At the end of October, Brett and I travelled from Exeter to Scotland to visit my sister in Glasgow. It was our first trip to Scotland together (and our first trip in the UK not in the south west of England!), so in addition to exploring Glasgow, we did day trips to other cities to visit friends. Whether we were wandering city streets or muddy forest trails, we loved getting to see the beautiful kaleidoscope of autumn colours.
On our first day in Glasgow, Ashlynn took us on a walk along the River Kelvin, which she described as being her happy place during the pandemic lockdowns. We started off in the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, where we popped into the historic Kibble Palace greenhouses, before heading down to the river. From there, Ashlynn led us towards Kelvingrove Park and eventually back up to her university's campus. Brett and I were incredibly impressed with the grandeur of the University of Glasgow buildings – walking into the Eastern Quadrangle felt like we had stepped into Hogwarts! Over the week, we had a wonderful time exploring the West End of Glasgow, which is filled with many independent shops and restaurants.
Our first day trip was to the beautiful city of Edinburgh, where Brett lived for four months while studying abroad in his final year of university. Despite the constant drizzle, we had a fun day wandering around the historic city centre. We spent a lot of time in cute cafes to escape the rain, and enjoyed meeting up with friends who live in the city.
The following day, we visited the city of Perth to meet up with David, one of my best friends from school, and his girlfriend Tamsin. We were worried it would be raining all day, but when we arrived it was cloudy but dry, so we decided to head up to the Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park, just east of the city centre. The climb through the forest was not too challenging, and we had the added excitement of watching mountain bikers race on winding paths through the trees. We hiked up to Kinnoull Tower, where we ate lunch as we watched the mist rise up the hillside. From the higher elevation, we had an amazing view of the autumn colours lining both sides of the River Tay as it disappeared into the fog. Later in the day, the sun came out, and we were rewarded with golden light filtering through the yellow leaves above us.
On our final day in Glasgow, Ashlynn encouraged Brett and I to get out of the city and visit some nearby waterfalls, which she wrote about in her blog post here. We took an hour-long bus ride from the city centre and headed out towards the hills. After many grey days, it was lovely to finally see blue skies and sunshine! The autumn colours in the afternoon light were magical, providing a stunning backdrop to the river tumbling through the valley. I even braved the cold to have a very quick dip in the pool below one of the waterfalls (it doesn't even count as a swim because I literally ducked down into the water and got out it – it was too cold to do anything else).
We had a wonderful time exploring new places together in Scotland, and look forward to returning for some wild camping in 2022!