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Scotland driving holiday



BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
I've wanted to go to Scotland for years and have never done it. So after becoming single before Christmas, I decided I'd plan and book myself a little trip over the boarder, taking in some of the sites the West Coast of Scotland has to offer.

I did a bit of research on routes, looking at Pistonheads for inspiration. There is a decent amount of information available, on what locations to visit and what roads to take for views and driving pleasure ha ha ha. As I was travelling on my own, I could go where ever I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted. I planned my routes accordingly, booking accommodation along the route making sure I aimed for certain targets along the way. Namely Loch Lomond, Glen Etive, Glencoe Nature Trail, Isle of Skye, Kylesku Bridge and a few more along the way.

Day 1.

So, I set off from Warrington on the 20th of April at about 11am and headed for Scotland, I had a couple of stops on the way but at last I arrived at Duck Bay Marina located on the beautiful Loch Lomond.

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Of course I got myself an Irn Bru and a Chicken Burger whilst I over looked the Loch. The place was heaving, but what do you expect on bank holiday weekend, the food was lovely and I'd suggest visiting Duck Bay Marina yourself given the chance. After an hour or so there, I jumped back into the car to go to my accommodation for the night in Arrochar.

I booked the Lochside Guest House in Arrochar, it was cheap and it was loch side so £35 for a single room (Booking.com), you can't complain. Connected to a pub with a back garden facing Loch Long, I downed a few Tenants and then headed to the local chip shop. Have to say, some of the best fish and chips I've ever had.
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Had a lovely walk around the end of Loch Long.

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BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Day 2.

Started the day bright and early heading for Glen Etive to a location made rather famous by non-other than James Bond. My route took me back to Loch Lomond and along side it, awesome twisty, tight sections. I had to stop to get some more photos.

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Another 30mins up the road I bumped into a local... a local from home! Walked into the petrol station at The Green Welly shop, stopped for fuel, coffee and some dense pain-au-chocolates and got on my way.

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The one thing I did notice with this trip is, I wanted to stop ever 5 minutes to take photos and just soak up the views.

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A short while after taking these I arrived at Glen Etive or at least the road to Glen Etive. A tiny single track road with plenty of dips and twists that meant on a number of occasions I bottomed the front lip out ha ha ha.

Finally I got to my first dedicated land mark on my journey... the famous scene where Bond and M stand near the Aston in Skyfall.

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After soaking up the absolutely picturesque views I set off for Glencoe, burbling my way past walkers and people camping on the Glen Etive Estate road.
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Continued...

20 minutes later I arrived at Glencoe and found myself a lovely little café so grabbed a bacon Panini and a coffee, whilst listening to all the locals talk in French... Did I mention I'd driven to Scotland? ha ha ha.

Headed literally just up the road to the trail walk and had a lovely walk around Glencoe Lochan and soaked up the sun on a bench.

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I then headed for Fort Bill (William), parked up and headed into the town centre.

Seen the statue of the Ford Model T, Saint Andrews Church, Tesco, Duncansburgh Church, Ben Nevis and a wee boy wearing a kilt, Scotland Rugby League shirt playing the bag pipes.

I'll be honest Fort Bill was a little Pish compared to what I'd already seen, never the less I had a lovely lunch in Ben Nevis Bar and headed to my home for the night in Onich, the Onich Hotel to be exact. Again, another £35 room on a Loch, Loch Linnhe. After a snooze and a shower in 1982 (google 80's bathrooms), I headed downstairs for a few scoops and a people watch. It just reminded me a Faulty Towers, so funny.

After all that fun, I retired to my room and got some well deserved sleep ready for the following days drive to Glendale on the Isle of Skye.
 

McGherkin

ClioSport Club Member
F5 F5 F5 F5 :D

I love Scotland, as a driving location it’s incredible. When I was on my diving course I was driving the A83 up over Rest And Be Thankful, what an epic view driving up through the cloud layer.

I need to get back up there soon!
 

-Jamie-

ClioSport Club Member
Doing the same trip at the moment even if it is local for me haha. Staying near Acharacle but getting the boat to Skye and staying up near Glendale as well, then onto Applecross and the NC500 tomorrow, based at Lochinver for a few nights


Megane weather, roads and scenery
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Day 3.

I got up pretty early and thought I'd treat myself to a dirty McDonalds when passing back through Fort Bill. One double sausage and egg muffin and hash brown later, I was on my way to Skye. The plan was simple drive to Mallig, get the ferry over and drive to the North West of Skye. So, bear in mind I planned all these routes on Google Maps, so all I had to do was click the link and start the route. Started driving and a message popped up on the phone, asking me a question about the route but as I was driving I didn't read the message properly and just clicked "No Thanks" and thought nothing more about it. Mistake.

