Christmas 2003

In December 2003, we took a week and went to Aberfeldy, Scotland for Christmas.   We then had some friends from the US and Germany come visit for New Years and to spend a weekend with us.  Here are the highlights and pictures from that trip.

20 Dec: Debbie and I drive north, planning to visit Beeston Castle and Chester Castle.   We arrived at Beeston too late to see anything, so we went up to Carnforth and stayed in a delightful B&B.  We ate dinner at the "Canal Turn" restaurant/pub on the Lancaster Canal. 

21 December: We drove up to Penrith to see Penrith Castle (which wasn't much to see).  We stopped to take pictures of Brougham Castle (from the outside) and then drove up to Carlisle to see Carlisle Castle and Carlisle Cathedral.  After Carlisle, we drove up to Aberfeldy to our resort.

22 December:  We headed down to Perth, to visit Huntingtower Castle and the Perth Museum.  In the afternoon, we drove to the Glenturret Distillery to enjoy the "Famous Grouse Experience", where they gave us a tour of the distillery and samples as well as a display on the blending of the Famous Grouse scotch whiskey (which contains Glenturret scotch as part of the blend).  

23 December:  We drove down to Stirling to tour Stirling Castle and Bannockburn.  Bannockburn is the famous battle where Robert the Bruce defeated Edward II in 1314.  

24 December:  We spent the day touring Aberfeldy and Pitlochry, which included the Moulin Brewery, the Edradour Distillery, the Blair Atholl Distillery, and looking at all the Christmas displays in the shops along the main streets. 

25 December: Other than going to church, we stayed in the resort and enjoyed a nice dinner.

26 December: We drove down to Motherwell, Scotland, to spend St. Stephen's Day (Boxing Day) with another re-enactor to do some show-and-tell on various pieces of our respective outfits, tents, and furniture.

27 December: We drove around the countryside, seeing Saint Mary's Chapel with a really cool painted ceiling from 1636, and then down to Dunkeld with its cathedral, as well as some of the general tourist attractions which aren't worth photographing because they are only really designed to separate you from your money.

28 December:  We departed for home, stopping to see Doune Castle and Beeston Castle on the way. 

30-31 December:  I picked up some friends in London, and we went to visit Hampton Court Palace.  The next day we visited Salisbury, seeing the cathedral and the South Wiltshire Museum.  We attended a "watchnight" service (sung by the Sarum Consort) in the cathedral on New Year's Eve, and then went to Stonehenge on New Year's Day.  

2 January:  We visited Nunney Castle and Donnington Castle, and the Porter family arrived from Germany.

3 January:  We all went to Caerphilly Castle, Wales, for Twelfth Night Coronation.

4 January:  Some of us went back to Stonehenge, and we took a few family shots.

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