Blogs from Argyll, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Argyll » Oban October 8th 2019

Today we were supposed to go on a boat cruise to the islands of Mull, Iona, and Staffa, but it was cancelled yesterday afternoon. Today was windy, cold and rainy, so cancelling was not a bad idea. The bay was full of whitecaps and farther out looked quite rough, too. So we slept late, dawdled over showers, and only left the flat when it was time to go eat lunch. Helen wasn't feeling well, so she and Faye went to the soup shop while Sara and I headed to the waterfront for seafood at the fish shack. It was a good choice on our part as I ate prawn cocktail and Sara had a smoked salmon sandwich and 4 fresh oysters. Afterwards we met Helen and Faye at a coffee shop for dessert and COFFEE. Later ... read more
McCaig's Tower
McCaig's Tower
McCaig's Tower

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Argyll July 31st 2018

After heavy rain during the night, we awoke to a clear day perched on the edge of the car park overlooking the three sisters at Glencoe so we took the opportunity for a 2 hour hike into the mountains following a watercourse. There was some great scenery and numerous waterfalls along the way. We finally made it back to the campervan and ambled into the village visiting the Glencoe Visitors Centre followed by a drive into the village where Andrew made the mistake of ordering a “Real Man‘s Haddock” which turned out to be the size of a Marlin Fillet. We then visited the Glencoe massacre memorial commemorating the overnight massacre of 38 members of the McDonald Clan as they slept including woman and children. They had invited their assailents (Campbells) to lodge with them that ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Argyll » Isle of Mull July 28th 2018

Courtesy of guest blogger TWJ Isle of Mull, 3 days, 118 miles... Dad has been talking about cycle touring for a while and I thought what better way to start than with Nick who's crossed continents on his bike! For years I've turned my nose up at cycle touring, but I decided I would do it for dad and it would be 3 days of hell and hard work, but I'd manage. Plus Nick had bought me nice new yellow Ortlieb pannier bags! Day 1 (Oban to Craignure to beach near Iona) We arrived in Oban to pouring rain on Saturday about lunchtime, and a huge faff to get three bikes off the roof rack. As we were taking the bikes off, Nick had a bit of a calamity when his bike toppled over whilst still ... read more
Loch-side approaching the 2nd night's camp
The route!
Leaving Oban

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Argyll » Ballachulish June 27th 2018

Whilst staying with the in laws in Scotland Stephen surprised me by booking us in for 2 nights at the rather lovely Ballachulish Hotel in Glen Coe, in the Highlands of Scotland. We drove up from just outside Hamilton, past the beautiful Loch Lomond before stopping for a picnic lunch in the village of Tyndrum. Despite being on a very busy road it was only a short walk to the base of Ben Lui, no people to see and the most beautiful views for our lunch. Stephen of course insisted lunch would taste better on the far side of the river and somewhat less agile than him I had to paddle across to the other side whilst he nimbly jumped from rock to rock. Driving through Glen Coe was stunning. We briefly stopped at a (rather ... read more
The Lounge at The Ballachulish Hotel
View from The Ballachulish Hotel
Start of the Beinn A'Bheithir walk

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Argyll » Oban June 15th 2018

Leaving Glasgow was a little complicated, with a miscommunication about the rental car, the Hertz office moving, Peter having to walk there twice because they had given away our car and him not realising that the left lane in the city is only for taxis and buses (that might have been a fine!). Oh, and switching sides back to the left again! Eventually we were off in our shiny red Clio and suddenly the city turned into country and we were heading north. There is such a characteristic look to the north country forest: a row of grass and dock weed yellow flowers, then bracken fern with lots of light green fronds at the moment, then seedling oaks and other low shrubbery, dotted with lots of pink foxgloves and pale pink rhododendrons (both seem to be ... read more
Making the most of some sun at Loch Awe
Loo with a view in our Connel room
The stormy scenery on Mull

