Scotland Road Trip - July 2018 - Day 1
In recent years my sister and I have annually embarked on a Scottish road trip. We have had some great adventures, lots of laughs and loads memorable experiences. So when my cousin announced he was getting married in July of this year in Fife, my sister and I set about planning. A particular area of Scotland we had never really visited was Aberdeenshire, despite it having the most castles in any of Scotland’s shires. We set about making a list of places we’d like to visit, using mostly the Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland mobile apps. Being July, hotels can be a little pricey and, despite Aberdeenshire’s many amazing sites, beauty and tourist offerings, many visitors unfortunately don’t make it past Aberdeen, so there weren’t as many hotel availabilities as some of our previous road trip destinations, as there aren’t really enough visitors to warrant them. I hope this changes in the coming years, there is so much potential for another Scotland Road 500, the current 2 proving so popular. But for the time being, we felt lucky to have so much of it to ourselves.
I stayed overnight at my sister’s in the Peak District to break up the drive to Scotland, so our initial drive on day 1 was battling our way through the traffic around Manchester, and then onto the motorway. From there the M6 carries you all the way to Glasgow, and then along to Fife. We arrived in the small town/village of Freuchie around 4pm, where we were staying for Friday night. For Saturday night we were staying a couple of miles down the road in Falkland, so after dropping our stuff in the room, we decided to check Falkland out. Walking up into the town square, I couldn’t help thinking to myself that it looked oddly familiar, and suddenly it clicked, that this was the set of Inverness in the first episode of Outlander. And not only that, but the hotel we were staying in on Saturday night was ‘Mrs Baird’s B & B’ from the television programme. As someone who has literally started this small website around the idea of having bookish experiences in real life, I was quite delighted by this!
That evening we drove over to Lower Largo with my brother and his girlfriend to eat at the Crusoe Hotel which is right on the water front. Lower Largo itself is a very small town/village, but one that harbours a literary secret - Alexander Selkirk, the man who Daniel Defoe based the story of Robinson Crusoe on was from Lower Largo. If you wander along the waterfront, you arrive at the small cottage he was born in. There’s a statue of him above the door and a small plaque. And by the harbour there is a sign pointing in the direction of the island - Juan Fernandez - Selkirk was marooned on for over 4 years, 7500 miles away.
Walking back along to the car, we couldn’t resist paddling in the sea. And then it was back to Freuchie to get a good night’s sleep before the wedding on Saturday.
Read about Day 2