Increased work pressure....needed a break so decided to go for road trip to Scotland


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The work pressure was high at the year end, but it is also a festive season. There are two days holiday and if I take a day off on Friday it is a perfect long holiday. So decided to go for a road trip, the destination is another country where we can visit without any visa.... after some thoughts I decided to drive to Scotland.


The planning was very simple, leave home early on 25th and drive to Edinburgh which is our first destination......The above is the route I have driven while on the road trip.
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The Planning:

The planning was very simple, the trip should take care of the wishes for all the touring members,

1. Myself - to drive on a road trip, destination should be natural
2. Wife - Any place with natural beauty and a long drive
3. My Kido - She wants to see Museums, Castle and Aquarium

Scotland is the right place where these wishes will be fulfilled. So comes the stay, we choose Holiday Inn as usual as this is somehow a favourite hotel for me as I am the IHG member ;)

Booked the hotel at 210 GBP for 3 nights, then the rental car. I choose Enterprise rent a car company who has a very good reputation locally. The cost of booking the car is around 150 GBP for a week which is very cheap and 83 GBP for a non headache hire where I have paid for extra for the extra coverage where I do not have to pay anything in case of any incidents. I know it will not happen still spend this extra amount for peace of mind during the trip.

The car hire place is very near from my home, so I went in the morning and collect the vehicle, it was a Vauxhall Corsa. I am lucky that I got a new car, the total mileage is only 3045 miles and the it was a very new car and a very well maintained one. I was like driving a brand new car. As soon as I collect the vehicle, filled up the tank full and we all are ready for the trip. This was a day before the trip as the car hire company is closed for Christmas the next day.

Now the car is ready, hotel is booked and we are all ready to go.........

Day 1:

We woke up at the normal time and left home around 8:15 am and took the road A6009 / A617 from home and drove towards chesterfiled to join the motorway M1. At the round about at Chesterfield we join the M1 North and drove towards Shiefield and took the exit from M1 and drove towards Doncaster using the M18 and connect to A1(M) which was the original route i have planned to take but google has another plan.

Some how google connect me to A66 which was not at the plan all, a small road without speed camera, so the road has some rough drivers but still very pleasant to drive with people following the proper discipline. At most of the point, there is no diver on the road but there is on Guarantee unlike Indian drivers, no one will come head one with rough over taking etc. The discipline was so well maintained that at the single lane highway we were doing 50 to 60 MPH.

The route was so breathtaking that for the first time I did not regret the auto routing of google. From here, most of the route was in hilly road which we call ghats in India but still 60 miles per hour is easily manageable except when we were passing the villages where we have to maintain 30 mph. The roads in the inner areas are also so good that I never felt like I have left the motorway. We reached our hotel around 1:30 pm.

Hotel Holiday Inn - 132 Corstorphine Rd, Corstorphine, Edinburgh EH12 6UA

The hotel is very decent and it is next to Edinburgh Zoo, we dropped the idea of Zoo as we visited the Chester Zoo 2 days back. The check in was very smooth and we were in the room in no time. The room was clean and big for 3 of us.

A lesson learn, never travel for tourism during Christmas, all the tourist attractions are closed today in Edinburgh, so we decided to takes rest in our room. I did some googling inside the room, booked the castle online for 27th Dec as there is holiday on the boxing day. Then I book a hotel in Loch Lomond on 28th Dec. Then we went for a drive around in Edinburgh city in Evening. It was already dark when we start our drive but enjoyed the lights around the city as it was festival time.






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beautiful post.. seems like you haven't updated your post for quite sometime now.. keep going.. very informative.. cheers


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Sorry for the very late update, could not find time due to all the issues going around due to the Pandemic, but I could find time now so guys completing the log.....

Day 2:-

We woke up early, it was still dark as the sunrise is late during winter. The breakfast spread in the hotel was decent, typical
English breakfast. We finish our breakfast in hurry as we want to utilized the maximum time on road.

The first destination of the day is Botanical Garden, we reach the garden as it opens at 9 am due to boxing day holiday. The good part about boxing day is that the parking is free.;) The entry to the garden is free, there is no entry ticket. The garden is
OK, one can spend 2 to 3 hours but the entry to the glass house is chargeable. The total charged is about 16 pound for all 3 of us in the glass house. The glass house tour was good for people who love to spend time in garden.





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We spend about 2 hours in the garden, the garden is good with very clean toilets and visitor centers. From here we decided to go to a place call The Kelpies which is about 41 miles drive from the garden towards Glasgow. This place is also close due to holiday but one can still visit the place and enjoy. Only thing that is close is the tour of the statue and the inside tour of the structure.

We took M9 motorway, the traffic is negligible so it does not take much time. The place is huge with plenty of parking. As the parking is free so we need not worry about displaying the ticket on windshield.

"The Kelpies are two 30 metre (100 ft) high horse-head sculptures located at the Forth and Clyde Canal in The Helix, a 350 hectare parkland project built to connect 16 communities in the Falkirk Council Area of Scotland. They are the largest public artworks in Scotland. "






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The next destination is Scottish national Aquarium as my daughter is a big fan of various sea animals / Fish. She even insisted to have an aquarium at home, so it was obvious that we cannot miss the Aquarium. The road to aquarium was very beautiful and I could get a change to cross on the famous 3 bridges of Scotland. There was a crowd in the Aquarium but we could manage to park the car as there is a plenty of space for parking. The ticket was on the spot, 14 pound for adult and 10 for kid, very expensive:-D.