After a few good blarts past people dawdling down the A82, I eventually got stopped at Laggan Swing bridge letting a boat past but the view was beautiful.

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After about 10 minutes, the boat passed and I was on my way again. I ended up on the A87 (The Old Military Road) an absolutely cracking road to blast down.

I eventually past Eilean Donan Castle, so obviously I had to stop to get a photo.

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It's only at this point it dawned on me I'd not gone to the Ferry ha ha ha, at this point though I didn't care I'd enjoyed the A87 in sporty mode in the car (Sport+ and Manual). So because I didn't know the situation petrol wise in Skye I thought I'd better grab some fuel and I must have chosen the most expensive station in Kyle (Central Station/Gulf). Did a fill and was on my way, shortly after that I was on the Skye Bridge.

I eventually came across Broadford and it's Co-Op complete with cheap petrol station... Doh! I stopped went to the loo and grabbed myself some lunch as by now it was 12 o'clock.

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One meal deal later I'm off, going past Loch Ainort and through Black Hill to Sligachan where I peeled off the A87 onto the A863. Not the most exciting road but definitely fun, caught a Black M140 up who eventually let me past and then I stopped for a couple of photos across from Bracadale.

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Eventually I turned off the A863 at Lonmore and headed down another single track road, at this point I was thinking where the hell am I? I eventually got to Glendale and thought I'd stop for a coffee and some cake at what must be the only hipster place on Skye, Café Lephin. Don't get me wrong, it was nice to be listening to music by someone so close to home (Richard Ashcroft).

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After that I headed to the local shop, got myself some beers and something for tea that night seeing as I'd be cooking myself. I headed off to my next humble abode for the night, a mere 5 minutes away.

I'd found this place on Airbnb, £80 for 1 night but well worth it. The Garden Bothy, Shepherd's hut was amazing, so cosy and peaceful, perfect for someone trying to get away from it all. The couple that owned it were extremely friendly, along with their Dog, Cat, Chickens and Goose ha ha ha.

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JamesBryan

ClioSport Club Member
  Titanium 182
Looks like that pinch bolt was already starting to go on that second to last pic mate.
 
  Twingo 133 Cup,
Looks like you have had a good break away and had good weather!
I lived in Oban for a few years then on a small island just south of Oban after that.
The popularity of the nc500 has spoilt the higher part of the west coast that the route follows.
There are better and less used roads south of the nc500 route and Mull is a much nicer island than Skye.
Glen Orchy is lovely but because of the people who visit there and just leave litter everywhere it can look like a rubbish tip at times :(
You missed a really good road that goes out off Glen Coe village to Kinlochleven and round the Loch that brings you out on the North side of the bridge.
Fort Bill as you call it! Is a let down and always has been! It did have a good model shop when I was a kid though lol.
I would also highly recommend going and spending some time on the ardnamurchan peninsula.
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Day 3 Continued.

So after getting settled and listening to Warrington beat Hull KR on the radio I went for a walk. Nice 3 hour stroll, around the local area. I walked to the local beach (Black Beach), I had this to myself and it was ace, so peaceful. I also seen some cows, sheep and a couple of hawks hunting rabbits.

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I also visited the local Senataf and paid my respects, after which I headed home to my chicken curry microwave meal and two bottles of local stout, yes please!

I have to say I had the most peaceful nights sleep of the trip so far, really couldn't have booked a better place to go during my stay. Had my breakfast, Cereal, Eggs, Bread, Milk and Orange juice all supplied, you really couldn't ask for anymore. I then had to plan my route to Ullapool, I was advised to avoid Applecross because the roads were quite bad due to potholes etc. So, I took a rather random route, I think it was a happy accident as I drove down some absolutely fantastic roads (A890) at some interesting speeds, stopping at a couple of locations along the way, Strathcarron station, Achnasheen station.

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BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Looks like that pinch bolt was already starting to go on that second to last pic mate.
That is literally just shadow on that photo, don't forget the tyres were stretched. Also to note, the roads I went down in Scotland were worst than those two bumps in Warrington.
 
  Clio 197,with megan'
Wonderful photos.I live in N/E Scotland, and the roads around here, are single track, with passing places.The west coasts perhaps prettier, while the East coast, is Wilder, less populated. Anyone, who has not visited Scotland, do not know what they are missing.
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Day 4 Continued.

