Belated notes of my Scottish Tour

Charles Morgan

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Many thanks for all those who helped me plan a trip to Scotland in May. Despite the odd thing not going exactly to plan, such as hotels full on days I hoped to stay, forcing changes to my itinerary, and a very hungover friend putting me almost two hours behind travelling up from Glasgow to the Summer Isles, it was a fantastic trip.

Things I loved about Scotland.

The Summer Isles Hotel in Achiltibuie



Good, if slightly dated food, excellent wine list, great staff and exquisitely peaceful with views to die for.




Stac Pollaidh from the single track road to Achiltibuie



The car in front of Cul Beag on the road to Achiltibuie



The Kylesku bridge - small, but perfectly formed



The memorial to the midget submarine flotilla at Kylesku, who trained nearby. To the memory of a family friend and my sister's Godfather, Commander Percy Westmacott RN, DSO, who commanded an X boat (on display at HMS Dolphin in Gosport) and his son Captain Herbert Westmacott SAS, killed by the IRA while serving his country in Ulster. RIP.
 
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Charles Morgan

Charles Morgan

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Sail Garbh from the Kylesku road



Suilven from the A837 to Lochinver



The scenery near Achiltibuie



The weather - close to 20c all week



Stac Pollaidh in the sun



The mountains, the oldest on the planet



The road from Gairloch
 
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Charles Morgan

Charles Morgan

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Glen Torridan



The Coul House Hotel in Contin - superb Regency house, friendly staff, food a bit so so.



Culloden field - moving and an excellent visitor centre, dispensing real history rather than Victorian anachronisms



The Macallan distillery. Excellent tour!



The nosing samples. The 15 and 25 year old fine oak stunningly pure, scented and light malt whiskies. Raw spirit not so bad.



Fort George near Inverness - a perfect, Georgian artillery fortress.



The regimental museum of the Cameron and Seaforth Highlanders within Fort George. An astonishing collection of the relics of brave men. More sporrans than I would ever wish to see again in one place....



With casualties like these, it is no wonder that Scotland lost the greatest number of men in WWI of any combatant nation other than the Serbs.



Crossing the Cairngorms to Ballater
 
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Charles Morgan

Charles Morgan

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The Dee at Ballater



The Dee at Balmoral



Unser Kleine Schloss...(filled with a German coach party, appropriately...)



The top of Glenshiel



The superstar
 
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Charles Morgan

Charles Morgan

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A wonderful week altogether. I couldn't have asked for better weather. The scenery in the Highlands was so intoxicating I was stopping almost at every corner. Very friendly and helpful people, the fish and chips in particular to die for.

My car did over 2000 miles in a week. Comfortable, effortless and sublimely relaxing drive, I finished my week driving back from Arbroath to London, a distance of 520 miles. I was fresher getting out than getting in. Fuel economy averaged close to 30 mpg, and on the drive from Braemar to Arbroath ( a leisurely pace, mainly downhill) I averaged 43 mpg, brim to brim.

And to finish, some more glories of the landscape







 
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Charles Morgan

Charles Morgan

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Cracking photos, Charles! Many thanks for posting.

I think "The Scenery" is a great name for your car. :)

Was that an Austin Healey outside the hotel?
It was indeed. No idea who it belonged to, and the cover stayed on the whole period I was there.

Perfect weather for it too!
 
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Charles Morgan

Charles Morgan

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Charles

Haste ye back !
O, very much for certain. As a result of plans being changed, I missed the chance to see Glencoe, Spean Bridge, Oban etc. Plus no exploration of the Great Glen. Then there are the Isles. And of course the Borders, my great-grandmother being an Armstrong. I found an Armstrong modern tartan scarf at Balmoral, so that will displace the Ferragamo clan one this winter...

The only big drawback is the drive from London to get there.

My soundtrack for the journey was serendipitous. Radio reception wasn't great, and most of the local stations in the far North West seemed to think country and western was the listening of choice. However, on a break from a day's serious wine tasting in Glasgow, I bumped into this lot, Clanadonia, who were performing with tremendous gusto in the street. The sound of the pipe and drums was astonishing, rather more tribal than massed, but excellent. Sample clip here - not the best sound, and probably not something to open at work! The combination of a rollicking sound admixed with some excellent laments, made this a winner for the tour.
 
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Was this drive done after the HG job? If so was it all ok?
 

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How did you find the midges? Papers saying its the worst for a long time and putting people off staying.

Glad you had the weather though and you left Scotland with a good impression.

m.
 

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If you're going back to Balmoral sometime, there i a lovely walk round Lochnagar.
 
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Charles Morgan

Charles Morgan

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Was this drive done after the HG job? If so was it all ok?
This was before Olly - that accounted for the filthiness of the car! I have only taken it out for one long run since, down to Glyndebourne, if anything the car feels even better. There are very few cars I have had that have given me such a sense of refinement.
 
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Charles Morgan

Charles Morgan

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How did you find the midges? Papers saying its the worst for a long time and putting people off staying.

Glad you had the weather though and you left Scotland with a good impression.

m.
Can't say I noticed them, I think while it was warm, the previous week had been bitter, so I think I was lucky.

My car however was inches deep in dead insect life.
 

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25 year old Macallan - now that brings back memories! A very fine drink indeed.:thumb:
 

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Sorry to hear the food at Achiltibue was so so....it used to be very good.
 

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