47: DAY 7 & 8 OF THE ROAD TRIP – Back Across the Border

Day 7 began with a lazy morning watching trash tv and listening to the rain whilst drinking coffee in my hostel in Ballater. (Side note: Ballater hostel is wonderful, run by the loveliest people who have really thought of EVERYTHING!) I then rushed round for 10 minutes at 9:45 to make it for 10am check out.

I spent a bit of time wandering around Ballater and got myself some food at Bridge House Cafe. I left Ballater at about midday and headed down through the Cairngorms, making a quick stop at Balmoral for a very autumnal walk, to end up in Falkirk in the afternoon.

I arrived at my PREMIER INN (very exciting) at about 3:30 and had a much needed bubble bath. Then I headed out to see the Kelpies. These are two 30m tall horse sculptures that were built in 2014. I got there just as the sun was going down with the intention of seeing them in daylight and at night when they were supposedly lit up. Sadly they never lit so 2 hours and 10 very cold fingers later, I went back to the hotel and ordered pizza.

Day 8 – I actually managed to get a decent nights sleep – Lenny Henry’s good nights sleep guarantee is legit apparently?! My first stop of the day was to quickly see the Falkirk wheel, a rotating boat lift connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union canal. It opened in 2002, joining these canals for the first time since the 1930s.

Then I made the 30 minute drive into Edinburgh to have morning coffee at the Milkman, a lovely little coffee shop in the old town. I spent a few hours wandering around and seeing some of the sights – including the Castle, Victoria Street, the Royal Mile, Calton Hill and Greyfriar’s Bobby. Oh and OF COURSE I had to a stop and watch the man at the bottom of Castlehill play the bagpipes – SUCH a tourist.

I then drove from Edinburgh down to Annandale Water (the same services I’d stopped at on the way up). Then I carried on over the English border and down to the Lake District National Park. I took the slightly more scenic route to Lake Windemere, which I got to just in time to see the sun go down. I couldn’t believe how quickly it got dark before 5:30 this evening!

My hostel for tonight is in Kendal. I’m currently relaxing by a fire with a cup of warm mulled wine and Santa socks on – is it Christmas Day??

Not totally sure of my plans tomorrow. It’s my first time in the Lakes so I’m not that familiar but have been given a few suggestions to work with! Once I’ve spent the day exploring it’ll be time to make the 130 mile trip back home.

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