We have an adventurous group of riders on this tour and their first adventure started with (most) of them trying Haggis at breakfast this morning – for many, this was their first taste of this (cuisine might be a little optimistic) so lets go with ‘Traditional Scottish dish’. Everyone survived!
Hitting the road after the morning briefing, we set off out of Edinburgh on the left side of the road…. and through several traffic circles. After a few miles of city and suburban road riding, we were winding our way through farm lands, rolling green hills and narrow twisty roads enjoying our new steeds while taking in the sights and fragrant smell of the Scottish countryside (Read – aroma of fresh cattle manure)!
A quick picture stop at the Devils Beef Tub before we had our first coffee break at the small historical town of Moffat. Originally a wool trading and spa town, Moffat is now a popular little tourist and local destination for coffee and tea. Being a Sunday, there was a small street market set up in front of the Town Hall which was one of the original spa’s back in the day.
Just after riding along the bank of Lake St Mary, we took a right turn and headed back in to the farmlands instead of heading straight in to a huge thunderstorm and managed to escape with just a few drops of rain as we made our way to the town of Hawick for lunch.
Welcome to England, the land of Angels, and Northumberland! What a stunning part of the world with wonderful scenery, more great riding on small twisty roads and lots of sheep. The sheep are obviously used to cars and bikes as neither seem to bother them while they sun themselves in the middle of the very narrow farm roads.
Kielder Forrest offered more great riding on a newly topped road with fewer sheep so we were able to get along at a more fun riding pace compared to the slower speeds that we had to keep with the smaller twistier roads dotted with sleeping sheep.
Tonight we are staying at Langley Castle which dates back to 1350 and has been rebuilt/restored a few times since then to what is now a wonderful castle with large rooms and a wonderful dining area.
Great wine, a wonderful dinner and charming group of riders as company made for the prefect ending to what was a great first day of our Scotland – Castles, Kilts and Whisky Tour.