27 August 2013

Beatrix Potter's The Lake District

Ever since seeing the "Miss Potter" movie about Beatrix Potter, author of such lovable stories as "The Tale of Peter Rabbit", "Jamima Puddle-Duck" & "Benjamin Bunny," I've had a strong desire to see the Lake District.
Beatrix Potter grew up in London, but vacationed in the Lake District and is where she got her inspiration for her drawings and stories.  Later, she moved to the Lake District, became a farmer and even an award winner of farming Herdwick Sheep.
Upon her death, she left 14 farms and 4000 acres to the National Trust, allowing visitors to enjoy the rugged beauty of the area.
First on our agenda was to take the kids to "The World of Beatrix Potter."
Beautifully done scenes from the books.

 The Peter Rabbit Garden.

The attraction's cafe has a nice Peter Rabbit Picnic Basket for kids,

and a scrumptious tea for two for the parents.

I'll be sharing more beauty of the Lake District, so keep checking back!

I've really enjoyed linking up with Bonnie & Belinda for Travel Tuesday!

A Compass Rose

26 August 2013

Waterfalls of West Scotland

This is the Dalchreggan Guesthouse, our B&B in Fort William.  Nice big family rooms, great breakfast, great views, great price, great host!

Before we piled the kids in the car to head to the Lake District, we strolled down to the beach across from our B&B to let the kids get out some energy.
And take in the views one last time.
The drive from Fort William to Glasgow was one of those incredibly beautiful drives!!  I'll say it again, I never expected Scotland to look so much like my home state of Alaska.  From fireweed,
to waterfalls!  Oh, the waterfalls!!

There were many road side stops to take in the view.  I couldn't keep count!

Another romp around before getting back in the car.

 Now this is riding in style!  They were only going about 40 mph, but that's the way to road trip!

Next, we're back in England in the Lake District!

24 August 2013

Loch Ness

Our last full day in Scotland we made our way just north of Fort William to the town of Fort Augustus, the southern tip of Loch Ness.
It was POURING rain.  We learned quickly that some of our rain gear wasn't quite up to par!  We still had a good time.  This was the worst of our rainy weather on this trip.  One day out of 9 isn't too bad!

Crossing over Neptune's Staircase, a series of locks that takes 90 minutes for boats to pass through. 

Filling up the lock to allow the boats to move on.


This tiny village also has a Highland & Rare Breeds Farm.  There's not much to it, but it's cheap and what kid doesn't love animals?  Our main desire to go was to see a Highland Cow.  We'd been scouring the landscape to see a highland cow on this trip with no luck.  Finally, on our last day we saw one.

Isn't he cute?!

Three horns!

My kids had been wanting to snap their own photos.  In trying to take a photo of a fluffy white chicken through a fence, Karis focused on the fence instead.  I actually think it turned out really cool!!

On our way back to our B&B we wanted to see the viaduct one more time.  Just gorgeous!!

The monument in the photo below is the Glenfinnan Monument.  What a gorgeous view!

20 August 2013

The Jacobite Steam Train, aka Hogwart's Express

The Jacobite steam train starts in the town of Fort William, Scotland. The train only runs from May to October in the morning.  In the peak summer months from June to August an afternoon train is added.
 We drove as quick as we could from St. Andrews to board the steam train by 2:30.  By the time we got to Fort William we were cranky and hungry and a fit occurred by one of my children that left us a little embarrassed as we left our B&B.  Ugh!  We walked and ate sandwiches and found the train station to be double the distance I thought it was.  Grr!!  Not a good start!
We finally got to the station and were met by a long line.  I'm not extremely organized and am known to do things very last minute, but even I was going crazy by the lack of order of getting on this train.  Once the gate opened it was a mad dash.  IPhone in hand, opened to my email that held my receipt, we found our seats and I tried not to worry.  About 20 minutes later a very mellow conductor came through and didn't even ask for a ticket/receipt!  It seems they follow the honor system. 
If you ever have a chance to ride the train, I highly recommend choosing seats numbered with the letter "f" at the end, meaning you will be facing forward, "b" seats mean you'll be facing backwards.  And I highly recommend sitting on the left side of the train going and the right side returning as it's got most of the scenery.

We finally relaxed a bit and began enjoying our ride.  For some reason my little guy was still moody, but he had is Harry Potter wand ready for the ride!  What a face!

We did a lot of this!

 However, it is very difficult to get good pictures when you're in a moving train and have to snap fast before the shot is gone or a tree gets in the way!  

Glenfinnan was our first stop and where the famous viaduct is located.  It was used in the Harry Potter movies.  Gorgeous!!

The train ended in the town of Millaig, a quaint little fishing village.  Reminded me of my fishing days every summer in Homer, Alaska!

If there is ever a next time I'd like to drive up to Millaig and either spend the night or take a ferry over to the Isle of Skye!
We then got on the train and went back the way we came and saw all the beauty once more.

As we were crossing the viaduct we saw this deer in the field below.  What a treat!

We had a great time!  A gorgeous part of Scotland worth seeing by steam train!
Have you been to Scotland?  Would you like to visit?
I'm linking up with Travel Tuesday & Instagram Travel Thursday.


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