Destination UK

Our Scottish Road Trip

Posted on
March 3, 2017

During our visit to Scotland we decided to take a road trip up the coast of Angus as far as Stonehaven and then turn inland to see the Pine Forests, visit the queen at Balmoral and then turn back and head back through the Cairngorms in search of some snow.
During our visit I purchased an Explorer pass which can gain you entry into 77 properties all over Scotland, including Edinburgh Castle and Arbroath Abbey was included and was on our route up the coast, so our first port of call for the day.
Arbroath Abbey
You enter the Abbey into a small shop and museum which depicts the timeline of the Abbey in an interactive way which the kids really enjoyed.
Arbroath Abbey
The museum also tells of the story of the day the Stone of Destiny came to the abbey in 1951 which was used for centuries in the coronation of the monarchs of Scotland
Stone of Destiny
Arbroath Abbey itself is the ruins of a Tironensian monastery, founded by William the Lion in 1178, who is buried there.
William 1 Grave
The Abbey is also famously associated with the Declaration of Arbroath of 1320, which asserted Scotland’s independence from England.
Declaration of Arbroath of 1320
Whilst all this was fascinating, for the kids it was the chance to run around and explore the grounds that kept them entertained.
Arbroath Abbey
We met the gardener who was marking out where rooms would have been in the abbey who engaged the kids with things to see and rooms to explore.
Arbroath Abbey
He also pointed out doors that we completely missed where you could go up to the upper floors of the Abbots House and get a spectacular view of the abbey from above.
Arbroath Abbey
Abroath Abbey is an ideal place to visit if you want to spend a day exploring Angus, as you cannot spend much more than an a couple of hours there.
Arbroath Abbey
Once we had finished exploring we continued our trip up the coast in search of Dunnottar Castle, stopping first at Lunan Bay, reportedly one of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland.
Lunan Bay
The kids had a blast running up the sand dunes and then sliding back down them again.
Lunan Bay
We then headed up to Dunnottar Castle which is the castle that Disney based Merida’s castle on for Brave. You can read all about our visit here.
Dunnottar Castle Rainbow
It was then time to head inland for a glimpse of Scotland’s every changing scenery from the coast, through the pine forests.
Scotland
Our one disappointment was that being February, many of the tourist attractions were closed to visitors until April, but we did stop for that all important photo by the gates of Balmoral.
Balmoral Castle
Once we found Braemar Castle we then headed back south along the A93 through the Cairngorms.
Braemar Castle
The only way I can describe the drive is one straight out of a car advert.
Cairngorms
The road was empty, the scenery stunning and the farther in we got, the more snow we found as the road climbs higher than anywhere else in the UK, passing by the ski runs of Glenshee.
Cairngorms
We weren’t cruel enough to keep driving though, we did stop for some snow play too.
Cairngorms
Having a snowball fight with a spectacular sunset going on behind you is a very special experience.
Snowball
I did feel a little sorry for those who had tried to come skiing as there was not enough snow to ski.
Cairngorms
Once we were snowballed out, it was then time to head back through the glens, back to our holiday cottage in Angus.
Carirngorms
This was by far my favourite day out during our holiday as we saw so much of the country and it has made us promise that we will return as there is so much more to see!

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23 Comments
  1. Reply

    Cathy (Mummytravels)

    March 4, 2017

    You packed so much in! And what gorgeous photos – I had heard how stunning Lunan Bay and Dunnottar were, what amazing views. And great to bump into someone at Arbroath to let you into a few secrets. #countrykids

  2. Reply

    karen@wouldliektobe

    March 4, 2017

    Wow looks like you squeezed a lot in. Loving those beaches

  3. Reply

    Coombe Mill - Fiona Cambouropoulos

    March 4, 2017

    This Scotland trip of yours is seriously making me want to visit. The pass you bought sounds amazing value and a great way to plan your days around places of interest. I thought the old Abbey alone looked wonderful to explore, but add in the sand dunes, snow play and the most amazing scenery, no wonder this was your favourite day. What wonderful memories you have captured here.
    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  4. Reply

    The Princess and The Pickle

    March 4, 2017

    The explorer pass sounds like a great idea, it looks like there’s so much to see and do, it’s difficult to decide which bits to fit in to a holiday!

