Archive for September, 2014

Journey No 27

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Journey No 27
August 28th to 30th August 2014

This journey covered 3 days, 469 km / 293 miles.

Thursday, 28th August 2014

Our route was Carrick Castle to the Edinburgh area and back to Carrick Castle, Argyll.
This was a short break holiday to visit Hopetoun House and gardens, South Queensferry near Edinburgh on Thursday 28th August; the Scottish National Mining Museum at Newtongrange just south of Edinburgh, Crichton Castle close by and Ratho Climbing Centre in the evening where Liz was being assessed for her kayak paddling skills on Friday 29th August and then visiting Edinburgh from the Park & Ride at Ingliston by tram and then walking first to St Mary’s Cathedral to look at the Scottish Dyspora Tapestries, then on to The Georgian House in Charlotte’s Square, followed by another walk to the Scottish National Gallery, Gladstone’s Land in Lawnmarket, then to St Giles Cathedral and afterwards watching in the street a magician and an escape artist in the Royal Mile before driving home on 30th August.

En route to Edinburgh, we passed the Kelpies in Halix Park, by Falkirk. These are two massive sculptures close to the M9 in a new 350 hectare park and visitor attraction. The Kelpies are alongside a new canal link. The two Kelpies are the world’s largest equine sculptures at 30 metres tall and were opened in the summer of 2014. For more details visit www.visitfalkirk.com.

Our first visit of this short break was to Hopetoun House and gardens which was built by the family of the current owner, the Earl of Hopetoun 300 years ago. The house was the work of two Scottish architects – Sir William Bruce and William Adam. Hopetoun House is Scotland’s finest stately home.

Click on any photo to enlarge it… See below a selection of photos from this journey.

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Liz on the east side of Hopetoun House

 

 

 

 

 

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The impressive east side of Hopetoun House

 

 

 

 

 

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Hopetoun House from the west side

 

 

 

 

 

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View of the Forth Rail and Road bridges and the new Queensferry Bridge under construction from Hopetoun House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following an excellent guided tour of the house to see the rooms with their wonderful furniture and paintings and a walk around the sea walk nature trail we left after about four hours to have dinner in South Queensferry before going to the cinema to see Guardians of the Galaxy in Dunfermline, Fife.

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We took this photo from the roof of Hopetoun House of the new aircraft carrier ‘Prince of Wales’ where she is being built in Rothsyth on the north side of the Forth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We parked up for the night under the Forth Rail Bridge in North Queensferry. The previous time we came we were able to park in the car park but this time the car park had been closed for the night at 18.30 so we found just one spot to park on our own. When the trains are running it is very noisey there but quiet through the dead of night!

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Harrie tucked up for the night under the Forth Rail Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Harrie parked up in North Queensferry with the Forth Road Bridge in the background

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 29th August 2014

We departed North Queensferry early and headed for the National Mining Museum Scotland in Newtongrange, Midlothian. This is an excellent 5* attraction with two floors of exhibitions and a really interesting 1 1/2 hours guided tour of the Lady Victoria Colliery. This is the finest surviving Victorian colliery in Europe. We spent about 4 hours looking at everything and learnt such a lot from the guide who was a former miner when the colliery was open.

Lady Victoria Colliery

Lady Victoria Colliery

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coal wagons come up from the mine

Coal wagons come up from the mine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coal cutting in the mine

Coal cutting in the mine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coal washing machinery

Coal washing machinery

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coal loaded into trucks from the hopper

Coal loaded into trucks from the hopper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coal trucks ready to depart the colliery

Coal trucks ready to depart the colliery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NCB tank engine

NCB tank engine

 

 

 

 

 

 

The colliery's winding gear

The colliery’s winding gear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see from these few photos this is a very large colliery with plenty to see!

Later the same day we visited Crichton Castle in Crichton only about 20 minutes away from the colliery. This castle is looked after by Historic Scotland. The castle was begun in the late 1300s and was a lordly residence for around 200 years. There is a unique facade in the courtyard of diamond-faceted stonework carried out in the 1580s by Francis Stewart, 5th Earl of Bothwell. The castle is a ruin but many of the walls are complete.

