For our first major trip in the new motorhome, we chose not-quite-so-foreign Scotland. We left home in mid-September, and returned a month later.
Across the Border and on to Edinburgh
After a night near Stamford in Lincolnshire and another in Northumbria, we
left England at Carter Bar on the A68. After a walk around the town of
Coldstream, we re-crossed the border a couple of times before following the
Firth of Forth towards Scotland's capital (after a short detour to see the
hauntingly beautiful Tantallon Castle).
Edinburgh itself proved to be a very civilised city, with a large volcanic park nestling right up to the new parliament building. We also explored a little of the nearby coast.
Up the East Coast
|After a quick look at the pretty harbour at Crail, our next stop up the east coast was Monifieth, near Dundee. We then headed inland up the River Dee, staying at a campsite near the Queen's Scottish seat at Balmoral Castle.|
|Heading towards Inverness, we made a diversion to take the railway up the Cairn Gorm mountain. We also stopped for a walk at the Rogie Falls, near Ullapool. Finally, we reached what was going to be our most northerly site, at Gairloch. It also turned out to be the one with the best view. Stunning views were also to be had at Glen Docherty on the journey south towards Loch Ness.|
|Drumnadrochit, the main town along Long Ness was heavily geared towards the coach loads of tourists coming to look for the fabled monster. Nearby Urquart Castle was suitably imposing in its loch-side location, but there was little else to tempt us to stay.|
The Isle of Skye
|We next drove back to the west coast, and over the new bridge onto the Isle of Skye. Our campsite was near the town of Uig. It was probably on Skye that we found the best scenery of the entire holiday. So it was not without some regret that we waited for the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig, on the mainland.|
On to Ben Nevis
|The campsite at Glen Nevis was probably the best we stayed in, nestling under the mountains next to a river. We took the dogs part-way up Ben Nevis in a cable car.|
|Although less spectacular than Skye, the Island of Mull had its own appeal. These included a couple of castles (including Torosay, which we reached on a miniature railway), and a capital - Tobermory - with a very picturesque harbour.|
|Starting to head back south, we took the ferry from the Kintyre peninsula to the Island of Arran. The campsite was on the southern-most point of the island.|
Across Ayrshire and Back Through England
A final ferry back to Ayrshire on the Scottish mainland was followed by a
night at the campsite at Culzean (pronounced Culane) Castle, where Phil
stayed with his family some forty years previously.
Returning to England, we spent five nights staying with friends and family in Keswick (Mandy), the Peak District (Ross & Fizz), Bedfordshire (Rose & Phil) and Enfield (the whole of Steve's family!)
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