With the thermometer set to hit 22C at the weekend, we decided we had to go out for a day at the beach...and at the same time tick off a few more on our Historic Scotland to-do list.
We started by going up to Arbroath and getting the Abbey ticked off. It was apparent from the start though that it was going to be one of those days: we were late setting off and then we lost Missys lead on the walk before going into the Abbey. We literally think someone lifted it as we'd left it on a large stone whilst getting bags sorted and it wasn't there when we ran back to get it. Fortunately I had packed a spare lead, but seeing as it was a really nice good quality bungee we'd lost I wasn't very happy. Well, it will teach us for next time not to rush about.
The Abbey itself is a beautiful ruin, it's a distinctive red sandstone that had weathered eerily. I prefer my castles to abbeys and cathedrals (more back stabbing and bloodshed) but we still managed to fill in a few hours wandering about the grounds and having lunch in the sunshine.
Highlights were the lego exhibition (bizarrely enough!) - the underwater scene was my favourite one but there was loads of little cityscapes and monuments made from lego. We also found a tower with some incredible acoustics where they kept the lunatics, and Missy only got one question wrong on her quiz sheet, so we were pleased to walk away with a sticker.
|An ocean of Lego|
It was about half one by this point and we weren't sure what to do as we were both tired and it was very warm. Very glad we did push on with the day!
Initially it looked like another disaster - we were going to do St Andrews Castle, only to discover it wasn't dog friendly. It didn't have a roof (the usual telling point that it is dog friendly) and the website hadn't specifically stated no dogs (although further inspection shows they do have the symbol there, it just wasn't that obvious when your in a hurry, although, again, they normally explicitly say).
|At the Cathedral|
Nonetheless, a quick search and we discovered St Marys was dog friendly and we decided to have a gander about that. Then it came to the Cathedral - talk about conflicting information! The sign said no dogs, but it was full of dogs. Even the website says dogs must be on a lead, followed by no dogs allowed. We took it to mean that she was allowed on the grounds (where all the other dogs were) but not into the visitors centre or up the remaining tower which was ticketed. No one seemed to mind and we felt a sense of achievement at another site getting ticked off the list. Then off to the beach!
Missy is funny about water. She's getting braver in her old age and will sometimes step into it, but she's never shown any inclination to wanting to swim and play in water. Because of that, we'd never done a 'proper' beach with her before (mud flats and rocky shorelines don't count as proper beaches!) so we were curious to see what she would make of us wading in the water. The end result was hilarious - she kept running away from the waves and kept trying to coax the other dogs onto the sand flats to play instead of in the water.
A woodland dog, through and through, our Missy, although she did have fun and the water was a good idea to help her keep cool. We finished the day with fish and chips by the band stand watching people play and swim in the sea, and the aquarium was kind enough to refill Missys water bottle with tap water for us, so I picked up some ice creams from the gift shop and we had another wonder down the beach.
So, despite not going to plan, we did have a wonderful day. Missy was shattered and happily spent the rest of the evening having cuddles on the sofa and, though we wouldn't do an entirely beach holiday with her, we're more confident about adding beaches into our future staycation plans. We may make a water dog of her yet!