our last big trip while living abroad was a road trip to and through scotland. we had been wanting to explore up north in the uk for a long time, and with the pandemic still very much affecting international travel, we were excited to have a big adventure while still staying domestic. it was quite the epic journey with four little ones in tow – there was plenty of chaos and it was a very exhausting experience – but we saw so much beauty and made so many awesome family memories.
after carefully packing up our little car, we hit the road before dawn and our first day drove almost six hours to loch lomond. our kids are so good in the car. the babies chilled and the boys played games (don’t you love the i spy cards ian made?) and watched movies.
we stopped at the river ribble near preston in northwest england. this is where the first baptisms in great britain – into the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints – took place. it’s a beauty spot that was right along our route and a perfect place to get out and stretch our legs (still in pajamas!) and eat our lunch.
then we continued on, crossed into scotland, and pulled over when the kids were getting a bit stir-crazy. we lucked out that where we pulled over happened to have a path through some hills carpeted in bluebells overlooking a lake – it was gorgeous! we loved the fresh air and the easy hike and the beautiful views.
and then back on the road, delighted with the views of legit mountains, until we got to our little airbnb!
the next morning we went on a hike that we’d heard had amazing view of loch lomond, the lowlands on one side and the highlands on the other. it was a challenge getting all the children up that mountain, but the boys did so well hiking 95% of it on their own two feet and the babies were happy to be along for the ride in carriers. and the views were indeed spectacular. it was really hazy when we first started hiking and it was pretty awesome to witness the lake, islands and mountains come out of the fog as it burned off, becoming more and more clear every minute. it was hard to capture these views with a camera! they really were so breathtaking.
a little break to do some bubbles, half way to the top:
the boys got to trade off for a few minutes on daddy’s shoulders …
almost there …
and we made it!!
mo showing off his strong hiking muscles:
we sat at the top and took in the views and breastfed the babies and had snacks and were just floored by all the magnificent beauty.
and then we started to head back down.
a pretty good view for a potty break 😉
highlands on one side, lowlands on the other:
back down the trail, down the steps, and through the pretty forest we started in!
we were triumphant, with jelly legs and tired bodies, when we got back to the trailhead! we had our packed lunch and then put all the kids in the car and all four conked out as soon as we started driving! so we drove basically the entire perimeter of the lake and the scenery was incredible.
when the kids woke, we pulled over at a little beach and did bubbles and threw rocks in and fed the babies. gabriel stripped down to his underwear and waded in the water a bit. it was a pretty spot and a fun time.
a great start to our scottish adventure 🙂