Doune Castle -and Monty Python
"The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land. "
Gilbert K. Chesterton
I thought of that quote this afternoon when we explored Doune Castle, six miles down the road.
It had not been our first choice, which was Kinneil House; only we discovered at the last minute, that it was closed today.
So we decided to go to Doune Castle, a place we had only ever been to once for a wedding.
Monty Python fans will of course be appalled at this because it was in this castle that most of the film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" was filmed.
Fans of Monty Python come from all over the world to make a pilgrimage, yet we had never been....
Oh dear, it gets even worse. Once in my other life as a journalist I had interviewed Terry Jones one of the stars in the film, not about the film but a children's book he had written.
Today his voice lives on in the castle for he made the audio guide with one stipulation: that it should be free for visitors.
Is the castle worth a visit in a country strewn with castles? Yes because it is so uncommercialised and is not over run with tourists. Edinburgh and Stirling have far grander castles but you have to fight your way through especially in the tourist season.
Meanwhile we were able to wander through the castle meeting only the occasional tourist and the walk along the riverbank is worth a visit in itself for the spectacular views across the countryside.
In the shop I met the manager, Catherine, who tells me it gets really busy in the tourist season and it's a very popular venue for weddings.
Catherine (left) is pictured here in the folio with Becky, a final year history student at Stirling University.
More photos in the folio marked Doune Castle.