A slightly late start to the day, as our hotel had wifi that actually worked pretty well, something we struggled with for the next week or so. So we took advantage of the speedy wifi to catch-up on the blog!
Then we spent much of the day driving along the side of several beautiful lochs, and we really started to appreciate the importance of the large network of Scottish ferries.
Photo of the day
A pigeon keeping an eye on us from the rather green walls of Dunstaffnage Castle.
First stop of the day, just north of Oban at Dunstaffnage Castle, standing proud over Loch Etive. Famous for the imprisonment of Flora MacDonald after she helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape Scotland.
Castle Stalker reflecting in Loch Laich. Monty Python used this tower house as one of the settings in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Loch Eil and Ben Nevis
Refelctions across the still Loch Eil. We had first traveled west along the north side of Loch Eil from Fort William, but the road was surprisingly busy. However, when we turned off along the south side, we ended up on a lovely quiet lane that then continued on along the west side of Loch Linnhe.
Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest peak starting to emerge from the cloud.
And almost out of the cloud.
Corran Lighthouse at the Corran-Ardgour ferry crossing.
Mother and fawn, nervously keeping an eye on us as we drove by on the way to the Sound of Mull.
This road isn’t big enough for the two of us!
Nice beaver, sorry, I mean otter.
Last ferry of the day from Lochaline to Fishnish (love that name) on the Isle of Mull. We then double backed on ourselves to Strontian for the night.
172 miles on day fifteen, one of our longer drives, and we packed in some great sights along the way from Carradale to Oban.
Photo of the day
After another huge Scottish breakfast, we checked out Carradale’s small harbour. Just us, the seagulls and a solitary boat off on an early morning sail.
The remains of Saddell Abbey, built by Irish monks in the 1100s, it had operated as a local centre of worship for 350 years.
As we drove closer to Campbeltown, Davaar Island emerged in the distance, with views over to its Lighthouse.
Logs stacked along the harbour at Campbeltown.
Along the long winding road to the Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse this young deer spotted us.
Quickly sniffed the air … then did a runner into the woodland.
Mull of Kintyre
The Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse. Following in the footsteps of Paul McCartney. We had to walk the final stretch down a steep lane from the cliffs above… we only walked part way and ‘zoomed’ the rest 😉
Lush green or deep purple foliage everywhere you look.
The views down to the secluded Carskey Bay from the lane back from the Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse.
A surfer braving the cold waters at Westport Beach.
One of the sculptured stones found in Kilberry, from around the 14th century.
The track past the stones.
Perfect reflections in the still Crinan Canal at Cairnbaan.
And more reflections further down the Crinan Canal at Bellanoch.
Enjoying the views across Loch Crinan from Old Crinan Harbour.
Views form the top of Dunadd Fort, one of the most important early medieval sites in Scotland. Legend says that the hero Ossian left the footprint in this stone when he leapt 1km from Rhudle Hill.
The Nether Largie Standing Stones, Temple Wood, placed here around 3,200 years ago. They align with the rising and the setting of the moon and sun at significant times.
Buoys on Loch Melfort.
The warm evening light at Loch Feochan, near Kilninver.
The sun starting to set over Oban Bay.
Daylight almost gone as the sky turned to a dusty pink.
It rained much of our 149 mile journey today from Dunoon to Carradale, but we made the most of the breaks in the rain. We had stunning views of the lochs, rain or shine.
Photo of the day
Leaving Dunoon we passed a smiley face on some wrapped bales, a good start to the day!
Morning view down Loch Riddon.
The misty view from the hills above Tighnabruaich before we headed down into the village.
A family fishing on the Kyles of Bute.
The ferry leaving Portavadia for Tarbet. As we watched, a bunch of cyclists that we had overtaken earlier just miss it. Lots of cyclists in Scotland on this route, and some of those hills looked real tough, rather them than us.
It’s not really a secret then, is it?
A quiet pontoon at a very quiet Otter Ferry.
The remains of Castle Lachlan, halfway up Loch Fyne.
We arrived at Inveraray just as a storm decided to descend on the town. So just jumped out of the car to take some quick pictures of the Castle.
Jarno looking cheerful outside the jail.
What could be more Scottish?
The highland soldier war memorial reflected in the puddled path.
The glowing seaweed and a freshly painted fishing boat bringing some colour to Inveraray Harbour.
Not much going on, just a loo break, a rusty anchor and a lighthouse.
Lobster pots piled on the quay at Tarbert Harbour.
Borderforce patrol boat at odds with the backdrop of quaint houses on the green Tarbert hillside.
