Road Trip: Stirling
Part 1 of the Christmas Road Trip
After an unprecedented whole month for this year’s glorious birthday trip, it felt both extravagant and tiring to go abroad again just a month later for Christmas.
So we picked a city in the UK we hadn’t been to before – Aberdeen. We’d decided to throw everything in a car, particularly as we anticipated having lovely festive foodie treats, to go on a road trip.
As Aberdeen is so far away, it seemed obvious to do a couple of stops and before we knew it, we added two of my favourite places: Stirling Highland Hotel and Berwick-upon-Tweed. The former just to stay at the hotel and the latter because it’s a beautiful little town on the Borders, my favourite region of the UK.
What struck me on the drive up is every county we entered has its own identity and as I say about so many other countries – pride; for example, Aberdeen – a fair trade city
We were fortunate as we had good driving weather but in any case, the roads are so much smoother north of the border. But they would be, Scotland’s roads are maintained by an organisation called BEAR!
This place has great walks, postcard views and a castle and yet my highlight is the Highland hotel. It’s the reason we came here (having popped in for a drink a few years ago) and I’d have happily spent more time in the place, curled up on an armchair by the window reading a book. I could sure come back every year.
Next time, I’d like to eat at the hotel more or if driving, go out of town. We did drive out a little to Gabes for dinner at about £10 per head and walked over to Rana’s another night. It’s odd, I only have Indian away from home – other than readymade variety.
One such drive to Loch Lomond found us in Luss and I discovered more than a cream tea at the Coach House; I learnt of yet another tartan I love! Food here is served in the pretty pink/red/blue which I assume has local connections. Similarly, I loved the stag emblem everywhere. Cream tea for two £11.70.
Alas there is no Ness store in Stirling, one of my favourite shops in the world. Upon researching, I find they have just gone into administration and a few shops have shut. A little drive out to Glasgow one evening proved that point and it made me keen to get to Aberdeen where there was definitely a shop still open. It’s been a few years since we visited Glasgow and quite a few coffee shops we’ve known and loved have gone too. I was touched by the effort put into Christmas trees by all the flats; even the ones on the first or second floors had beautiful grand trees. It’s a far cry from the flatland where I live, I think we were the only ones!
Next: the road to Aberdeen