Another great driving day, up the northwest, what are you waiting for.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by st4, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. st4

    st4 Banned

    Messages:
    14,374
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Location:
    In the driving seat
    Car:
    C220cdi tourer
    Yesteday I decided to take “the shed” for a run. It has not broken down or presented me with a bill or MOT failure for 2 weeks so I decided what it needed, since the weather was so good on Friday, was a run up the North West.

    I had in mind the Mull of Kintyre, but this is Scotland and as such, sunshine is a commodity and you need to follow the weather so I didn’t go down the Mull of Kintyre but instead headed up North.

    I hit the A82 and decided by Tarbert where the road splits that the Sunshine was not to be had in the Southwest, but rather the North.

    Driving up Loch Lomond was slow work. A bus and an HGV meeting at the narrow section before the traffic lights on the way to Ardlui kinda brings all to a standstill.

    At Crianlarch, the weather is rather agreeable. Rather than do what I always do, I head to Tyndrum and take the A85 down to Dalmally and Loch Awe. This particular stetch demonstrates the E320cdi sport in the best light, nice grunty engine, firm suspension and sports seats hold you in place, as you travel and well, ahem, speeds that are best not told. Here was the view.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The shed looking rather purposeful outside the Loch Awe Hotel

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Hotel itself used to be a railway hotel, and indeed there is a station there, and its on the Oban line. Only 4 trains a day, so if you miss it, it’s a long wait. The train line itself offers very scenic views and is a good way to get to Oban from Glasgow, but I would rather drive.

    A certain person may recognize here

    [​IMG]

    A further clue
    [​IMG]

    For those coming on the highland road trip you will get to see this too. If not, too bad, my pictures will have to do.

    I am at Connell. There is an airport here and I believe the water plane from Glasgow lands near here too.

    Naturally I was getting hungry by this point, and I was told there was a good place to eat in “Port Appin”. What a shame I had a tenner in my wallet and a growling belly. Some Atlantic prawns seemed a nice lunch. What about the views.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can see they are absolutely rubbish. Quite why you would drive here when you can go to KFC in Glasgow beats me….NOT!!!!

    The weather has picked up somewhat, and this is a theme for the rest of the day.
     
    6 people like this.
  2. OP
    OP
    st4

    st4 Banned

    Messages:
    14,374
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Location:
    In the driving seat
    Car:
    C220cdi tourer
    I continued up the Appin coast if you like, to Ballahulish. Now, I’ve shown you all pictures of this before, and I have rabbited on about how good the “Kinlochleven road” is, don’t believe me….

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The view ain’t half bad

    [​IMG]

    The car seems to like it too.

    [​IMG]

    This is a real “drivers” road, with lots of twists and turns, I tend to set the speedtronic on it (not saying what speed) as there is a danger if you are pressing on, that you arrive at a bend too fast (easy with 369ft/b torque) and you overcook it. It’s a 3rd/4th gear road and is simply, if you like driving, you will like this. It also highlights to me, one of the weaknesses of 7g. 3rd-4th is a change at 69mph. On a tight road, this is a problem, I would ideally like 50-80mph spanned in one gear (3rd). It upsets the flow somewhat, its better to go a bit slower and stay in 3rd all the way, although having a sport spec car means manual overrides on the wheel, and these are needed.

    After my outburst of speed here, I toned it down and headed to the “Road to the Isles”. However, I turned off at Loch Ailfort and headed for Strontian. This is where the metal, Strontian was discovered, but you would never know unless I told you. The town (well villiage really) makes no bones about it, but does have an ATM, which is handy, if you are in the middle of nowhere. What I particularly love about this road, is it makes you feel like you are out there, on the road alone. Nothing else matters but you, the views and the car. Its brilliant, it clears your head.

    This view is looking down to Corpach

    [​IMG]

    This is looking towards Glen Finnan

    [​IMG]

    A lot on here have been up the Ft William side of Loch Linne, who has been on the other side. I have, here is the view

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I like single track roads, but when Motorbikes come and the bikers swear at you, despite pulling over as much as you can without going into a ditch, because they have to squeeze past, it can become wearing. However, they offer a completely unique driving experience and you need to keep your obersvation tip top as something could be coming the other. Speedtronic is a good device to help you with this.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    However, the road opens out into double track, and to one of the best sets of driving road I have ever sampled, to the fellas that are coming on the highland GTG, if time, there might be time for this. As well as the views and the fresh sea food. I only got one pic, sorry, was too busy enjoying this road

    [​IMG]

    And now to Strontian and beyond.

