I’ve added photos from my recent camping trip around the north of Scotland – Camping August 2010
Sunday 9th August
We left about 5pm and headed for Glen Coe. M9 to Stirling, A811 to Doune (past the 5 mile tailback coming out of the Trossachs and heading to Stirling), A84 to Lochearnhead then A82 to Glen Coe. About 120 miles took about 2 hours 30. First night’s camping was at the Red Squirrel Campsite just outside Glencoe Village, not far from the Clachaig Inn. £8 A night, good location, camp fires allowed, but long walk to basic toilets and showers.
Monday 9th August
Had intended to visit Urquhart Castle but the queue for the car park was long, so headed in to Drumnadrochit for some lunch in the Courtyard Restaurant. Rain had stopped by this point so headed back to Urquhart Castle where the queue was even longer.
We then to headed to Eilean Donan Castle near Kyle of Lochalsh. A82 to Invermoriston, A887 and A87 to Dornie. The drive down towards Shiel bridge is very spectacular – passing the 5 sisters. Although the castle looks old it’s only 90 years old. The castle was a complete ruin from 1719 to 1919 when it was completely rebuilt from the ground up. To this end I’d call it a fake castle – bits of poorly maid concrete can be seen on the bridge. Entry to the castle costing £5.50.
The plan was then to head to a campsite in Dornie but after finding it it was no more than a field we headed onwards. We located another campsite nearby but it looked rather unfriendly – “backpackers tents only” whatever that means. So we drove on again towards Skye over the newish Skye Bridge. It doesn’t look like it, but the approach to the bridge is quite steep – I wouldn’t like to cycle it. Over the bridge we stopped in Corry Tourist information to seek assistance finding a campsite on Skye but it was closed.
We headed onward up the A87, turning off just past Luib. The quest was to find a flat bit of grass to camp on. Sadly the ground arround Loch Ailnort was rocky so we eventually made it back on to the A87 near Sconser. We then found the Sligachan Campsite near by. A reasonable campsite with views up Loch Sligachan and up to the Black Cuillin the other direction. Dinner was served in the nearby 180 year old Sligachan Hotel. The hotel pub was full of like minded campers!
Tuesday 10th August
Over to the Talikser Distillery on the other side of Skye via the A863 and B8009. The Talisker Distillery isn;t actually in Talisker its self but in Carbost about 5 miles away. A tour costs about £5 which includes a wee dram of 12 year old Talisker. Then up to Portree via the B8009, A863 and A87. Lunch in Portree in The Isles Inn.
Up the A855 passing “The Storr” and “The Kilted Rock” – the comment was “is that it?”… Up the A855 to the tip of Skye at Kilmaluag. As it was raining we didn’t visit the castle at Kilmluag as it was pouring with rain.
Down the A855 to Uig where we camped in the Uig Bay campsite. When we turned up it was pouring with rain. Quite a few folk were waiting in theor cars untill the rain stopped. The rain dies down enough for us to fling out pop up tents down and had fully put up the tents in a few minutes. We then headed to the pub! Evening Dinner was severed in the Pier Restaurant which unfortunately I can’t recommend. Took ages to order, ages to arrive, and was cold when the wrong food arrived. One French family had been waiting 90 minutes for their food to then be told they’d run out of beef burgers.
Wednesday 11th August
Aim was to head for Applecross campsite. A87 from Uig through Portree, Sligachan, Over the Skye bridge, Kyle of Lochalsh, then on to the A890 through Stomeferry (no ferry), to Acintee. Then on to the A896 to Applecross.
Lunch was had in the LochCarron Hotel. Good food for not much money, with cracking views over Loch Carron.
On to Applecross via the Bealach na Ba (Pass of the Cattle) – the highest road in the UK which rises to 626 meters. Unfortunatly I was driving and concentrating on the road, and the fog was down to about 10 meters visibility. Supposedly you can get excellent views from the top. We arrived about 3pm in Applecross and kept driving. Unfortunatly it was very wet and there didn;t seem to be much to do. We stopped at the other side of the bay to take some photos – and were severly bitten by the midges even though it was pouring with rain.
We kept driving up the road to Shieldaig, then on to the campsite at Torridon. The campsite was no more than a very rough field so we kept driving along the A890. Unfortunalty there didn’t seem to be very many campsites so we actually ended up in the Caravan Club campsite in Dingwall! The trip was about 200 miles – Uig, Kyle of Lochalsh, Applecross, Torridon, Kinlochewe, Garve, Dingwall.
The Caravan Club campsite in Dingwall was very prim and proper. Each pitch was measured out, and we had to be so far away from the nearest caravan, so far from the nearest wall, and so far from the nearest tent. The campsite was however flat and well drained, and close to the town.
As it was Wednesday, the day of the Sweden V Scotland football game we headed to The Mallard pub at Dingwall Station. Sweden 1, Scotland nill. Time for some food from Tesco’s (at midnight!). My first experience of very late night shopping.
Thursday 12th August
Down the A835 to Inverness, then the A9 south. We popped in to the Dalwhinnie Distillery for another tour. £6 to be told basically the same thing as Talisker. Then down to Pitlochry for some lunch at the Old Mill Inn.
Visited the Pitlochry Fish Ladder which is an amazing feat of engineering. Onwards down the A9 to Perth, then off to St Andrews along the A912 to Cupar, then the A91 to St Andrews. Down the A915 to Windygates, A911 to Glenrothes, A92 to Halbeath, then the M90 and A90 back to Edinburgh.
Deagio Whiskys – all basically the same
Grain from the Black Isles, Malted at Glen Ord using local peat, shipped to the actual distillery, fermented using local pure spring water, distilled, shipped to Leven to be casked, some casks shipped back to original distiller for ageing, then shipped back to Leven for Bottling. 70% of production goes in to blended malts.