After some tear-arsing about I eventually arrived at a rather windy Ullapool. It's so quiet there, tiny little grid layout village with lots of coffee shops, fishing boats and a ferry port.

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Obviously I had to get a coffee and a cake from somewhere so one coffee and coffee cake later I was having a lovely walk around and sat down at the top of the "beach" and watched the world go by. Which might I say, in peace and quiet is amazing.

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I then headed to the Ardvick Hotel to check in and freshen up before heading to the main point of my quest.

The Ardvick Hotel is lovely, for £50 (Booking.com) including breakfast it was perfect.

So my next port of call was a 45min drive to a rather well known place by car enthusiasts..

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Some cracking bits of road on the way, only down side was the wind.

I eventually arrived at my goal...

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From here I headed back over the bridge to the Kylesku Hotel, bar and restaurant. I was told by a friend the food there was tremendous and it didn't disappoint.

Starter - Haggis Bonbons
Main - Fish and Chips, with minted pea's - fresh that day
Dessert - Apple crumble

I was wearing a DRIVE t-shirt and then conversation got going about what I was doing, what I'd done and where I was going next. I was then told when it was Clarkson's birthday they didn't forget his birthday (NC500 episode of Grand Tour, obviously they didn't), they actually did some filming there and ate in the restaurant.

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After all that excitement I headed back to the Ardvick, making sure to actually stop at the castle on the way back.
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
So the Ardvick was interesting, the weather was turning and it was about 8:30pm, I stopped in the layby adjacent to the castle and headed over for a closer look.

At 8:30pm, alone and the only noise being the wind, it was rather spooky.

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After this it started getting dark so I thought I'd better head back "home" and get my head down for the biggest drive of the trip.
 

cswalmsley

ClioSport Club Member
  182, Ecoboost Fez
Looks really cool! I'd like to do this one day. I doubt I could do it on my own though. I'd get a bit lonely after a while I think.
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Day 5.

The final leg of my journey, started with an awesome breakfast... Full Scottish Breakfast, tatty scones, square sausage, haggis, mushrooms, beans, bacon and scrambled eggs ooft, get that down ya!

I set off basically back down the road I'd taken to get to Ullapool, passing through the village and onto the A835 heading for Inverness.

The plan was simple, knowing I couldn't check in at the guest house in Oban until at least 3pm I had time to kill but also a long distance to drive. So, a nice drive to Inverness, stop there to grab a drink and a rest, see the sights and pick up Loch Ness and some other spots on the way.

I arrived at Inverness in about an hour and fifteen minutes, not bad really. Weather was lovely as was walking down the River Ness.

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Went and grabbed a coffee from Starbucks and then headed towards Inverness Castle.

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Lovely view of the Cathedral from the Castle.

After an hour or so I then headed for Oban, driving there via A82. I stopped for some lunch in Drumnadrochit at the Drumnadrochit Post Office... Bacon and Cheese Toastie anybody?

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Quick refuel and away we go, I was back to driving and heading for Fort Augustus.

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There was loads of people about, I can see why though when it's as picturesque as it is.

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Did I say I love Scotland, no? Well I love Scotland.

Time was getting on and I was back on the road, quick fast. I didn't want to waste too much time driving to Oban as I wanted to make the most of my time there knowing it was supposed to be so nice...
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Looks like your getting the best weather to mate,hows the BM doing on the roads?.i bet its decent
The BM was awesome, especially with the power. I think I'd have had more fun in the Clio on the twisty stuff, but then hated it for the rest of it. To me and I'm sure others won't agree but it felt like a grand tourer, comfortable ride, fast, lazy when you wanted to be. I'd love to do the same trip in a real GT car, just to see how different it would be.
 

0ss

ClioSport Club Member
Excellent write up mate, and some fantastic photos too. Definatly a trip worth doing just for the scenery nevermind the great roads. You've definatly inspired a few of us with this thread 👍.
 

Tim.

ClioSport Club Member
I’d echo all the comments so far, the driving sounds incredible, the scenery is stunning, what a fantastic trip, thank you for sharing, looking forward to the final chapter.

Looks like you really lucked in with the weather too!
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Excellent write up mate, and some fantastic photos too. Definatly a trip worth doing just for the scenery nevermind the great roads. You've definatly inspired a few of us with this thread 👍.
I’d echo all the comments so far, the driving sounds incredible, the scenery is stunning, what a fantastic trip, thank you for sharing, looking forward to the final chapter.

Looks like you really lucked in with the weather too!
Thanks guys, the scenery was something else, it really was. When you're driving a long you end up looking at everything around you, then you think "why not just stop and absorb it all".
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Continued...

