Scotland Tour (amended) Day 1 to Day 4

Day 1            Maidenhead to Lakes District – Overcast and cool.

At 7.45am we set off on our adventure, with Janet and Adrian’s VW Polo packed to the hilt.  We travelled via what appeared to be a multitude of motorways, stopping at Liverpool for a tour of the Beatles Story (museum), which was very informative, tracing the history of the Beatles.  We had lunch at Albert Docks, before heading off to the Lakes District, and our accommodation, Lonsdale House at Bowness, Windermere. 

Janet, Adrian and Sandy took turns at driving with Sandy having her first experience of being navigated, through the intricacies of changing motorways, by “Sean”, Janet and Adrian’s GPS.

Janet received a text message from Katharine saying “I spy with my little eye something beginning with “T”….. tree.  Janet replied “I spy with my little eye something beginning with “E”….. Eek – Mum is driving with the GPS for the first time. So we all had a laugh!

We arrived at Lonsdale House Hotel at Ulverston to discover that we were booked in to Lonsdale House at Bowness!  Oops! When Sandy looked it up on the internet to do her itinerary, the only one listed was the one at Ulverston and not the one that Janet and Adrian had booked!  That little error took us an extra 40 minutes…… but we did get to see some interesting scenery and all was forgiven!

After settling in to Lonsdale House, we went for a walk through the town, down to Lake Windermere, in time to board the Tern, an ex steam powered yacht built in 1891, for an hour a half relaxing cruise down the lake to Lakeside and return to Bowness.  Along the way we saw some picturesque scenery – some beautiful homes with lovely gardens leading down to the water’s edge, where they had boat sheds on the banks of the lake – with the colourful hills in the background – gorgeous!

We had a magnificent dinner at the Rumours Pizza and Pasta Restaurant in Bowness, before making our way back to Lonsdale House, for the rest of the evening, relaxing in the lounge.  A perfect start to our holiday. 

Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2                    Lakes District to The Falls of Dochart, Killin                   Raining

At 9.00am after a good night’s sleep in our four poster bed and a hearty breakfast, we headed off amongst the rain and fog.  The driver/seat rotation continued, however, Richard is still not allowed to drive!!!

It wasn’t long before we discovered we needed petrol and Sean, the trusty GPS, took us to a garage along very windy and narrow roads, among the fog on the Kirkstone Pass to Ambleside at the far end of Lake Windermere.  Along the way, Janet sent a text message to Katharine with the letter for the day, which was “G” for grass and Katharine replied asking whether the grass was on the high road or the low road and that she hoped we were singing Scottish songs.

We then climbed back up the mountain, out of the fog and onto the M6 Motorway, which took us towards Scotland, crossing the border at 10.45.  We continued on to Glasgow and then to Dumbarton, where we had lunch and then to Tarbet, a little town on Loch Lomond, where they were having a Gala….. yes, in the rain!!!!  We took photos of Loch Lomond and watched some clever men tossing the caber. 

We continued on to the Falls of Dochart, with Richard, Adrian and Janet taking dozens of photos out of the car, and laughing at each others’ photos of blurred objects and the occasional side of a truck, with the even more occasional good shot!

By the time we got to the Falls of Dochart, the rain had stopped briefly, allowing us to take some photos and go for a walk. 

We booked into the Falls of Dochart Inn, our accommodation for the night, where we have a family room (one double bed and 2 bunks plus a bathroom) above the pub.  Our room overlooks the falls, which are beautiful, but more like rapids, which we can see and hear from our room.

The Inn is an interesting building and one can only assume from the varying degrees of non-level floor and ceiling that the building is of some age!

The bar and restaurant area are quite dark and have an open fire.  After dinner, we went back to the bar for a drink – Richard and Adrian had a few “wee drams” (translation: Drambuie), while we listened to a great local group of musicians – an electric violin, guitar and harp – playing a mixture of traditional and modern Scottish music – absolutely brilliant!!! 

Falls of Dochart

Falls of Dochart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Day 3           Falls of Dochart to Uig, Isle of Skye            Rain on and off 

After a good sleep (Richard on the top bunk and Sandy on the bottom, Janet & Adrian in the double) we had breakfast and headed off at 9.15am, bound for Uig, with Fort William and Glencoe on the way.  We are not able to find enough adjectives or superlatives to do the scenery justice!!  There were mountains shrouded in cloud and mist; rivulets of water running down the mountains, making small waterfalls; many small and large lochs (lakes); to name but a few. 

