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Unread 25 Jul 10, 04:00 PM  
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TrueBlue
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Our wee mini tour of Scotland

We have just returned from a couple of days away in the Highlands of Scotland and I thought i'd share some of our photo's/memories with you.

I actually felt embarassed that my kids had seen more of other countries than they had ours. We live in Kirkcaldy which is in the county of Fife on the east coast of Scotland... about 20 mins north of the Forth Road Bridge.

I know the weather up here can be a bit of a hit or miss at this time of year so I was determined not to book anything until the last minute. We'd wait until we knew there was going to be a couple of days of decent weather before i'd book a hotel. Because of this I couldn't get into any of the cheaper hotels. We were originally meant to be staying in Inverness but I couldn't find a hotel room that slept 4... well I could but I refused to pay 90pn for the Travel Lodge or the Premier Inn

I started looking round about Aviemore and came across a couple of hotels I fancied. One was the McDonald Highland Resort and the other was the Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel. Both were coming in about the same price and it really was a toss up between the both. We finally decided on the Hilton Coylumbridge hilton/coylumbridge The main reason being the everything is in the one building. The McDonald Highland Resort has about 4 different hotels in it and we'd have to have walked to one of the other hotels within the resort for our breakfast and dinner.

The price for the 2 nights at the Hilton was 322...pretty steep but I thought it wasn't too bad considering this was for 4 of us plus it included full scottish buffet breakfast and A La Cart evening meal.

So anyway, I booked the hotel for Thursday 22nd July - Saturday 24th July. I only booked it a couple of days beforehand and the weather man promised me it was gonna be really nice for those couple of days

I got up on the Thursday morning about 7am and woke the boys up too. They were really tired but still managed to drag themselves out of bed. The weather was quite sunny as the weather man had promise... result! We left the house about 9am and headed down the A92 for our first stop in Dunfermilne to stock up on things for a picnic from Tesco. We bought things like sandwiches, crisps, tubs of fruit, juice and 'ginger' for the adults (you'll know what this is if you're scottish)

We finally got on the road properly at 9.45 and I was going to be doing the driving. If i'd left it up to DH we would have driven from our house straight to Aviemore without stopping off!

We headed across the Forth Road Bridge and turned right for Stirling. After about an hour we came through Callander... a lovely wee town but we didn't stop off here, I kept driving straight on. A few miles up the road we came to Strathyre and Loch Lubnaig. I'd never heard of this Loch before but it was beautiful. Here's some pics of the said Loch







We stayed here for about half an hour and the kids had great fun skimming stones in the water. There was a few tourists here too (think they were French) and they had went in for a paddle (mad people lol)

We got back into the car and headed further north. I spotted another Loch and just had to stop and have a look/take more pics. This was Loch Earn. The part of the Loch we stopped at was in Lochearnhead... not much there but very picturesque. This time Callum(12) couldn't be bothered getting out the car (typical teenager!) so it was just me, dh and our DS Scott (8) who went out for a wander.

Loch Earn...







Again this was just another half hour stop so we got back in the car and headed further north.

After a while we were approaching Crainlarich, there's not much here but this is were you can either head further north or go down towards Loch Lomond. The scenery was starting to get really nice...there's not much round about here but hills/forrests and mountains. Next up was another little villiage called Tyndrum, this is were we decided to stop and have our picnic.

By this time it was about 12noon. We went in for a wander around the famous Green Welly Stop...It's a great wee tourist stop and sells loads of nic naks as well as food



I couldn't resist taking this pic (maybe only the scottish dibbers will know what this word means)



We left Tyndrum around our picnic about 1pm and headed north yet again. This time the scenery really changes dramatically as you head further up the mountainous roads





Next we were driving into Rannoch Moor. Your mouth really drops open by some of the views up here and it's great as all the road we've driven so far has had loads of parking places to stop and take pics. The view from the top of the summit is something else and my photo's really don't do it any justice.







continued...
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Unread 25 Jul 10, 04:41 PM  
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TrueBlue
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Again we stayed here for about another half hour or so then back in the car to see what the rest of our journey would bring.

After another half hour driving we were heading to one of the highlights of journey... the dark and mysterious Glencoe. Although it wasn't too dark or mysterious today as it was glorious sunshine. In the winter you'd think it was a totally different place though. We found another parking spot and pulled in.

