After Dumfries and Galloway I had to cross the country from the west coast to the east coast and as my mum and husband were going to join me for a few days, I broke the journey with an overnight stay at my parents in Glasgow. After almost a week camping I was very appreciative of a comfy bed and hot bath!
The following day we set off towards the Scottish Borders and made an impromptu stop at Crichton Castle, which isn't on the coast but seemed a good place to take a break before lunch. This was the first time I had visited the castle and was immediately wowed as we approached. An impressive spot and an impressive ruin, it must have been some spectacle in its day.
The interior was unique to anything I have ever seen in a Scottish castle before which made it really stand out for me. A diamond-faceted facade inspired by Italy and in particular the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara, makes Crichton Castle that bit more unusual. I've visited many, many (many!) castles in Scotland over my lifetime and this is definitely one of the more memorable ruins and now added to my favourites.
As there were now 3 of us (and Willow), we decided it was more practical to get an apartment rather than camp and found a fantastic 2 bedroom flat on Airbnb in the historic town of Greenlaw in the Scottish Borders. At only £50 per night, dog friendly and 30 minutes from the coast, it was ideal. It turned out to be a great little apartment and the village was nice and peaceful, I would highly recommend it as a budget base for exploring the southeast of the country.
It was then time to start exploring the east coast and after temporarily crossing the Border to England, I was back on my Scottish coastal adventures and enjoyed a lovely evening in Eyemouth.
The following day we continued north along the coast from St Abbs to Cove. Unfortunately this is also the day I came down with a heavy head cold which subsequently affected my plans for the next few days and even as I type this a week later I'm still feeling some lingering after effects!
The next day I felt pretty awful and after we checked out the accommodation I made the decision to return to my parents for a couple of days until my cold passed. Staying with them in Glasgow meant I could easily pick up my route where I left off.
We started the return journey with a few stops along the way and I couldn't leave East Lothian without a visit to the mighty Tantallon Castle and a view to the Bass Rock with its population of over 150,000 Northern gannets, the largest colony in the world!
As we travelled towards Edinburgh we made a quick stop at the site of the Battle of Prestonpans although there is not much to see these days, you can make your way to an information viewpoint that looks across the landscape where this famous Jacobite victory took place.
Finally, I had a very important stop to make at Portobello. As this trip is just as much Willow's adventure as it is mine, it is only fair that she gets her share of doggy treats and I had promised her a visit to Portobello Beach and Harry's Treats Dog Bakery. What a fabulous place full of goodies that I was even tempted to eat including cup cakes, muffins and dog beer! Willow was totally spoiled and my purse was quite a bit lighter by the time we left.
I pretty much spent the next two days in bed recovering from my cold and once I was feeling a bit better I was off to continue my journey in Fife a bit later than planned and minus Willow as I had a few non-dog friendly activities planned. Don't worry though, she is back with me now!
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