in the relative quiet of St Giles Cathedral. We also popped up to visit Edinburgh Castle to keep up with our history lessons. The castle has a commanding view over Edinburgh and I probably took far too many photos.
To cut a long waffley story short we explored Edinburgh until it was time to take our seats for the tattoo. This year the NZ Army Band was performing and we were lucky enough to get a quick visit from one of the band. The tattoo is well worth seeing if you ever get a chance. The NZ Army Band put on a fantastic show and received a standing ovation from many of the kiwis dotted around the audience.
We headed back to our castle digs for the evening, but at midnight I couldn’t fully appreciate them. Before leaving Stirling and Scotland we spent a very enjoyable morning at Stirling Castle. The castle has been restored a lot since I was last there 21years ago. They have done up the palace rooms beautifully and is a must see. The museum of the Argyll and Sutherland Regiment is also on the castle grounds and their bandmaster wrote the Dunedin march (among others The Thin Red Line, HM Jollies and Colonel Bogey). I inflicted the Dunedin march on some poor unsuspecting museum goers. I trust they appreciated the sentiment.
We’re back on the road now bound for Stratford-on-Avon so I apologise for any exciting typing that you have suffered through. My texting is creative at the best of times, being in a car only increases the creativity.