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!
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)
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
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
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
Cheryl Meyne-MacMillan / MacMillan Books, Inc.
"POW" 2005 Award Winning MS "Castle Dreams", Book 1 "The Highland
Castle Sween on Loch Sween
Castle Sween on Loch Sween
Finlaystone Castle and Gardens
Stonefield Castle, Kintyre
St. Andrews and Edinburgh Castle
Highland Loch, Glen and Thistle
Highland Horses, Cow and Sheep