Shona's trip to Scotland

Over Easter 2009, Shona went for a trip to Scotland. She covered over 1150 miles in four days. the map shows the outline of the trip:

On the first day, Shona left mummy behind in Basingstoke.

A quick stop in Wokingham to finish packing and pick up Kathleen and we were on our way North. Ikea in Birmingham was a handy place to stop for lunch, just meters from the Motorway.

The bank holiday traffic made the motorway quite slow and we were glad to pull into the lodge in Warrington. Shona unpacked a menagerie of soft toys and Dr Who goodies.

We were right next door to the main shopping centre, so we explored Warrington and Kathleen got a shiny new phone. But most of the shops were shut and we didn't see anywhere we fancied to eat so we drove over to Liverpool, to take in a view of last year's city of culture and to have dinner.

In the morning, we were up bright and early and out on the road. The M6 gave us the first view of the scenery ahead.

The scenery and nice weather invited a detour up the A76 where we stopped to explore the rocks in the river.

Then we were off up the beautiful valley towards Leadhills, where we stopped for a picknic lunch. Shona tripped running down the hillside and did a spectacular head-over-heels as part of the show, but no lasting damage was done to the scenery.

A final drive and we were in Edinburgh and headed straight for the zoo. We liked the owl named "Tango", shown in his natural habitat, hanging around outside the Gent's toilet.

Shona particularly liked the Tapir and bought a toy baby Tapir to take home.

The zoo is built on a hill and it is a long way to the top but our climb was rewarded with an animal show where they brought several animals up "Close and Personal". The barn owl was flying low over people's heads when the presenter asked "Who knows what Barn owls like to eat?" Immediately, Andrew replied "Children".

Kathleen's favorite was the Kune Kune pig.

After the zoo, we explored Edinburgh, going all the way up to the castle, then down to the bottom of the Royal Mile. We had dinner, then went across the Forth Road bridge and up to Perth in the dark.

On Sunday morning, we were up and on the road, taking in views of the highlands.

Before long, we were in the Highland Wildlife Park, watching the animals roaming free.

Shona's favorite was the piglets

When we were done, we drove back down through Edinburgh, where we stopped to see the two bridges.

And then the scenic route South on the A68. The setting sun gave a glorious colour to the landscape and we stopped several times to admire the scenery.

We had dinner in Consett before hitting the sack in Durham.

We had dinner in Consett before hitting the sack in Durham.

Early the next morning, Andrew and Shona explored the ancient city of Durham as the sun was coming up and striking the Cathedral, then down by the river as the mist was rising off the water. The sharp morning air was still very fresh so Shona went back wearing daddy's sweatshirt to stop her fingers freezing off.

On the way down, we saw some of the best scenery in Yorkshire and stopped off at the Wensleydale cheese factory to buy a little truckle that we shared for lunch, high on the Yorkshire moors.

All too soon, we were back on the M6, stopping off for lunch in Ikea and back to meet the family in Camberley in time for bed.

All photos taken by Shona (except, of course, the ones where she is in the picture...)