My Grand Tour begins with a journey from Carlisle into Dumfries and Galloway.
First stop is Dumfries, the quaint little town where Peter Pan's author J M Barrie went to school.
Have a drink of Knockendoch at the New Bazaar pub on Whitesands beside the river. Stroll around the town admiring the Victorian architecture.
Dumfries Museum is housed in an 18th century windmill which has a camera obscura in the tower.
The Old Bridge House Museum, a small house dating from 1660, has a Victorian child's room complete with toys.
Beautiful St Michael's Church, dating from 1744, is where Robert Burns is buried.
Hotel: Try the Station Hotel
On to Castle Douglas for some shopping, to Kirkcudbright for some art, to Creetown to buy books.
In Kirkcudbright be sure to visit Broughton House, on the High St., a Georgian mansion with gorgeous gardens reaching down to the River Dee. This was once the residence of the artist Hornel and is now an art gallery and museum.
Hotels: Castle Douglas - The Douglas Arms.
Head for Edinburgh via Moffat.
Between Moffat and Edinburgh, be sure to stop at Broughton, off the A701. The John Buchan Centre is in the little church at Tweedale in Broughton. This is a museum devoted to the life of the author of Thirty Nine Steps and Huntingtower.....
Edinburgh is the city of R L Stevenson who wrote Jekyll and Hyde, and the city of Mary Queen of Scots, supposed mother of James I of England.
Edinburgh is Rio de Janeiro without the heat or the samba. Buildings perched on hills and lots of hidden drama.
Worth a visit are Gladstone's Land, a 16th Century house, The Georgian House, in the New Town, and of course the art galleries and castle....
Hotels: The Rothesay Hotel, in a Victorian terrace, fairly near the station.
Cross the Forth Rail Bridge (one of the wonders of the world) and visit some of the most atmospheric villages in Europe including Burntisland, Kirkcaldy (birth place of ADAM SMITH!), Buckhaven, Leven, Largo, Pittenweem, Anstruther, Crail, and St Andrews... Red roofs and fishing boats.
St Andrews is the home of Scotland's oldest and best university, and of golf. Enjoy the medieval and Victorian architecture.
Hotels: The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews is worth a visit, but only for a drink. There are lots of cheaper
places in St Andrews.
Cross the River Tay to bonny Dundee, the Athens of Britain, and the home of the BEANO and the DANDY.
Climb the Law hill, a pre-Roman hill fort standing on a 571ft volcanic crag, for the view.
Visit the McManus galleries in Albert Square and lots of parks and old buildings.
Then travel North along the coast to cute seaside places such as Monifieth, Carnoustie, Arbroath, St Cyrus, and Montrose. Don't miss St Cyrus: cliffs, caves, sand and ghosts!
Hotels: The Swallow Hotel, a Victorian mansion house in Invergowrie near Dundee, is a possibility.
Head West to Kirriemuir to see the birthplace of J M Barrie at 9 Brechin Road.
Then on to Perth, through lovely Auchterarder, Callender and Crianlarich. Stop at the little villages if you can.
This is the heart of Scotland: little hills and a Norman Wisdom sort of world.
After Crianlarich journey on to picturesque Oban on the west coast.
Hotels: Invercreran House, near Oban, has sensational views. There are cheaper places in Oban.
Now hitch hike or motor or cycle up the west coast to Fort William.
Spectacular scenery if it's not raining!
Climb Britain's highest mountain, Ben nevis, but only if you have proper equipment and know what you're doing. Arctic weather can suddenly appear even in April. No kidding.
Hotel: The Ballachulish, near Fort William has log fires and luxury. Cheaper places in Fort William.
From Fort william journey on to Kyle of Lochalsh, beloved of Gavin Maxwell, author of Ring of Bright Water.
Just North of Kyle of Lochalsh is Britain's prettiest village: PLOCKTON. Imagine a sandy beach, little cottages, and rugged mountains.
Finally, cross the sea to Skye! In fine weather, Skye is the ultimate in beauty and grandure and magic.
The mountains are almost Dolomite like in shape. Broadford is a good centre from which to explore. Drive to loch Scavaig and view the mountain known as Blaven.
Remember that a number of climbers have come to grief in the Cuillins (the iron in the rocks makes compasses go funny!) When it rains for a fortnight you need a good few books to read.
Hotels: There's a youth hostel in Broadford, if I remember correctly. But lots of other places are more comfy.