    Here is a rather nice view, don’t know what of, but what the hell

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now remember how I mentioned the weather, it was getting better. Here is a view of the Isles of Rum and Eigg.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Well, what can I say, its wonderful. Now this is where the detour via Strontian now hooks back up with the main road to Mallaig, which has been majorly upgraded with EU funds.

    The views, well, take ‘em in, they do not get much better
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The site here is particularly interesting, as it was one of the last fights of the Jacobite resistance against Bonnie prince Charlie. In actual fact the whole area from Glencoe to here is stooped in lots of Scottish history.

    The run to Mallaig is always pleasant, and the long straights you can really put the car through its paces, and I mean, really through them, lots of visibility, sweeping bends, 3000cc of V6 make for fun fast driving.

    Just to get the point home, this is the road to the Isles and it was not raining.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Quick fish supper in Mallaig, then the normal way back. What a shame that includes Glen coe

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    12 people like this.
  3. OP
    OP
    st4

    st4 Banned

    Messages:
    14,374
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Location:
    In the driving seat
    Car:
    C220cdi tourer
    Another stop off at the turn for Glen Ative

    The shed looking to pounce

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After crossing the Rannoch Moor I had to stop for this. The clouds were sitting on the mountain like “caps”. Never seen that on that run, and it is quite familiar to me now

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Todays numbers

    [​IMG]

    FAO Gizze, just on combined, not bad given the car was driven frequently a) very hard b) on undulating terrain, there were times I was taking it easier but it was also taken to very very high speed (which knocked off 1.5mpg from the trip I would say) and also it given a very hard run round Kinlochleven road.

    I would for a almost 9 hour run the car was excellent, adding up to my belief that the 211 is a great car for touring driving, and posseses enough back road ability to keep one entertained. Since changing to conti sport 3 tyres, front end grip is better as well as feedback as to when its likely to run out of grip. Questions that, in everyday situations, you will never ask of this car.

    So bar the countryside, the real “star” of the show, is well, “the shed”.
     
    7 people like this.
  4. Benzmanc

    Benzmanc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    841
    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
    Location:
    Tameside
    Car:
    SL 350 AMG Sport + BMW K1200GT + Honda Blackbird 1100
    I love Scotland. Get up there in my truck quite a bit, not the same I know but far better than the M25

    Daz
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. artyman

    artyman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,881
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Car:
    C 200 CDI Sport
    Brings back memories of holidays I spent in Scotland, I really must try and get up there again. The road to Loch Etive is a nice cul de sac to explore.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. LTD

    LTD MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    5,329
    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Car:
    Yep, one of THOSE !!!
    Fabulous Steve !!!

    I was sat in the office on Friday and something told me that you'd be off into the Glens.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. OP
    OP
    st4

    st4 Banned

    Messages:
    14,374
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Location:
    In the driving seat
    Car:
    C220cdi tourer
    I once had a wee chat with a van driver. Co-incidentally from where trapperjohn stays and he does several deliveries per week in a huge van. Who is more blessed, the man who is paid to drive in a van and take in all these views and great roads (I bet you can enjoy them from a van) or the man with a 911 GT3 that never gets to leave London due to the stresses and strains of the job....

    Its the former and not the later. A nail of a car would be fun up there.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. OP
    OP
    st4

    st4 Banned

    Messages:
    14,374
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Location:
    In the driving seat
    Car:
    C220cdi tourer
    Aye, the fecking sunshine!!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Benzmanc

    Benzmanc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    841
    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
    Location:
    Tameside
    Car:
    SL 350 AMG Sport + BMW K1200GT + Honda Blackbird 1100
    I agree but I get to places you can't :p last year a hydro plant on top of a mountain above loch ness shut down as part of the mountain collapsed destroying the pipes going through the mountain. I had to deliver some small portakabins so the workers had somewhere to sleep whilst repairs were underway. They made a road up the mountain so extra large trucks could get up there. Took me over an hour to get up there, the weather at the bottom was fine but at the top was so windy you could barely stand, the portakabins had to be bolted down to stop them moving in the wind :eek:

    I've got some pics somewhere

    Daz
     
    2 people like this.
  10. OP
    OP
    st4

    st4 Banned

    Messages:
    14,374
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Location:
    In the driving seat
    Car:
    C220cdi tourer
    Daz,

    My job sounds a lot less interesting than yours. I effing hate mine. Way OT but I sometimes think I would be happier in a job that involved driving. I simply love it. Its why I spend 2x as much as anyone else commuting, because I drive, but I would not have it any other way.

