Highland Trip – Part II

Loch somewhere north of Ullapool

On the 5th day we travelled north of Ullapool taking the coastal route where possible.

These narrow single track roads pass through some of the more remote and beautiful regions. Passing cars coming in the other direction is only possible at the designated passing areas where the road is wider. However this wasn’t ever a problem. The roads were very well maintained and there are passing places at regular intervals. Besides, there weren’t many cars anyway as it isn’t part of the main tourist route.

Travelling on this winding coastal route was a highlight of the trip. The scenery was a combination of beaches, lochs and mountains.

Achnahaird Beach

A loch north of Ullapool

Below is Clachtoll Beach.

Clachtoll Beach

Clachtoll Beach

The following day we drove to Plockton following the Wester Ross Coastal Trail. We incorporated two short walks into the trip, the first starting from the Little Gruinard beach and ending at a waterfall.

The path wasn’t the most stable!

Stream near Little Gruinard

There isn’t anything remarkable about the scenery in the photo below, but I had to include it. Otherwise the pain of me twisting my ankle would be in vain! It was one of those 10-second timer self photo shots. In my dash to get in frame I tripped on a rock and twisted my ankle. At least I still made the shot with the sympathetic looks from my parents.

Waterfall near Little Gruinard Beach

The road leading to Torridon (the A896) passed through some dramatic mountainous landscapes and sticks out in my memory as the most stunning mountains I saw on the trip. Unfortunately it was overcast and raining and we didn’t get any good photos.

Our stop for the night was the village of Plockton. It has a population of only a few hundred people. I choose Plockton because one book described it as the prettiest village in the Highlands. It would be difficult to dispute this claim as the village does have a envious setting on the side of a loch with mountain views in the background. This picture was taken from the main road that runs through the village.

Overlooking Lock Carron in Plockton

On the following day we had a short trip to the Isle of Skye. I think these photo are of the Cullin mountains although I can’t be sure. They were taken on the road to Elgol.

Mountains on Isle of Skye

Mountains on the Isle of Skye

A word on the Scotland midges – the tiny swarming flies that are a nuisance in the Highlands. I’ve read that it costs Scotland 286 million pounds a year in lost tourism! It would seem we were lucky and barely saw any, and we were often walking in forests, lochs, and generally damp areas where you tend to find them. Still we came prepared and were armed with the famous secret weapon – the Avon Body Moisturising spray! Apparently this is also what the military use in the Highlands as it is supposedly more effective than the traditional insect repellents. Plus those boys in the military love their soft skin! I saw the spray being sold in service stations and corner stores.

We returned to London via a one night stay in the Lakes District, England The area was busier with cars and tourists than the parts of the Highlands we visited. I thought it to be a pleasant area and would be great for a relaxing getaway from London.

Valley in Lakes District

Ending the trip was a final stint of 5 hours into London. I was impressed with the Highlands and feel lucky to live in a part of the world where they are quite accessible.

1 Comment »

  1. Alison Lacken said,

    July 27, 2008 @ 7:12 am

    Wow, more lovely pictures. The water is a wonderful colour. You take great pictures Matthew.

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