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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands February 12th 2021

11th February - Scottish Highlands The wind was bracing, the views were simply stunning and the stories told by Craig Our guide were full of interest. Craig is so engaging, a group member asked about heather and he was able to find examples of the 3 varieties on the hillside (I have added them in bloom). I loved that we could see Craig’s shadow as he took us on today’s journey. The view overlooking Loch Linnhe was fabulous. Loch Linnhe follows the line of the Great Glen Fault and is the only sea loch along the fault. One of the islands we saw in the distance was Lismore. Lismore was an important centre of Celtic Christianity from an early date. In the 6th century Lismore was part of the kingdom of Dalriada until the arrival of ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands January 29th 2021

29th January Back to the Scottish Highlands Our guide Craig lives in the idyllic village of Ballachulish and it was above the village that we started our walk today. As we made our way down the hill, the views were quite magnificent. Craig, great narrator and was full of fascinating and interesting stories. We came to the slate quarry - back In 1693 slate was first quarried in the Ballachulish Slate Quarries just a year after the Glencoe massacre that took place nearby. By the early 1700s this had developed into a major slate quarrying operation which continued for over more than 250 years. The slate was shipped south and to roof the new houses of much of Edinburgh and Glasgow’s skyline in the succeeding centuries. However, over 75% of the slate cut from the quarries ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands January 27th 2021

27th January Scottish Highlands Another visit to Scotland today for a ramble with Craig exploring the woodland in Glenco. The trail was narrow & over roots from the many fir trees in the area. Lichen, bracken and moss including Pink Sphagnum created a beautiful colourful carpet. It was interesting to hear how sphagnum moss acts as an antiseptic. It’s absorptive properties makes an excellent wound dressing and was widely used for this purpose in the past. It is said to have saved the lives of thousands of soldiers in the First World War. We stopped at Signal Rock, historically this was the place where the head of the Glencoe MacDonalds would address his clan, and according to legend it is also the place from where the signal was given to the Campbells to begin the Glencoe ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 18th 2020

Sadly it was our last day in Rannoch Moor and most of the group were heading off early to get to Glasgow Airport in time for all their various flights. I had a bit more flexibility as I was in my car, so I decided that I would start early again and head back to Kilchurn Castle, which is, apparently, a great location for the sunrise and, according to the forecasts, there was actually a strong possibility of there being a sunrise. There wasn't. As I was driving there, across the moor, it was snowing really quite heavily. I got to the castle and was disappointed. Additionally, it also meant that I missed my last opportunity for a full English breakfast. All was not lost however. I needed to go all the way back to the ... read more
Rannoch Moor
Glencoe

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 17th 2020

What a difference a day makes. After three days of rain, rain, snow and more rain, some sky had actually replaced the ever present white sheet. That said, there was still a lot of rain, but the weather was literally changing by the minute. Rain, followed by some light breaking through a gap in the clouds, followed by some snow, followed by some more rain, followed by some full blown sunshine and than back to rain again. We stopped in Loch Ba again for the sunrise. There sunrise was not worth it, but there was a short moment when the light fell on the mountains in the opposite direction to the supposed sunrise, which made some good photographs. Some of us caught it, some of us did not sadly. Fortunately, I did. Not back in time ... read more
Scones and Tea
River Etrive
Tame Deer

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 16th 2020

It was another early start, but again a non sunrise. This time we were heading south of Rannoch Moor to Kilchurn Castle, on the shore of Loch Awe. We all got soaking wet, as did our cameras, however there was a short gap in the rain for some half decent photographs. For a few short minutes, the wind even died down enough for the castle to be reflected in the lake. It was back to The Green Welly Stop again for breakfast. I had a look around the gift shop, including the whiskeys, which it would be rude to not at least consider buying whilst up here. Apparently, price wise, we are better off getting it from our local supermarket in England. I don’t think my local Sainsbury’s has the whiskeys costing £6,950 a bottle though. ... read more
Castle Stalker
Smoked Salmon
Scotch Whisky

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 15th 2020

It was another early start and another non sunrise. Not only that, but it was pouring with rain. Today was going to be a complete wash-out. It was also almost impossible to take any photographs as the moment you took your lens-cap off, the lens was covered in water-droplets. We got back to the hotel, just in time for the end of breakfast today. We tried a few different locations for some photos, including Loch Etive, where there were some stark looking trees growing out of the lake, so it was not a complete loss. What was also nice was that, as we were passing through Glen Etive, we saw some highland deer, which were unbelievably tame and were more than happy to stand there whist 12 photographers got completely carried away taking pictures of them. ... read more
Tame Stag
Stag Selfie
Lock Etive

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Rannoch Moor January 14th 2020

We were all up and ready an hour before sunrise, however that wasn’t too antisocial as the sunrise is not until 8.45am in Scotland at this time of year. That said, like yesterday, there was no sunrise as the sky was completely covered by flat, white clouds. Not ideal for photography. We went to a location in Loch Ba for the non sunrise and stayed there for about an hour to take some photographs anyway. The rain had turned to snow overnight, which bought some beauty to the scenery, despite the washed-out sky. They don’t seem to take any chances on this road, we saw numerous snow-ploughs passing throughout the day. In fact one passed us as we were getting out of our minibus, and completely covered most of us in ice and snow. We’re sure ... read more
Rannoch Moor View
Coupall Falls

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands September 29th 2019

So far up to this point Dennis had only had to drive on short stretches of single track roads, but headed up and around the Isle of Skye is predominantly all single track. On these types of roads it is a single lane but two ways of traffic must pass. You have to pull along the side in small turn offs to allow oncoming traffic to pass to avoid a head on collision. The trick is deciding who is the one that yields and sometimes you must even back up to go into the closest passing place, often with no guard rails and steep cliffs off both sides of the roadway and there is not a single straight stretch of road ANYWHERE in this country. Pretty much the entire west coast and the center of the ... read more
Eilean Donan Castle
The Fairy glen
Neist Point lighthouse

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » The Highlands » Nethy Bridge June 18th 2019

Last night we walked around a bit after dinner and headed to bed around 10 PM. Oddly it was as bright out as if it were 10 AM. I got up at 4 AM and noticed it was still bright out! Taking a gander at the map, I found the reason: we are considerably north and thus the Scots enjoy very long days. That’s great, but on the flip side, in winter, nights are also very long, so make hay while the sun shines. Speaking of the sun, today the clouds seemed behind us and the blue Scottish skies were overhead. Our first stop was the Culloden Battlefield Memorial. This was famous in Scotland as the last battle between the Jacobites, rebellious Scottish soldiers fighting to restore King James to the British throne, versus the British. ... read more
Beauty of the Loch
One of Many Castles
Over the Bridge to Skye




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