A-Z activities

A-Z countries

What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog begun in 2012 about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.

I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps.

Around 2018 I tried a new way of writing my family's and my own UK travel adventures. Britain is a brilliant place for a staycation, mini-break and day trips. It's also a fantastic place to explore so I've begun to write up reports of places that are easy to reach by public transport. And when they are not that easy to reach I'll offer some tips on how to get there.

See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Go bagpipers

Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell want to travel the world with a difference. We hope to get a taste of many countries without adding to climate change (with needless emissions from aeroplanes) or having to waste hours of holiday time in airport terminals. We hope our adventures inspire you to take a Grand Tour of your neighbourhood. This post is from Nicola (pic is of Mairia, Robert and Alasdair)

Hearing the bagpipes is a classic part of the Scottish experience – for the old Duke of Argyll it was also his preferred method of being woken, which offers a novel idea for your phone ring setting.

In the Highlands I met some fantastically talented children, some as young as nine, who play the pipes and drum at competitions. The Inverary & District Pipe Band are trained by a genius piper, Stuart Liddell, but they have to put a huge amount of work in - if your bagpipe isn't played for 15 minutes or so everyday the bag part of the bagpipes (made from a sheep's stomach) goes stiff and the sound just isn't the same...

The band's next big event is the British Championships in Northern Ireland (23 June).

Without the talent of children in bands like the Inverary & District Pipe Band visitors to Scotland would have to fall back on elevator tape tunes and the rather cheesy settings provided by busking pipers in tourist car parks next to Glencoe or Culloden battlefield. To see the bagpipes expertly played look out for the local celidhs, at the Highland shows, one-off dates at various caravan/camping sites and the hotels.


Anonymous said...

Hi Nicola
We won in Ireland. We are now British Champions at Novice Juvenile grade.


Jim McMillan (secretary of the band)

Nicola Baird & Pete May said...

Hi Nicola
We won in Ireland. we are now British Champions at Novice Juvenile grade.