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August 19th 2015
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Geo: 58.5949, -3.51911

Lot of driving today, but again in beautiful weather and fascinating countryside. We loved seeing the mirror-like lochs reflecting the grand mansions, then bare hills and ranges followed by woodlands and green pastures, and heather-covered lands further north. The scenery is all that we'd hoped for!

First to Oban Distillery, then to Fort William at one end of the Caledonian Canal, then along the fault line to Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle, then Thurso via Inverness and the top end of Scotland - John O'Groats.


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Oban DistilleryOban Distillery
Oban Distillery

A 1794 distillery, distinguished by its cramped location in the town of Oban. Mostly produces a 14yr single malt from two distillations and maturing in third-use, American oak barrels. The Oban is rated as a mid-peat, mid-flavour whisky but their low production results in a steep price of £45 /bottle. An excellent tour that explained the process very well. We tasted an 11yr, 58% (cask strength) alcohol variety and the standard, 14yr old. The 11yr tasted too harsh, but their flagship whisky is very fine.
Urquhart Castle, Loch NessUrquhart Castle, Loch Ness
Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness

We were pressed for time and didn't do the tour. But it did look like just another castle ruin, with a very touristy presentation. Another great day, we must be due for a change soon. No Nessie to be seen!
Dunrobin Castle, GolspieDunrobin Castle, Golspie
Dunrobin Castle, Golspie

The family home of the Earl of Sutherland (one of the seven ancient Scottish Earldoms) for over 700 years! The Countess is 94 yrs old and lives in London but there is still a private suite of rooms for family use. It made a nice change from looking at ruins, and the grounds are spectacular.
Dunrobin groundsDunrobin grounds
Dunrobin grounds

Gardens to the left of these are equally amazing. Goodness knows what the upkeep costs are!
Dunrobin main stairDunrobin main stair
Dunrobin main stair

We arrived too late to look through the home. The guide (while closing up) called this feature a little boring, compared to the other rooms.
John O'GroatsJohn O'Groats
John O'Groats

I seem to remember a similar family photo, from over 50 years ago.
The End of the RoadThe End of the Road
The End of the Road

At the end of the 15thC a Dutchman, Jan de Groot, ran a ferry to Orkney and charged 2p a trip. The coin for this denomination became known as the ‘groat'. Over a period of time the name Jan de Groot has been changed to John O'Groats.


24th August 2015

Absolutely loving your Scottish travels. Great scenery and you both look so good! Healthy fine specimens.

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