It was a shame to leave Fort Augustus as soon as I did, but it's an excuse for another trip. Heading to Oban on my route I was going to come across Glenfinnan Viaduct (well with a little detour), so I added that in Google maps and set off.

Having a good blart down the A82 past Loch Lochy (bad day naming Lochs eh), I caught up with a Fiesta ST who gave it a bit and we blarted down the road together until we caught up with some traffic. Then all of a sudden, whack!... Something hit the windscreen, I didn't see anything but I had a scan of the windscreen and couldn't see anything, so I cracked on to Glenfinnan.

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I arrived at Glenfinnan and it was heaving, the car park was full as was the overflow. Quick thinking was find somewhere on the road I can stop, grab a photo and be on my way again.

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It was at this point I noticed a cracking problem.

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YAY! New windscreen inbound, well something was bound the happen. I was expecting the front lip to be the casualty of the trip, however that was still going strong after some abuse.

I grabbed a coffee from McDonalds in Old Fort Bill and with Oban being still another hour away I put the hammer down.

I arrived in Oban, totally different place than anywhere else I'd stayed in terms of pace. It was a lot more busy, than say Fort William even but not in a bad way. I drove down the front and eventually found the guest house I was staying at for the night, The Briarbank Guest House (Booking.com). The place was lovely, couple of cats and the owner Chris met me on arrival. Really funny and friendly guy, the guest house was really nice too, cosy, clean and modern.

Chris suggested a few places to eat and a couple of good pubs to go to, so I headed to my room, grabbed a shower and had half an hours kip. After all the driving I'd done I was in no fit state to be going straight out.

After all that I headed out for some food and a walk around. I ended up eating in Gelatoburger, which was surprisingly good. I had loaded fries... loaded with cheese and haggis and a rather dirty Storm Away burger, complemented with a Blue Moon.

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On my walk I came across the local whisky distillery.

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After my walk I decided I'd mosey on back to the guest house and nip in a local for 1 or 2 to finish the night. I then ended up getting roped into a pub quiz on my own, I had a right laugh, ended up talking to a couple who were a riot from Glasgow (South Side) for anybody in the know. I was then adopted by them and ended up on a bit of a pub crawl with this random couple ha ha ha. Such an awesome night, perfect way to end a fantastic trip.

Day 6.

The following morning, I woke up kinda rough but another Scottish breakfast later I was straightened out and ready for the return leg home.

Before leaving though, I wanted to visit McCaig's Tower and get a few photos from the top.

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Met this little fella

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Photogenic f**k.

Oban is a beautiful place, I defiantly want to revisit and spend a little more time there and more than likely I'd stay at the same place again.
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
Continued...

On the return leg I wish I'd done things a little different but you live and learn. I should have gone South via the A816 to Lochgilphead and then east via the A83 passing Inveraray and past Arrochar again to Loch Lomond but I just went back via the A85 and A82 for speed and time.

Stopped in Alexandria for a coffee and some funny looks, not quite sure what the problem was but I was in a bright Primrose and Blue Warrington hoody. Maybe someone local can fill me in on that. Grabbed some more fuel, Tunnocks Caramels and Caramel Logs and got myself on the M8. At this point it was the first time I'd seen rain all trip.

4 uneventful hours later I was back in glorious Warrington... meh.

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So, 6 days of travelling on some of the quietest and best roads I've driven I'd completed 1,235 miles on the nose.

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Below are the planned routes, I now know I could have chosen better routes but given the fact I did this on my own and it was my first time I really couldn't care less. I've seen some of the most beautiful scenery I think I'll ever see and its all 4 or 5 hours up the road. I love Scotland and I will be back.

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I hope you guys enjoyed my trip, sadly not as much as I did but you get the gist.

If anybody wants details about the places I stayed, just ask. If anybody has any suggestions for better routes or other places to visit please let me know.

Thanks for reading.
 

Attachments

MrBlonde

ClioSport Club Member
Great trhead mate and photos,i stayed at Glencoe a couple of years ago and this year im staying in Killin area on Loch Tay,cant wait now after seeing the photos from your trip(y)
 
Great pics!

+1 for just going - me and the missus did Scotland in January the other year and we only booked the first couple of nights and then just booked on-the-fly using TripAdvisor. We got some great hotels!

We got as far as Ullapool and was epic fun, although summer tyres on the wear markers in several inches of snow at times was, er, 'interesting'... lol

I think I remember the A82 - was quite a quick road ;)
 


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