Sunday, July 7, 2024

Day 1-2 (Scotland & England): No, I did not elope


I am back home from a wonderful trip to the UK - the 53rd visit since the 70s, and where I celebrated my 70th birthday.

You are going where Mommy?

We checked ... enough room for our pressies!!!

 Much need cuppa on the train to Harrogate

I flew to London on British Airways, arriving on June 7th.  The flight left Dulles late so I arrived late, which meant I would not get to Kings Cross in time to catch my train to Harrogate.   Got my suitcase and headed into the main arrivals area.   

The first stop was Costa for a latte and muffin.  Took time to enjoy it as I knew there would be other trains to catch. I texted my friends, Michael and Alison Rhodes who were waiting for my arrival in Harrogate.

Michael runs the successful and interesting Peerage News blog

I popped into Smith's for Tatler and Hello (no longer available at my Barnes & Noble), then headed to the Heathrow Express for Paddington, where I got a cab to Kings Cross.   I headed straight for the ticket office, where an agent said my ticket was good for all trains. He said the next train was at 4 p.m. 

Once the platform was listed, I headed to the train and found a seat -- when the train was on the way, I went to the cafe and bought a sandwich, a cup of tea, and a bottle of water.  I let my friends know when I was scheduled to arrive in Harrogate.  I changed trains in Leeds.


It was after 7 p.m. when the train pulled into Harrogate.   Alison Rhodes was waiting for me with a big hug.  It was a quick trip to Alison and Michael's home where I deposited my bags.  Both of us were hungry.  Alison recommended we try a new pub, the Mucky Duck, down the street from their home.

The Mucky Duck was once the home of the Swan, which closed a year after Covid.

The food was delish.  So was a local beer, Harlow Blonde.   

It was a good night for us as we had to get up early for the start of our six-day road trip in Scotland.

June 8

Yes, we were up early.  After breakfast, Michael put our bags in the trunk and the back seat as the Mini does not have a large trunk. I sat in the back for this leg of the journey.  We traveled on the A-66 to Gretna Green, right over the border in Scotland.  

Since 1754, young people in England have eloped to Gretna Green to marry.  Today, marriage is a big business in the border town.  It is also a place to shop, use the loo, and grab a bite to eat.

Yes, you can get sexy lingerie for your honeymoon after your Gretna wedding.

Many, many locks

Back into the car.   Ninety minutes or so the next stop: Dumfries House in Cumnock.

The estate is owned by the King's Foundation.

Within 48 hours,  Charles brought together a group of people who were able to save Dumfries' treasures for the nation.  Ten percent of the surviving Chippendale furniture is at Dumfries House.

Michael Rhodes is silly


Irn-Bru, Scotland's other national drink (the other is whisky of course)

The King and Queen have their own apartment in Dumfries House.  They were staying at Dumfries when they learned the Queen was dying.

The Blue Drawing Room was my favorite.  The guide assured us that the King does not sit on the restored furniture as he respects the work that has been done.

After having a bite to eat at Dumfries, it was to the car and on the road again to Kenmore, near Aberfeldy to stay for three nights at the Kenmore Club, a part of the Diamond Resorts. The resort is by Loch Tay.

It was overcast when we arrived.  Alison had made a dinner reservation for 6:45 p.m.  We made it in the nick of time.  I chose a cheeseburger with fries.  My beer was Fraoch, a Heather Ale.  This is one of the best beers I have ever tasted.  It is not sold everywhere in Scotland. Sad, but I did try other beers as well ... but this was the best one!!!!!!

Sticky toffee pudding for dessert, of course!   We stayed in a 2-level two bath house with a kitchen and a living room We brought some food and snacks as well as tea, milk and sugar.

Day One


BayTampaBay said...

More on Dumfries House please!

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

There is a link to the house in the article .. No photos inside

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

There is a link to the house in the article .. No photos inside