We spent four days over New Years up in Scotland just outside a town named Crieff which is about an hour North of Edinburgh. We stayed in a renovated Mill - 10 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms - it was huge. We went with 3 other families so there were a total of 8 adults and 13 kids. It was so much fun!
We left our house on the 29th of December and drove about 5 hours up to Carlisle which is about an hour south of the Scottish border. We stayed there overnight and were planning to drive to Edinburgh and then on to the Mill. We ended up getting a good amount of snow while we were driving on the morning of the 30th so we decided to skip Edinburgh and drive strait to the Mill. We arrived around lunch time, explored the house, ate some lunch and Emmy and Aoife had naps while Aidan played in the game room. The other families arrived just before dinner time and the chaos began! The kids played really well together and everyone was exhausted when bedtime came!!
View of the kitchen/dining room:All the kids (minus the babies) eating dinner:
We had intended to go out to sightsee on the 31st but we ended up staying at the Mill all day because the kids were still pretty tired. We had a great time though - sledded and played outside in the snow and enjoyed the beautiful huge house. On New Years Eve we cooked dinner for the kids around 5:30 and we had lots and lots of appetizers. The idea was to have our dinner after the kids went to bed but we ate so much that we weren't that hungry for the beautiful steaks that Joe and Dyann had bought for everyone!
pictures of Emmy and Aoife from our stay at home day:
On New Years Day we went to Stirling Castle which was only about 30 minutes away. It was beautiful and just the way I imagined castles to be. It is built on top of a huge outcropping of volcanic rock and towers over the entire region. It was pretty empty since it was a holiday and we really lucked out with the weather too - clear and above freezing!!
Stirling Castle from the road into town:
A palm tree?? Who would have thought?
The Inner Close of Stirling Castle:
Aidan at the Gate:
The next day we went to Edinburgh Castle which was a little bit farther away. The weather was beautiful when we got there but as I was waiting in line for tickets a storm blew in and it snowed and was really cold and windy for most of the time we were there. Despite being really cold it was actually pretty neat being up there in blizzard conditions - I don't think the kids were too thrilled with it!! There were plenty of buildings to go in and get out of the snow so we had a really good time despite the weather!!
We left Scotland on Sunday - the 3rd - around 9:30 in the morning. It was COLD - about 15 degrees for several hours until we got back into England. I realized how lucky we were to have the temperatures be in the 30's while we were there. It would have been a much different trip if it had been in the teens!! The trip should have taken about 7 hours to get home but ended up being about 9 with traffic and road construction. The kids were great in the car - it's a lot better now that we have a DVD player that we use for long trips!! I wish we could have spent more time there - it was so beautiful and the snow and the landscapes were gorgeous. It reminded me of Colorado with the snow and the mountains. I hope that we will get to go back some day - with so many other places to see I don't know if it will be on this trip but maybe when the kids are older. We'll see!