Scotland Road Trip: Part 1

On Good Friday me and my Dad ventured on our first our first road trip to Scotland for the week. To sum it up, Scotland was STUNNING!

Day 1: London -> York

Instead of doing the drive to Scotland in one go, we decided to break the journey up and stop over near York for our first night. Neither of us had ever been to York so we thought ‘two birds one stone’ we’ll pop in for a couple of hours. We heard it was beautiful and it did live up to the reputation, but, you only need a short amount of time to see everything. A city that is perfect for a day trip. If you do go i recommend popping into Crumbs Cupcakery (yummy) and of course no trip would be complete without seeing York Minster Cathedral! We were not allowed to take photos of the inside as the Good Friday service was on. All i can say is it is the most amazing cathedral i have ever seen, the architecture and decoration was unlike anything i have ever seen.

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York Minster in the glorious sunshine

Instead of staying in York itself we decided to stay the market town of Wetherby just off the A1 in a pub called The Royal Oak. OH MY GOD! The best pub grub i have ever eaten and i am a massive pub grub eater, can’t beat it.

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Day 2: York -> Edinburgh

This drive wasn’t the most interesting today i have to admit. As i was looking at the map i thought oh we could stop in Bamburgh to eat our lunch as it was by the coast. I was behind the wheel and as i came over a hill in the road all of a sudden i saw this immense castle. Then it occurred to me…..oh this is Bamburgh Castle! So stupid of me haha. We spent 3 hours in the wind and rain exploring the grounds.

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Further north of Bamburgh the scenery of the A1 picks up a bit and you start to feel more and more remote. Again we didn’t stay in the city, but in a village outside. We stayed in Laswade, in a pub called the Laird & Dog Inn. Nice little pub once again with good food and friendly staff (not that my Dad could understand the the accent here). However out night was ruined by a couple of drunk, high, arrogant people who decided that their night didn’t have to end so they would keep everyone in the hotel up. It got so bad they even threatened to punch my Dad when he asked them to quieten down. This was thankfully the only low point of the trip and the rest and every Scottish person we met after this were lovely and helpful.

Day 3: Edinburgh to Drumnadrochit

So this was the day we officially started the Scottish part of our road trip and the reason why we traveled all this way. From the off we were not disappointed by the scenery! We made our way north along the M90 and then the A9 towards the Cairngorms National Park.

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Cairngorms National Park

We didn’t drive into the depths of the park, instead we turned A880 and then onto A86 towards Fort William. I swear we stopped every 5 minutes to admire the  view. The great thing is if you ask a local what to see they know exactly where the good views are. In Roybridge there is a cafe that has all the glacial history of the area and one of the women told us to go down the track road just down from them and to head up to Glen Roy to see the ‘Parallel Roads’. These ‘roads’ are not actually roads but ancient glacial shorelines depicting the different heights of glaciers 11,000 years ago. As a geography graduate i was in awe of them and how they were created by these vast glaciers.

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Glen Roy

After seeing this impressive view we carried on towards Loch Ness along the A82 towards Inverness. Without realising we cam across a view point of Ben Nevis and man i was taken aback by it’s size!

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Ben Nevis

From here we drove north to Loch Ness trying to stay ahead of the rain clouds and in the sun. To see Loch Ness it is best to stop at Fort Augustus but i warn you it was full of tourists but it is where you can pick up all the boats in search of Nessie. I wasn’t overly impressed by Loch Ness. Don’t get me wrong it is cool to see but that was all it was for me.

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Loch Ness

From here we drove to our next pub stay in Drumnadrochit just off the A82 near Inverness.

Safe to say it was a busy day!

Next up Day 4-5: Scotland Road Trip: Part 2

 

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My Top 5 things to do in Paris!

So recently i came back from a short trip to the city of luvvve….with my housemates (no romance for unfortunately).

I wanted to share my top 5 things that i did in the hectic 3 days i was literally wandering around!

  1. Eiffel Tower

This one is probably a given. It was my third time going up it and this time i finally made it to the top floor! Ok for about 1 minute as it was so windy i could feel it swaying, but, for someone with a fear of heights like me this was a massive thing for me to do and yes i think that one minute counts. I was also lucky enough to be right there for the lights show that happens at 10pm every evening. It sounds cliche but it was magical!

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2. Wandering the streets of Montmatre

For this one my housemates and i took part in a free walking tour around the neighbourhood (i have a whole blog post on just this alone!). This little part of Paris is home to Moulin Rouge, Scare Coeur and of course all on a massive hill. Be prepared for artists, great little restaurants and winding streets.

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Moulin Rouge

3. The foooooooood

Goes without saying really but Parisians know how to eat……baguettes, pastries, chocolate, Macarons, Croque Monsieur…..i could go on! This trip happened to be the first time i ever tried a Macaron and unintentionally ate a baguette from the patisserie, Le Grenier a Pain, that makes the ‘best baguettes’ in Paris. It was good. It was all good.

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Where i had my first Croque Monseur in Montmatre

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4. Getting Lost

One thing i do in every city i visit is just go for a wander to see what i come across. Walking the streets in Paris means you see incredible architecture and come across parks and cemeteries and so much more.

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5. Notre Dame

Not for the obvious reason, but just behind there is a little park on the side of the river with very few tourists and amazing views of the back of the church. Total serenity for me.

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