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Location: Gretna

Day 1 - 18 Oct 2020

England / Scotland Border

Gretna, England / Scotland Border

Content: I left home from Staffordshire, England early in morning and crossed the Scottish border just after 10am. The drive to Scotland is really easy, just straight up the M6, that then becomes the M74 over the border. I made one stop on the way up to the border. It’s important to break up long journeys when you’re driving so you don’t become overtired and lose concentration.

Location: Annandale Water

Day 1 - 18 Oct 2020

Annandale Water

Annandale Water, Annandale Water
Annandale Water, Annandale Water

Content: Annandale Water services are a great place to stop on your way up to the highlands. It’s off junction 16 of the A74(M). There’s a lovely lake here you can sit by and walk around to give your a break, fresh air and chance to stretch your legs after a long drive, to prepare you for the next stretch.

Location: Loch Lomond

Day 1 - 18 Oct 2020

The Ardlui Hotel

Loch Lomond, The Ardlui Hotel
Loch Lomond, The Ardlui Hotel
Loch Lomond, The Ardlui Hotel

Content: I arrived at my accommodation mid afternoon. I was staying in Ardlui, a small hamlet next to Loch Lomond in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National park. I stayed in one of the walkers bothys which cost £30 a night.

Loch Lomond North End

Loch Lomond, Loch Lomond North End

Content: I drove further back down the road from Ardlui and packed my car next to the Loch in one of the lay-bys. It was free to park here. There was great views of the Loch all along the road.

Ben Vorlich Summit (943m)

Loch Lomond, Ben Vorlich Summit (943m)
Loch Lomond, Ben Vorlich Summit (943m)

Content: Then I joined one of the trails and went for a walk up a hill. It was very desolate and the cloud was very low so there were limited views.

Location: Argyll and Bute

Day 1 - 18 Oct 2020

Falls Of Falloch

Argyll and Bute, Falls Of Falloch
Argyll and Bute, Falls Of Falloch

Content: 15 minutes from where I was staying was that Falls of Falloch. These are found at the river Falloch and are also on the West Highland Way. The small car park is around 250m from the waterfall. They’re a spectacular sight and worth checking out on your way through Loch Lomond National Park.

Location: Inverarnan By Ardlui

Day 1 - 18 Oct 2020

The Drovers Inn

Inverarnan By Ardlui, The Drovers Inn

Content: The Drovers Inn is a great spot for photography if nothing else. You can stay here or enjoy a meal.

Location: Argyll and Bute

Day 2 - 19 Oct 2020

Falls Of Falloch

Argyll and Bute, Falls Of Falloch

Content: I went back to the Falls the following morning as it was on my route north and the waterfall has got bigger overnight because of all the rain!!

Location: Tyndrum

Day 2 - 19 Oct 2020

The Real Food Cafe

Tyndrum, The Real Food Cafe
Tyndrum, The Real Food Cafe

Content: I made a breakfast stop at the Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum. There’s a log burner here which makes it super cosy. I had the veggie Scottish breakfast which had a tattie scone & veggie haggis with it. Over the road is the Green Welly Stop where you can top up on fuel. It’s the only petrol station for a fair few miles!

Location: Bridge of Orchy

Day 2 - 19 Oct 2020

Rannoch Moor Viewpoint

Bridge of Orchy, Rannoch Moor Viewpoint

Content: You continue to follow the A82 through Dalmally, past Loch Tulla and then along the western edge of Rannoch Moor. This is such a desolate area and the rainy weather made it all the more atmospheric.

Location: Glen Etive

Day 2 - 19 Oct 2020

Glen Etive

Glen Etive, Glen Etive

Content: Along the A82 is the turn off for Glen Etive. This 12 mile stretch takes you through the isolated Glen Etive forest, and through the eerie mountains until you end up at the disused Loch Etive bridge.

Skyfall James Bond Shot location

Glen Etive, Skyfall James Bond Shot location
Glen Etive, Skyfall James Bond Shot location

Content: Glen Etive was used as the backdrop for some scenes in the James Bond movie Skyfall.

Location: Glencoe

Day 2 - 19 Oct 2020

The Lost Valley

Glencoe, The Lost Valley
Glencoe, The Lost Valley

Content: As you continue through Glencoe there’s so many worthwhile stops and viewpoints on the way. It really is such a magical place.

Signal Rock

Glencoe, Signal Rock

Content: The walk and viewpoint at Signal rock are signposted off the A82 and are a great place to stop and enjoy some more of the scenery.

