Scotland Road Trip: Part 2

So here goes…..probably the most awe-inspiring days of my road trip!

Day 4: Drumnadrochit to Portree

During breakfast our host mentioned that just down the road (ok like an hour, but in the middle of nowhere that is down the road) was a place called Loch Affric and that me and my dad MUST go see it before we left. We decided to that whilst we were here f**k it let’s go see why this place is so good. The drive down was along a single track road behind the fastest moving bin lorry that seemed to go on and on. We eventually made it to the last car park of 3 along this road to Loch Affric as we were told to just go straight to the end. We couldn’t really see much under all the trees so we followed a quick ‘view point’ trail and as we reached the top this is the view that greated us…

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The view point at Glen Affric 

Seriously standing here for about 20 minutes me and my dad just felt like we were staring at a painting. I have never seen such a stunning view in my life. It wasn’t until this moment that i really appreciated how truly beautiful this country could be. If we hadn’t have listened to our host we would never have gone here. In fact i had never heard of this place in my research before coming or highlighted on any of my maps i had. This place really is an untouched gem of The Highlands.

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The father

Once we could tear ourselves away and start making a move to our next destination we followed the A87 to Kyle of Lochalsh. Again this is another road where you stop every 5 minutes to admire the view. The great thing about the roads in Scotland is that there are always stopping points along the side of the road and they have made them in the best view point.

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Loch Cluanie

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As you drive down the A87 you’re able to see a mountain range called the Five Sisters on your right as well as plenty of other beautiful mountains. The winding road continues on to Loch Duich. At the end you come across quite possibly the most iconic of all the Scottish castles…Eilean Donan Castle

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Eilean Donan Castle

I’m not going to lie i actually didn’t go inside to have a look around as i needed to get going to Portree to reach my hotel. But it was nice to see such an iconic symbol of Scotland. Onwards to the Isle of Skye!

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Thew view across to Isle of Skye and Isle of Rassay

The last leg of the day was the drive up to Portree on the Isle of Skye. Apart from the endless pictures on Instagram i was not prepared for quite how magnificent this island is!

But of course in typical Scottish weather as soon as we reached the Cullin Hills the heavens opened and a gloom set down upon the island and so i couldn’t see much at all haha

Day 5: Isle of Skye touring 

So today was the one day of the trip we were not heading somewhere else but actually staying in one place. Ok i say one place, we still circumnavigated the majority of the island. Except countless pictures and very little writing..

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Portree
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Old Man of Storr
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Kilt Rock

Of course the must sees on the island are the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the lovely little town of Portree. As we went north around the top of the island we saw the Trotternish range and even could see across to the Isle of Lewis. We travelled across to the west of the island to see Dunvegan Castle (which is stilled lived in by the Macleod Clan) and the Duirinish range. The end of the day saw us head back to Portree via The Cullin Hills to try and get a better view than the day before….of course it rained, again.

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View towards Loch Dunvegan
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Dunvegan Castle
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Cullin Hills

Next up Day 6 – 9 (coming soon)

If you missed Days 1-3 it’s here: Scotland Road Trip: Part 1

Happy reading fellow travellers 🙂

Scotland Road Trip: Part 1

On Good Friday me and my Dad ventured on our first our first road trip to Scotland for the week. To sum it up, Scotland was STUNNING!

Day 1: London -> York

Instead of doing the drive to Scotland in one go, we decided to break the journey up and stop over near York for our first night. Neither of us had ever been to York so we thought ‘two birds one stone’ we’ll pop in for a couple of hours. We heard it was beautiful and it did live up to the reputation, but, you only need a short amount of time to see everything. A city that is perfect for a day trip. If you do go i recommend popping into Crumbs Cupcakery (yummy) and of course no trip would be complete without seeing York Minster Cathedral! We were not allowed to take photos of the inside as the Good Friday service was on. All i can say is it is the most amazing cathedral i have ever seen, the architecture and decoration was unlike anything i have ever seen.

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York Minster in the glorious sunshine

Instead of staying in York itself we decided to stay the market town of Wetherby just off the A1 in a pub called The Royal Oak. OH MY GOD! The best pub grub i have ever eaten and i am a massive pub grub eater, can’t beat it.

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Day 2: York -> Edinburgh

This drive wasn’t the most interesting today i have to admit. As i was looking at the map i thought oh we could stop in Bamburgh to eat our lunch as it was by the coast. I was behind the wheel and as i came over a hill in the road all of a sudden i saw this immense castle. Then it occurred to me…..oh this is Bamburgh Castle! So stupid of me haha. We spent 3 hours in the wind and rain exploring the grounds.

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Further north of Bamburgh the scenery of the A1 picks up a bit and you start to feel more and more remote. Again we didn’t stay in the city, but in a village outside. We stayed in Laswade, in a pub called the Laird & Dog Inn. Nice little pub once again with good food and friendly staff (not that my Dad could understand the the accent here). However out night was ruined by a couple of drunk, high, arrogant people who decided that their night didn’t have to end so they would keep everyone in the hotel up. It got so bad they even threatened to punch my Dad when he asked them to quieten down. This was thankfully the only low point of the trip and the rest and every Scottish person we met after this were lovely and helpful.

Day 3: Edinburgh to Drumnadrochit

So this was the day we officially started the Scottish part of our road trip and the reason why we traveled all this way. From the off we were not disappointed by the scenery! We made our way north along the M90 and then the A9 towards the Cairngorms National Park.

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Cairngorms National Park

We didn’t drive into the depths of the park, instead we turned A880 and then onto A86 towards Fort William. I swear we stopped every 5 minutes to admire the  view. The great thing is if you ask a local what to see they know exactly where the good views are. In Roybridge there is a cafe that has all the glacial history of the area and one of the women told us to go down the track road just down from them and to head up to Glen Roy to see the ‘Parallel Roads’. These ‘roads’ are not actually roads but ancient glacial shorelines depicting the different heights of glaciers 11,000 years ago. As a geography graduate i was in awe of them and how they were created by these vast glaciers.

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Glen Roy

After seeing this impressive view we carried on towards Loch Ness along the A82 towards Inverness. Without realising we cam across a view point of Ben Nevis and man i was taken aback by it’s size!

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Ben Nevis

From here we drove north to Loch Ness trying to stay ahead of the rain clouds and in the sun. To see Loch Ness it is best to stop at Fort Augustus but i warn you it was full of tourists but it is where you can pick up all the boats in search of Nessie. I wasn’t overly impressed by Loch Ness. Don’t get me wrong it is cool to see but that was all it was for me.

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Loch Ness

From here we drove to our next pub stay in Drumnadrochit just off the A82 near Inverness.

Safe to say it was a busy day!

Next up Day 4-5: Scotland Road Trip: Part 2

 

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