My godparents Rosemary and Tony used to live in Canterbury, Kent. I have visited them and stayed with them on at least six occasions over the past thirty years. I have a wonderful memory of being twelve years old on an overseas school trip where they met me and took me to Hardrock Cafe in London. Other memories are from times on numerous business trips or when I took a year off and went travelling in 1993. They always offered me a home from home. Such good food, comfort and love!
So when we planned this trip it was important to me to see them. Adu met them at our wedding, and just before my Mom died so, I wanted him to get to know them better. They have now moved to a 9-bedroom castle/house that their daughter Nikki and husband Scott are renovating in Birnam near Dunkeld, Scotland.
We spent three lovely nights with them. We also watched the Queen’s funeral together which was a momentous event to share together.
Lovely view from our bedroom
Birnam has a lovely path along the river where the famous Birnam oak is planted. This famous oak has a girth of 7 metres (24 feet) and is over 1000 years old. It has been immortalised in Shakespeare’s Macbeth play which mentions Birnam Wood. Shakespeare was inspired to write the tragedy after visiting the area.
Interestingly just before the famous oak is the “Young Pretender”. This is a Sycamore with a girth of 8 metres (25 feet). The large girth suggests that this tree is a similar age to its ancient neighbour, but in fact, at 300 years old, it is a mere youngster.
We also explored the town Dunkeld and Adu actually put together an adventure cache (a special type of geocache). There is a lovely Dunkeld and Birnam Community orchard that has been created by the local community nearly fifteen years ago. Apples, plums and raspberries are available to everyone.
Yes this is a menu for dogs!
As well as exploring the immediate surroundings, Tony droves us on a lovely 2-hour route taking in various lochs. Loch is the Celtic name for lake. The main reason for Scotland’s watery landscapes is the colossal sheets of ice that used to spawn massive glaciers. These rolled across the land in the last ice age, gouging out spectacular U shaped valleys and leaving a staggeringly beautiful landscape.
Too quickly it was time for goodbyes. Tony drove us to our next week long sit in Dunfermline, a town across the river from Edinburgh.
Here we looked after young, energetic and clever Labrador Roan for a week.
There was a forest about 20 minutes away that had two lovely marked routes. The longer walk was so beautiful with water, trees, ferns and peace. We did both walks twice with Roan.
We went to the stunning beach West Sands where the famous sprinting scene is filmed in Chariots of Fire. Roan loved running on this same beach. It is very close to the famous St Andrews golf course.
On our return, we did the coastal route and stopped at two towns Crail and Pittenweem which are both known for their lovely views and harbours.
Scotland is beautiful with lots more for us to explore.