September/October 2007

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.

Crossing into Scotland at Carter Bar on the A68 The Border Town of Coldstream Tantallon Castle, near Edinburgh
Tantallon Castle, near Edinburgh
Tantallon Castle, near Edinburgh Edinburgh's Royal Mile Edinburgh - Arthur's Seat
Edinburgh - Princes Gardens The North Coast of Edinburgh  


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.  
Crail Harbour Monifieth Crathes Castle
River Dee Tarland  


The North

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.  
Cairn Gorm Rogie Falls Rogie Falls
Gairloch Sunset Gairloch Campsite Gairloch Campsite
The Beach at Gairloch Gairloch View Glen Docherty


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.  
Drumnadrochit Urquhart Castle Urquhart Castle
Loch Ness view from Campsite at Invermoriston    


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.  
Skye East Coast View
Skye Bridge Uig Armadale
Waiting for the Ferry to Mallaig    


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.  
Glenfinnian Glen Nevis Campsite River at Glen Nevis
Ben Nevis Cable Car Ben Nevis Cable Car Ben Nevis



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.  
Mull Railway Duart Castle Torosay Castle
Craignure Campsite Craignure Harbour Tobermory
Duart Castle from Ferry    



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.  
 On Kintyre, Awaiting Ferry to Arran Kildonan Campsite Kildonan Campsite


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!)

Culzean Castle Culzean Castle  
Keswick, with Steve's Cousin Mandy At Ross & Fizz's Peak District Home Chatsworth House


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