Missy has previously done Inchmahome Priory (back in 2017!), but we weren't going to turn down a puppy play date just because we've been before!
It was my brother and Maisie, my mother, Missy and myself. My brother kindly offered to pick me up from the house and we were soon on the road. He was looking forward to trying Maisie on a boat, as she hadn't been on one yet, and he was hoping she would prefer it to the steam train.
I just laughed and told him that I would have thought for her first boat he would have done a proper big boat.
I swear, if he could have stopped on the motorway he would have. I was drilled as to what kind of a boat it was and, thinking he was concerned about Maisie, tried to play it cool by describing it as a rowboat with a motor.
Would we be given life jackets? He asked with some alarm.
Life jackets? For the dogs? Then it clicked. My brother cant swim.
Yep. Enjoy the irony - I, the scuba diver, has a dog who will actively avoid water whilst my hydrophobic brother has a dog that will find any excuse to leap into it. The more I think of it, the funnier it seems!
Well, I wouldn't be writing the blog if we never made it. So despite his panic, the boat did not sink and even though I insisted I wouldn't judge him, he declined the offer of the life jacket. Maisie enjoyed it more than he did.
We got onto the island with no fuss, got our tickets and stopped for our picnic. Now, like everyone else, I'm trying to reduce plastic and waste and picnics are one place I find myself still seeking some plastic sandwich bags - not anymore:
Tada! A sandwich wrap (more photos on my instagram @missdaisysewing) - just simply put the rolls in the middle and assemble the velcro the right way and voila! I made a few earlier in the week so was pleased to road test it. Missy and Maisie were keen to share the spoils as we all enjoyed the unexpected beautiful weather.
The priory is a complete ruin. The foundations are completely intact and some of the buildings have most of their walls, but there is only one roof and that's the chapter house (Missy went on point in the completely empty, dark and chilly room so we didn't linger, just in case she had spotted a ghost).
What does remain is beautiful. Stone arches and tall plinths which are perfect for having dogs pose on (Missy and Maisie would not cooperate together, I have lots of nice photos of them individually, but they wouldn't sit nicely together!
As with all sites across the central belt, there is a lot of fuss about Mary Queen of Scots (she seems to have visited just about every castle - I'm waiting for the day I find a privvy with a sign stating "Mary Queen of Scots had a wee here") and there is a boxwood bower it is said she planted. My brother isn't a fan of the priory's and abbeys, much preferring the castles, so his highlight was the grounds of the island and its abundant trees. Despite only being half a kilometre long, there is a sizeable portion of 'woodland' which both dogs enjoyed.
Missy made friends on the boat ride back and Maisie decided to nap, a far cry from her excited barking going to the island. I was sat in the back with both dogs (they were harnessed in, Missy normally has the boot to herself) and they both fell asleep on the ride home. Definitely a worthwhile day out.