Summer Plans


My daughter and I are going to Scotland in August.

That statement deserves to stand alone because we are very excited about it. I have wanted to visit Scotland for years and Celia is happy to go anywhere with castles and history and afternoon tea.

 We have never gone on vacation just the two of us so this is a big deal. My husband talked us into it. A friend of mine took her daughters to Italy last month and he thought it was a great idea. He is still recovering from his motorcycle accident last fall and doesn't have the energy to do a big trip. Our son has a chronic health condition that is making it difficult for him to travel right now. If we want a vacation we are going to have to go on our own. So we are.

I'm a little nervous about being the only adult solely responsible for dealing with all the logistics of the trip but I am sure it will be fine. I have traveled to the U.K. a number of times before and what is the worst that can happen? I get a little lost or look a little clueless occasionally. I think I will survive.

We are staying in Glasgow because it is cheaper than Edinburgh but we intend to take the train to Edinburgh once or twice. Celia wants to go to the zoo because there are pandas there and she is a huge animal lover. We are trying to decide on a couple of other day trips by train. Loch Lomond isn't that far and I saw photos of the Isle of Arran and it looks absolutely gorgeous. Then there is Stirling Castle and Celia really wants to visit a castle. It is so hard to pick. If you live in the Glasgow area and have suggestions please let me know.

Of course, I will manage to squeeze in a few bookshops. This trip is mainly being built around Celia's interests though and, while she loves to read, I am sure she does not want to spend the whole week going from bookshop to bookshop. So, again, if you live in the area, tell me the bookshops I absolutely can't miss.

I have spent the last couple of weeks researching things. How do I get from the airport to the city center? How much does the train from Glasgow to Edinburgh cost? How far is too far for a day trip? I don't think a week is going to be nearly long enough. I am already planning a return trip so we can visit the Highlands.

So, talk to me about Scotland. Do you live there? Have you been there? Do you dream of going?





10 comments

  1. That sounds absolutely delightful! I have been to Scotland twice, but both trips were before I read Dorothy Dunnett. Now I want to go back with those books in mind, particularly in Edinburgh. And I so very much want to visit Orkney!

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    1. I just reread all the Lymond books in the last six months or so but maybe I should do it again in preparation?

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  2. How wonderful! I do dream of going. I have a thing for islands, and of course Scotland has plenty of those.

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    1. There are so many it is tempting to visit. I think I need a lot more time!

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  3. I was born in Glasgow but I live about 30 miles north of Edinburgh now. Stirling Castle is my favourite of the big castles and you will be able to get a train from Glasgow to Stirling. Edinburgh is lovely and of course the castle is very central - but busy. I'd be happy to meet up with you in Edinburgh and show you some bookshops - after you've been to the zoo! A month is not long enough. Email me if you want more info.

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    1. I just sent you an email but I wanted to say thank you. I might take you up on the bookshop recommendations!

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  4. (Apologies if this posts twice; I posted on my phone, but it didn't look like it worked.)

    What a lovely plan!

    I've only been to Edinburgh for a long weekend, but it was great! Glasgow is apparently the cool Scottish place to go at the moment. Lots of my friends have visited recently. It also has the top-selling Oxfam bookshop in the UK, so that is definitely worth seeing. If you or your daughter like indie music, this is a good excuse to look up Belle & Sebastian if you don't listen to them already, as they are from Glasgow and include lots of literary references in their music. A friend of mine lives in Dundee & it sounds like that is an easy day trip on the train; the V&A recently opened a museum there.

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    1. I've added the Oxfam bookshop to my list. Also, I had a long drive on Thursday and I spent it listening to Belle & Sebastian. I was vaguely familiar with them but that was about it. I really liked them so thank you for that recommendation.

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  5. I've been to Scotland a few times, but the only place I know relatively well is beautiful Edinburgh. If your bookshop time is limited there, I recommend seeking out the treasure trove that is Armchair Books - especially if you're happy to borrow their ladder and get in everyone's way, which is what I did last time!

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    1. I will definitely be going to Armchair Books. Who could resist a bookshop with a ladder and the chance to get in everyone's way!

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