Edinburgh’s Georgian House

Edinburgh, English course
Helena had great fun posing in different costumes from 1800

We visited this 1800 style house last weekend.  Next door is the First Minister’s official residence (she’s the head of the Scottish Government). You can learn about the life of a wealthy family 200 years ago, and try on clothes from that time. Of particular interest to those of us who love Jane Austen’s novels and the TV and film adaptations.

Edinburgh, english course

Edinburgh, learn English

Edinburgh, English course

 

 

 

 

Blair Drummond Safari Park

safari park - english language homestay

We spent an exciting day at this wonderful safari park. This is probably the closest I’ll come to an African safari. We drove past all kinds of animals – including lots of lions, monkeys (some jumped onto cars) and a huge male rhinoceros that came very close to our car.

We spent the rest of the day going to talks by the zoo-keepers, including an impressive diving and leaping display by one of the sea-lions, and flying displays by several of the birds of prey, flying so close to us that we had to duck!  There were elephants, giraffes, zebras, lemurs, penguins, a tiger and lots of other favourites. There were fairground rides, a boat trip and a zip-wire across the river too.  This is now our favourite local day out.

safari park english language homestaysafari park, english language homestay

 

 

Open Studios

The artists in our region opened  the doors to their homes and studios for 10 days. It’s the chance to see a lot of art, while exploring the local towns, villages and countryside.  And you see how artists  here live and work. and can talk to them about their art.  Like last year, I couldn’t resist buying a picture from my favourite local artist – a multi-talented photographer and painter.
open studios - learn english in scotland
Open studios - learn english in scotland

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Wild outdoors fun

You can build a den in the woods, make a fire and roast marshmallows over it, go wild swimming in a river or lake, pick wild fruit and eat it or make jam.

Here are our youngest visitors enjoying a rest in the den they’ve helped to build – finding and dragging all those branches was hard work!

den building - english course for children in scotland

Swimming in a deep pool in a mountain stream – cold, but only for the first minute – and in Loch Tay:

wild swimming - english course for children in scotland

wild swimming - english course for children in scotland

 

 

 

 

 

Fire building on the shores of a lake:

fire building - english course for children in scotland

 

 

 

 

Aberfeldy Show and Highland Games

highland games, english courseThe Highlands town of Aberfeldy combines a traditional British livestock and produce show in the morning with a Highland Games in the afternoon.

There was a lot of noise – sheep, cows and horses were all competing for prizes. And all kinds of pet dogs were competing in the dog show, with categories such as “cutest dog”.

One large tent was full of flower arrangements, home-grown fruit and veg, home-made cakes, and all sorts of other things, as the locals competed for yet more prizes.

In another tent you could buy craftwork or food. I bought some delicious hot-smoked salmon and a slice of carrot cake.

In the ring, there was the impressive Strong Men competition, which is the highlight of any Highland Games. The men (usually very burly) have to throw a variety of very heavy objects as far or as high as they can.

There were running races for adults and children, Scottish dancing competitions and Tug-of-War.

The final event of the day involved picking up and carrying an incredibly heavy stone. Anyone could have a go.  Plenty who tried couldn’t even lift the stone off the ground, let alone walk with it. The stone was wheeled around in a specially designed wheelbarrow – because no ordinary person could move it any other way.

It was a great day out – so much to see and do, in a town which is already one of our favourite places to visit, surrounded by beautiful Highland scenery.

highland games, english course

highland games, english cousehighland show, english course

 

European Championships

european championships in glasgow, learn english in scotland

This fortnight the European Championships 2018 are being held in Glasgow and Berlin.

We’ve been to the Golf Championships at Gleneagles, only a short drive from Crieff, on the beautiful PGA Centenary Course.

And to the BMX Championships in Glasgow.  A very exciting competition with massive jumps and a number of falls. One competitor had to be taken off on a stretcher.golf ag gleneagles, learn english in scotland

golf at gleneagles, learn english in scotland

Family concert

family holiday in scotlandLast week we held a fun concert for family and guests.  We managed: songs with organ and clarinet, poetry (including a funny poem about a little boy who eats a whole chocolate cake), a song from Italy used to encourage a rider in the famous horse races held in Sienna, and a lesson in Spanish flamenco dancing.

family holiday in scotlandfamily holiday in scotland

Wild flowers and fruit

cerises - vacances en famille en ecosseIn the countryside around Crieff  you can pick a wide variety of wild fruit:

Cherries (make great jam), raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, white currants, bilberries.

The fields and moors are full of wild flowers.

vacances de familles en ecosse

vacances en famille en ecosse
The thistle is the national flower of Scotland

“Spectacular Jousting” at the Palace

We’ve just come back from the annual jousting tournament at royal Linlithgow Palace.

There was jousting (combat between knights on horseback), hand to hand combat, and acrobatics by the jesters.

As well as  lots of medieval displays and re-enactments: falconry, music, archery, wolfhound dogs, armour, etc.

jousting at linlithgow palace