Brown/Blue Spotty

7 May 2011

Scotland & The LM Car

Please be aware that this is a very long post and no stitching is involved!
Well the LM car has made us very proud!  We returned home late Monday evening after completing a touring weekend in the Highlands of Scotland with The TVR Car Club ~ 1119 miles in total over the 4 day long weekend and all of it fabulous.

We set off early Friday morning to arrive in time for the breakfast meet ~ our fellow travellers were from the Cumbrian and Dumfries & Galloway regions.  Most arrived for bacon sandwiches & coffee in Gretna Green ~ some were late! and others we met a little further up the road.  Once all were rounded up there were 10 cars in total ~ 8 TVR's and 2 Mercedes.  Our morning coffee stop at The Lochside House Hotel could not have been timed more perfectly!  We arrived to see the new Princess leave for the Abbey ~ seeing the all important wedding gown.  Coffee and danish pastries were consumed while watching the ceremony.
 Next we were off to catch the Gourock to Hunters Quay ferry ~ it was a little choppy!  That's the LM car right in the centre.  Lunch was at Creggans Inn sitting outside on the shores of Loch Fyne ~ and we had our first competition.  We were asked at the coffee stop to make ourselves a Lord/Lady name ~ using the following:
  • A Grandparent's name
  • Name of our first pet
  • Name of house/street we were born in
I became Lady Veda Ann Cherie Aberdeen and the LM was Lord Francis Suzy Felstrassa ~ the hotel staff were introduced to all of us and asked to judge the winner ~ it wasn't either of us!  Tom took that accolade but I'm afraid I can't recall his name.
Onwards to Inveraray, Lochgilphead and Oban where we had the briefest of stops.  Ballachullish was the final destination for the day and the bar was a welcome sight!

The view from our room and the cars lined up ready for the off on day 2 ~ we're one car short in this shot.  Can you see the snow on the hills in the background?  Breakfast was enjoyed, cars wiped down, roofs removed and we set off.  We paused to see the Commando Memorial at Lochaber and to take in the view of Ben Nevis and Aonach Mor.

Apart from being a wee bit breezy you can see that the weather was fabulous.  The cars were drawing some attention too!

Morning coffee stop was at Eilean Donan Castle ~ I've seen this castle many times in photographs and on TV ~ up close it is something else to behold.
Unfortunately there wasn't time to tour the castle ~ LM and I will return one day to do this.
It was decided during coffee that the next section of the journey would be a Ladies drive ~ well I forgot about this and wasn't set up ready to drive when it was time to set off ~ whoops!  Consequently we lost the group and missed a turn ~ we knew we were off route when the Skye road bridge came into view.  LM deployed the map and got us back on course ~ it was nerve racking for me as when we found the turn the road wound its way up the hill and became single track road with passing places!  OK for the seasoned driver of the LM car ~ this was only my 2nd drive.  We meandered through glens and over hills eventually arriving at the next stopping point at Corrieshalloch Gorge and the Falls of Measach.  We were only a few minutes behind the others by the time we arrived ~ it was well worth the walk down (and back up!) the path to view the falls ~ it made me feel a little giddy but was quite spectacular.
I drove from here to the petrol stop in Ullapool ~ and managed to remain with the group this time!  The weather was absolutely glorious while we walked around the town.  LM was back in charge for the final leg of the journey from here to Altnaharra ~ if you check out the link you can see just how far north we were.   The lounge and a drink lured many of the group but LM and I wanted a quiet sit with a coffee in our room before showering for dinner.
We heard a fair amount of noise while relaxing in our room but paid no attention ~ turned out that the water went off for a spell ~ some of the group were mid-shower/hair washing at this point!  We think that 17 people all trying to shower simultaneously killed the pressure in the system ~ these things happen!
Saturday's competition was for best black & white outfit at dinner ~ again the hotel staff were asked to judge.  Linda was chosen ~ I think because she had included a wee bit of tartan!
Sunday was a much slower paced day ~ we set off about 10:30 and headed to our first stop at Kylesku.  We were booked into the Kylesku Hotel for coffee/lunch ~ nobody took the lunch option ~still full from breakfast!  We journeyed on until Scourie where  breakaway group ~ commonly known as nutters! ~ left the main group to drive an additional 150 miles to John O'Groats.  We stuck with the sedate mob ~ continuing to Durness the most north westerly village on the mainland. 

I was the only one who wanted to paddle ~ the sea just looked so gorgeous ~ it was extremely cold though!
We had coffee and scones a little further along the coast followed by a stop at Smoo Caves where LM and I walked down and ventured into the viewing gallery ~ it was late in the day and the tours were no longer running ~ what we could see was fabulous. 
We drove back to the hotel via Loch Eriboll, Loch Hope, The Kyle of Tongue, Loch Loyal  and finally Loch Naver back into Altnaharra.  Showers were taken in shifts to avoid the difficulties of Saturday evening!  The "nutters" arrived back from their epic journey and we enjoyed another fabulous dinner.
Sadly, Monday came around too soon and it was time to set off for home ~ some 400+ miles away!  Another lovely breakfast set us up for the day ~ Tom & Debbie set off earlier as they needed to be in Perth.  The remaining cars set off at 9'ish ~ first stop Tain and the Mansfield Castle Hotel for coffee.  Trish & John left us here to visit family in Inverness.  We had to find yet more fuel and then continued down the A9 and all it's gorgeous scenery to our afternoon coffee stop at the House of Bruar ~ we also had a brief mooch around the shop too.  We took to the hills again heading through Pitlochry, Blaigowrie, New Scone and Perth ~ Colin & Iona peeled off here and we continued to Edinburgh for our final stop of the day ~ dinner.
We were solo for our final leg from Edinburgh to Newcastle ~ the other 6 cars heading across to Cumbria.
I will post more photographs of our trip later.
If you have stayed this long I think perhaps you deserve a medal!  Thanks for listening to me rambling on!
Can't wait to do it all again next year ~ different areas to be explored and hopefully I will be doing more of the driving too.
I promise a stitching post next time.



Michelle said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time amd so pleased the weather was nice for you. I love Scotland too. xx

Lesleyanne said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic weekend. The photos are great.

Mouse said...

ooooo thanks for the tour :) love your paddle I would have joined you honest can't wait to see some more photos :) love mouse xxxx

Colleen said...

Kate, LOVE your post. Pictures are beautiful & great narration of your trip. Thank you for sharing...awesome. Can I come next year?

Val said...

Lovely pictures and post Kate - I also love Scotland and the last time we were there we camped near Ballachullish ... visited some of the places you went to as well :)

Christine said...

Sounds like an amazing weekend

The Crafts House said...

Hi Kate what a lovely journey! i feel like i have been a way on the trip with you, great photos and good for you for plodging!

Dani - tkdchick said...

Kate I skimmed your entry but just LOVED the photos they spoke volumes of the awesome time you had!

Sally said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic time Kate :)

Maureen said...

Looks like a good time was had - you've definitely seen more of Scotland than i ever have lol!

Julie said...

What a brilliant trip, i've been on that ferry so many times, my grandparents used to live in Dunoon!