Shearwin's in Europe 2015 travel blog

Jan & Kaye view the remodelled family castle


I had breakfast in the Hotel for the second time. The waiter and I had a communication difference between "a full breakfast" and "the full breakfast". The full breakfast I ordered ( and there was more than one) was not the full breakfast ( there is one called a full breakfast ) that he delivered. I did not fight the issue with the justifiably stressed waiter.

Our drive to the family castle at Dawyck alongside the Dawyck Botonical Gardens had us heading to Peebles in fine sunny weather with little wind. Our best day for weather in the past five days. After several stops seeking directions from locals who appeared not to understand our pronunciation of Dawyck we reached the Gardens at 100Ohrs.

The gardens alongside what once was the " Veitch family castle " (13th century) are one of four botanical gardens in Scotland; the land being donated by more recent owners of the castle. They have been established over the past several centuries and contain, a small chapel ( privately owned) a glen with flowing stream , extensive plantings of pines; all clearly marked with botanical names and many other shrubs and bushes suitable for what is the coldest climate spot in Scotland'. The gardens are excellent, and would suffer from patronage only because of their distance from Edinburgh ( although there was a bus load of German visitors at the time). The castle which was destroyed by fire has been replaced over the centuries by an impressive stately home that is now privately owned and off limits to visitors.

At midday after coffee in the garden cafe, we set off for Lockabie to visit the memorial to those killed in the December, 1988 Air Disaster. Located in the local cemetery we viewed the memorial to the 270, including 11 locals, killed when the 747 exploded midair at 1908 hrs. The idea of visiting the site of the impact was dropped when it was realised that debris from the crash was spread over 548 square miles. Several other Australians were visiting at the time.

We continued our drive to Bownesse on Windemere departing the highway 20 miles before the township and driving through the narrowest of hedgerow laneways - all pleasant and exciting for Kaye who was driving at the time.

GePS found our accommodation but not in what was probably the most direct route. Our Guest house and first impressions were not ones of great enthusiasm. We find we are staying for four nights in what previously was three cottages all interconnected by a hallway that traces the path of a roller coaster. The room size, smallest ensuite yet and the hallway access gives meaning to the architectural design called a rabbit warren.

In the late afternoon, we briefly wandered the township before a drink in the lounge of the London Hotel, overlooking the lake. On the recommendation of a pleasant young male waiter, we moved to the The Albert Hotel for dinner. The hotel was very much the cosy English pub and well patron aged. Our choices of fish, lamb shanks and steak and mushroom pie were all well presented, and tasty but huge in size - the serve size would make an American fast food outlet meal look small.

After dinner we briefly walked the boat side area of the lake and were in bed by 2100hrs - a latish night.



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