This was the biggest surprise of the day. Several miles down a small coastal lane we found Skipness Castle.
Free to wonder around, and no one else but us there to enjoy.
Another 120 miles ahead of us today as we set off from Greenock to loop around the mainland, and end up only a few miles away across the Firth of Clyde at Dunoon.
Photo of the day
Our first castle of the day, Newark Castle. Quite a rabbits warren of rooms… it went on and on.
Jarno picking a fight with the lovely lady working in the Historic Scotland castle shop.
And on to our next castle, Dumbarton Castle. The heavens opened at this point, but still we scrabbled up the many steps to the top of the castle hill. But took the best picture back down at the bottom of this cannon pointing out across the Firth of Clyde to where we’d just come from earlier in the morning.
One of the highlights of the day were the unmistakably Charles Rennie Mackintosh interiors of Hill House. BTW, a correction, we call it Hill Top House by mistake in the daily video (should be just Hill House) – thanks Julian’s Mum & Dad for pointing that out 😉 Living room table and chairs.
Bedroom furniture and window. Perfect complimenting each other.
The hall stair lighting with its rich deep purple glass.
The entrance, every element Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
A solitary yellow boat on Gare Loch.
We slowed down…
Views up Loch Long with the mountains fading into fifty shades of grey.
The sun reemerged as we reached the head of the Loch near Arrochar.
And the remainders of the old Pier at Arrochar.
The bright evening sunlight highlighting the uneveness of Glen Croe.
Lochgoilhead, not surprisingly at the head of Loch Goil.
Loch Fyne looking mysterious as the rain sets in again.
The view from our B&B bedroom window, overlooking the small ferry terminal at Hunter’s Quay.
Day twelve already! Getting deeper in to Scotland as we head for Greenock (just west of Glasgow).
Photo of the day
A small lighthouse peeping over the shorline between the ferry terminals on Loch Ryan.
Scottish pirates? Unlikely today in the quiet (almost empty) and the slightly smelly harbor of Ballantree.
Impressive views north along the coastal A77 road just before Lendalfoot.
What a great backdrop to Girvan. A few miles further on we tried to get close to Turnberry Lighthouse, unfortunately it’s now surrounded by a luxury Trump hotel and golf course, so we gave up…
The super impressive Culzean Castle, both inside and out. National Trust Scotland have clearly invested in the property and the facilities.
One way to show off the Kennedy family arms.
The remains of the small castle just as you enter Denure.
Just before Ayr, we arrived at the birthplace of the Scottish poet Robert Burns (this cottage).
A sculpture of Maggpie the horse and Tam, from the Burns poem Tam o’ Shanter.
Lovely flower displays on the seafront brightening up a rather dull Ardrossan.
Hourglass figured trees on the road to Portencross Castle.
Portencross Castle, and it started to absolutely pour down with rain, so surprised we managed to get any pictures at all of this 1300s castle.
Looking back from Fairlie to the silhouette of the cranes at the coal handling port of Hunterston Terminal.
As the rains cleared and the evening sun burst through the clouds, a huge rainbow appeared over Largs, which seemed a surprisingly busy holiday town.
Just before arriving at Greenock for the night, we made a quick stop at Cloch Point Lighthouse overlooking the Firth of Clyde, and now someones home.
Day eleven, wow the days are flying by, today we drove 135 miles from Newton Stewart to Stanraer… with quite a bit of rain to keep us company. Hence, the grey-ness of several of today’s photos.
Photo of the day
A sleepy little town curiously full of bookshops, and it turned out to be the book capital of Scotland.
For a small village it had 2 bowling greens, which may have been a good indicator of the towns demographics. Weirdly, according to the price list on the bowling green hut, men are charged more than women to play.
Isle of Whithorn
St Ninian’s Chapel from about the 1300’s, but still in pretty good condition, and look at those thick walls.
Not the most attractive of lighthouses, but we added it to our collection.
Swings with a view.
Whithorn Priory, founded in the 400s in Whithorn, considered to be Scotland’s oldest Christian settlement.
Not much left of the this fort on top of a hill, so here are the views south east to Point of Leg.
OK, you’ll have to use your imagination for what this chapel previously looked like.
At the remains of Glenluse Abbey it was so wet and stormy Jarno decided it would be better to stay in the car. Julian ventured out and took a look around despite a closed sign – maybe due to the weather?
On the way to the Mull of Galloway we passed through Drummore, eerily full of scarecrows in costumes, a local competition. Here are the winners according to CoastalRoadTrip.com
First place, what a winning combination a sheep on a bike with a cuddle me jumper.
