Today it is raining again, as well as being ten degrees cooler than it was last week but we are here to see what has to be seen so we travel north into Lanarkshire to see the Scottish Museum of Rural Life. We witness some more strange driving (yes another woman) who seems to end up on the central grass of the roundabout facing the wrong way. Fortunately no ill effects and we continue on our way. Although the landscape is still bleak, as we get nearer to the outskirts of Glasgow, the settlements seem more prosperous. We encounter a cycle race on our way. It seems this is not the Commonwealth Games’ road race but lycra clad wanna bees.
We arrive at the museum and yet again we can utilise our National Trust memberships in order to gain entry. The state of the art museum has plenty of interesting exhibits and we also get Raymond the tractor driver to take us up the hill to the farmstead. The Reid family held land as lairds of Wester Kittochside from 1567 and later built a farmhouse on the land. The current farmhouse dates from 1783 and is substantial, suggesting that the Reids prospered on their 110 acres. After ten generations, the last of the line donated the land to the Scottish National Trust in the 1990s, allowing the museum to be built. Amongst the farm animals, I am most excited to see the soon to fledge baby swallows in the barn.
On the way home we call in at a rather different sort of farm, Whitelee Wind Farm, the largest of its kind in the UK. There is an impressive visitors’ centre, designed as part of the green energy PR machine and therefore free to enter. There are plenty of activities and it is great to see that sadly now rare sight, families doing things together. The land on which the 215 turbines are built is also designed for walking, cycling and as a wildlife habitat but the weather wasn’t suitable for us to explore on foot. We were very close to some of the turbines, which were 110-140 metres high and in action. One of the downsides of wind energy is held out to be the noise from the turbines but these were completely silent. What ever we might feel about wind energy, if we want to carry on consuming electricity as we have in recent years, we need to do something. Whilst agreeing that some locations are not necessarily suitable for turbines, I would rather see this than power stations and pylons.