Glencoe Visitors Centre

Glencoe, Glencoe Visitors Centre

Content: I parked at the Glencoe visitor centre and then joined a trail here which took you on a walk up a hill, through mountains and across streams.

Location: Fort William

Day 2 - 19 Oct 2020

Fort William

Fort William, Fort William

Content: I stopped at an air B&B in Fort William which cost around £27 for the night. All I wanted was a heater after the cold, rainy day! It was a private room in someone’s flat.

Location: Glenfinnan

Day 3 - 20 Oct 2020

Glenfinnan Monument & Viaduct Viewpoint

Glenfinnan, Glenfinnan Monument & Viaduct Viewpoint
Glenfinnan, Glenfinnan Monument & Viaduct Viewpoint
Glenfinnan, Glenfinnan Monument & Viaduct Viewpoint
Glenfinnan, Glenfinnan Monument & Viaduct Viewpoint
Glenfinnan, Glenfinnan Monument & Viaduct Viewpoint

Content: Glenfinnan is around a 30 minute drive from Fort William. I drove here in the morning to see the Glenfinnan Viaduct and watch the steam train go across, at around 10:30am. It’s most famous for it’s appearance in the Harry Potter movies.

Loch Shiel

Glenfinnan, Loch Shiel

Content: The viaduct overlooks Loch Sheil. You can wander down here and have a walk around after you’ve checked out the viaduct and seen the train.

Location: Spean Bridge

Day 3 - 20 Oct 2020

Loch Lochy

Spean Bridge, Loch Lochy

Content: I then started my journey from Glenfinnan up to Skye. It passed some amazing scenery on the way including Loch Lochy and a beautiful viewpoint at Spean Bridge.

Location: Invergarry, by Spean Bridge

Day 3 - 20 Oct 2020

Loch Oich

Invergarry, by Spean Bridge, Loch Oich
Invergarry, by Spean Bridge, Loch Oich
Invergarry, by Spean Bridge, Loch Oich

Content: Just off the A87 is a car park for Loch Oich. It’s a really stunning little place to take a pit stop and have a little wander. Places like this are ideal to break up the long journeys, but be prepared to allow much longer for your journeys too. My drive from Glenfinnan to Kyle of Lochalsch was meant to take under 2 hours and ended up taking well over 3 as I was stopping so much!!

Glengarry Forest

Invergarry, by Spean Bridge, Glengarry Forest

Content: Further along the A87 at Invergarry is a turning for the Glengarry forest car park. It’s a lovely place to walk around and you can see the river flowing under the bridge which is very picturesque.

Location: Glengarry

Day 3 - 20 Oct 2020

Glengarry Viewpoint

Glengarry, Glengarry Viewpoint

Content: There’s always plenty of amazing viewpoints along the way!

Location: Invergarry

Day 3 - 20 Oct 2020

Stone Garden Viewpoint

Invergarry, Stone Garden Viewpoint
Invergarry, Stone Garden Viewpoint

Content: As you continue along the A87 and up a hill there’s an amazing viewpoint. there’s a lay-by here to stop in and admire the vjew.

Location: Kyle of Lochalsh

Day 3 - 20 Oct 2020

Eilean Donan Castle

Kyle of Lochalsh, Eilean Donan Castle
Kyle of Lochalsh, Eilean Donan Castle

Content: Final stop before heading over the Skye road bridge was Eilean Donan Castle at Kyle of Lochalsh. It’s the most photographed castle in Scotland and is situated on a tiny island where three sea lochs meet - Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh.

Location: Portree

Day 3 - 20 Oct 2020

The Lower Deck Seafood Restaurant

Portree, The Lower Deck Seafood Restaurant

Content: I drove across the Skye Bridge which is free. Then it was around an hour to drive to where I was staying in Portree. After I checked in I went down into the village and had some chips overlooking the harbour. Not sure whether it was just because I was starving, but they were the best chips I’ve ever eaten I reckon!

Location: Portree

Day 4 - 21 Oct 2020

Grenitote

Portree, Grenitote
Portree, Grenitote

Content: I stayed at Grenitote B&B in Portree for my first night on Skye. I had a great cooked breakfast in the morning! The woman who owned the place was lovely. It was the first time I’d stayed in a B&B and I really loved it. It set the standards a bit high actually haha!

Location: Skye

Day 4 - 21 Oct 2020

Old Man of Storr

Skye, Old Man of Storr

Content: The first place on anyone’s skye list is probably the Old Man of Storr. The day I went I didn’t get to experience it fully because the weather was so rainy and windy, I couldn’t see any of the views!! But it just means I have to go back next time!!

