Grand Caledonian Tour was a 15 day tour of Scotland visiting the all 4
points of the compass. Join or leave the tour at anytime, so ideal for
those on a time constraint.
was NO entry fee, other than a small admin only to cover materials,
which included a souvenir roadbook with full gazetteer.
Lowland, mountains, glens, coasts and islands. Fabulous scenery,
fantastic roads, reasonable daily mileages.
This was the ideal event for those with a
classic or sporting car.
Day 1 Start
Spalding Healey 3000
Campbell Bristol 412
Clark Audi Quattro
Crews gather at the start
Gullane Links golf course
Gullane sands and site of midget submarine wrecks
Midget sub in the sands
North Berwick harbour, now mostly pleasure rather than fishing boats
Jim Clark museum Duns
Grey Mare's Tail
|Grand Caledonian Tour -
25 September to 9 October
Overall route of the tour,travelling to the four corners of Scotland
Stuart 1975 Alpine and Owler 1971 model take centre stage
Day 1 - Saturday 25 September
sun broke through and the temperature rose as the crews gathered at
Dobbies Eskbank for the start of the Grand Caledonian Tour on Saturday
25 September. It is a thrill to see the famous Renault Alpine A110 at
any event, but today we were treated to not one but two members
fronting up the departures, Andy Owler in his yellow 1971 model, and
John Stuart in his red 1975 version.
A wide selection of
classics and sporting cars arrived, fully fueled, despite the fuel
shortage 'panic buying', ready to start their 15 day tour of Scotland
visiting the all 4 points of the compass. We will meet other crews
joining the tour at later stopovers. The first day route took us across
East Lothian and the borders.
Leaving Dobbies garden centre start we joined the A720 Edinburgh
bypass at the infamous Sheriffhall roundabout, taking the eastbound
exit toward the A1, the main Edinburgh to London Road. Soon we broke
off the main highway to take the coast road along the south side of the
We passed through the small once fishing
villages of Aberlady and Gullane, the latter now famous for its links
golf courses, but also a post wartime secret.
spring of 1946, two midget submarines were towed to Aberlady Bay
and tethered on either side of an anchor point made of one old concrete
anti-tank block set on top of four others. There, over two days of
trials in the first week of May, they were fired at by aircraft
including Mosquitoes and Seafires (the naval version of the Spitfire)
in an experiment to judge the effectiveness of 20 mm cannon shells
against the submarines’ steel hulls.
Read the full story complete with youtube link of the actual trials
continued through the picturesque village of Dirleton toward North
Berwick where the harbour still is home to a few fishing boats as well
as pleasure craft of all sizes.
here we can see the Bass Rock looming out of the Forth, made famous in
books by Robert Louis Stevenson, and once a prison island. Now it is
home to a lighthouse and a colony of gannets. Behind us was Berwick Law
a hill, only 187 metres but with a 1:1 gradient a steep climb for the adventurous.
Onward passing Tantallon Castle, dating back to the mid 14th century, now a favourite location for weddings locally.
Dunbar we turned south west heading into the Lammermuir hills. These
hills form a natural barrier between the Lothians and the borders,
slowing advancing English
soldiers in days gone by. At Gifford we joined the B6355 taking us
across the Lammermuirs to Duns, the home of Jim Clark the famous GP
driver. A new museum has been built to add to his Trophy Room, making it a must visit for motor sport enthusiasts.
in the area is the home of the late Andrew Cowan, rally driver and
senior director of Mitsubishi Ralliart until 2005. Our club had the
privilege of visiting Andrew shortly before he passed away, and saw his
extensive collection of rally cars, not open to the public. Not
only rally winning Mitsubishi Evo’s but the Hillman Hunter
that he won the London to Sydney Marathons in 1968 and 1977, and other
escorts and imps he rallied in his extensive career.
the border roads we made for Galashiels and Selkirk, leading to the
Ettrick Valley. St. Mary’s Loch on this route is the largest
natural Loch in the Scottish Borders. We pass several famous coaching
Inns, Gordon Arms and Tibbie Shiels, and the Grey Mares Tail, a 200ft
waterfall, on our way to the first day finish in Moffat.
Published 13 October 2021