My holiday love affair…

I have a confession. I love Scotland. I’ve just come back from our fifth visit, a lovely week in Dumfries and Galloway, much more southerly than we’ve ever been before, but it didn’t disappoint.

I thought I’d share why I love it so and why, on my list of ‘things to do’, is move to Scotland. We will, and when we do I’ll have a view like this from my windows and I will be oh so very happy!

1. Passing junction 36/37 on the M6 is the first point in the journey when I start to relax. THE LAKES is how it’s written on the signs, not lower case for this part of the country, oh no. Capital letters if you please. The hills start to rise, the land starts to get greener and the feeling is one of vastness.

2. We pass the border. I love crossing the border on the way up. I always let out a huge sigh and smile. I think Scotland is truly my spiritual home. Coming back across it always leaves me gloomy for a short while too.

3. The weather. I don’t go to Scotland for the weather. Scotland wouldn’t be what it is without the weather. There is no point considering the weather forecast, it’s always wrong. It changes every 10 minutes from Armageddon style rain to bright blue skies and breezy winds.

4. There is so little traffic out of the cities and no-one on the wild and windy beaches.

5. There are local traders in all towns. Butchers, grocers, bakers all producing their own grub. Locally sourced and beautifully made. Major supermarkets are not in every town. It’s so nice to see towns full of local food producers.

6. Went to see Red Kites feeding and there was a ‘viewing area’. Don’t get me wrong this wasn’t a Heritage Site or a proper wild bird centre. More like a farm where someone thought it would be good to earn a few bob showing people Red Kites eating road kill. However, the viewing area had benches, and plastic seats and…an exercise bike!

7. Finally, for now. We went to Galloway Forest which has been awarded the Darkest Skies in Europe. Of course you need to make sure you get a clear night, and we got about 10-15 minutes of clear, bright skies with millions of stars shining out. There was nowhere to see them comfortably apart from lying in the car park. So, husband and I lay down (in the disabled bay!) and looked skywards until the clouds came over. No one else in the car park apart from us; woolly hats, scarves and gloves on. Just looking up and drinking it in! Bliss. The Milky Way was clear, I saw shooting stars and satellites. It was breath taking.  This was a promise I’d made to myself to experience this and I was actually there. It bought a tear to my eye that I’d made it. The goal setting had paid off!

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