Tuesday, 1 September 2015

A random collection of adventures - St Andrews, Kelpies and Corstorphine Hill

I had some time off in August so I decided to explore a few places close to home.

Firstly Ryan and I ventured to St Andrews to check out a potential wedding venue. We don't think it's the one for us but we had a great sunny day out and managed to sneak in an ice cream from the one and only Janetta's ice cream parlour. St Andrews holds a special little place in my heart because when I first passed my driving test it was the standard day trip for me and my friends. We'd come here, eat too much ice cream and trot around town marvelling at how pretty everything was.

While we're on the subject of eating too much ice cream, I recently heard about Scotland's ice cream trail and have decided that this definitely has to be incorporated into a challenge for the blog. Sadly, the Scottish summer (all two weeks of it) is likely over for this year so this idea will be put on pause for a while.

We also had a trip up to Go Ape in Aberfoyle. This is in the Trossachs area of Scotland which makes for an awesome road trip filled with plenty of spectacular scenery. On our way back we decided to pop in to Helix Park in Falkirk to get a closer look at the Kelpies as neither of us had seen them up close before despite driving past them quite a few times.

These magnificent statues pay homage to the Scottish mythology of the 'Kelpies' which are said to be shape shifting horses living in the lochs of Scotland, preying on any humans that they encounter. Most often this takes the form of the Kelpie encouraging the humans (usually children) to ride on its back which then becomes sticky so that they can't fall off. It then drags them into the water. Most of Scotland's Lochs have their own story about the Kelpies lurking in the depths.

The Kelpie statues pay homage to this myth but also embody the industrial history of Scotland and in particular, of the Falkirk / Grangemouth area in which heavy horses would once have been crucial, providing the necessary 'horse power'. You can read more about the inspiration behind the Kelpies here. They are definitely worth a visit and it's a fairly cheap day out as all you'll need is enough money to park in the on site car park.

Then to round off a week of activities I went for a jaunt up Corstorphine Hill in Edinburgh. I walk past a little opening into a wooded area each day on my way to work and often wonder what I'd find if I ventured in. It turns out that after a (very steep climb) I'd find some of the best views of Edinburgh. It's definitely a bit underrated, with Arthur's Seat and Calton Hill getting all the glory, but if you're looking for a nice walk in Edinburgh, this one is definitely a must see.

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