October is probably not the best month to decide to take two under-fives on holiday. We had a lovely time in Kirkmichael – the weather was very nice for walking, the local community shop was great, we saw lots of deer and highland cows and birds. We did lots of exploring, enjoyed the fireplace, everyone ate well and we had quite a lot of fun. It _was_ cold, and it did snow, briefly. All of our clothes also ended up covered in mud….but the hot baths at the end of the day were much enjoyed.
But, I honestly can’t recommend that other people try a similar trip, unless your kids are small enough to still be in babyseats in which case it becomes awfully difficult to carry enough clothes etc. This is because Scotrail won’t carry tandems or trailers. Our tandem fits fine in the ‘bike space’ but they still have right to refuse carriage*. We didn’t try to take the trailer, but wished we had (panniers were a pain, and made the bikes rather too prone to falling over).
This was our route to/from Pitlochry – check out the elevation! It would have been lovely cycling if it hadn’t hailed.... There was a great rainbow, but I didn’t stop to take a picture. It was a hard cycle, but we did feel good for having done it.
Really wish I could say that we’ll be doing this again – we’d love to, in slightly better weather – but probably not unless the Scotrail franchise terms are changed so that tandems can be carried and/or more than 2 bike spaces can be reserved. see more on this from Spokes here and please do lobby/contribute to the debate if you'ld like to be able to take train/bike trips with your family too!
*We didn't know this when we booked the tickets and bike reservations!