Places to Visit on a Scottish Road Trip
We love visiting family and friends in Scotland and living in Northumberland we feel a strong affinity with Scotland too. Being 46 miles from the border means that we have spent many day trips to the Scottish Borders, but recently we have started to visit for weekends and longer. This has meant that we have been able to explore further afield and we are sharing three of our favourite National Trust for Scotland sites on our Scottish Road Trip.
We set off on our Road trip up to the East of Scotland and arrive 26 Miles West of Aberdeen to visit a wonderful pink baronial castle called Craigievar Castle. Yes it is pink, built from the local granite that has a pink hue to it! This is a quaint little castle that was originally a family home built in the 17th Century. Steeped in a rich and colourful history the guided tours let you imagine what it would have been like to live there. The furnished castle is full of furnishings dating back hundreds of years and you do get the feeling that the family are just sitting in one of the other rooms. One of the highlights of Craigievar Castle is the Tower which has a steep spiral staircase which is always a thrill to walk back down. There is an alternative descent for those who do not wish to walk down the spiral staircase.
Outside there are plenty of grassed and wooded areas, ideal for picnics or to just let the kids run off some steam. With little stone stairways and odd little buildings the castle grounds have a magical quality all of their own!
Next on our road trip we journey north to Inverness to a more sombre site – Culloden. We have included this in our road trip as it is such an important place in Scottish history and shaped modern British and European history.
This is a Battle site where the course of British and European history was changed on 16 April 1746. From this vast site the Jacobite army fought to reclaim the throne of Britain from the Hanoverians for a Stuart king. Equally determined to stop this happening was the British army and a ferocious European war had come to Scotland which divided families and clans.
Culloden is a huge field set out with markers to indicate which clan or army division stood where. The flags from both sides indicate where on the battle field they stood. You can walk around the site and try to imagine where everyone was and how the armies moved and fought. Eventually you come across the large stone monument built to honour both sides. At this point we stopped taking photographs as the mounds nearby are where the fallen soldiers and clansmen are buried.
Back at the custom built heritage centre we found out more about who the Hanoverians and the Jacobites were and what the battle was for. This was really informative and helped to explain why clansmen fought clansmen, and why families were fighting each other. The defeat of the Jacobites led to many symbols of Scottish culture being banned such as kilts and tartan.
The visitor centre itself is bright and modern with lots of staff who are eager to explain the finer points of the battle with you and a well stocked gift shop too!
For the final leg of our Scottish Road Trip we travel down the west coast of Scotland to the large and impressive Culzean Castle and Country Park, 12 Miles south of Ayr. This castle is nestled in a large country estate and we think you could spend two or three days exploring the castle and the grounds as well as the Country Park and Visitor Centre.
It is a lovely example of 18th Century architecture by the famous Scottish architect Robert Adam and is packed full of interesting furniture, aretefacts and architecture. We think that the entrance hall is just awe inspiring as it is decorated with swords, pistols and other armoury. Each of the other rooms have a different theme in keeping with the castle and it’s previous occupants.
To keep the youngsters (and adults) entertained there is a Lego figure hiding in most rooms! We managed to find them all, although some were difficult to find! We finally work are way through the splendidly decorated rooms back down into the heart of the castle. Here you see how vast food stores were guarded and the kitchen where feasts of game and local produce where prepared.
Outside the castle there is an impressive orangery, ornamental gardens and a fountain which is a great area to let the kids run around a little after being on their best behaviour in the castle.
A visit to the teashop for a traditional piece of shortbread and a strong cup of tea, whilst overlooking the sea, is a great way to finish off a visit!
So there we are 3 Awesome Places to Visit on a Scottish Road Trip. We cannot wait to visit them again this year!
We are delighted to be taking part in The Best Road Trips Around the Globe with Playground Parkbench. Pop by and find out where everyone else is going on their road trips today!
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