Highlands Trip Part I

I recently embarked on a 10 day holiday in Scotland with my parents. The main focus of the trip was the Scottish Highlands. We drove from London staying overnight at a few places on the way before reaching the Highlands.

Our first night was in the small town of Richmond in North Yorkshire, about two-thirds of the driving distance to Edinburgh. It has a small population of about 10 000 people. I thought it was an ideal stopover point; it was large enough to have a good selection of places to eat and things to do, whilst still small enough not to be a hassle at the end of a days driving. It also turned out to be an interesting place in it’s own right. This is the Foss Waterfall which is reached by an easy stroll from the town.

The Foss Waterfall at Richmond

The next day it was on to Edinburgh, but not before a few sight-seeing diversions. The first was the High Force Waterfall – a waterfall of 20 metres making it one of the biggest in England.

High Force Waterfall

We continued north with a brief stopover at a section of the Hadrian’s Wall which once marked the northern border of the Roman Empire in England.

Hadrian\'s Wall near Walltown

We drove north again to cross into Scotland and make our way to a beach near North Berwick called Seacliff.

Rocks at Seacliff Beach

If you walk beyond the sandy beach onto some rocks you will discover a tiny harbour for fishing vessels. It is one of the smallest harbours in Scotland and it adds to the character of the beach.

Fishing Harbour

From the beach you get great views of the nearby Tantallon Castle.

Tantallon Castle

It’s a beautiful sandy beach and is certainly not crowded with tourists. There are no shops and it’s not on the main road. Access is via a private road running through a farm so unless you knew of the beach beforehand you’d certainly miss it.

Mum and Dad at Seacliff Beach

In the evening we reached Edinburgh where we were to stop for two nights. Of course Edinburgh is a place where you could stay for many days and visit the many sites and attractions. However on this holiday we treated Edinburgh as more of a stopover on the way further north. It was a short break from the driving and also gave an opportunity to experience a small part of what the city has to offer. This is part of the Royal Mile.

Royal Mile Edinburgh

On day 4 we departed Edinburgh destined for the Highlands. We first visited the Rogie Falls which is an attractive waterfall. At various times in the year you can spot salmon leaping up the waterfall.

Rogie Falls

Then as we neared our destination town of Ullapool, we visited the spectacular Corrieshalloch Gorge. A suspension bridge runs across the 200 ft deep gorge. From here you get views to a 150 ft waterfall.

Corrieshalloch Gorge

On reaching Ullapool in the evening I realised what a great base it was for exploring the Highlands. It’s a small fishing town of about 1300 people. The facilities were good; it has a supermarket, petrol station, plenty of restaurants and pubs, a leisure centre, laundromat and a museum if it’s a rainy day. It seemed almost every house in the town was offering Bed and Breakfast accommodation. If you are there on a Thursday evening you might catch some Scottish traditional style dancing.

Performance in Ullapool

The town is understandably popular with tourists – only a few miles north is one of the most scenic roads that I’ve driven. More on this will be next time I make a post – Highland Trip Part II.

1 Comment »

  1. Alison Lacken said,

    July 27, 2008 @ 7:09 am

    You are lucky to have been able to see such beautiful places. You all look well which makes me happy.

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