Friday, 18th March 2022 | Newton Abbot, Devon
19th March to 2nd April 2022 | Road trip to the far north of Scotland and the Isle of Skye.
I will endeavour to post a diary entry every day of a 14-day tour around the far north of Scotland, complete with reviews of accommodation, places, pubs and eating houses. I will post a few photographs along the way but I suspect most of the photos will be processed after I return to Devon and posted later. we set off on 19 march – It should be good!
I had been planning a special trip to Scotland for almost a year. The idea was that after retirement – and whilst I still had a car – I would drive up the east coast from Inverness to Thurso, along the top of Scotland to Durness, and down the west coast to Fort William, stopping off in Skye for a few days. I would take my time and not plan any particular stops along the way; I would simply take each day as it came. It would be a good old-fashioned motoring trip rather than a drive.
Two things seemed essential: first I had to have a car and second I had to be retired, because I had no idea how long I would be away. I guessed it would be at least two to three weeks.
HOWEVER… I learned in January 2022 that I would have the car until the end of August, when I would have to hand it back to Volvo. I retire in early July, so that meant making the trip over the summer, which was a definite and resounding NO! Not only would the Highlands be crowded – relatively speaking – but it would be school holidays and places to stay would be expensive and hard to come by. Not to mention the midges.
So, when to make the trip? Easter was out and June would be my last month at work. May might have worked but we ended up with the last two weeks of March, when the Highlands would be on the cusp of winter and spring and hopefully there would not be too many other tourists about. Did I mention the midges?
In the mean time I had told my neighbours all about my dream motoring holiday and, after very little deliberation, they expressed a strong desire to join me. All was set for the three of us.
I have another ‘dream motoring holiday’ that I have been wanting to do for many years, if not decades. Corny I know but I wanted to take my time driving along and around Route 66, preferably in a 60’s Chevy Impala – like the one in the TV series Supernatural – or a 60’s Mustang. This will never happen.
Three people meant planning. We needed accommodation booked up in advance so we needed to know where we would be on each of the fourteen days in Scotland. I am pleased to say it has come together quite nicely, and no doubt we will encounter a few surprises – and hopefully very few mishaps – along the way.
A series of dreams gave new meaning to the two weeks I have just spent in Scotland. I could finally be on the verge of writing my first novel…
Over 9 hours on the road and 475 miles covered. The end of a journey for me and my travelling companions. No photos today but here is a shot of the fabulous B&B we stayed in on the Isle of Skye.
A personal odyssey for myself and one of my travelling companions as I visit my first school and Tim visits the village where he grew up.
Our 13th day in Scotland was relatively short and relaxing, taking in Aberfoyle and a number of lochs in The Trossachs, an area I feel I know fairly well after a number of visits in recent years.
Not a long drive in terms of miles but a long drive in terms of scenery and road conditions. Extremely enjoyable.
A great day planned, culminating in the Fairy Pools, with waterfalls, deserted beaches and a distillery along the way…
A short drive in Skye can yield many surprises; waterfalls, mountain rivers, sculpture… and coos!
An evening trip to the tiny hamlet of Elgol looking across to the Cuillin Hills. Dramatic scenery and a drive home in complete darkness – a first for me!
Today we are heading west to Dunvegan, on what is our 9th day in Scotland and our second day on Skye.
A short and relaxing drive north to the ferry port of Uig. On our return journey we noticed the mountains were on fire…
Before a long drive across the Highlands to the Isle of Skye we stopped to take some photos of the village we have been staying for the last few days. And stopped again for a Midge Bite.
Durness beach and Smooth caves turned out to be as good as expected and well worth a visit. I just hope that if you visit this fabulous area you learn the etiquette of driving along single-track roads.
I have walked on the land at the most northerly point of Britain. That feels like quite an achievement, and it was worth the winding track to get there.
North of Inverness is the most stunning scenery we have yet scene in Scotland – and that is saying something. We stopped on the way at an Eden-like idyll just before Golspie, which was itself a beautiful town with varied and beautiful architecture.
Findhorn – or at least the small section we were able to get to – did not live up to expectations which left time to visit the lighthouse and museum at Covesea, only to find that both were closed.
A highly recommended eatery in a lovely building and a beautiful location. This is hard to beat.
Bow Fiddle Rock has been photographed many times; we just had to have some that we could call our own. Portknockie itself is very pleasant though, and I regret not taking a few snaps of the village itself.
Our first day in Scotland kicks off with pictures of the three Forth bridges from the north and the south shores, with a brief stop in Queensferry and a visit to a very good cafe.
Day 1: Essentially a 9-hour drive from Newton Abbot to Rosyth, a small town with no pubs and nowhere to get hot food. Or so it would seem.