Friday 28 August 2020

Museum of the Moon, Coronation Hall, Ulverston #MuseumOfTheMoon


I have recently seen lots of social media posts from friends of the Museum of the Moon exhibition at the Coronation Hall in Ulverston. Having discovered that it ends this Monday I persuaded my mum to pick me up so that we could go and see it today. Before going in I had to say hello to one of Ulverston's most famous residents and his partner:

With social distancing rules we had to sanitise and follow a one way system. Walking into the hall we had an instant wow factor on seeing the moon:

In the hall we could walk right under the moon and see close up the NASA images that it is made of:

Thursday 27 August 2020

Garden Update


It has been a while since I have posted any updates on the garden improvements. Progress a bit patchy with a lack of funds and time! I was given a free pallet and it sparked a mini project of creating a bin hide in the front garden. I have since acquired another pallet and painted them both (mostly with leftover paints):

They looked a bit boring despite the colours so I used an idea I had seen online and bought hanging plant pots. A pack of 10 from Amazon (affiliate link) plus some pansies and violas from Asda has given them a real boost:

The hooks only worked on one pallet so I will need to find a plan B for the other one:

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Chatelherault Country Park

As a family we love to make alternative pitstops on long car journeys instead of motorway services. On our drive to Loch Lomond we finally managed to stop at Chatelherault Country Park which is just off the M74 at Hamilton south of Glasgow. We ate our picnic and then had a brief walk around the 18th century hunting lodge built for the Duke of Hamilton:

We felt we hadn't really explored the grounds so on our way home we again stopped here for lunch. This time we took Sherlock on a wander around the estate. Even in the heat we found some cool and pleasant walks by the old pond. We even found some knights guarding the bench:

Behind the hunting lodge we discovered the Clyde Valley Woodlands national nature reserve with some tempting looking walks... of course we couldn't resist following one of them:

Sunday 23 August 2020

Stoneymollan Road - Coffin Road Balloch to Cardross


We hadn't had a decent walk on our trip so on the last day we decided to walk up part of the old Coffin Road to get in some views over Loch Lomond. We are familiar with coffin roads as we have a few in the Lake District. Basically there was no where to bury people in Balloch so they had to be carried all the way to St Mahew's Chapel in Kirkton, a distance of almost 6 miles! This route now includes parts of the John Muir Way (134 miles/215 km from Helensburgh to Dunbar) and Three Lochs Way (34.5 miles/55 km from Balloch to Invergulas):

One obstacle that didn't exist in the days of coffin carrying, is the A82. Luckily for us a pedestrian bridge takes you safely over the road. We even got a bit of a view of the Stoneymallon roundabout with its wild birds in flight:

The way marking on this part of the path was excellent. It also is on a tarmac covered surface as there are a few houses off the road. As we climbed we got a few glimpses of Loch Lomond below:

Friday 21 August 2020

Ardkinglas Woodland Garden


After our early dinner at Loch Fyne my mum suggested we walked it off at Ardkinglas Woodland Garden which was only a shot distance around the Loch. The gardens are open until dusk with an honesty box and when we went we were the only ones there. We picked up a trail leaflet and headed off into woodland with its very tall trees. For scale my son is 6ft (183cm):

The leaflet had numbers on it so that we could find out about the trees and other things scattered in the gardens such as this lovely sculpture:

One of the highlights was the poetry contained in this gazebo:

Thursday 20 August 2020

A day in Inverary


On one, luckily sunny, day on our break we had decided to drive up to Inverary in Argyll & Bute. This involved driving most of the way up the edge of Loch Lomond before wiggling through the mountains for a pause at the Rest and be Thankful:

We certainly were very thankful for the rest and a coffee with a view back the way we had come. I can't imagine what it was like in the days before the combustion engine on the original military road, you can see it wiggling below the modern one:

The name dates back to 1748 when a stone was erected by the engineers who constructed it:

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Cycle ride to Luss, Loch Lomond

For a slightly more active day we took a 3 generation bike ride on the West Lomond cycle path. This runs from Balloch to Tarbet but we joined it just outside the town where the old main road ran alongside the estate. At first it was a road but soon became just for bikes and pedestrians:

The route did some times run right alongside the A82, which luckily wasn't too busy. The route was pretty undulating but fairly well maintained (some of the bushes could have done with a trim!). It was nicest when it was a dedicated path: 

After about 7 miles we dropped back down to the side of the Loch and had to cycle on the road which would take us into Luss:

Tuesday 18 August 2020

The Kelpies

The Kelpies

After our trip to the Falkirk Wheel we got back in the car and drove the short distance to visit The Kelpies. They are the world's largest equine sculptures and a popular destination for photographers:

Key facts
  • Each structure contains approximately 18,000 individual pieces
  • There is over 1.5 miles of steel in each structure
  • They each weigh over 300 tonnes and sit on 1,200 tonne foundations
  • Each structure has 464 steel plates
The Kelpies were built in just 90 days (to view the video of their construction click here)

With the continuing rain we drove as close as possible and parked in the Helix. We walked along the canal and the size of the Kelpies soon became apparent:

The Kelpies

They really are incredible pieces of art and engineering when seen close up:

The Kelpies

The weather, plus no open cafe due to COVID-19, meant we didn't linger. I would love to go back and see them when they are floodlit at night.