Mull of Galloway
The most southerly point of Scotland at the Mull of Galloway lighthouse. And it was super windy! Some directions for you…
Certificates for climbing, amazing views from the top. Unfortunately the photographer missed to include the full lighthouse in the photo… doh! 😉
Finally got our Coastal Road Trip blog online! First 4 days in Wales (Cardiff to Dolgellau), though we're now in Scotland… so more to follow. Check it out: www.coastalroadtrip.com
Julian Sheard on Freitag, 18. August 2017
(not sure why the Facebook text is shown in German here.. I will hopefully work out how to correct)
Old stone lighthouse with a bell tower on Port Logan Pier.
Stormy seas crashing over the rocks at Portpatrick, a larger town than we had expected in this fairly remote area.
A bit of a curious choice of memorial for the MV Princess Victoria sinking.
The Portpatrick Lighthouse at the entrance to the harbour.
The locals keeping an eye on us as we approached Black House Lighthouse.
As close as we could get, as it turned out to be someone’s house.
Yes, it does look similar to the other lighthouses painted yellow and white, but it is a different one, honest. Corsewall Point Lighthouse seemed to be a hotel, but mysteriously no one was around… so we left, and headed to Stranraer for the night.
Today we entered Scotland! Driving from Carlise to Newton Stewart, and had much better weather. As soon as we entered Scotland we got sunshine 🙂
Photo of the day
Sweetheart Abbey at New Abbey
Carlise was our last stopping point before crossing the Eden and Esk Rivers into Scotland. The impressive Norman castle and Jarno in the rain.
Carlise Cathedral dating from 1133, just down the road from the castle.
Our first stop in Scotland at the medieval Caerlaverock Castle. We also became members of Historic Scotland, as it looked like the route ahead would probably include many castles and historic sites!
A small but surprisingly elaborate Renaissance castle.
Looking up to the sky from the pit-prison.
Sweetheart Abbey in New Abbey, named after Lady Dervorgilla, its founder who was buried with the heart of her husband.
Freshly cut grass at the abbey.
A quick tour of the The New Abbey Corn Mill.
Views across Carse Bay and the Solway Firth.
An unusual square backed lighthouse sitting among rock pools at Southerness Point.
Our first ice cream in Scotland, and believe it or not, the first ice cream on our coastal road trip.
And plenty of people squeezed on to the beach enjoying the sunshine.
The Orchardton Tower down a small lane. The only roundhouse in Scotland. And we were its only visitors.
Eco views across the Solway Firth from Hazelfield.
And a straw giant in a field by the road…. no we have no idea either.
Dundrennan Abbey was closed by the time we arrived but fortunately it towered above the walls, so we could easily take a quick look around from the outside.
Kirkcudbright town viewed from across the bay, with MacLellan’s Castle under a bit of renovation. We had pie and chips for dinner as a little arrival treat in Scotland 🙂
An old boat on the banks of Kirkcudbright Bay.
Little Ross Lighthouse in the distance.
We came across this fixer-upper on the coastline between Ross and Anwoth, maybe we need a bit of a smaller project.
Built by the McCulloch family in the 1400s. It had already closed for the day, so just viewed from a distance.
Cairnholly Chambered Cairns
And finally, glowing in the evening sun, an ancient burial ground and meeting place from 4-6,000 years ago! Jarno couldn’t open the gate (the gate was newer).
A rather dull day nine as we drove north along the coast from Barrow-In-Furness to Carlise.
Photo of the day
St Bees Lighthouse
First stop of the day was the South Walney Nature Reserve, with its views back north to Piel Castle, which we had seen the evening before from the other side by Rampside.
The ranger’s hut at the nature reserve, an Aladdin’s cave of nature related info.
We encountered a very curious (and hungry) friend.
Next to the pebble beach, we found this sign, we moved on quickly…
But behind the beach there were idyllic views over meadows to the Lake District.
Cute seaside cottages (very close to the sea on the other side) in the small village of Ravenglass.
The word’s first commercial nuclear power station. Julian had remembered adverts for the visitor centre as a kid, and was weirdly curious to visit. However, it seems the visitor centre no longer exists, so instead we made do with these views across the fields.
More views across fields. We were trying to get a closer look at St Bees Lighthouse, but down a very narrow quiet country lane we came across private property signs. So we decided to view from a distance over this golden brown wheat field.
A bit of a tired looking lighthouse at Whitehaven.
Remains of Whitehaven’s industrial past.
