Tag Archives: Driving

Come Rally Round!

Throughout history there have been plenty of famous people who have hailed from Scotland.  Rightly so, many of them have become local heroes who are celebrated and remembered by their fellow Scots in various different ways.  Jim Clark is one such star who lives on in the hearts of his countrymen, and back in 1970 an event was started which ensures he will to continue to do so for generations to come.

The Jim Clark Rally, near ChirnsideIf you’ve never heard of Jim Clark, then suffice it to say that he was one of the best formula one racing drivers of all time.  His versatile driving style lead him to become twice world champion, no small feat for a lad who grew up on a farm not far from the Berwickshire town of Duns.

Sadly, Jim Clark died in a racing accident in Germany when his car veered off the track and crashed in some trees; however, the annual Rally that commemorates this short but exciting life ensures that the legend lives on.

Jim Clark action in the Scottish BordersOver the past 40 years the Jim Clark Rally has grown to become one of the biggest motor sport events in the UK, attracting drivers and spectators from all around the world.  The course winds its way through the beautiful Scottish Borders countryside in and around where Jim Clark grew up, providing a suitable challenge for those who wish the follow in the great man’s footsteps.  For the less intrepid, there are plenty of places on the various stages where you can admire others’ driving skills and get a great vantage point for watching the action.

This year the Jim Clark Rally begins on Friday 27th of May and provides a great weekend of entertainment for motor-sport lovers and those, like me, who secretly wish they could have been rally drivers themselves!  Spectator packs are available from the Jim Clark Rally official website, were you can also find more information about the event, as well as a collection of photos that demonstrate the thrills and spills of the last few years.

A Scottish Stig!

Some say he sucks haggis through a straw. We call him ‘McStig’!

If you too have watched Top Gear and observed the Stig, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond or James May getting up to their interesting antics in a variety of cars and thought “I wouldn’t mind a shot of that”, then I think I’ve found the perfect holiday cottage for you…

In a part of Scotland well known for its motoring heritage sits a rather cute, timber-clad, detached stone cottage encircled by lush green pastures.  You wouldn’t think it when you’re relaxing in the well-appointed cottage or enjoying the peaceful tranquillity of the surrounding countryside as you sit in the mature enclosed garden – but just down the road you can take your driving to the extreme!

Whiteburn cottage provides the idea retreat to get away from it all but also has the unique benefit of being closely associated with (although fortunately out of earshot of) the ‘Ronnie Dale Driving School’ which offers a very different experience from the training you received to get through your driving test!

Ronnie Dale, who has appeared on Top Gear himself, first cut his teeth rallying in a Ford Escort, before moving on to compete in the Camel Trophy, he has gained numerous professional driving and driver training qualifications and even designed the course that was used at the Royal Tournament by the RAF!

Combining his love of motoring with his occupation experience of being a hill farmer, Ronnie went on to build a basic 4×4 driving course in 25 acres of previously unproductive border hill land, turning nearby woodland tracks into a exhilarating adventure trail!  Offering a variety of courses to suit your individual needs and wishes, Ronnie not only gives you the chance to experience extreme 4×4 driving but also the knowledge you need to learn to be a safer, more confident driver in the most challenging of conditions.  And the children needn’t feel left out – as those over 6 years old can go on a mini quad bike trek, fully supervised and with the appropriate safety gear provided for them (and don’t worry, there are larger quads available for bigger kids to join in).

However, your motoring madness needn’t stop here, for just a 15 minute drive away (if you take the road) is historic Duns where you will find ‘Jim Clark room’ close to the centre of the town.  Jim Clark, the famous Formula One racing driver, who was raised near Duns, is fondly remembered in this dedicated museum.  Its unique collection of memorabilia, including trophies, awards and photographs, providing the perfect opportunity for an interesting outing.

For a limited period Unique Cottages are pleased to be able to offer those who book a holiday at Whiteburn Cottage a complimentary hour long taster session, allowing guests to take advantage of Ronnie’s driving skills – something he is offering exclusively to customers of Unique Cottages!  So why not combine the peace and relaxation that a countryside haven in Scotland provides, with a wee bit of driving adrenaline and book a stay at Whiteburn Cottage?