    These places, they are all accessible to anyone here on the forum. An overnight in Glasgow and another someplace up north, rather like the weekend Kieth, Sean and I concoctted involving a nice tour of Scotland and anyone can do this, Its more in my door step, but I cannot fathom that those who have nice cars would not come up here and enjoy them for a weekend.

    Plus the food up here, wonderful, fresh fish. Cannae beat it
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. peterg1965

    peterg1965 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,132
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Car:
    BMW F15 X5 40d, BMW 335d M Sport
    Wow, great pics. I have a Highland drive next weekend, Kyle of Lochalsh down to Glasgow. I hope the weather is as good as that!
     
  12. OP
    OP
    st4

    st4 Banned

    Messages:
    14,374
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Location:
    In the driving seat
    Car:
    C220cdi tourer
    Thanks, the A87 is a fabulous driving road, utterly devine. You will get views of Glen Garry and the whole run is perfect.

    I've lined that one up for day 1 for corned and c240sport97 although, if we make good time, I am going to throw the Strontian one into the mix if the weather is good, as they'll get to see Rum and Eigg and sample driving Nirvana just south of Strontian as the road opens up. Plus I want to see that CLS55amg move!!!
     
  13. moonloops

    moonloops Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,976
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Location:
    :Location : Location
    Car:
    W204 C350 CDI AMG Sport
    I can just imagine how good those roads will be at 10mpg rather than 37mpg :D
     
  14. OP
    OP
    st4

    st4 Banned

    Messages:
    14,374
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Location:
    In the driving seat
    Car:
    C220cdi tourer
    Yep, the Kinloch leven road will knock a big engined car right down, but its so much fun. A lot of the time on the single track roads you cannot go very fast, so you "bank mpg" there and then spank it where you can. Normally on a drive I see well above 37mpg, well well above that I can get into the mid 40s so its quite poor. You'd average about 16-18 in your car so not that bad for 5000cc of joy
     
  15. moonloops

    moonloops Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,976
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Location:
    :Location : Location
    Car:
    W204 C350 CDI AMG Sport

    I didn't record the MPG but I did Stirling to Fort William and beyond at warp speed in my old BMW 330 Coupe and that was fantastic. I swear I was at warp 9 for about 1 hour without seeing another car !
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. OP
    OP
    st4

    st4 Banned

    Messages:
    14,374
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Location:
    In the driving seat
    Car:
    C220cdi tourer
    Thats a nice run, down by Loch Lubniag, up Glen Ogle, really enjoy that drive...

    It is quiet up here, best bet is to drive during the week, its deserted. I have a few bits and bobs going on and its so good to get out there, take in the fresh air and get away from it all.
     
  17. C240Sport97

    C240Sport97 MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    8,490
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Location:
    London E1
    Car:
    SL400 and 911 GT3
    I can't wait :)
     
  18. crockers

    crockers MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    7,099
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Location:
    North Wilts
    Car:
    XC60 MY2014 SeLux Nav plus lot and lots of toys...
    Great photos and write up. We usually go to Tongue most years. Haven't been for two but your photos make me want to go back again. So next year we will. Usually find late May is ideal but obviously were lucky not to have gone this year looking at the weather.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. OP
    OP
    st4

    st4 Banned

    Messages:
    14,374
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Location:
    In the driving seat
    Car:
    C220cdi tourer
    You will love it, the road heads inland, and just climbs up, nice turns, wide and well sighted, its only about 5 miles of excellent road, but the single track stuff has lovely views. I reckon its 2 or so hours onto day 1, but if we make good time, why not...

    here is the added part of the route, its gotta be a good day for this add on

    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=d&s...56.78358,-5.464325&spn=0.377652,1.234589&z=10

    I've got lunch lined up. It will be at Port Appin. Good restaurant, views and prices are not bad IMHO for what you get

    The run up there is something else, especially from Wiltshire...no wonder you have a remap!!!

    Late may is a good time, although late March and April have been good months the last 2 years so it may well be worth bringing your trip a bit forward.

    Or join your forum buddies (corned, c240sport97 and me) and a very nice wee driving weekend.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  20. C240Sport97

    C240Sport97 MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    8,490
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Location:
    London E1
    Car:
    SL400 and 911 GT3
    we'll just have to start earlier :)
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.