There must have been at least another 200 tourists doing the same, the car park was full and everyone had their camera's out snapping away.













I could have honestly sat here all day surrounded by these glorious mountains. I really didn't want to get back in the car but we had another few stops planned so we had to get moving

Next up we came to Fort William. We didn't stop here but continued on to our next stop which was just 7 miles north of Fort William... Aonach Mor!

I had been so looking forward to this but was also very nervous as we were heading up the mountain on the Gondolas (cable cars). I'm not very good at heights but was determined to get up there. I knew the view from the top was going to be superb (mainly because i'd read Purple Myra's trip report on it before)









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Unread 25 Jul 10, 04:56 PM  
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I kinda freaked out a bit as Callum thought it'd be fun to start gently rocking the cable car we were in... I was not impressed and threatened to walk back down the mountain rather than come down in the cable car again. He decided to stop it as he didn't fancy walking lol.

Another nervous bit on these Gondola things are when they stop in mid air for what looked like no apparant reason... what's that all about

Anyway it takes about 15 mins to get to the top but once you're up there it is stunning. We went for a walk along with another 100 tourists or something lol












We spent probably about 2 hours up here and we were surprised at how hot it was even at the top. We really did have the weather on our side and so glad we waited for a couple of sunny days. I don't think it'd be the same if it was dark, cloudy and rainy.

We got back to the car and headed further north. Time was getting on now and we wanted to get into Aviemore in time for our evening meal.

The next place we stopped off at was Laggan Dam.





We only stopped long enough to take a couple of pics then headed on our road north again.

Some pics taken from the car





At last we were approaching Aviemore. It was almost 6pm and we had been on the road since 9am that morning... 9 hours! Crikey, we could have been to Florida in that time

Our first impressions of the hotel were really good. The room was bright and clean and the staff seemed really helpful

Our room



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Unread 25 Jul 10, 04:58 PM  
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Absolutely beautiful. You're so right about us not knowing what is on our doorstep. DD is due to go to Uni in Glasgow (if she gets the grades) in Sept and DH and I will be staying for a week to get her settled in. We plan to head up to Oban for 2 days to allow her time to adjust but be only a few miles away. Really looking forward to it ... so fingers crossed for good grades and then I can see some of the sights in your photos.
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Unread 25 Jul 10, 05:17 PM  
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We made a dinning reservation for 7pm, the menu looked really good so we were all looking forward to some decent food.

We got changed and freshened up then headed for the restaurant. The food was superb! I had Prawn cocktail followed by chicken with seasoned veg and finished off with passion fruit cheesecake. DH had Mushroom soup, salmon with seasoned veg and I can't remember what he had for dessert. The boys a selection of food from the buffet.

About 8.30pm we went for a drive up towards Cairn Gorm mountain range. Again the view and the scenery was outstanding







This was to be the only time we were to go up here, even though it was so close to our hotel. They were closing the road up towards the mountain at 9am the next morning as it was going to be used for the Soapbox races. I'd never heard of this before but the hotel explained it to us and it sounded like lots of fun.

On the way back towards our hotel we stopped off at yet another wee loch. This was within walking distance of our hotel and it had a great picnic area





Here is some pics of the hotel grounds. There's loads for kids and adults to do at the hotel including an indoor swimming pool with slide (also heated)











We got back to the hotel about 10pm. We (I) was exhausted but it was a brilliant day. Tomorrow we are heading a wee bit further north (but only 7 miles) to a place called Carrbridge which has a really cool adverture park called Landmark landmarkpark/

We watched a bit of tv (big brother to be exact) then crashed out in our beds

Continued...
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Unread 25 Jul 10, 05:38 PM  
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marion enjoying your trip report
you probably made a good choice for the hotel with kids - inverness is a bit lacking
looking forward to your landmark day my son has been pestering me to take him but still not feeling well enough to go - hopefully before schools back and maybe the weather might improve
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Unread 25 Jul 10, 05:44 PM  
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We woke up bright and early the next day as we were all looking forward to Landmark Park.

