Scotland Road Trip Part 1 - Lifestyle Family Photography
Well it looks like my terrible blogging streak continues! At least I’m consistent.. For those who don’t know me personally let me offer a super quick backstory. We are an American military family who are currently stationed in the UK. Due to my husbands career he hasn’t been back to the US in 3 years, which is also the last time he saw his Dad, sisters and grandparents. This summer we planned to go visit our home state of Ohio for the first time as a complete family of 5 and we made the giant mistake of talking this trip up to our kids for a year AND trusting that Space A would get us there. Needless to say that plan was thrown (violently) out the window. After a brief period of mourning the Mr. and I decided we would use this time to do something that we have been talking about since moving to the UK…Scotland. So in less than a week we planned our route, booked our accommodations and were on our way!
First stop - Hadrian’s Wall
We knew the drive was going to be on the long side so we opted to make a pit stop to let the kids get out and run around. I vaguely remember learning about Hadrians’s wall during middle school. For those of you who can’t really remember (like me!) the wall was a huge feat of Roman engineering that started being build back in 122 AD and runs the width of Great Britain from the North Sea to the Irish Sea with several mile castles in between. One of the most recognisable points along this wall is a actually a location called Sycamore Gap, which was featured in the 1991 blockbuster ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’. This tree is massive! If you look closely below you can see my husband and infant on the upper left hand side of the hill. After we burnt some energy we continued our journey to spend the night in Stirling.
After breakfast the following morning we packed up the car and headed out to visit Stirling Castle, which was recommended to us by several of our friends. In addition to seeing the castle, we were planning on driving by an ancestral home on the Mr’s maternal grandmothers side. Armed with an address and Google maps we saw that the two locations were close to each other. Little did we know the home was actually at the base of the castle’s hill, and was once part of castles history!
From there we were tempted to visit the National Wallace Monument but the kids weren’t feeling it so we headed off to the next castle…Doune. Castle Doune is another very recognisable film location and from some of our favourite shows like Outlander and Game of Thrones. You might even recognise it from the infamous coconut scene from Monty Python & the Holy Grail.
Culloden + Clava Cairns
In case you haven’t noticed a pattern with our locations I am a massive Outlander fan, and when the Mr. gave me free reign to plan this I knew that Culloden was somewhere we needed to visit. For those who aren’t hip to Scottish history Culloden is the location where the final battle of the Jacobite rising of 1745, where the Jacobite army went head to head with the British forces. The battle lasted only an hour, but in that time the British lost between 200-400 men while the Scots lost 1.5-2 thousand men. Today Culloden Battlefield consists of visitors centre, memorial and clan memorial stones and plenty of walking paths.
Less than a mile away from the battlefield is Clava Cairns, a preserved bronze age ring of stones and cemetery. Mr. Smith kept asking to go to Craigh na Dun (it’s one of the few things he knows about Outlander) but since that is a fictional ring of stones we had to find something else that would work.
This has become significantly longer than expected so it seems that this trip will turn into a short series. Stay turned as we will be travelling to Loch Ness next!