Whilst on my Scottish Adventure last month in Edinburgh I decided that I would like to see a little more of Scotland. The easiest way of doing this was a coach tour. I booked to go on two tours; one to Oban, Loch Lomand and Inveraray and the other up in to the Scottish Highlands through the Cairngorm’s Moutains to Loch Ness and Glen Coe. Our first stop was Loch Lommand, the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain by surface area. Loch Lommand is in the heart of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
Our next stop was Oban. Oban is a town and port in western Scotland. It’s a gateway to the Hebridean islands. The Colosseum-like McCaig’s Tower overlooks Oban Bay. Seafood eateries cluster by the harbour as well as a whisky distillery. Whilst here I ate the most delicious seafood sandwich as it was very obvious that the seafish was freshly caught.
Down in the harbour there was a mixture of the old and the new. Such a stunning sight, sadly very cloudy and the drizzle was coming down a little heavier now. Just typical!
We left Oban and made our way back to Edinburgh some 120 miles away. On the way back we stopped at St Conan’s Kirk is a early 20th-century church built on the banks of Loch Awe in Argyll and Bute.
From the roadside the Kirk is relatively simple in design, but the south side, which overlooks the loch, is extremely elaborate.
St. Conan is the patron saint of Lorne and is reputed to have lived in Glenorchy.
The Kirk has the most beautiful hand painted-glass window with figures of angels and cherubs.
From St Conan’s Kirk we made our way around Loch Awe to the opposite bank where Kilchurn Castle stands. The castle was constructed in the mid-15th century as the home of the Cambell’s of Glenorchy. When the Campbell’s became the Earls of Breadalbane they moved to Taymouth Castle. Kilchurn Castle then fell in to ruins by 1770. the castle ruins are quite spectacular against the mountains behind.
We then continued on our journey back to Edinburgh via the stunning Inveraray Castle. The castle is the home of the 13th Duke and Dutchess of Argyll and has featured in a Christmas episode of Downton Abbey. The Grantham family visited their cousins, the Marquess and Marchioness of Flintshire in their mythical Scottish home, ‘Duneagle Castle’.
We stopped for the last time at the area known as the Rest and be Thankful which is a mountain pass on the towards Loch Lommand. Sad;y, the weather had come down and the mist and grey clouds descended.
On the way back we stopped at Luss on the banks of Loch Lommand for half an hour. Just standing looking out on to Loch Lommand was so relaxing. It seemed very strange to be stood on a beach which was inland and not on the coast!
On the way back to Edinburgh we drove through Stirling with it’s impressive castle built on top of a volcanic rock overlooking the battlefields of Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn where William Wallace and Robert the Bruce won great victories in the Wars of Independence against England.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting out of Edinburgh for the day but it was a very long and very packed day. I’d love to go back and explore the area again but this time in a more relaxed way. I don’t think the tour would be suitable for young children as you do spend quite sometime on the coach. Sadly the day consisted a permanent drizzle but I’ve been assured it doesn’t always rain in Scotland! The cost of the tour was £45.