Paul and I at Floors Castle!
Taking the High Road to Scotland!
If you follow me on Facebook you will know that Paul and I have just returned from holidaying in Bonnie Scotland this week. It had always been an ambition of Paul’s to see the Edinburgh Tattoo and the easiest way of doing precisely that is to go on a tour where tickets and transport into Edinburgh are included in the trip. So we decided to book our holiday with Sherrings and travel up by coach which would pick us up in Leighton Buzzard and take us straight up to our hotel in Melrose. Well that’s what we though! As it turned out we ended up making all sorts of pick-ups and being taken down to London before we could board our designated coach. Rather annoyingly the coach stopped at junction 14 on the M1 which would have been a far better pick up point for us and would have saved us 5 hours of unnecessary travelling time. Needless to say on the way back we got off at junction 14!
Paul and I had never been on a coach holiday before although if I’m honest coach travel isn’t really for us. I’m so use to driving everywhere and normally I like to break my journey around Morecombe or Penrith when I head north of the boarder. I know Scotland quite well having
Catching Our Bus into Edinburgh!
performed a couple of Scottish theater tours back in the day while on my way up to Orkney and the Garrison Theater in Shetland. However after 8 hours on the coach we were so relived to reach our hotel.
The journey had been a difficult one taking us up the M1 then M6 back on the M1 onto the A1, past the Angel of the North and round every Scottish twisted road before we reached our hotel the Waverley Castle in Melrose. I can’t begin to tell you how relived I was to reach our destination having been unwell a couple of times on the way.
It’s always difficult knowing what to pack especially as everything has to fit in a suit case and there isn’t room for hat boxes or suit carriers. I know Scotland of old as it always rains what ever the season, and scarfs and jumpers are a must. When it comes to hats caps and berets usually tick
Enjoying Edinburgh Fringe!
the right boxes and certainly by the next day when Paul and I headed into Edinburgh we were so pleased we had hats.
Our coach firstly took us on a tour of Edinburgh and when we stopped Paul and I took tea at the Balmoral Hotel which is situated on Princes Street. The ambiance is delightful and while we were there they had a lady playing the harp which I really enjoyed. Afterwards we explored the city taking in the sights and sounds of the Fringe Festival before our coach picked us up and took us to the castle for the Tattoo.
Photographed with Security!
Although we both dressed warmly for the day the one item of clothing you must have is a plastic poncho. What most people don’t realise, is macs in this country are shower proof not water proof and certainly not suitable for sitting in during the rain, and yes believe me it did rain. In fact it poured down. The only thing that was missing was Nora’s ark which could have sailed down the middle of the parade ground as it rained that much. Needless to say Paul and I had invested in two £3.99 plastic ponchos which were life saves and made it possible for us to enjoy the show.
Paul Dressed for the Tattoo Weather!
What ever the weather the Tattoo must go on which was fantastic and full of life. I had great empathy for the Scottish dances who were wearing light ghillie dance shoes in the rain. Ghillie shoes are like ballet shoes with suede soles and have crossed lases. Scottish dancing is high impact and the balls of their feet must have been in agony dancing on concrete in the poring rain. I thought they must go through a pair of shoes a night.
When all the pipers came out on stage and played together it was extremely impressive and I
The Edinburgh Tattoo!
Enjoying the Pipe and Drums!
particularly enjoyed the Lochiel Marching Drill team from New Zealand. In New Zealand marching is a competitive sport and the young woman who make up the prestigious drill team travel all over the world. They were slick and were a dream to watch as they created lots of matching kaleidoscope patterns on the show ground.
Next day our coach trip took us to the town of Peebles where once again it rained and we all ended up having lunch in Wetherspoons as it was the closest restaurant to our drop off point. Paul and I decided to have the Haggis which was delicious and afterwards we visited the John Buchan museum. Of-course for those of you who know your literature John Buchan is one of Scotland’s most popular writers, famous for writing The Thirty-Nine Steps. Published in 1915 and seen by many as the first spy thriller. What I didn’t know and learn’t while I was at the museum John Buchan was also a biographer, poet, historian, journalist, publisher and statesman. In 1935 he was appointed Governor General of Canada and continued to live his life to the full always seeking fulfilling employment before
Dinning on Haggis in Peebles!
dying in 1940 at the age of 65.
Next day we visited Floors Castle in Roxburghire which I really enjoyed. Built for the first Duke of Roxburghe in 1721 it houses a wonderful collection of antiques and is set in a diverse estate extending to 54.000 acres. Sadly we only had two hours to see the house and Paul and I would have liked more time to have explored the grounds. The Drawing room houses some beautiful tapestries which were brought over from Newport, Rhode Island by Duchess May in 1930 and has a wonderful collection of portraits.
At The John Buchan Museum!
On Friday we headed home and we all had to be on the coach by 6.45am. We had to put our luggage out-side our rooms for 5.30am and had breakfast at 6am which was a real killer. This time we drove down the M6 on the west hand side of the country. Both Paul and I found sitting for long periods on the coach really difficult and we were so pleased when we reached junction 14. We caught a Taxi back to Leighton Buzzard and later that night I went for a walk still feeling wobbly after our journey.
Now it’s back to work and this week I have a couple of Song for Summer shows before Paul and I head up to Leicestershire on Friday to the town of Mountsorrel to perform for Stonehurst Farm’s 1940s weekend event. This Saturday and Sunday 17th & 18th August you will be able to catch Paul and I on stage performing 3 x 45 minute costume shows daily at
Paul at Floors Castle!
11.30am. 1.30pm and 3.30pm and on Saturday night at 7.pm and 8.15pm. More news about my shows to follow later this week so keep following my posts.
In the meantime I shall leave you with a few photos from our holiday. Toodle Pip and bye for now! 😉
Last night with our friends Caroline and Samantha!