Map of the road trip through Scottish Highlands
Day 1: Glasgow to Fort Williams
I picked up the car rental from Glasgow and guess what. I got lost trying to get out of Glasgow and no, I don’t have navigator in the car. There wasn’t an option to request one when I hired the small car. I will keep that in mind for next time.
My first stop is Balloch, in Loch Lomond on a friend’s request to take a picture of PS Maid of the Loch, the paddle steamer. That is how kind I am. 🙂 Also a breather opportunity to finish my takeaway long black coffee and enjoy the view of Loch Lomond.
The drive along the Loch Lomond makes me feel so relaxed and daze that I constantly keep forgetting that I am driving. That’s how dangerous driving along the Loch Lomond can be. 🙂
My next stop was at Inveruglas to visit “An Ceann Mòr” and to take in the view of the Loch Lomond. Also another coffee break. The water does calm me and allows me to relax.
The next stop is the Falls of Falloch. I love waterfall so I made the effort to find one or few along the route.
After this stop, I was well on my way to Fort William. Of course, I tried to stop in Glencoe however it was full of cars and tourist, so I couldn’t find a car park, so I kept driving. Made few stop along the way to enjoy Loch Linnhe.
Eventually, I made it to Fort William and stayed at Glen Nevis Hostel (Scotland Youth Hostel). I had made plan to hike the Ben Nevis the following day however due to having an incident with the flight case falling on my left shin and knee during the pull-down of the venue post-Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I scratched the idea of hiking the Ben Nevis. Next time!
I fell in love with Loch Lomond and I hope to have my farewell there … that if I get around to organising it or someone else. 🙂
Photo Gallery: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm4qEx2A
Day 2: Fort Williams to Uig
I made my way to Isle of Skye to have this ticked off my place to visit and see what the fuss was.
I made few stop along the way including the Eilean Donan Castle.
I attempted to visit the Fairy Pools however upon arriving, there wasn’t any carpark and it was full of tourist (including the minibus) visiting the Fairy Pools so I gave up and continued onto Portree to commence the Trotternish Circuit. I could have visited the Talisker Whiskey which is near the Fairy Pools however I need my partner with me.
The Trotternish Circuit is beautiful. I missed stopping at the Old Man of the Storr because it is full of tourist and hikers. No car park available. Other places, I managed to visit including the Rock Kilt Watefall, Skye Museum of Island Life and Fairy Glen.
I recommend exploring the Isle of Skey in two days. Maybe three if you want to take your time.
I stayed at Cowshed in Uig. It is a boutique bunkhouse and private pods. http://www.skyecowshed.co.uk
I personally felt that Isle of Skye was very touristy! I enjoyed driving along the Trottenish Circuit however I felt frustrated at times, especially when it comes to dealing with car parks and people.
Photo gallery: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm53Fn1Z
Day 3: Uig to Inverness
I started my one hour drive to Kyle of Lochalsh to commence the Wester Ross Coast Trail to Applecross. I found the Highland cattle before departing the Isle of Skye as they were out for their feed.
I stopped in Lochcarron for coffee and thank goodness for the coffee because I wasn’t expecting the drive from Lochcarron to Applecross to be one lane with bypass and living on the edge type of driving. Basically the drive was going up into the mountain with no safe barriers and going down to the beach. I LOVED it!
As I arrived into Applecross, the original plan was to go back where I came from and head to Ullapool. Well… I changed my mind and continued to drive along the coast toward Shieldaig and I am very grateful for making this spontaneous decision.
This means I started the route of North Coast 500 and the landscape is constantly changing as I drive toward Ullapoool.
I picked up two hikers near Torridon to take them to their car. They were getting tired so I am lucky to meet two beautiful males and no we didn’t exchange numbers or anything like that. This reminds me of the old days when you meet beautiful souls without the needs of constant contact.
Again, I stumbled across the Highland Cattle blocking the road to have their feeds. The motorcycle riders were thankful that I planned to stop to take the photos. So we all took this precious moments to enjoy watching the Highland castles.
Onward to Ullapool … with the beautiful sceneries.
I found the Ardessie Falls and Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve along the route as I wasn’t planning on doing the route. I am glad I did and this made me want to finish the North Coast 500 route.
I came onto the intersection that leads to Ullapool and Inverness. It was almost 5pm so I made the decision to head to Inverness as I booked a bed at Inverness Scotland Youth Hostel – I actually wished that I booked a bed at Ullapool rather. As the coast drive was spontaneous, this was unseen. 🙂
I fell in love with the Scottish Higlands!!
Apparently it takes leisure 5 days to do North Coast 500. I am so going to finish this before I head home to Australia.
Photo gallery: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm43LgNa
Day 4: Inverness to Glasgow
It’s just a drive back to Glasgow, as I have to return the car and head home to Lancaster. I had couple of hours to chill so I caught up with a friend before life gets busy.
I definitely want to finish the North Coast 500 and visit the east part of Scotland.