We just got back from a 3-day weekend trip to Scotland with Gavin's parents. It was great fun. We started out in Manchester, driving through the Lake District on the way to Helensburgh. Luckily, I wasn't driving, so I actually got to enjoy the scenery in the Lake District. It was beautiful, and I'd like to go back (as a car passenger) to take some of the back roads. The sun was out on Friday when we drove through the Lake District, so every British person alive seemed to be there. We tried to go to Beatrix Potter's farm, but realized too late that it would be flooded with people, and we wouldn't be able to get a ticket. This was after sitting in a queue while waiting for the ferry across the lake.
By the time we got across the lake, we were all quite hungry. Fortunately, Gavin brought along the Good Pub Guide 2009, so we had no problem locating a good place to eat, drink, and be merry. We've used the guide three times to find places to eat, and all three times it has delivered. The food was excellent, and Gavin said the beer was great! So, from now on, we won't doubt the guide.
After that, we made our way to Helensburgh to meet with some of Gavin's dad's friends who had been vacationing in Scotland. We ended up having an excellent Italian meal and going to sleep quite late!
The next morning, it was raining and yucky, so we decided to forego a drive into the Highlands and settled on a trip to Culross instead. That turned out to be an excellent idea, as the first property bought by the National Trust for Scotland is there. In fact, almost the entire 16th century village has received funds from the NTS to help refurbish the beautiful buildings. We walked through the "palace" and had a guided tour of the village.
We then drove to Bannockburn, where Robert Bruce led the Scots in a decisive victory over the bloody English! :) It was neat, but we didn't get to spend too much time there, as we were a little late. However, we managed to take pictures in some chain mail. (I'm the demon-eyed b***h in the middle).
We went back to Helensburgh, had dinner with Gavin's cousin and her husband, and then went to sleep. This morning, I woke up to this:
Needless to say, it was a great weekend!