Location: Portree

Day 4 - 21 Oct 2020

Lealt Falls

Portree, Lealt Falls
Portree, Lealt Falls

Content: I really liked these waterfalls. Theres a great viewpoint of them from near the car park. There’s also a small footpath where you can walk further down into the gorge. It’s known for one of being the most beautiful waterfalls in the UK.

Kilt Rock & Mealt Falls Viewpoint

Portree, Kilt Rock & Mealt Falls Viewpoint

Content: As the wind was so strong, the waterfall was being blown back onto the car park!

Duntulm Castle

Portree, Duntulm Castle

Content: A ruin & a view

Location: Uig

Day 4 - 21 Oct 2020

Rha Waterfall

Uig, Rha Waterfall
Uig, Rha Waterfall

Content: This little hidden gem in the north of Skye is easy to get to and there’s only a couple of minutes walk there!

Fairy Glen

Uig, Fairy Glen
Uig, Fairy Glen
Uig, Fairy Glen

Content: This is full of grassy ‘cones’ and is a very unique terrain to explore. In between the cones there’s lots of little ponds, giving the area an ‘unworldly’ feel. I’d recommend going in the sun, it doesn’t have the same appeal in torrential rain!

Location: Portree

Day 4 - 21 Oct 2020

The Granary

Portree, The Granary

Content: Dried off and warmed up with hot chocolate and lunch at The Granary in Portree.

Stormy B&B

Portree, Stormy B&B

Content: Stayed the night at a different B&B in Portree called The Stormy. It was £35 for the night.

Location: Portree

Day 5 - 22 Oct 2020

Birch

Portree, Birch
Portree, Birch

Content: Started the morning with a really good coffee at Birch in Portree.

Starry Skye Jewellery and Gifts

Portree, Starry Skye Jewellery and Gifts

Content: Next door to Birch is this lovely shop selling handmade jewellery, gifts and souvenirs.

Location: Skye

Day 5 - 22 Oct 2020

Fairy Pools

Skye, Fairy Pools
Skye, Fairy Pools
Skye, Fairy Pools
Skye, Fairy Pools
Skye, Fairy Pools

Content: Drove further down the south of Skye to find the Fairy Pools at Glen Brittle. These are so stunning and absolutely amazing , well worth visiting! I then left Skye, driving back over the road bridge.

Location: Inverness

Day 5 - 22 Oct 2020

Loch Ness

Inverness, Loch Ness

Content: I headed from Skye up to Inverness, driving alongside Loch Ness.

Location: Drumnadrochit

Day 5 - 22 Oct 2020

Fiddlers Highland Restaurant

Drumnadrochit, Fiddlers Highland Restaurant
Drumnadrochit, Fiddlers Highland Restaurant

Content: I stopped at Drumnadrochit, a village on the west shore of Loch Ness for some dinner at Fiddlers. It’s around half an hour from here to Inverness.

Location: Inverness

Day 5 - 22 Oct 2020

BazPackers

Inverness, BazPackers

Content: I arrived at my hostel for the night, later on in the evening. It only cost £12 for the night here and it was a really nice hostel. There was free overnight parking just up the road.

Location: Highland Council

Day 6 - 23 Oct 2020

BazPackers

Highland Council, BazPackers

Content: I left the hostel early as I could only park for free until 8am!

River Ness

Highland Council, River Ness

Content: I went for a walk along the river first thing. Lots of autumnal leaves had started to fall and there was a nice view across to the city.

Location: Carrbridge

Day 6 - 23 Oct 2020

Old Packhorse Bridge

Carrbridge, Old Packhorse Bridge

Content: After leaving Inverness I headed down the A9 into the Cairngorms national park. My first stop was the village of Carrbridge. You can find the Old Packhorse Bridge here which is the oldest stone bridge in the highlands, dating back to 1717.

Location: Rothiemurchus Forest

Day 6 - 23 Oct 2020

Loch An Eilean

Rothiemurchus Forest, Loch An Eilean
Rothiemurchus Forest, Loch An Eilean

Content: 5km south of Aviemore you find Rothiemurchus & Loch An Eilean. There’s a car park here for the Loch which costs £1.50 per person per car. It’s an irregular shaped Loch which literally translates to ‘Loch of the island’. I walked all around it and this took around an hour and a half.

Location: Cairngorms

Day 6 - 23 Oct 2020

A939

Cairngorms, A939

Content: I followed the A939 Scenic Route through Tomintoul, with some amazing Cairngorms scenery. I also stopped off at the Old Spey Bridge in Grantown.