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Argyll » Inveraray June 13th 2018

We headed up the scenic west coast of Kintyre on Tues 12 June. Still beautiful sunshine. Passing through the picturesque village of Tarbert, we took a right hand turn towards Inveraray. We know how the vegetation is trimmed on the sides of the road. The lorries do it! We followed behind a logging hauler for quite a long while. At times, it was raining leaves lol! We arrived in Inveraray too early to check in so, after stretching our legs, we decided to visit the jail. Inveraray Jail is now a museum but, back in the 1800s, it housed prisoners, men, women and children in extremely dire conditions. It comprises of the Old Prison and the New Prison. Very graphic presentations so not many photos - too gruesome. We then moved onto Inveraray Castle a ten ... read more
Inveraray Castle
Cruising on Loch Lomond
Having a drink with new friends.

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Argyll » Oban June 11th 2018

If you ever find yourself in the Argyll and Bute region of Scotland, spend some time in the beautiful town of Oban. If you know your whisky, you might have heard of a distillery with the same name. The name actually comes from the Gaelic word “t-Òban”, which means “Little Bay”! What an appropriate name, especially when you consider the picturesque horseshoe-like harbour. We loved the charming harbour town. A week allowed us to explore the area at a leisurely pace, but we were never bored during our stay. Listed below are several reasons why you must visit. McCaig’s Tower This structure is impossible to miss when you’re in town for two reasons. First, it dominates the local scenery since it is perched on Battery Hill. Second, it bears a striking resemblance to the Colosseum of ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Argyll » Kilmelford June 10th 2018

Although we discussed the route for this ’fling’, Bill pretty much left booking accommodation up to me. My criteria was B&Bs where possible but definitely no ‘starred‘ hotels. The result is that Bill was never quite sure what we are staying in next! The Glencoe log cabin I think was a delightful surprise for Bill and a relief for me! The Culfail Hotel pleased Bill no end. I definitely found a winner here!! It is a delightful family-run hotel. Everyone is so friendly. We had breakfast and dinner here each day not to mention a few drinks in the bar. It is the quintessential typical Scottish country hotel as one might imagine. We checked in Fri 8 Jun. Saturday was ’Garden Day’. We went via Lochgilpheal. What a lovely little village. So friendly. After coffee, we ... read more
A cute garden in Lochgilphead
Off to Hogwarts
Our view outside the Muneroy Tearoom

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Argyll » Ballachulish June 8th 2018

Tues 5 Jun after leaving the Isle of Skye, we headed towards Balmacara. It’s a wooded estate managed by the National Trust for Scotland. As we weren’t really inclined at that point to set off on foot exploring the woods, we decided to drive on to Plockton, the Jewel of the Highlands. Very quaint little village. Ended up staying for lunch. A 3 hour drive to Glencoe just past Fort William included one accident (not us!), an oversized vehicle transporting three windmill vanes which impressively stopped traffic both ways (their journey would have been slow!) and a number of roadworks. We arrived at the Glencoe Independent Hostel about 4:30pm. We checked in to our little log cabin. So cute!! We were so lucky to be in the shade. We drove down to the Clachaig Inn for ... read more
The Clachaig Inn Glencoe
Billy at Signal Rock
Billy and Ben Nevis

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Argyll » Oban April 10th 2018

Finally, I reached the Scottish Highlands. Probably not the roughest, wildest part - but the Highlands nonetheless. Unfortunately, in this rat-race of connectedness and disconnectedness from space and time we are living in, I had by far not the time I wanted to explore them in-depth. In the past, things like these would upset me. I was so close, I would say. I haven't seen even 10% of what I wanted to see, I would say. Things have changed a little bit these days, maybe with advancing age, maybe with the realization that life is, indeed, much shorter than it seems when you are 18 years old and take your first solo-trip. Realistically speaking, I know that I will probably not be able to see all the places I want to visit, although I consider myself ... read more

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