Crichton Castle

Crichton Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

The diamond-faceted stonework in Crichton Castle

The diamond-faceted stonework in Crichton Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The horse shoe shaped door to the stables at Crichton Castle

The horse shoe shaped door to the stables at Crichton Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We enjoyed our visit to the castle and then Liz had a kayaking simulator experience at the Ratho Climbing Centre in Ratho to have her kayak paddling skills assessed. We stayed there in Harrie over night.

Saturday 30th August 2014

Early start as we wanted to spend the day in Edinburgh.  We parked Harrie in the Park & Ride at Ingliston near Edinburgh airport and caught a tram from the park into the centre of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Tram

Edinburgh Tram

Edinburgh Tram

Edinburgh Tram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our first visit of the day in Edinburgh was to St Mary’s Cathedral in Palmerston Place where the Scottish Diaspora Tapestries were being exhibited. There were two long lines of tapestries being exhibited down both sides of the cathedral.

One of two long lines of the tapestries

One of two long lines of the tapestries

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh

St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nave at St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh

The Nave at St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following tapestries just give a small flavour of those displayed…

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After this visit we walked to The Georgian House in Charlotte Square (1796) which is a National Trust for Scotland property to show high society living in the Georgian period.

The Geogian House is to the left with the NT banner and the Scottish First Minister's Official Residence to the right

The Georgian House is to the centre left with the NT banner and the Scottish First Minister’s Official Residence to the right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then went on a long walk through the park in the centre of Edinburgh heading to the Royal Mile.

The park in the centre of Edinburgh by Prince's Street

The park in the centre of Edinburgh by Prince’s Street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of the park we visited a modern art exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery and the many famous paintings in the static galleries such as Titian and many other famous painters works.

A painting by Titian

A painting by Titian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A painting by Titian

A painting by Titian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a short late lunch stop we then walked up the Mound to Lawnmarket on the Royal Mile where we went to another National Trust for Scotland property called Gladstone’s Land dating back to 1617. This was a merchant’s house with his shop below and it was well worth the visit. As photography is not allowed in either The Georgian House or in Gladstone’s Land, we can only show you the outsides of these properties.

Gladstone's Land

Gladstone’s Land

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next we went to St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile to look at the building. St Giles was founded in 1120 and expanding in 1385 to the much larger gothic structure one sees today.

St Giles Cathedral nave looking east

St Giles Cathedral nave looking east

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Giles Cathedral nave looking west

St Giles Cathedral nave looking west

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were about to walk back to Prince’s Street to catch a tram back to the Park & Ride when we passed some street entertainers in the Royal Mile.  The first we stopped to watch was a magician who performed some remarkable tricks and was well applauded for it by the large crowd.  The next we stopped to watch was an escape artist and we watched him bound up in a straight jacket and chains only for him to escape before our eyes! These were both very good.  There were others but time had run out as we wanted to get home.

The tram back was regular every 10 minutes, quick and quiet running. It may have cost the council a lot of money but it is an efficent form of transport and at only £1.50 each way or £3.50 for the day and was well used.

Our drive home was also quick bearing in mind we were driving a motorhome as we were home in 2 hours and 10 minutes.

This was a packed short break, in pretty good weather – a lot done in a short time – very enjoyable!

Douglas at Hopetoun House

Douglas at Hopetoun House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total mileage for the trip: 469 km / 293 miles.

Total mileage in our ownership: 14,844 km / 9,278 miles.

Total mileage to date: 125,467 km / 78,417 miles.

 

September 2014

We took Harrie for her MOT and a new exhaust manifold to Jamestown.

 

Total mileage for the trip: 120 km / 75 miles.

Total mileage in our ownership: 14,964 km / 9,353 miles.

Total mileage to date: 125,583 km / 78,492 miles.