Well my Spring Break may not have included wet t-shirt competitions in Cabos San Lucas but it certainly was eye-opening. I have been totally converted to the idea of a Staycation, and have come back from my cross country tour so much more relaxed, optimistic, enthusiastic and content than when I left. Britain is truly gorgeous and I managed to see it in all its glory; moorland, mountains, snow peaks, coast, rivers, cities, towns, villages, hamlets, woodland and wasteland. Without going crazy, here are a few little highlights
- Shakespeare country
- Literary culture bugs
- Turk’s Head Pub, Alcester
- Talk by Iain Banks
- Robson (aka Robson and Jerome) sighting at M6 service station
- Stumbling across the George Hotel, Orton, Cumbria
- Impeccable hospitality during our overnight stay at the Greyhound, Shap (see review below)
- Watching Edinburgh get knocked out of the Heineken cup, with smashing food and company Queen’s Arms, Edinburgh
- Hangover sushi delivered to your door! Courtesy of Miso Sushi, Edinburgh
- Developing a love of bird watching in the moorlands and woodlands of Moray, Scotland. Particular highlights include Osprey viewing at RSPB reserve Loch Garten, Abernethy and Grouse hunting (without guns!)
- Being introduced to the most beautiful woodland loch in Scotland, Loch an Eilein, Rothiemurchus estate
- Rekindling my love for the Eco-town by visiting the Findhorn Community, exploring their village, renewable technologies and way of life (one day I may just get to own one of their stunning eco homes!)
- Enjoying a snoozy moment under the magnificent wind farm at Findhorn
- Discovering the child in me at the magical and mystical House of Automata, Kinloss. Fantastic automated toys and dolls (House of Automata was the prop supplier to Scorsese’s latest movie, Hugo)
- A wee overnight stop in Aberlour village, beside the beautiful river Spey. Sighting of the elusive red squirrel!
- Snack pit stop at my dream Scottish Deli in Dunkeld eating around a large wooden table next to the fireplace. Managed to sneak a little almond slice for the rest of the journey home.
Well those are a few of my favourite things. I’m sure the list will grow as I remember little titbits of the 2 weeks. But wow, how much do we have on our very doorstep! England and Scotland provide us with stunning views, amazing eateries, timeless culture and banterful watering holes. I’m now inspired to make the most of our location and explore the treasures just outside the City.