The most memorable one is the tour of Shark land which is really good though the Aquarium is small.





By the time we came out of the Aquarium it was almost 3 pm and darkness started to fall. The worse part about winter here is day time is very short and all the attractions closes at 4 pm. We decided to try our luck to visit the famous Royal Yacht
Britannia, we drive but unfortunately we it was closed when we reached. So we decided to head back to hotel, we were almost exhausted by the time we reached

We were hungry also so we decided to have a heavy dinner, we surf the net for buffet dinner but only one option was available "China Red". The rating of the restaurant was very good but there is a problem, home minister does not like chinese food. So have to convince her, as my daughter was also in favour of the restaurant we went there after refreshing.

The food was amazing, I have never seen such spread in any of the buffets so far. If one try little from each spread also it would be enough, it was so amazing.....we had a heavy dinner. The most shocking was the parking charges at NCP, there was no paring in the area so I parked at an NCP parking and they charge me about 8.50 pound for 2 hours. A lesson learned:-D




The next day I have to come to the same place for other tours, so I scan the parking options using the app "My parking space", I could managed to get a parking near to the castle for 8 pound for whole day (12 hours), not a bad deal compare to the NCP parking. I booked it and went to bed for a better day tomorrow.
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Day 3

The start of the day do not seems to be too good, as we were leaving the hotel after breakfast, it starts to drizzle. The GPS was perfect, we reached the parking that I booked last night without much problem. The parking was secured in a basement of a building with security so now worry. The rain has stopped by the time we reached the castle, it was a small walk from the parking.

The problem starts when we reached the Edinburgh castle, I got a call from office, they are asking for a con call in next 15 minute as there are issue where my intervention is required. I could manage to get inside before my phone got engaged as the tickets are in my phone. My con call started as well as the rain, Rain cannot discourage the spirit of a born traveler in my wife and daughter. They were enjoying the castle surrounding with their hoodies on as it was raining. I was standing in a corner attending the call...Even though I was on holiday, I cannot escape such calls :sad:. Somehow the call got over in an hour time\\:D/ .....








The castle was crowded, there was a huge crowd to enter the area where the crown was kept. We also got into the queue but it turns out to be a wrong decision as it took almost 2 hours to complete the tour due to crowd.

The next best place to visit was the Scottish National Museum - This is a place I would recommend to anyone who goes to
Scotland with Kids. The place is too good and very huge. Kids would really love it. The museum is walk-able distance from the castle, the entry to the museum is free.








We spend the entire second half in the museum as there was lots of things to see and less time. My kiddo really liked the museum so we drop all other plans and spend the entire after in museum till it is time for the museum to close.

By the time we came out of the museum it was dark, it was bit of a struggle for us to find the car parking due to unreliability of the google map. Somehow the map was behaving very weird and it was making us sweat out for sometime but finally with some common sense we could locate the parking, thanks to my little one who identify some landmark while we walk earlier in the morning.

We reached our hotel around 6 pm, had nice hot water bath and we are hungry by that time. This time we decided to go to an Indian restaurant nearby. Google gave us few options around, we selected the nearest one from our hotel.

Name of the restaurant is Eastern Pavilion - 46 St John's Rd, Corstorphine, Edinburgh EH12 6PA. The person who served us was very good, once he knew were Indians, we started creating a bond as he also start talking to us in Hindi, quite a desi feeling:-D. The food was tasty but the price are on higher side as all Indian restaurant do here. It was a day filled with lots of good and bad but we were satisfied, tomorrow we have to moved to a different place so have to pack things before sleeping.


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Day 4
As usual we woke up early, we were bit tired today due to all the walking we did the previous day. After breakfast we checked out from the hotel and drive towards Loch Lomond lake. The road was beautiful as usual but google made some blunder but I could manage to get us through to the right road. I did always prefer to drive in the motorway instead of A roads, So drive on M8 till Glasgow and then A82 all the way to Loch.

The hotel check in time was 2 pm so we decided to past our time as we reached there by 10:30 am. So we kept our GPS to Sea Life Loch Lomond, it was raining heavily by the time we reach. No another aquarium, :-(:-( a father cannot deny the wishes of an only child:-D so we again enter another aquarium, the only difference this time is that the view around the aquarium is breath taking, the view of the lake is really beautiful.

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The only unfortunate part is that the cruises on the lake are cancelled for the week due to weather and holidays. We could not do any of those but we did enjoyed walking around the beautiful lake.

After having some good time in the aquarium, we decided to go for some adventure near the lake.
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After a good long walk at the shore of the lake, it was almost dark as daylight is short and it is almost dark around 3:30 pm. We checked in at Queen of Loch hotel. This is no big hotel chain but the hotel was very impressive, big clean room with all the facilities. All those walking make us tired and exhausted.

After sleeping for few hours, we are definitely hungry, so do a google search of restaurant nearby with good review and rating, walk upto the restaurant, had nice dinner at reasonable price.

Day 5

All the walk and drive have a toll on the energy level of everyone so we woke up late, went for the breakfast. After breakfast we checked out from the hotel and it is time to head back home. For the return journey I have chosen A1, which is kind of motorway and very scenic via Newcastle. The route was indeed very scenic with lots of coastal view but it was very windy, at some stretch it was difficult to handle the car at high speed due to wind, somehow it was fun drive all the way home.