It's a bit of a knit and natter session, a reading marathon and on my part a week of complete relaxation and charging my batteries.
I love the train journey there (and back) and never tire of the changing scenery as we wend our way north. My sister has lived just outside Edinburgh for about 6 years now, so my journey only takes about four and a half hours. Before this she lived in Laurencekirk and the journey took all day so that I always arrived in the dark!
The east coast from about Newcastle onwards is stunning. Glimpses of Alnwick and beautiful Berwick upon Tweed, both of which I have explored on past holidays tempt you to explore further.
This journey was in beautiful sunshine, for us here in Lincolnshire the first really warm weekend of the year and the sun glinting on the water by the coast was magical.
My only regret nowadays is that we are tied to public transport as my sister has given up driving. Oh we don't let this stop us altogether and I must say the bus and train services in Scotland are pretty good. It just means that we no longer get to those remote fishing villages which pepper the east coat.
We managed a visit to Dumfermline, and ventured to Sterling by train. We found we could go from Cowdenbeath which is only manned part time and when we went to enquire about tickets the office had just closed. However there was a public information machine which we decided to try, and thank goodness we did! Within seconds of pressing the button for assistance we had all the information we needed delivered by a charming man ( yes an actual live person) with no problem at all. Well done Scotrail!!
On my final day we were kindly given a lift into Queensferry,
... a pretty little town on the banks of the Clyde. It was lovely to walk the full length and take in the sight of the now, 3 bridges. The rail bridge, the original road bridge and the almost finished new road bridge which I have watched taking shape over my last few visits. A stunning piece of engineering. I wasn't able to get a good shot of all three bridges together, but at least I got them individually.
Our kindly neighbour who then picked us up to return us home had to make a slight detour to pop some shopping in to his mum. You can imagine how my jaw dropped when he drove into her driveway!!
She doesn't actually live in the 'big' house but in what must have been the dower house I assume. Which in its own right was a lovely building but it must have been quite a shock for her friends the first time they came for tea, as the only access is down the main drive. She hasn't been here for long and her garden is currently under construction, but the views from it are the stunning parkland and woods of the estate which are now managed by the Hopetoun House preservation Trust
A super surprise ending to my lovely holiday. I didn't get to see in the house as it wasn't open until the week after my visit, but I might have to delay my holiday another year so that I can get to see more.
Its always sad when a holiday draws to a close, but at least I can now catch a train straight through on the way back.
And though its nice to go travelling its oh so nice to come home! (Sorry Frank) just had to do it.
Well another busy week ahead for me getting ready for yet another trip to Wales. This time with our brother and sister in law, hoping to do all the things we didn't manage on our holiday with the young things last year. I'm determined to walk up Snowdon at least and plenty more walking too.
The only problem is the packing. Beautiful as it Wales' weather is not exactly predictable. I think I might need a slightly bigger case this time!!
Have a lovely week whatever you are planning