A friend of mine is over visiting from Russia this week, and I promised to take her on a quick tour of Scotland to so she could see some of the “must see” sights. We set off from Glasgow early this morning, heading up the side of Loch Lomond, which was looking magnificent in the spring sunshine.
We continued beyond the head of the loch, passing through Glen Falloch and Strath Fillan to Tyndrum, where we stopped to stretch our legs and have a bite to eat at the Green Welly Stop. Suitably refreshed, we got back in the car for just a few minutes, stopping at a parking area beyond Bridge of Orchywhich gives great views over Loch Tulla and the surrounding mountains, including Beinn Achaladair and Beinn an Dothaidh.
We got back in the car – again, just for a few minutes – and drove across Rannoch Moor, stopping between Lochan na h-Achlaise, Lochan na Stainge and Loch Ba, one of my favourite places in Scotland.
Although bright and sunny, it was also very windy and quite chilly, so after a brisk wander we jumped back in the car and continued on our journey northwards. We drove up through Glen Coe, crossing the end of Loch Leven at Ballachullish, on past Fort William where we caught a glimpse of Ben Nevis, and through the remains of the Leanachan Forest to Loch Lochy.
From here, the road twists its way along the edge of the south bank of the loch, crossing the Caledonian Canal to follow the north bank of Loch Oich, then crosses the canal twice more before joining the north bank of Loch Ness. After 18 long, slow miles (29km) we reached Urquhart Castle, sticking out into the loch on Strone Point.
From the main tower we saw a swan swimming on the loch.
As well as having a good look around the castle, we had soup and cake in the visitor centre before continuing north, heading for Culloden. The visitor centre there was just closing, and it was getting rather cold, so we had a quick look over the fence and jumped back in the car to visit the nearby Clava cairns before finally heading south on the A9. At the House of Bruar we turned off the A9, and drove past Blair Castle, stopping briefly to take a photo over the wall.
Before heading on to my favourite pub in Scotland, the Moulin Inn! After which it was a long drive back to Glasgow.