Visit to Scotland
Scotland holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Glen Coe in the Scottish Highlands up until 2005.
Patricia had never been to Scotland before and I had never been back since leaving Glen Coe in 2005. So finally we made it. After flying into Edinburgh we spent time around Glen Coe, Oban, Fort William. We then took the picturesque “Road to the Isles” stopping off at the Glenfinnan Memorial and the famous viaduct featured in Harry Potter. The beaches short of Mallaig were as magic as ever, fine white sand and views out to Eigg and Skye. We caught the ferry from the harbour for the crossing to Armadale. Soon we reached Sligachan bringing back memories of days spent on the Cuillin mountains.
We spent two nights at the Old Inn at the little village of Carbost on the shores of Loch Harport with the Talisker whisky distillery a short walk down the road. We spent a great evening of Scottish music in the bar with four musicians, two of which play in the band Peat Bog Faeires. It was like old times meeting Steve from Talisker Bay who used to run the guesthouse where I was a frequent visitor. We walked in Glen Brittle the starting point for many walks in the Cuillin including the Fairy Pools; sadly in danger of becoming too popular. I asked Steve about this vast increase in visitor numbers and he said one of the huge draws has been the video of Danny MacAskill mountain biking in and on the Cuillin. You can view it here on YouTube.
We visited Dunvegan castle, home to the McLeod clan and the surprising luxuriant gardens. After this cultural experience we took a walk out to the coral beach. We saw seals swimming within metres of the shore and groups of seals basking on a small island in the middle of the loch.
Leaving Skye we visited the iconic Castle Eilan Donan on Loch Duich. The castle has featured in many films including The Highlander, James Bond. I've passed by numerous times on my way to and from Skye but until now have never visited inside. It was well worth it.
With our holiday drawing to a close we headed East via Spean Bridge and Laggan before heading southward to Pitlochry on the River Garry. The weather reminded us we were in Scotland, a morning of solid rain before it broke up into heavy showers. We visited Loch Tummel and the village of Kenmore at the head of Loch Tay. We returned to Pitochry via Aberfeldy.
A final day in Edinburgh saw us visit the Queen's Mile, the Castle perched on it's volcanic plinth and Arthur's Seat. We ate dinner in the “birthplace of Harry Potter”, the cafe where J K Rowling wrote the first of the Harry Potter books as a single mother struggling to make ends meet.