Today we take a trip on the last ocean going paddle steamer
in the world. THE WAVERLEY is a most popular
vessel which sails from Glasgow on the River Clyde to the
beautiful Scottish islands, Children love it because they
can visit the engine room and see the ancient pistons pumping
the engines. Adults love it for its breathtaking fresh air
and wonderful scenery. It is a full day cruise and visiting
castles and great little villages on the way.
Mum wants to spend the day shopping. Glasgow is the best shopping
city in Britain. Why?? Well, the fabulous shopping streets
are totally car free so the family can shop in complete safety.
No worries about the kids running in to the traffic. The streets
on which the cars, trams and buses used to speed through the
city are now walking streets with cafes and street entertainment
plus the largest Marks and Spencer store in Britain,
Slaters the worlds largest menswear shop, all
the famous high-street names from Armani to Woolworths, and
all others in between. To finish off the shopping, take the
waterbus on the river to Braehead shopping centre, one of
Europes top malls. The kids will love the thirty minutes
on the river to get there, and the entertainment and food
stores once they are there.
A day for the kids. Take them to the Science Park.
It is not dull fun at all. It is totally interactive, so no
lectures on science, just hundreds of computer type implements
to thoroughly entrance kids from four to fifty fun,
and educational too. When thats over, take a trip to
the M&D Theme Park. It is about twenty minutes
drive from the city centre and features Scotlands top
rides and all the excitement of a modern entertainment park.
However, if mum and dad want a little peace, then its
a five-minute walk to the most tranquil lakeside park imaginable.
Scotland thinks of everything!
Load up the car, or pack a picnic. We are going to the seaside.
Largs is about forty minutes from Glasgow. First stop is Nardinis
a thirties seaside café perhaps the most
famous café in Scotland. The ice creams are delicious.
The take the small boat over to Millport, a small island
where families can hire bicycles for an easy fourteen-kilometre
trip round the island. Take the ferry back to Largs and head
down to Kelburn Fun Park. Set in the grounds of a stately
home this is a great place for kids to tire themselves out.
Theres a great Commando assault course, a secret garden,
falconry displays and a really ancient house to explore. All
with wonderful views over the mountains on the island of Arran,
so keep that camera handy.
Everyone is a little exhausted, so we are going to do something
as a family that is not tiring, requires no mental stress
and can be enjoyed long after we are finished. We are going
fruit picking in the Clyde Valley. This is a stunning place
with hundreds of small farms offering fruit picking
pick as much as you can for a very small price. If you want
a break, there is a completely restored 18th century village
at New Lanark, in the same area. It is a heritage theme
park everything is genuine but great fun for all. Then,
on the way home, buy some lovely Scottish fresh cream and
really enjoy these strawberries, raspberries and some of the
other fruits, which only grow in Scotland.
Mum wants to go shopping again, so dad and the kids can go
to one of the many public swimming pools to enjoy great watersports,
flumes and so many other activities. In the evening, catch
one of the latest movies in any of the modern multiplex cinemas.
We are moving to Edinburgh, but lets not go straight
there. We can stop at the fantastic Falkirk Wheel.
This is the Millennium project of Central Scotland. For centuries,
small boats crossing Scotland by canal had to wait for hours
while the lock-keeper closed one area so that the water could
fill up to the higher canal level. Now it is done by the only
barge-lifting wheel in the world. It is an exhilarating experience
and is as popular with tourists as it is useful for the boatmen
who save so much time. When that is finished we will take
a small diversion to Blair Drummond Safari Park. Drive
through the monkeys, the lions and all the animals associated
with the jungle and not Scotland! It is thrilling.
Then we will continue to Edinburgh, arriving in the late evening.
In August, Edinburgh hosts the largest Festival in
the world. It comprises art, theatre, music and drama
but it is just a fun time to be in the city. All the parks
are filled with free entertainment as theatre companies advertise
their shows. So no need to do much today. Just walk through
Princes Street Gardens and enjoy the unique atmosphere of
the Edinburgh festival.
Lets explore Edinburgh Castle with its cannons
and turrets and so much history, you feel you are back five
centuries or more. There is a guided tour with headphones,
so no need to miss out on anything. Then we will walk down
the fascinating Royal Mile with its cobbled stones and wonderful
antique shops, cafes, international newsagents and remarkable
ambiance. It is just different!
Take an all day ticket on the hop on hop off bus service.
These are open topped tour busses. If you like the look of
one of the stopping points, then get off, spend some time
exploring, and get on the next bus as it comes along. It is
so easy, so comfortable and so informative about one of the
truly great ancient world capitals. In the evening the family
will visit the TATTOO, one of the most spectacular
events of the festival. It is held on the esplanade of Edinburgh
Castle and is a show of music, precision marching and daredevil
acts. Tickets are at a premium, so book early.
Shopping on Princes Street is great. Alongside al the famous
fashionable high street stores, theres Jenners.
Jenners is a throwback to the grand days of store shopping.
It is one of the oldest stores in the world and has many of
the features of a more romantic age. However, the goods are
the most modern and fashionable so the experience crosses
all boundaries. Then of course there is Harvey Nichols
only store outside London and many wonderful boutiques and
special shops all within a few minutes of Princes Street.
Well go down to the port of Leith about fifteen
minutes by frequent bus from the city centre. Leith used to
be a dingy port area. Now it is a family area with spectacular
shopping, great restaurants and The Royal Yacht Britannia,
which is permanently moored as a museum to Royal Visits across
the world. See what happened when the queen visited your country
and what gifts were exchanged between the two rulers.
Just spend the day walking in this city. By now you will know
it intimately, so you have to leave one day to do all the
things you previously noticed, but didnt have time to
stop and see. This is the day to do it.
Some last minute shopping on Princes Street