Sunday, October 2, 2011

A weekend in Scotland part 2

Mid September 2011: We didn’t actually head down to Cambridge the next day, instead we stopped off on the way and stayed with my Mum who then came down to stay with us in Cambridge. As I prefer to take different routes going and returning, to get to Scotland we went up the A1, to come back we headed back down the A74M/M6.

We also crossed the Tay Bridge and took the High Road through a village called Strathkinnes. Now for us flat-landers the concept of a high road and a low road can be a bit difficult to take in – but when you spend a bit of time up in Scotland you soon get the picture.

We also passed through a village called Pickletillum, you’d think that is would be an easy name to remember – but it was so unusual we struggled, within half an hour we’d forget it, indeed I am not sure my wife can remember it now.

This is the view from the High Road across the estuary.

The view down the High Road – look, how sensible 20MPH because the quality of where we live is more important than speeding along roads.

View Larger Map

This is Dundee (I think), actually I don’t think – I’ve just checked and it isn’t far enough away, I think it might be Balmullo and if you follow the link there is a picture of Balmullo quarry to the left on the horizon in this picture.

A seagull by the seaside.

Some windsurfers – although it wasn’t the windiest of days.

After a bit of sight-seeing we set of back down the M74, past a huge number of Wind turbines near Glasgow. It turned out to be Whitelees Windfarm and if we had more time I would have popped in for a visit. it is apparently Europe’s largest windfarm and has 140 turbines and can generate 322MW of electricity, sufficient for 180,000 homes. Although there are parts under construction they do allow access to bits and presumably more when the construction is finished (Leaflet with map in pdf.) They also held a photography competition – some of the entries can be seen here – at the bottom. What I can’t quite work out is how we saw them from the M74 although this map shows them as only about 8 miles away. Although this pdf map shows just how extensive the work is in proving wind energy in Scotland.

In fact scrub what I said about it being the Whitelees Windfarm I think it is really the Clyde Wind Farm and it is bigger than the Whitelees Windfarm and is being built either side of the M74 Motorway.  This one is proposed to deliver 584MW – capable of powering 320,000 homes. Mind you each place I look seems to quite a different amount of power and number of houses it could supply! This BBC news item suggests it will have 152 turbines and be capable of supplying 279,000 homes and it has started exporting electricity to the national grid.

The M74 (and A74M) is a delight to drive down – it passes through some beautiful countryside and the motorway is not too busy. We did pass a lot of broken down vehicles though.

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