Here's another blog from Graham. This one is from an adventure back in April 2022.
Well Everyone, I have just got back from a brilliant 4 day holiday in Sunny Scotland, with a wonderful group.
We set off early last Thursday morning and headed north up the M61 and M6 to our first comfort stop at Tebay Services, in Cumbria. Tebay is the best Services in the North, with good quality food and drink and a lovely farm shop to browse and buy goodies for the journey ahead. I always try and stop here on journeys north, as most passengers like it, in preference to the fast food chains found at other services.
I have 50 passengers on board today, all looking forward to a 4 day holiday in Scotland.
My next stop is New Lanark Heritage Village for lunch, in the scenic Scottish countryside. The roads get very narrow around here with tight hair pin bends and narrow bridges but we get there, slowly and carefully, on time. Unfortunately the main visitor centre was closed today but the cafe and Village was open and the weather was beautiful so everyone enjoyed their time here.
Next stop was the small town of Linlithgow for sightseeing and afternoon tea and then on to Stirling and our hotel for 3 nights, the King Robert, named after Robert the Bruce. It is next door to the Battle of Bannockburn site and visitor Centre and the famous statue of Robert the Bruce is here too.
We all checked in successfully and relaxed for a while before dinner and live entertainment in the lounge to round off a full day of leisure, pleasure and scenic coach travel.
After a good nights sleep and an excellent Scottish breakfast, we set off to visit Culross, on the banks of the river Forth, in the morning and then the magnificent Stirling Castle in the afternoon.
The weather is beautiful again and everyone took lots of photographs in the sunshine with a clear blue sky in the background. You can see the Wallace Monument across the valley from the castle wall, as well as beautiful views of the Scottish hills everywhere.
It was very tricky getting the coach up the narrow cobbled streets to the castle but we made it unscathed and managed to park at the castle, as we had a confirmed booking.
At 5pm we leave Stirling and head back to the hotel to relax for a while before dinner. But not me. I take the opportunity to nip out to find fuel ready for the return journey. I fill up successfully just outside Stirling and am back at the hotel just in time for dinner.
The hotel staff organised a fun quiz, in the lounge, after dinner, which everyone enjoyed. A prize was given to the winners which were a group of 6 from our coach.
Day three was Glasgow and "Wheel of Fortune" day, so I got up early and chalked the front wheel with 50 numbered segments ready for our day trip to Glasgow.
I gave everyone a number on boarding the coach and explained that on arrival in Glasgow whosever number is under the arrow would be the winner of a prize. This got everyone excited and hopeful that their number would be the lucky one.
On arrival in Glasgow I parked up at Buchanan Street Bus Station and number 23 was the winner. Yes, a very happy passenger claimed her prize as she got off the coach.
Everyone had free time to explore the wonderful Scottish City and again the weather was superb. There was plenty of street entertainment, shopping, cultural visits and sightseeing to be done and everyone returned to the coach exhausted.
Yes, I played "Wheel of Fortune" again on the return journey and a second lucky winner claimed her prize back at the hotel.
Day four was our last day, so I loaded all the suitcases into the boot and we set off to visit the famous Scottish Kelpies, on yet another warm and sunny day.
This visit went down very well and everyone commented on such an amazing structure of two huge horses heads beside the canal.
Next stop was the Falkirk Wheel, another incredible piece of engineering genius, which raises canal boats from one level to another in spectacular fashion.
We had a ride on the Wheel booked, so we all boarded the large canal boat at 12.00 and enjoyed the "flight" together, for about an hour, before having lunch in the scenic surroundings in the sunshine.
We departed Falkirk at 2.30pm and made our way south to the M74. It's now pedal to the metal and a nap for everyone, except me of course, and I arrive at Tebay Services at 5pm for a welcome comfort and meal stop.
Whilst here another one of our tour coaches pulls in for a break too, so I have a chat to Howard, the driver, for a few minutes before my passengers return to the coach.
We leave Tebay at 6pm and arrive safely back home just before 8pm. The 4 day trip was completed on time and everyone commented on what a lovely holiday they had had and that they were all looking forward to their next one in August.