I thought my road trip was all but planned! However, something cropped up on my personal Facebook page yesterday – a photo of these extraordinary, 30 metre-high horse heads which are in Falkirk,
not too far from Edinburgh. Made of steel and weighing 300 tonnes each, the Kelpies (which are mythical shape shifting water spirits) are a magnificent sight, whether on a sunny day or lit up at night. And what’s brilliant is that they will be on my way down from Inverness as I start to make my way home from my week-long road trip so a stop off is an absolute must!
Now, the more I read about Falkirk, the more I see things that catch my attention. Just take the photo below of the Falkirk Wheel. “What is it?” you might be asking! Is it some extraordinary piece of engineering? An art installation? Well, it’s the world’s only rotating boat lift that connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. Many, many years ago, boats would have to slowly work their way through a series of 11 locks which sounds exhausting. The locks fell into a state of disrepair back into 1930s and were no longer usable. It wasn’t until 2002 when the Falkirk Wheel was opened enabling travellers to finally navigate their way around this part of Scotland far more easily. There are some super videos of this working on line….if you’re like me and a wee bit geeky!
So, having left Inverness in the morning and stopping off in Falkirk, I’ll be heading back into England with an overnight stay in York. I’ve never been there before although my parents, hubby and one of my children have, and I hear that it’s packed full of history. Now, as I wrote in my blog ages ago (which you can find here), I’m not someone who takes her time, reading plaques, finding out all I can. No!!! I’m very much a ‘tick box person’ so just wants to arrive somewhere, take photos and move one! However, in York, I have two destinations in mind.
The first stop off is York Minster which is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe and attracts more than 2 million people each year. It says online that the cathedral sometimes has concerts and other events so I’ll check out if anything is happening when I’m there. And even better, the city of York, including the cathedral, puts on a beautiful sound and light show in mid-June although, I suspect, with being there mid-week, I might just miss that by a matter of days.
The other stop off is The Shambles. I wonder when you look at the photo below if it kind of reminds you of Harry Potter and Diagon Alley. Crammed with overhanging wooden builders, cobbled stones and signs jutting out in the walkway, there’s something very oldy-worldly about it. It will no doubt feel as if Hagrid is about to emerge from one of the specialist shops, ready to whisk me off to Howarts! But, no, once I leave the Shambles and stay overnight in the city, I’ll be heading my way back home to West Sussex.
If you’ve missed any of my other blogs about my Scottish road trip, feel free to check them out here: Loch Lomond, whale watching and the Hebrides, Glenfinnan viaduct and going up a mountain and John O’Groats and a cruise on Loch Ness.
This weekend, I’m heading up to Sheffield with my 18 year old and whilst he attends the offer holder day for the university there, I’ll be checking out the city with a particular destination in mind. More about that on Sunday!
Have a good day everyone, xx