  5. Reply

    Sonia Cave

    March 4, 2017

    Wow, wow, and wow!! What a lovely lot of places to visit, and I love the sand dune!! #countrykidsfun

  6. Reply

    Janet T

    March 4, 2017

    I love the sound of the A93, I love a road trip. I think you’ve been quite lucky it wasn’t too snowy and you could still get around. #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky

  7. Reply

    Jen

    March 5, 2017

    Such a wonderful adventure. Something I would love to do. The Explorer Pass is an excellent idea to get, very much worth it. Love all the history and scenery, just perfect.

  8. Reply

    Karen (Stopping At Two)

    March 5, 2017

    This looks amazing. Love all those old ruins and you can see how the castle in Brave was based on Dunnottar. The scenery you drove through is breath taking – looks like the same ones used in Skyfall??
    #countrykids

  9. Reply

    mrsS

    March 5, 2017

    I love all these photos!! Lunan bay looks beautiful with those sand dunes!! and Abroath Abbey also looks beautiful. We are visiting Scotland in April for a road trip – so I might look into the explorers pass – thanks for the tip #CountryKids

  10. Reply

    angela hamilton

    March 5, 2017

    I am so glad you enjoyed your time up here in Scotland. I really should explore more of my own country. I am just glad the snow fall we had did not stop you in any way and if anything it added to the fun 🙂 If you ever venture back I recommend Aberdeen, Cullen and Inverness. Cullen is very quiet but gorgeous and both Aberdeen and Inverness are scenic and full of places to explore x

  11. Reply

    Michelle Murray

    March 5, 2017

    Its been a long time since we headed up to Scotland. It’s such a lovely place but just that little bit too far for us for a weekend getaway. Would definitely love to go back

  12. Reply

    Suzy Mccullough

    March 5, 2017

    Your photos make me want to pack our bags and go tomorrow. It’s a great post for Scottish inspiration. I am book marking now thank you. We lived in Scotland for awhile. Such a beautiful country

  13. Reply

    Susanna

    March 6, 2017

    Yay! You found snow. My husband is from Scotland and we visit lots. Love it. x

  14. Reply

    Sophie

    March 6, 2017

    Oh this looks incredible! I must take a trip to Scotland!

  15. Reply

    Sonia

    March 6, 2017

    You’ve made us really want to visit Scotland now! It looks amazing, your photos are gorgeous and wow to get to play in the snow! So much fun! Thanks for linking up to #ThePlaceWeWillGoLinky xx

  16. Reply

    Ness

    March 6, 2017

    Just my kind of road trip. Lots of amazing scenery and plenty of history on route. I’ve never been as far up as Angus. It must have taken you ages to get there!

  17. Reply

    Sara | mumturnedmom

    March 7, 2017

    Ah, now you’re making me really homesick! Beautiful photos of your day x #countrykids

  18. Reply

    Baby Loves Travel

    March 8, 2017

    The Cairngorms and Lunan Bay look beautiful – you are inspiring me to visit… #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky

  19. Reply

    Mudpie Fridays

    March 8, 2017

    Beach and snow in one day! The beach looks amazing and I can see why it’s thought to be one of the prettiest. The explorer passes sound like great value for money. Stopping by from #CountryKids

  20. Reply

    Lauren Moseley

    March 8, 2017

    Amazing photos, looks like a fantastic trip. I am eager to go back to Scotland as we haven’t visited for a couple of years now. Will definitely have a look at getting an explorer pass-looks like great value #CountryKids

  21. Reply

    Susan Mann

    March 9, 2017

    This looks wonderful. Glad you had such a great time. I love living in Scotland and being able to do this and go to so many beautiful places is amazing. xx

  22. Reply

    Kel

    March 10, 2017

    Beautiful pictures, and such a gorgeous country! We are heading to Scotland for our summer holiday after having an amazing time there last year and I can’t wait to explore some more! x

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KARA GUPPY
Bournemouth

Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk