Inveraray, Scotland July 2011

I took a visit to Inveraray which is a quaint little town and the gateway to Argyll and the Islands, and is home of the Duke of Argyll, who founded the town in 1745.

The best part of Inveraray is it’s quay side and black and white style buildings, with an addition of a castle and jail.

In 1744 the third Duke of Argyll decided to demolish the existing castle and start from scratch with a new building. The castle was 40 years in construction, and the work was largely supervised by the Adam family, still renowned to this day as gifted architects and designers. The end product was not a castle in the traditional sense, but a classic Georgian mansion house on a grand scale.

Rest and be Thankful, Scotland July 2011

Rest and Be Thankful is a place high up on the A83 between Argyll and Bute in Scotland running from Tarbet (Loch Lomond) to Campbeltown at the southern end of Kintyre peninsula and onto Inverary.

From Loch Lomond / Tarbet you have to travel west through the Arrochar Alps beyond Loch Long to Loch Fyne.

The section of the A83 called Rest and be Thankful is named as the climb out of Glen Croe (not to be confused with Glencoe) is so long and steep at the end that it was traditional for travellers to rest at the top, and be thankful for having reached the highest point.

Castle Stalker, Scotland July 2011

After being a fan of the Monty Python films and more so Monty Python and the Holy Grail, I’ve wanted to go and visit Castle Stalker that featured in the film. Unfortunately for the most part you can’t really get as close as you would like, especially when the tide is in. However there is a cafe nearby on the landscape called Castle Stalker View which gets you as close as you can probably get.

Castle Stalker is pretty small and is in a place called Appin in Argyll. The cafe nearby does some really good pastries and also Irn Bru floats (if you don’t know what this is, Irn Bru is the soda drink of Scotland that outsells Coke and has a dollop of ice cream in it).

The Castle is situated on the A828 between Ballachulish and Connel, and accessed by way of the old railway track. Using the Castle Stalker View Café as your starting point, travel southwards (right turn on leaving the café) down the steep hill. At the foot of the hill, follow the road round the sharp lefthand bend and approximately 150 metres further on turn right by a small red postbox mounted on a pole. Follow this small lane to the end where it meets the new cycle track and turn right again along the old railway track parallel to the cycle track. Continue along the railway track between the platforms of the old station and approximately 75 metres on you will see the boathouse on your left. Park on the track, making sure that access for other vehicles is not blocked or impeded, and proceed on foot through the gate to the boathouse and shore.

Corpach and Ben Nevis, Scotland July 2011

I decided to take a trip across to Corpach (Scottish Gaelic: A’ Chorpaich) which is a large village just north of Fort William in Scotland. Back in 1478 there was a battle at Corpach that saw Clan Cameron rout Clan MacLean.

Corpach has a lock and a loch (well what us British would call a lock), e.g. a canal way with various lock gates, but it also is on the edge of Lochaber with spectacular views of Ben Nevis.

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles, and is located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands, close to the town of Fort William.

Ballachulish and Loch Leven, Scotland July 2011

Carrying on my photographic tour, I visited a place called Ballachulish which is past Glencoe in the Highlands in Scotland. The name Ballachulish comes from the Gaelic name for “Village of the Narrows”. The beautiful loch that flows through Ballachulish is called Loch Leven.

The largest settlement carrying the name of Ballachulish lies on the south side of Loch Leven, a mile or so west of the village of Glencoe. This started life as Laroch in the 1500s.

The first photo below is from the head of Kinlochleven just heading out of Glencoe town before reaching Ballachulish.

The next photos were from Ballachulish.

Highlands July 2011 – Beautiful weather!

I decided to spend a couple of days in the Highlands again, call it my home coming that I do each year. The weather was probably the best weather I’ve seen in almost 6 years. I don’t live anywhere close to Scotland, in-fact I live about 500 miles away so I don’t visit the Highlands all that often, once maybe twice a year. Having spectacular weather is kind of strange for Scotland because you can get four seasons in a day.

Glencoe March 2011 – More snow!

I decided whilst in Scotland to try and get up to see Glencoe in the Highlands. I wanted to get out and take some photos, the weather was something I wouldn’t usually see but being snowed in for 1 day gave me the drive to get out and explore. The highlands were pretty badly covered with snow, a completely different highlands that I’m used to seeing, but this gave a completely different perspective on how deserted the Highlands can be.