Thursday, 5 June 2014

Going North of the Border

Yes, we're going to Scotland. 

I got an email yesterday from Shearings Coaches with their latest offers. We've had several holidays with them before and, although the hotel accomodation is quite basic, their late deals are really great value for money. Our last one was back in February 2013 when we had 4 nights half board in Scarborough, all travel to and from Dover included, plus 2 excurions, and all for £109 each.

We've prevaricated for ages about what to do for our 30th wedding anniversary at the end of July, and now I'm really pleased we didn't make plans earlier. Last night I booked us a 7 night break to Oban for just £438 for the both of us, saving over £600 on the original price. We're travelling up on our actual anniversary (26th) but, if we'd gone a week later, even with discount it would have cost over £900. Again its half board, all travel included, overnight stays on the way there and back in hotels in the north of England, and day trips to the isles of Mull, Iona and Seil and to the Trossocks National Park. I'd saved a tax refund DH got a while back so I paid the entire amount in cash and even got £17 cashback through Quidco. 

I'm really excited about it as I've never been to Scotland and nor has Dave even though his dad was Scottish. We don't travel much so although a trip to Scotland might not be much for some people it's a real event for us.

This is our hotel, taken from the Shearings website:-

And here are views of Oban:-

And the Trossocks:-

I can't wait for our holiday, but first this month is crazy with 4 birthdays, including mine on the 21st. The 15th is a triple event being DD1's 30th birthday, Father's Day and the Race for Life in Folkestone that I'm doing for the first time. DD1's coming over from Winchester for the day on the 14th and we're taking her out for a birthday lunch and then back here for cake. My youngest sister's birthday is on the 27th and DS1's is the 29th. So I have lots of cards to make and pressies to buy or make over the next couple of weeks. I have a Doctor Who cushion panel to make up for DS1 but I'm not sure what to get for DD1 yet.

The weather was good today after a horrible wet day yesterday. After I'd finished a good clean out of my kitchen cupboards I had a walk into town and wandered around the charity shops. I picked up a vintage knitting book for £1.50 but a lot of the tops I saw were more than I was prepared to pay. I'm still mostly making do with my old stuff, except for jeans and underwear. I always did wear loose fitting clothes, they're just a lot looser now I'm 5 sizes smaller. Talking of which, I had a 2lb loss this week, which took care of the weight I'd gained over the previous 2 weeks. So far this week has started well so I'm hoping for at least another 1lb off next week. I'm whittling away at it slowly and now have less than a stone to lose to get to my goal weight.

I think that's all for now. I've been trying to sew a phone case this afternoon but 2 attempts failed. I'll have another go tomorrow and post if it turns out okay.

Hope everyone is keeping well. Love, Helen x


  1. Having been to Scotland on October half term holidays for years as a child and then spending nearly 10 years living in Fife, I am totally in love with the place - you don't know what you have been missing! My dad has just come back from a Lochs and Glens coach trip to Oban, which sounds very similar to your trip and he had a lovely time. I think you will love it, and the scenery is amazing - hope you have a wonderful time, and I look forward to seeing some photos xxx

  2. We share the same anniversary date! Although for us this year will be our 45th. My mother was Scottish and the country is beautiful ( I do hope it doesn't become a separate country). Enjoy your trip.

    1. 45 years, that's amazing. Are you doing anything special for your anniversary?

  3. Hi Helen, Congratulations on your anniversary and being married 30yrs. I've been on the Scottish version of these coach tours (Caledonian) to the far north of Scotland and Orkney and they are fab value. A little basic as you say basic in terms of accommodation, but then how much time will you be spending awake in your room? I also holiday in England, in the Peak District, so I think we have fabulous places to visit within driving distance too.

    The west coast tour you've chosen will be stunning, I can guarantee that, unlike the weather! However, no matter what the weather the scenery in the places you're going are sometimes just as dramatic in less than brilliant sun. I've been to Oban and the Trossachs and they are gorgeous.

    I took a little camera tour today and went from Lanarkshire to Stirling then home via Loch Lomond and encountered grim grey pouring rain in Hamilton, heavy showers and peeping sun in Stirling with lots of varying colour on the hills and then sun going down the A811 to Balloch....totally insane but amazing views. I'll post them soon and hope it will get you in the mood.

    Well done on the weight loss too.

    1. I'd love to see your pictures. We've been on 3 previous Shearings holidays to Blackpool and the Lake District, to Durham, and to Scarborough/Whitby/York. Those were only 5 day breaks though. I'm really excited about Scotland. It's a long journey from Dover, but I'm hoping to see some lovely scenery on the way. Fingers crossed for good weather as its the end of July.

  4. That sounds like a bargain holiday. I love the west coast of Scotland. Haven't been there for years but would LOVE to go again and show my kids.

    1. I think it's a really good deal and I'm really looking forward to it; everybody says how lovely it is in that area.