Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Reflections on Scotland


Scotland is really not an average place. Expectations of lochs and bagpipes are millions of miles away when one lands at Edinburgh airport. The surrounding areas are industrial if one is being polite. Driving along one finds places like “Ratho” ( is that Rat Ho, or Rath hoe?), that bring one to the worst roundabout in the world. Said roundabout has more traffic lights than the whole of london and all are set perfectly so that only one car can get through. Gridlock is not a possibility but a guaranteed state of affairs.

The motorways are tedious and even though fields are around they are invariably decorated with smoke producing buildings, towers and who knows what else. In short this is not the idyllic part of Scotland as one drives to Dunblane.

In Dunblane what used to be the Dunblane Hydro is now the Doubletree by Hilton………..which is the better? Double is actually not a bad description as they see fit to advertise : “Tea for two for only 31.50£”. Which is actually also the price of breakfast for two…………so one might then see why I chose not to donate money to this institution that wanted 176£ for a room for the night.

Lastly, it is good to see that the Tramway in Edinburgh is getting nearer completion and is being built at the airport. That will be joyful!

Dunblane Hydro or Doubletree by Hilton?

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4 thoughts on “Reflections on Scotland

  1. Brian Paterson on said:

    I can’t read your blog without some comment.

    I make the journey from Edinburgh Airport towards Dunblane very regularly. It’s not the prettiest route, but you do pass Linlithgow Palace on the left, majestic birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots before seeing the “delights” of Grangemouth (best seen when it’s dark and the lights on the refinery make it look much prettier).

    As you pass Stirling, you get a great view of the castle and the Wallace Monument on the right, with the Ochils in the background.

    In Dunblane, get down to the Cathedral, have a walk by the River Teith.

    If you get the chance, pop over to Doune, famous for pistol making in the 1600’s (a Doune pistol allegedly fired the first shot of the American War of Independence).

    Doune Castle also features in Monty Python’s “Holy Grail”.
    My Gran lived there during filming and the locals were asked to help out with the cast’s laundry. It wasn’t unusual to see chain mail hanging on the clothes lines along the back gardens.

    Also, having driven many English, Welsh and Northern Irish motorways recently, they are all tedious. I have never found a drive to or from an airport to be particularly pleasant. Bristol and Cardiff beggar belief with single carriageway approaches.

    Like any part of the UK, you have to look for the beauty.

    By the way, it’s pronounced “Rath O” with no pause between the syllables.

    Hope the talk went well at the Hydro (and yes, it is overpriced).

  2. Brian is of course correct as above! Doune castle sounds interesting and may try and explore that next time.

  3. Niall Mor on said:

    We need to make sure that we either dont invite you again or we take you out of the Lowland blandness and take you to Gods country in the Highlands where your accent and attitude will be met with the comtempt it demands!!

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