Next to Maryport Lighthouse there was a display of lighthouse paintings by local school children, so here is one of them to add a bit of colour to day nine of our Coastal Road Trip.
A bleak and cold evening at the Maryport breakwater.
Before heading east along the coast to Carlise we stopped by Siloth, with its surprisingly wide cobbled streets, and long stepped promenade stretching into the distance.
Today’s drive on the north west coastline was pretty varied as we covered everything from quiet coastal villages to busy holiday resorts like Blackpool.
Photo of the Day
As you follow the north west coastline, Preston is the first crossing point over the River Ribble. As luck would have it there was a disused lighthouse by the local Morrisons supermarket at the town marina. I guess not many lighthouses have a trolley park at their base.
Lytham St Anne’s
Lytham Windmill, our first windmill (keeping Jarno happy), right on the edge of the grassy Ribble estuary.
The view across the estuary from the local RSPB sanctuary.
Lytham St Anne’s Pier and the broad sandy beach.
Donkeys being prepared for the day ahead on the beach.
A few typical sights along the long Blackpool seafront. First at the southern end, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, behind a chippy.
The Blackpool lights (by day), no prizes for guessing who were sponsoring this section of the lights.
And at the northern end of the promenade, the magnificent Blackpool Tower.
The promenade looked pretty smart here, it clearly had a recent face lift. A huge shell work of art (Mary’s Shell) on the empty beach.
More disused lighthouses, first the larger Pharos Lighthouse at Fleetwood.
Then whilst having a picnic at Knott End-on-Sea, we had a great view back west over the River Wyre to the Lower Lighthouse at Fleetwood.
Crossing the River Lune at Lancaster, we stopped to look at Lancaster Castle. Interestingly it was still a working prison until 2011.
Silhouette of the Lake District mountains, outlined and labelled on this clever art piece on Morcambe Promenade.
This statue needs no introduction for the Brits, but for the rest it’s a statue of Eric Morecambe. A famous British comedian. Julian did a selfie with him but his sunglasses were lopsided, ironic.
Small quiet pier on to the River Kent at the quaint village of Arnside.
The railway line separating the view back over the River Kent to Arnside.
The Hoad (Barrow) Monument on the peak of Hoad Hill to the east of Ulverston. Only took a picture as it resembles a lighthouse.
Before heading to Barrow-In-Furness for the night we stopped by the rather unusual and slim Rampside Lighthouse.
We started day seven of our trip by going back west a few miles to Llandudno before continuing east out of Wales into England. Some typical and some not so typical British seaside sights today.
Photo of the day
Early Sunday morning at Llandudno Pier, eerily empty. Everyone was clearly still in bed, as they knew the heavens were about to open.
Colourful hotels at the end of the Llandudno promenade. The start of the Great Orme hill and headland behind. We then drove around the Great Orme Heritage Coast loop, would have been great views if it it hadn’t been pouring down with rain.
We looped back to Colwyn Bay where we stayed the night before. The promenade and road along the sea front was closed off due to an ongoing waterfront improvement project. In the distance we could see the pier, which looked in a sorry state… hopefully that is part of their improvement project too.
The lifeguards were having a peaceful day at a very quiet Prestatyn Beach. Wind turbines off shore in the background, which became a surprisingly common sight on our coastal journey.
The Talacre Lighthouse at Point of Ayr. Abandoned, but looked great, even on a stormy morning.
Flint Castle with impressive views over the River Dee. We bumped into a lovely Canadian family that had also been staying at the same B&B as us near Cardigan, we had also bumped into them at Cilgerran Castle three days earlier… small world.
Crossing the River Dee over a rather striking Flintshire Bridge, flanked by electricity pylons. Blue sky starting to peep through the clouds…
The now disused Leasowe Lighthouse, not the most attractive lighthouse, but still striking with the blue sky behind.
The view from New Brighton out to the lighthouse and beyond to the cranes on the other side of the River Mersey.
One of the one hundred Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ statues, submerged in Crosby Beach. A bit spooky but very striking. Very cool to see in person.
A bit of beach marketing.
A lovely clean beach backed by sand dunes and pinewoods at the National Trust’s Formby Point. They’ve clearly struggled with beach erosion though, this looked like an old road or building that had collapsed in the beach and sea.
A Mr Whippy ice cream van finishing work for the day at Southport Beach.
A striking looking weather vane style fish sculpture on the Southport Promenade.
On our way to Preston for the night, we passed Marshside, with views across to Lytham St Ann’s, and Blackpool Tower ghost-like in the distance. A sneak preview of our trip tomorrow.