Just off A85 in the shadows of the modest peak of Ben Cruachan in Scotland is a hidden jewel of a castle. It’s a dot on an atlas, a prominent enough destination to actually be listed on a road atlas of Great Britain. But while the little dot of Kilchurn Castle technically exists on a map, it remains a hidden mystery beyond the trees and on the banks of Loch Awe. Kilchurn Castle brings the magic of the Scotland Highlands to life, if only you know where to look.
I’ve written about my love of baseball travel, and my son’s growing passion for all things related to the games we watch, particularly basketball. With that passion to watch sports in person in mind, our family is off on a mini-sports road trip this basketball season. Beginning in Atlanta, we will visit three Southern cities that are all home to NBA franchises. We will watch the game we love, experience arenas, taste the food and drink of the home teams, and see what fun we can discover. It’s our own NBA road trip and I hope you’ll follow along in the fun.
Since my 1980s childhood in small-town Arkansas, I’ve placed Friday on a pedestal above all other days. There was something magical about Fridays, what with all the awesome movies featuring the Coreys (“License to Drive” anyone?), John Cusack showing us how to express our love (it’s with a boombox held high above our heads, of course), and Michael J. Fox showing us what happens when we drive 85 (if in an awesome DeLorean, you might drive it into a barn in 1955). I’ve always found my inspiration on Fridays, and it partly goes back to when my brother and I could rent lots of awesome movies and watch them on the VCR until 4 a.m. So I thought I’d take my infatuation with Fridays and turn it into a new weekly feature focused on travel inspiration. Welcome to Friday Travel Inspiration.
Last week, I asked on the Trips By Lance Facebook page what people do when the threat of bad weather potentially affects a road trip. The answers were all over the place, ranging from leaving ahead of schedule to beat the bad weather to leaving as planned and taking a chance that the roads won’t be too bad. As someone who is born, bred and has always lived in the Southern United States, I hate even the hint of a threat of icy conditions. Nothing good can come from icy streets. It’s the main reason my traveling tends to hibernate during the winter. But when I do make plans, I have my own winter weather road trip guidelines.
If you’re considering a visit to England for the first time, chances are you’re only thinking about London. As much as I love the capital city, for my money, I’m going out to some of the “other” British cities. And I’m not talking small villages, even though some of my favorite places on Earth are English villages. I have lots of favorites, but if you’re thinking about a first-time visit to the United Kingdom, here are my favorite four non-London England cities to visit. When we visit the U.K. we’ve always had a car, but all of these cities are accessible via train and motorcoach.