The road snaked its way up and down the mountains and through the glens, frequently running beside small streams or lochs.  We stopped at Glencoe at the visitor’s centre and then continued on to Glen Nevis at the base of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain – unfortunately we did not get to see the top of the mountain because of the low cloud.  We saw a beautiful waterfall tumbling beneath a small bridge at the base of the mountain.  We had lunch at Spean Bridge and continued through Invergarry to the Kyle of Lochalsh, where we crossed the Skye Bridge – a narrower version of the Gateway Bridge in Brisbane – to the Isle of Skye. 

What an amazing place!  We drove through some beautiful contrasts of scenery –  green meadows, then rugged hills, babbling brooks, rocky foreshores, tantalising views of the Sound of Raasay and the Bay of Uig. 

Today has been filled with many photo stops to try and capture the stunning vistas.

We arrived at Ferry Inn Hotel at about 4.15 after an amazing day, ready to catch the car ferry to the Outer Hebrides at 5.30am tomorrow.

Today will be hard to beat! 

The Four of us with amazing backdrop

The Four of us with amazing backdrop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4           Uig, Isle of Skye to Back, via Stornoway,      SUNNY & warm

 After an early start (up at 4.00am), we caught the Caledonian MacBrayne car ferry, MV Hebrides, from Uig to Tarbert, which is at the southern end of Harris and Lewis (the Outer Hebrides).  MV Hebrides can carry up to 110 cars and over 600 passengers – we had breakfast on board and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise on the one hour and 40 minute journey.

After a short circuit of the Tarbet harbour while Sean (GPS) got his bearings, we headed north to Broad Bay House at Back just north of Stornoway.  We were delighted to see that the sun was out, the sky was a vivid blue and it was turning warm. 

Broad Bay House is a new five star boutique bed and breakfast, with limited guests, and every possible thing laid on eg a modern digital camera or laptop available for use, sound system and home cinema system in each room to name just a few.

After dropping our bags off and having a coffee, we headed off out the back gate of Broad Bay House to the adjacent beach for a stroll before going off to explore the rest of the island, manned with maps, courtesy of Broad Bay House, highlighted with points of interest.

With Sandy acting as Sean, we visited the Truiseil Stone and the West Coast of North Lewis, as well as Port Nis Harbour, the Butt of Lewis (which is actually at the top) where they have a lighthouse and absolutely magnificent views of the rugged coastline!!  We had lunch at Morvern Gallery – where we also viewed their amazing paintings and craft.

We then headed south west for more sightseeing including stumbling across a beautiful beach called Reef Beach – imagine our surprise, when we rounded a corner and discovered a white sandy beach stretched out in front of us, totally different from the rugged coastline we had been seeing for the whole day.

Then it was off to Stornoway Harbour to see if we could find any seals for Janet and also to check out where our ferry will be leaving from tomorrow morning.  Luckily for Janet, we found a seal swimming about amongst the fishing boats in the harbour. 

Then it was back to Broad Bay House to lap up the luxury, including a long bath and catch up with some washing before a gourmet dinner overlooking Broad Bay.

We have had an amazing day – thank goodness for digital photography – Janet is now as bad as her dad snapping away as we are driving along.

Today’s scenery of rugged coastlines and endless fields of wildflowers and rocky outcrops, was a huge contrast to the highlands of Scotland.

We said yesterday was hard to beat, well………………….. 

Port Nis,  Isle of Lewis

Port Nis, Isle of Lewis


2 Responses to “Scotland Tour (amended) Day 1 to Day 4”

  1. The Suttons » S is for Seals at Stornoway says:

    […] see what else we did today, Mum and dad have summed it up nicely on their blog. The only thing I would add is that the owners here at Broad Bay House are delightful – they […]

  2. Carol Leaman says:

    Hi Richard

    I’m so pleased that you really are having the time of your lives! I’m turning green as you bring many fond memories to the surface. May you enjoy every moment and have many precious tales to tell those sitting back at their desks – green with envy!!!

    Enjoy
    Carol

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