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Trip to Bonny Scotland
By Cheryl Meyne-MacMillan / MacMillan Books, Inc.


We have returned from our Trip to Scotland and had an absolutely wonderful time.  We drove over 2,000 miles in 16 days and enjoyed every moment of it!

Trip to Bonny Scotland

My husband, Fritz, & I arrived into Glasgow on a warm evening, just as the sun was setting.  The city lights reflecting off of the Firth of Clyde made it look almost magical.  The following day we visited lovely St. Andrews, had lunch in the clubhouse with my sister, Leslie and brother-in-law Tom, who traveled with us, and then drove south to Edinburgh, visiting the famous Edinburgh Castle.  We walked The Royal Mile, visited mill shops and of course took a tour of the castle, which houses the Royal Jewels and the Stone of Scone. (Incredible!)

The following morning we visited with Chief George MacMillan at Finlaystone.  What a beautiful Estate and Gardens!  Flowers of every imaginable color were in bloom and Chief George showed us his lovely apple trees which were in bloom in the center garden.  The estate overlooks the Firth of Clyde and what a beautiful view that is.  I had the opportunity of sampling some of his rhubarb pie (the rhubarb is grown on the estate) delicious!

The next two days we visited with Lord Charles Kennedy, Marquis of Ailsa in Ayr.  The beautiful meadows and hills covered in carpets of green with gazing sheep and their young lambs in abundance.  Lord Ailsa showed us his lovely family castles (Culzean - a must see) also the ancient Maybole Castle and Cassillis Castle his families private home.  The River Doon runs through their beautiful and ancient property.  Lord Ailsa was a warm and gracious host, giving us a personal tour of the lovely villages in and around Ayr.  We also visited Robert Burns Cottage and Historical Museum.

Early Monday morning we left for Stonefield Castle in Tarbert, Kintyre.  The terrain began to change immediately as we crossed the Erskine Bridge near Glasgow and entered the West Highlands.  We drove along the beautiful shores of Loch Lomond, it is a truly marvelous sight to see.  The mist rolled in over the mountains and hovered above the waters of Loch Lomond.  Mountains rose on every side as we traveled near the shores of Loch Long, Loch Gilp and then Loch Fyne near Stonefiled Castle where we lodged for the night. 

The next morning we left for Castle Sween along the shores of Loch Sween.  This was a special part of our travels, as we drove down narrow (1-car) paths, passing herds of grazing sheep with their lambs and the "hairy" highland cows and their calves, and even saw a number of horses (Bays and I believe Clydesdales).  My romantic streak ran wild as approached Castle Sween built a millennium ago, whose ruins still stand the test of time.  I could feel something special warm my MacMillan blood as we walked the ruins, touch the ancient walls and strolled along the shores of Loch Sween much as my ancestors did.  We visited Kilmory Chapel and saw Alexander MacMillan's famous Cross, also filled with a wonderful collection of carved stones depicting Templars and Celtic designs.  

We traveled next to the ancient Seaport of Oban and visited Dunstaffnage Castle nearby.  We loved Oban and stayed in Kilchrenan House near the church of St. Columba.  It is a wonderful little town with great restaurants too!  In the evenings we watched the Caledonian MacBayne Ferry arriving into port, bringing travelers from the islands of Mull and others nearby. 

Next we drove to Glencoe (lovely!), Ft. William, north along Loch Ness and then entered the bustling city of Inverness.  The drive from Oban to Inverness is like no other place on Earth - absolutely breathtaking from the snow topped mountains of Ben Nevis to the Great Glen on the westside of Loch Ness, a Loch which is beyond description in it's beauty.  Inverness offered wonderful shopping and sites to visit.  After spending a total of ten days in Scotland, overwhelmed by the beauty of it's land and the friendliness of the people, the following morning we headed back down to Glasgow, stopped in Gretna Green and visited the famous Blacksmiths House and then on in to England for the remainder of our trip.   

Alastair,  I know you are very familiar with all that I've described, however, one really must experience Scotland themselves to absorb the beauty of it all.  I'm so pleased I was able to visit there and it certainly will not be my last trip to the wonderful lands of my ancestors.

Hope you have a great day!

Cheryl

Cheryl Meyne-MacMillan / MacMillan Books, Inc.
cheryl@macmillanbooksinc.com / www.macmillanbooksinc.com
"POW" 2005 Award Winning MS "Castle Dreams", Book 1 "The Highland Laird's" Series

Castle Sween on Loch Sween
Castle Sween on Loch Sween

Castle Sween on Loch Sween
Castle Sween on Loch Sween

Gretna Green
Gretna Green

Finlaystone Castle and Gardens
Finlaystone Castle and Gardens

Stonefield Castle, Kintyre
Stonefield Castle, Kintyre

St. Andrews and Edinburgh Castle
St. Andrews and Edinburgh Castle

Highland Loch, Glen and Thistle
Highland Loch, Glen and Thistle

Highland Horses, Cow and Sheep
Highland Horses, Cow and Sheep

Cassillis Castle
Cassillis Castle

Culzean Castle
Culzean Castle

Oban
Oban


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