After a wonderful breakfast in our castle (that will never get old), we headed to the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary in Oban. I had hoped to see some otters and seals in the wild, but a trip to the Sea Life Sanctuary guaranteed that we would see some and it was also interesting to learn about the amazing work they do. It also meant that we saw some adorable cubs in the seal hospital, and I’ve just seen on Twitter that one of those cubs has now been released back into the wild.
For our final night we would be back in Fort William, so we decided to drive back the scenic route taking in Kilchurn Castle, which took some finding! It was built in the mid-1400s but was abandoned in the 1700s.
The next part of our scenic tour back to Fort William took in the stunning Glen Coe, which I have to admit did overwhelm me in its beauty and scale.
Glen Coe certainly felt like the climax of our trip, and it felt quite humbling standing in the middle and taking it all in.
For our last evening, we had a lovely meal in the Garrison West, a friendly pub where the bar staff talked us through some whiskeys! It was a gorgeous sunset for our last night, but unfortunately, I had left my camera at the hotel so I took these on my phone.
On day 4 we left Inverness and headed to the highest mountain in the UK – Ben Nevis. It was yet another stunning drive. We had a bit of disappointment on the way as we looked at getting the Mountain Gondola and having lunch up a mountain however it was closed due to high winds.
We’re not hugely experienced walkers and after reading some blogs and also a rather threatening paragraph in a walking book we decided not to attempt Ben Nevis. I didn’t want to be a statistic!
So after a spot of lunch in Fort William, we drove through Glen Nevis and headed for another walk, Steall Falls and the Nevis Gorge. Although the sign at the start didn’t do much to help my confidence, especially as I had recently gone flying on the Old Man of Storr, “Fatal accidents DO occur by falling from this path”.
But we set off, and it was well worth it. Although crossing waterfalls on wet rocks with just a massive drop on one side did get my heart racing!
It was so cloudy and overcast we didn’t ever see the top of Ben Nevis, but we knew it was there – looming above us!
After getting back to the car we headed towards Oban, and to our big treat. We stayed in Premier Inns for the whole holiday, apart from one night where a castle waited for us. We stayed in Barcaldine Castle, also known as The Black Castle. A B&B with a difference! I couldn’t recommend staying here enough, the staff were amazing, the room was gorgeous, the views were perfection and breakfast was delicious.
Once we’d got over the excitement of staying in a castle, we headed to Oban for a seafood dinner. What a day!
On the morning of day 3, after a full Scottish breakfast, we visited Fort George. Fort George is one of the most impressive fortresses in Europe, it was built after the Battle of Culloden in 1746 and is still an active military base.
But I had another reason for visiting, my Grandad had been based there in the 1950’s when he was doing National Service in the Royal Army Medical Corps and I wanted to retrace his footsteps. He was very lucky to be sent to Fort George, in my opinion, as other places that the Royal Army Medical Corps were sent during this time included Korea.
It was quite surreal arriving at Fort George and walking around, imaging my Grandad there as a young man 60 years ago. I took some photos of him and his mates and tried to find where those photos may have been taken.
Day 3 (part 2) coming soon, where we visit the Cairngorms and spot a red squirrel!
Last week my boyfriend and I visited Scotland – it’s the second time we’ve been to Scotland together but last time we visited Edinburgh for a festive city break, so this time we decided we needed to explore the highlands! We spent 6 days driving around this stunning country (covering over 1000 miles!) – we based ourselves in Inverness for 3 nights, Oban for 1 night and Fort William for the final night in the shadow of Ben Nevis. As I took so many photos of the stunning landscapes, I’m going to share separate posts for each day of our trip. This photography blog may be morphing into a travel blog!
After arriving in Inverness we had some time to explore the local area, so we drove around Loch Ness. I had no idea quite how large it was, the Loch Ness Experience taught us that it is actually as deep as the height of the Shard in London in some places – plenty of spots for the monster to hide.
We drove along the A82 which runs along one side of the loch, and back round on the B roads which lead back to Inverness on the other side – but are a much more dramatic drive as you can see from the photos below!
Urquhart Castle is located on the side of the loch, and this was the view on a very murky afternoon when you could only just make out the other side of the loch.
Couldn’t resist a bit of fun with photoshop on this one, my own shot of Nessie…
These are some of the views we were treated to on the B road back to the city. It wasn’t great photography weather and I struggled to capture the atmosphere and to get the right lighting, something for me to work on!
I recently spent a few days in Rye for a friends wedding, we had a wonderful time and included some strolls around the village and a trip to Camber Sands to nurse our wedding induced hangovers. It’s a great beach and was a perfect summers day until the rain and hail moved in – made for some good photo opportunities though!
Bologna is a beautiful city, and after the tourist-heavy Florence, it was a breath of fresh air! We had a wonderful two days exploring this stunning city with its medieval architecture and it’s very own leaning tower. It is even home to the oldest university in the Western world, founded in 1088.
We happened to be in town during some kind of festival, so one night wandering back to our Airbnb we discovered a panel discussion with an Italian band (lots of excited students in the front row) and then a giant screen showing a black and white movie in the main square. What a treat! My favourite discovery was a photography exhibition which told the story of the city from the late 1800s to present day through photos of the city. Here are a few of my snaps from our adventure – not many as admittedly we spent most of our time eating pasta and ham …