Edinburgh 15 September

Our last full day in Edinburgh. We caught the tram from Ratho near the airport where we are staying into the city centre for a final look & a bit of shopping before heading back to the hotel. Our bags need to be packed ready for the flight tomorrow. We will have to do a bit of a re-shuffle with the packing in London as we have a few things to put away for the flight to Singapore. Looking forward to arriving back on home turf.

Edinburgh 14 September

Today dawned bright & sunny with no wind blowing - a pity we were leaving. However by the time we were ready to leave at 9:00 the fog & clouds had started to roll in. David had decided to drive through to Edinburgh today & it was foggy and wet all the way. Not one bit of sunshine to be had so consequently no photos taken.
We arrived at the Travelodge near the airport at 3:00. We have 2 nights booked here so it will be easy to catch a tram straight into Edinburgh for some last minute shopping tomorrow before heading back to London Heathrow on Wednesday.


Nairn 13 September

Today was fine with a few clouds and a rather chilly wind. We had a lovely breakfast then went for a walk down to the harbour.

We didn’t stay out long as David didn’t take his jacket. We got back to the room & thawed out as the heater was on. We went out again about 10:15 & met up with the local Historian who is another relative. We chatted to him for a while then walked down by the River Nairn. We walked for quite a while back up to the town centre & got back to the B&B at 12:45.

We went for a drive later to find the family church & graveyard. The mausoleum had collapsed & was under scaffolding to be repaired. From there we went for a drive to Fort George to have a look the headed back to Nairn.

For dinner we went to the Havelock Restaurant again. I had lasagne & David had crumbed Scampi.


Nairn 12 September

We woke to an overcast & foggy day. After breakfast we packed the car & started our drive to Nairn. After the beautiful sunshine yesterday, the scenery was less than spectacular through the fog.

We did strike a few sunny patches as we travelled down the inland road to Latheron where we rejoined the coastal route retracing our route from yesterday. We turned off after Inverness to make our way into Nairn, arriving just before noon. As no-one was home at the B&B we drove around a bit & found a tea house out of the rain.
Nairn - The Links & Beach
We explored a bit more once the rain stopped & got back to the B&B.Our room overlooks the beach. David had a chat with the MIL who turned out to be a possible relative. We went out & had a look at some of the old addresses of his family but headed back as it was bitterly cold out.

We went to the Bandstand Restaurant for dinner but couldn’t get a table so walked around to the Havelock Restaurant. I had slow cooked pork belly, with chorizo mash & blood pudding on creamed cabbage. David had Sea bass with sweet potato mash. A very nice meal indeed.


Thurso 11 September

We drove from Inverness up the Coast today. We saw some beautiful scenery along the way including the North Sea.
North Sea

Old buildings left to ruin
We stopped in Wick for lunch then proceeded on to John O’ Groats.

We continued on to Dunnet Bay where we could view the northerly most point of the British Isles and then on to Thurso where we stopped for the day about 2:30.

Dunnet Bay
We found a nice little Hotel – Weigh Inn – overlooking the Sea.
View from our room


Inverness 10 September

Spent the day on the road today driving through the beautiful Highlands again retracing some of our journey covered by the coach.

Glencoe in the Highlands
We went to Fort William then on to Glenfinnan to see the viaduct used in the Harry Potter movies. We were a bit disappointed because the brochures show a much clearer picture of the curved structure.

What we saw was mostly hidden by trees. We missed seeing the Jacobite Express too. We did see the Glenfinnan Monument at the site of the final Jacobite rising.
Glenfinnan Monument & Viaduct; Laggan Dam
We then headed up to Culloden Battlefields to revisit with a bit more time than when on the tour. David found the 3 family stones & laid Heather sprigs on each of them.
Culloden Battlefields
From there it was a 5 minute drive to Inverness where we stopped for the night. We walked down the road to KFC for dinner. Can you believe they don’t have potato & gravy or coleslaw! We finished up having chicken & corn on the cob.


Dumbarton 9 September

An early start today as we had to get to Heathrow Airport. Had breakfast at 6:30 then headed off to the bus station to catch a bus to Kings Cross Station to board the train to Heathrow. The trains were jam-packed but we managed to get a seat. We arrived at Heathrow at 9:00 and had to check in at one of the Kiosks only to find we were to be sitting 2 rows apart! We got it sorted but then had to pay for excess weight on David’s bag – highway robbery 65 pounds for an excess 4 kg. Finally got through security & to the gate and before we knew it we were on our way to Edinburgh. We arrived at 1:05, collected our bags which had luckily arrived (some IT problem & they couldn’t guarantee the bags would arrive) then off to Hertz to get the car.

Falkirk Wheel

Falkirk Wheel in action

Some of the wildlife
Safely on our way we headed to Falkirk to see the Falkirk Wheel – a gravity driven Lock on the Forth & Clyde Canals. An absolutely amazing structure.

We continued on past Glasgow to Dumbarton where we had seen a Premier Inn and luckily got a room. We had a lovely dinner at Brewers Fayre Restaurant before returning to the room for the night.