Location: Braemar

Day 6 - 23 Oct 2020

Braemar Castle

Braemar, Braemar Castle
Braemar, Braemar Castle
Braemar, Braemar Castle
Braemar, Braemar Castle

Content: Just before you actually get into the village of Braemar you can find the castle. It’s free to park at and walk around the grounds here. It’s in a very beautiful location!

Braemar

Braemar, Braemar
Braemar, Braemar

Content: Braemar is a really picturesque village that I’d recommend dropping into. It sits on the River Dee. You can find the ruins of Kindrochit Castle here.

Location: Ballater

Day 6 - 23 Oct 2020

Ballater Hostel

Ballater, Ballater Hostel

Content: My accommodation for the night was at Ballater Hostel. It cost £25 a night. It’s a family run, independent hostel. The hosts are so lovely, welcoming and helpful here and I couldn’t recommend it enough. Such a great hostel, in an amazing location & fab value for money!!

Ballater

Ballater, Ballater
Ballater, Ballater
Ballater, Ballater

Content: I had a walk into the village in the evening and then went and got myself a Chinese takeaway for dinner. I didn’t expect there to be so many options here but there was places to eat in at, lots of takeaways and a Co-op.

Location: Ballater

Day 7 - 24 Oct 2020

Ballater Royal Station

Ballater, Ballater Royal Station

Content: I spent the morning just wandering around Ballater. The restored old train station is a lovely building here.

Location: Balmoral

Day 7 - 24 Oct 2020

Balmoral Castle

Balmoral, Balmoral Castle

Content: I parked at the Balmoral Castle car park and went for a very autumnal walk around the area.

Location: Cairngorms

Day 7 - 24 Oct 2020

Cairngorms National Park

Cairngorms , Cairngorms National Park
Cairngorms , Cairngorms National Park

Content: I carried on my journey further south through the Cairngorms, out of the highlands.

Location: Grangemouth

Day 7 - 24 Oct 2020

The Kelpies

Grangemouth, The Kelpies
Grangemouth, The Kelpies

Content: I arrived in Falkirk, my stop for the night. I stayed at the Premier Inn here. I drove to the Kelpies, these giant mental horse sculptures which are a spectacular sight. I spent ages in the cold and dark waiting for them to light up - but they never did!!

Location: Falkirk

Day 8 - 25 Oct 2020

The Falkirk Wheel

Falkirk, The Falkirk Wheel
Falkirk, The Falkirk Wheel

Content: Started the day off with a trip to Falkirk’s second main tourist attraction - The Falkirk Wheel. It’s a rotating boat lift and connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal.

Location: Edinburgh

Day 8 - 25 Oct 2020

Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Edinburgh

Content: I made the half an hour journey from Falkirk into Edinburgh to spend the morning exploring. Edinburgh is such a beautiful city with so much to offer.

Royal Mile

Edinburgh, Royal Mile

Content: The main high street in Edinburgh is full of shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and is very scenic.

The Milkman

Edinburgh, The Milkman
Edinburgh, The Milkman

Content: I had coffee and pastries at my favourite coffee shop - The Milkman - found on Cockburn Street in Edinburgh old town. They have two shops on the same street!

Calton Hill

Edinburgh, Calton Hill
Edinburgh, Calton Hill

Content: Calton Hill offers you an amazing panoramic view of the city. You can find Nelson’s Column up here which you can climb. It’s also a great spot for sunset if you’re there in the evening!

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle

Content: At the bottom of castle hill there’s ALWAYS a man playing bagpipes so make sure you go and pay him a visit!! Then you can walk up castle hill for another great view of the city, and the castle sitting on the mound that dates back to the Bronze Age. It’s £18 for an adult ticket to go inside the castle.

Greyfriars Bobby's Statue

Edinburgh, Greyfriars Bobby's Statue

Content: Greyfriars Bobby is best known for being a very loyal Skye terrier who spent every night guarding his masters grave for 14 years until he died in 1872. You can find the statue just down the road from Greyfriars Kirkyard.

Arthur's Seat

Edinburgh, Arthur's Seat

Content: Arthur’s Seat offers another amazing panoramic view of Edinburgh and it’s the main park of the group of hills in Edinburgh. It stands at 251 above sea level and is an ancient volcano.

Location: Cumbria

Day 8 - 25 Oct 2020

Cumbria

Cumbria, Cumbria

Content: Carried on driving down south, back across the English border.

Location: Kendal

Day 8 - 25 Oct 2020

Kendal Hostel

Kendal, Kendal Hostel

Content: I spent the evening at lake Windermere before heading to my accommodation for the night in Kendal, to break up my journey back home.