Falkirk Wheel

In April I was able to enjoy an overnight escape within Scotland. It had its origins in the football season approaching its climax, and took me to Ayr in the west of the country.

My plan was to watch Ayr United v Queen’s Park in the Scottish Championship (league 2, in other words) which was scheduled as a Friday evening game as it was to be televised live. Then on the Saturday I would do a local Parkrun.

The plan was similar to the original idea for my trip to Inverness in January, and I was hoping the April weather would be more cooperative! So it turned out.

The match coincided with a big 2 day horse racing event at Ayr Racecourse so I was not able to find a local hotel. I ended up staying at the Courtyard by Marriott at Glasgow Airport. I have stayed there before, and I was confident it would suit me nicely.

Courtyard by Marriott @ GLA

In the end it all came together well. On the way to Ayr I enjoyed a very pleasant stop at Pollok Park in Glasgow for a walk and a coffee at the Burrell Collection.

Burrell Collection

I was in Ayr in time to savour fish and chips before the match and the views out over the Clyde Estuary.

Ayr Beach

The football ended in a 0-0 draw. Often that would suggest a dull game, but in this case it was quite the opposite. A goal was the only thing missing.

Fireworks in Ayr

On Saturday morning I did Linwood Parkrun, which was just a 5 minute drive from the hotel. I ran a personal best, so I was delighted. The hotel even let me have two breakfasts – one before Parkrun and one afterwards.

Linwood Parkrun Start

What a time to be alive!

After checking out of the hotel I drove to Falkirk – about halfway between Glasgow Airport and my home. The time was right for a sandwich lunch at Falkirk Wheel.

The final episode of my mini adventure took me to Edinburgh, and Scotland Women v Italy Women at rugby. I have seen a women’s international before and expected it to be fun. It was, and Scotland won to break a run of 12 defeats.

Scotland v Italy

By the time I reached home in the early evening I was very tired, but super happy about having put together such a good escape and being able to cram so much into less than 36 hours.

ⓒ iain taylor, 2023


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