Trainspotting from our upside down house

I’ve struggled to find time to write up our lovely little holiday to Scotland – this will probably be a bit long.  But we had such a lovely time I don’t want to forget about it!

I’d been eye-ing up this little cottage in South Queensferry, just outside Edinburgh, for ages – and with the May half term week booked off as annual leave, I managed to persuade Matt to let me book it for a few nights so we could get away 🙂

But first we had to get there…  With the flights for the four of us reaching hundreds of pounds, and my children too hyperactive to consider hours on a train, we opted to drive!  Even breaking the journey at my parents, we still had a long distance to cover in a day.  We debated loads of options for when to travel and where to stop, and decided to leave super early in the hope the children would sleep for the longest part of the drive.  So at 4.30am we pulled out of my parents place in Northamptonshire and headed North.

Sophie fell asleep relatively quickly and snoozed all the way to Southern Lake District where we’d planned to stop for breakfast.  Alex on the other hand was so excited that he didn’t want to sleep – instead watching the sunrise and chatting excitedly all the way!  We spent probably the longest Matt and I have ever spent in a service station at the brilliant Westmoreland services on the M6, eating a yummy breakfast of local produce, looking at the ducks, playing in the soft play area and having a nice walk around the grounds.

We eventually loaded the children back into the car and drove into Scotland.

journey

We’d planned to stop a couple of hours later at the David Livingstone Centre just South of Glasgow for a long break so we coud run around their extensive grounds and enjoy a leisurely lunch.  It didn’t quite go to plan.  Whilst the house looked lovely and the grounds and play area had huge potential, the heavens opened soon after we arrived and the cafe only offered vegetable soup (not even with bread!).  So we ended up having lunch in the local Asda and heading to Edinburgh a little quicker than planned!

livingstone

Thankfully the weather cleared up a bit as we neared Edinburgh.  We were too early to check in to the cottage, so we headed to Cramond for some ice cream and a walk along the sea front.  Sadly both children were a bit grumpy from naps in the car that were too short so it took a while for us to start enjoying ourselves, but eventually we all appreciated our lovely surroundings (and the yummy ice cream on offer there) and the start of our holiday!

cramond

I was so excited to finally pull up at my dream cottage – and I wasn’t disappointed.  The view over the Forth was incredible.  Sitting at the highest point in South Queensferry, we had uninterrupted views of the two beautiful bridges and rocky beach.  It was stunning.

queensferry4

The cottage itself was upside down, so the main living room were on the top floor and the children had to go downstairs to go to bed.  Alex found this fascinating and wouldn’t stop talking about our upside down house.  Both Alex and Sophie quickly realised they could sit in the cottage and spot all the trains travelling across the Forth Bridge, so that was entertainment sorted!

Queensferry

It was soon time for bed – we were nervous as Alex and Sophie were sharing a room for the first time – but we didn’t hear a peep out of them.  Given how tired we were that was quite a relief!

So what did we get up to on the few days we were North of the border? We made our obligatory trip to the amazing Edinburgh Zoo.  We had a glorious day for it and managed to cover most of the park.  Highlights for the children were the pandas, penguins and zebras.

zoo

We spent a very wet day in Edinburgh, spending most of our time in the Museum of Scotland.  The children love all the interactive exhibits.  Here’s Sophie exploring while Matt and Alex enjoyed the story corner!

museumofscotland

And the pair making a Chinese dragon move – and Alex trying to generate some electricity!

museumofscotland2

We made a vague attempt to visit the Castle, but it was a bit too damp – so we headed back to the cottage, wrapped up and went and played on the beach!

rain

On our penultimate day, we headed to the brilliant Falkirk Wheel to watch the canal boats on the surreal lock replacement.  Alex and Sophie weren’t that interested in the flying boats, and instead loved exploring the extensive adventure playground and park land.

falkirk2

They absolutely adored the water play park, getting completely drenched as they explored and played.

falkirk

The highlight of our week was, of course, getting to spend some time with my family.  We’d enjoyed some lovely visits to my Grandparents when we were up in Scotland last year, and it was wonderful to see Alex remember his previous visit and settle right back in.  He immediately found my brother’s old toy cars and got to work playing with them in the garden.

winchburgh2

And when they were tired of the cars, there was a handy watering can. I imagine some of my grandparents’ plants were well and truly drowned by the end of the day!

winchburgh

Sophie frustratingly pretended to be super shy for most of our visits which was a shame, but by the last time we dropped in, she was more confident and stopped clinging to me to play with her great grandparents and great aunt.  We didn’t get many good photographs unfortunately, but here are a few.  Here’s Alex looking very chilled:

family

And Sophie being brave!

family2

We had such a lovely stay in South Queensferry – I am confident we will be back.  It really is the perfect place to stay for us – easy journey into Edinburgh, 10 minutes from my family and right on the beach.

And we made sure we made the most of being on the beach! I’ve become quite a fan of pre-bedtime beach combing.  Turns out we weren’t very good at finding things in rock pools or skimming stones into the sea, but we had a good try nevertheless!

Queensferry2

queensferry3

I’m going to finish the holiday write up in another post about our long journey home – so for now, good night! Well done those of you who reached the end 🙂

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