We all got showered and dressed and headed from breakfast about 9am. The buffet breakfast was probably the best i'd ever had in my life! There was everything and it all tasted delish

We went back to the room to grab the camera and some bits and pieces. DH, Callum and Scott went out the room before me and were waiting in the corridor. I came out about 30 seconds behind them and tried to close the bedroom door. I heard an ear piercing scream coming from scott and couldn't work out what was wrong then I noticed his fingers in the gap of the bedroom door...where the hinges on the door is. I pushed to door opened again to release his fingers, he was hysterical. I carried him into the room and was trying to comfort him on the bed when DH said I was covered in blood.

The door had trapped his fingers so much that it cut them open. DH got a flannel from the bathroom and wet it and wrapped his fingers in it whilst I ran to reception to get a first aider. At this point I still hadn't actually seen his fingers, I just saw loads of blood.

The first aider came running back to the room with me and DH had Scott in the bathroom sitting on the toilet with his had raised above his head to try and stop the bleeding. The first aider had one look at his hand and said we had to go straight to hospital with him

The hotel staff were fantastic and got us there in a taxi which the hotel said they'd pay for. They also told us to get the same taxi back and again they'd foot the bill. The first aider who I think was also one of the managers was fantastic and really helped to calm Scott down. His name was Adam and he was so professional.

By the time we got to the local hospital Scott was still crying and sobbing. The nurse took us straight away and quickly gave him some painkillers. They took about 10 mins to kick in but once they did Scott said he felt much better.

The nurse managed to peel the flannel off his fingers and said she'd need a doctor to look at the damage before she could bandage it up.

I took this pic whilst we were waiting on the doctor coming in. The nurse had already cleaned most of the blood away by this point plus he was calm and didn't mind me taking a pic of his sore finger



The doctor came in and had a look and at one point she said they might have to numb his finger and put his nail back in It has actually been ripped out from the root and there was a chance it might not grow back in again. She sent for another doctor to get a second opinion but the other doctor thought it would be fine the way it was.

The nurse then dressed his finger with lots of layers to protect it and the doctor told us to come back at 2.40pm for an x-ray. She was concerned that he'd also broken the bone at the tip of his finger.

By this time it was about 12 noon so we headed back to the hotel. We say Adam again and let him know what the hospital had said. He said if we needed anything at all we were just to ask.

Since we had missed going to Landmark Scott asked if we could go in the pool for a while so we all got our swimming stuff on and headed there. The hotel gave Scott a rubber glove to put over his bandage so he could go in the pool. We stayed there for an hour or so and Scott said the pain was still not too bad.

After that we came out, got changed and headed into Aviemore for some lunch before our x-ray appointment. None of us was that hungry due to all the drama so we just had a cuppa and a cake then went back to the hospital for Scotts x-ray.

It turns out that he had indeed broke the bone in his finger, it wasn't a big fracture but since the wound was open and there was a break he'd need to get penicillan.

By this time it was 4pm and I asked the boys if they wanted to maybe head up to Landmark Park. Since it was the summer it was open till 7pm and it was only about a 10 minute drive from Aviemore. They wanted to go so off we headed. I wasn't sure what Scott would be able to do there as a lot of it involved climbing.

He really surprised us by doing almost everything! ... even the climbing wall

Some pics of Landmark Park





















Continued...
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Unread 25 Jul 10, 05:54 PM  
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More pics of Landmark Park













Because we were so late in getting there we didn't get to do even half of the things here. We told the boys that we'd go back again hopefully next year

We left here about 7pm and headed back to Aviemore. At 8pm we went to the restaurant for our evening meal and yet again it was delish! I didn't take any pics i'm afraid as we had left the camera in the room.

After dinner the kids went for a play in the outside play park then we all went to bed early again as it was another very tiring day.

We watched big brother again in bed then crashed out about 11pm.

Woke up the next morning and yet again got washed and dressed for breakfast which again was lovely.

DH took the boys for a bounce on the bungy thingys whilst I packed everything away as we were going home

We left the hotel about 11am and came back the quick way down the A9. It only took about 2 and a half hours to come home and it was a pretty uneventful journey back down.

We got back to our house about 2pm and I took Scott to our A&E to get his fingers re-dressed as the blood was seeping out.

They checked him over again at our hospital and they also said his nail should grow back in again. It'll take a while for the old nail to come right off though but at least the pain has eased for him now.

Well I hope you've enjoyed reading our trip report of the stunning Scottish Highlands.

We can't wait to go back up again next year but think the next time we'll buy a tent and go camping and maybe even venture further north

Bye
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