Even in the depths of midwinter, the countryside is staggeringly beautiful. FWIW, this was about 3pm - may have been warm, but the sun still goes down early in the frozen north....
Edinburgh Castle is a sight well worth seeing, but its military history tends to overshadow its sense of having been a place of residence. Doune, on the other hand, looks and feels like you expect a castle to look and feel - it's easy to imagine people living in it, something emphasised by the "mod cons" design features it had built into it! No doubt that it was still windy, damp and cold, but it offered private privies for the nobility attached to each state bedroom and in small "aristo only" cubbies off the great hall, serving hatches from the kitchens into the halls to keep the food moving smoothly, and an early kind of central heating through clever hearth and flue placement heating upstairs rooms with the fires in the kitchens.. It looks like it was quite a practical and pleasant place to live by Medieval standards.
Sharp-eyed readers may notice something else about Doune: it was the castle used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In fact, Terry Jones narrates the castle's audio-tour guide and, if you're remotely familiar with the film, it's impossible not to walk through without lines from it leaping into your head as soon as you see the reality of the location!
Serving hatches to allow the cooks to hand off the food to the servants to take upstairs. If I'm not mistaken, the reverse of this shot is where they filmed the "Just a little bit of peril!" scene.
While we didn't get as far as water-logged Perthshire, there was still some flooding in Callander.
Didn't stop us from taking in the view and enjoying a supper from the (very good!) chippy in town. Not sure our daughter has quite connected with (understatement) the iconic status of the British chippy, but she did at least give them a try, even if she balked at trying the deep-fried steak-pie she was offered.........
Hamish the Highland Coo?