Bonnie Scotland

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Cairngorms

We decided to head down to a model farm and play area just outside Perth today, which was fine for the kids, but the drive back was brilliant, beautiful and was one of he most enjoyable drives in a long time.

We decided to head up the A93 to Braemar rather than just head back up the dual carriageway and I’m so glad we did. It’s years since I’d been on the road and definitely the first time I’d driven it and I’d forgotten just how dramatic and stunning it was – at points you have to remind yourself that this is on your doorstep and not thousands of miles away. The views are fantastic and every corner you turn another image appears before you that surprises you and makes you feel small in comparison to nature. I did wonder why so few people from Scotland holiday here when these vista and landscapes are sitting there waiting for us rather than going to a “British” pub in Spain.

The silvery stream of tarmac slithered its way through the multiple shades of green with flashes of vibrant purple heather punctuating the scenery. As you climb from Blairgowrie the hills appear as if someone has opened a pop-up book that is miles long some under spotlights from the sun peeking through the monstrous clouds above. That beautiful dappled effect plays out in front of you as the clouds move and break to leave light and shade as far as the eye can see. The sheep at the side of the road ignore you as they meander their way along the same stretch of road not worrying about giving way or you overtaking – to be fair they are better road companions than the caravanists who we were fortunate to be ahead of.

Once we reached Braemar we stopped for the holiday essential of chips with cheap red sauce – I wouldn’t say Tomato Ketchup in fear of the trade descriptions act but definitely an enjoyable condiment nonetheless. As we drove back we explained that the river he saw was the Dee and it was the one that passes in front of the Duthie Park in Aberdeen into the sea – he wasn’t convinced so we drove across and back bridges all the road down both North and South Deeside roads to see the majestic waters on their journey past the Queen’s summer residence with flag flying, Finzean in the rain, The Brig of Feugh right down to the aforementioned Duthie Park and Torry Bridge. I think he believes us now.

All the way back from Perth the reminder of what a stunning and surprising landscape we have here at the north of the UK and obviously there are other great views too from the Black Isle to the Borders, the Orkneys to the Hebrides this is such a rich country for scenery and beauty that we forget about it. We’re quick to jump on planes to escape this place too often and maybe just once in a while we should jump in the car and take a drive around our neighbouring countryside and remind ourselves of what’s out there.

JD

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