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This time we rented out a Scottish castle for a week, certainly the most unique of our locales.

Plane Castle (1430) and adjoining Manor House (1528) was once the baronial seat of the Sommervilles, Lords of Plane, six miles from Stirling. The place was a ruin, but was renovated in the 1990s to make an excellent hideaway--we very much recommend it, prices start at 300 pounds for 3 night weekend breaks in the low season (sleeps up to 8), while the larger Manor House, which can be rented separately, sleeps another 8, though is more expensive.

One of the rooms on the second floor of the castle; not spacious, but a great atmosphere.

We visited nearby Stirling Castle. Stirling was a great base for a Scottish vacation--so much local history, and also close to Edinburgh, but not nearly as crowded or expensive. Other than the castle, various groups made it to the local Battle of Bannockburn Heritage Center and William Wallace Monument (of Braveheart fame). Also, a few of us tracked down the the best curry north of the border at the East India Company restaurant in Stirling.

 

The main tower Great Hall--not too large, but excellent atmosphere. It was the ideal gaming location, especially the night we had the fire roaring and candles burning.

This trip was self-catering, so we made various dishes and tried a few restaurants. Lauren and I (just engaged) cooked salmon parcels, in parchment with the fish wrapped in potatoes and various veggies with a splash of pesto.

 

Part of the group that climbed Dumayat (doom-ah-yaht), the (supposed) site of an ancient hill fort near Sterling. It was supposedly a leisurely walk, but became referred to as the "Hike from Hell," since it was longer and hotter than anyone had anticipated. Good views of Stirling Castle and Wallace Monument along the way. Note another of the Millenium beacons.

And finally, the big group picture Matt took of us at the base of the castle--capping off another great trip...

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Game Summary:

2003 May: Stirling, Scotland Plane Castle

Players: Chris, Dave, Effi (ptDM), Felix, Rob, Sam, John, Ted (DM), Teo, Walker (ptDM)

Plot: BOOK III: On Campaign; Silver Legion marches south, fight for ghost tower and vs. jungle halflings; victory over Zlatan army.


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