460 miles, 11 hours, 2 people, 1 car and Scotland.
It was 4am on February 21st, the coffee was hot, the car was cold and we were starting our journey from Longleat to Inveraray.
We had the standard road trip munchies, 2 flasks of coffee, crisps and bagged sweets. Our minds full of wonder at what we would discover in Scotland. The destination was the Loch Fyne Hotel and Spa.
That’s right “and Spa”.
The map below should show the area we were staying.
I cannot hype this hotel enough, we had chocolate covered strawberries in our room on arrival. The spa facilities were great especially after a day in the north Atlantic breeze and Scottish drizzle.
We refrained from eating in the restaurant and opted for the bar area instead which offered a vast range of whiskey and a good selection of bar meals which surpassed all bar meals I’ve eaten before. That burger was so fantastic I had it twice (on different days).
One thing we wanted to achieve whilst in Scotland was have a look at Oban, the idea of moving to Scotland had been mentioned, refused, mentioned, refused, mentioned with house price comparison and agreed in principle.
The southern highlands is a stunning area with a variety of landscapes (mainly hills, waterfalls and lochs). One problem though is the remoteness and employment opportunities so moving to Scotland became more of a no for the time being.
Oban is a small coastal town and you’ll find more out about it by asking Google than you would me. We had a wonder about getting lost looking for Costa then finding a Tesco. Walked the long way round back to the car and found Costa on the way. Coffee fix sorted.
We left Oban and took the road south to Kilninver where we took a right turn and went discovering in the general direction of the Atlantic ocean. After getting to a small ferry and what was a mini lands end, we made a ‘u-turn’ aiming back toward the hotel. We took a left turn at Ford and then travelled along the universe’s longlest single track country lane. OMG this road just would not end, it went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on (and on).
The below photos depict our journey from Oban via Cochran, Ford, Loch Awe and then back to Inveraray.
View from Oban
Beach at Oban
Oban to Kilninver
Loch Awe, View from Ford end
Random waterfall by Loch Awe
Loch Awe shoreline
Loch Awe shoreline planting
Awesome waterfall somenear Loch Awe
An old bridge, Loch Awe (think was previous road)
Back at the hotel we endulged with some spa time, the Canadian steam room was amazing. Later we spent the evening with some whiskey down the bar area and enjoyed more delicious bar menu food.
Day 2, It Snowed!
Ok if you know me then you know I like unusual weather and when I was told it would snow overnight and in the morning I thought hmm, maybe this time it will. Even a local said it would snow! When I woke up there was no snow. Betrayed by the weather gods once more. After breakfast however the emotion was changed and a growing sense that it had in fact snowed just only on the high ground. To give an example here is a picture from near Ben Nevis.
As you can see there is a clear ‘snow line’ and to experience snow all I had to do was go above it. So we did and what a journey we had.
The A82 over Black Mount and Glen Coe was our path as we headed up to Fort William.
During the drive I must have passed 10 or more snow plough/gritter wagons either servicing the road or parked up ready for action.
A short video of the snow falling.
A85 Nr Tyndrum
A85 Nr Tyndrum
A85 Nr Tyndrum
A85 Nr Tyndrum
Over the top near Black Mount and Glen Coe was truly something to been seen, the snow, the scenery and the wilderness. Stunning. We stopped by Glen Coe to take some photos and just experience the area. The ground was extremely slippery and there were a few Torvil and Dean moments. Also we threw snowballs at rocks, because we could! Soon enough we were back on the road to Fort William and a deserved Costa. Its not often we choose to ‘sit in’ at Costa but this time and after the drive we thought it would be a nice change. An hour later and were making our way to Ben Nevis.
The road to and the base of Base Nevis
We didn’t go further than the sign, I think its self explanatory. We left the area in awe of the rugged mountains with their peaks hidden in the clouds. The vast lochs full of calm clear water. And everything in between.
Back at the hotel for one more night of the spa, the bar and the burger! Sadly it was time to leave and make the 460 mile journey back home.