That need to explore hasn’t left me… I am still shocked by how much of my own country I haven’t seen…! Since returning, I have been doing my best to rectify that… As far north as Dundee, to Blackpool and Croome in the South, to trying to cover a bit more of Edinburgh’s bounds… A weekend feels wasted if I haven’t explored a new place :-).
Top of my list, of course, was the new addition to the Scottish landscape since I’ve been away of the ‘kelpies’. Two 30m high horse head sculptures in Falkirk. Personifying local and national equine history, they also represent the lost industries of Scotland. Not quite as tall as anticipated, there is something very quite cool about them. They have been very popular since their creation, so much so they are soon to be getting their own visitor centre where you can learn more of their story.
Looking for places for a weekend visit, I didn’t realise how near to Edinburgh Dundee was. Of course anywhere feels near after time spent in Australia ;-). Off on our way, crossing the Tay Bridge, taking in the view from Dundee Law and walking the sands of Broughty ferry, I was interested to learn of the tales of the Antarctic in the Discovery museum. I didn’t realise Captain Scott had spent two years there… Tales of eating turtles and penguins, they apparently didn’t find them too tasty!
Also learning of jute (the raw material for making potato sacks) in Dundee’s Verdant Works, I hadn’t even heard of it, never mind know that Dundee had depended on it for its industry. A really well told story of the history, I will now appreciate the effort that goes into making a jute bag. Do consider buying a joint pass if you’re planning on visiting both, it is slightly cheaper. Returning via the Fife coast, the towns of St Andrews, Crail, Elie and Anstruther held our attention, as well as trying out the once famous best UK fish and chips.
Having never been before, on the return journey from visiting my sister, we had a lovely afternoon in Blackpool. For sure caught in a bit of a time warp and in need of investment, that is perhaps all part of its charm. I absolutely loved the beach and of looking to the pier; reading the comedy carpet’s words and checking out the view from the tower. Very clever glass surrounded corners allowing views from multiple angles. Their 4D experience showing the illuminations at night, I would quite like to return to see them some point.
Within Edinburgh’s bounds, I have been working my way through a ‘To do’ list of places to see. Showing Ben Calton Hill (somehow I have never ever been up it?!), Edinburgh blew me away with its views! Lovely lovely spot. Loved the national monument too. Again not having been before, we popped along to Rosslyn Chapel. Propelled to fame and now doing a roaring trade thanks to Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code’, it is a really really interesting building to wander around. Unfortunately no pictures allowed inside to show you, there are lots of carvings to hold your attention. Then venturing on a Firth of Forth ‘cruise’ to Inchcolm Island, it wasn’t the best weather Edinburgh has delivered (I in fact needed to wear my gloves. In June… In supposibly the height of summer 😉 ). It was genuinely though the beginnings of the ‘Birds 2’, with some territorial nesting seagulls. A word to the wise, avoid June if you can, the seagulls prevent you from exploring the entire island. Nice to return though after having not been there since I was a child :-).
However, one of the favourite ‘Edinburgh’ things I’ve done was exploring Jupiter Artland. An outdoor sculpture garden found in a book of ‘100 places to visit in Scotland’, I thought it was really really cool. A beautiful day and provided with an electronic tour guide through their app, between the life mounds and the smaller pieces of art, it is a really interesting wander. Definitely better appreciated in the sunshine than on a rainy day though!
Spending time in Bo’Ness motor museum, Glasgow’s transport museum and Kelvingrove Art gallery, we also found some cool street art outside of Tennents brewery :-).
We’ve done very well but still so much to see! Please do let me know of any suggestions :-).