Monday, July 8, 2019

Traipsing Through the Trossachs.

The A82 passing through Glencoe.
(Photo by Stuart MacInnes. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

We will be picking up our rental car at the airport and Glasgow and for the next 2.5 weeks will be driving around Scotland, including a route that will take us to the highlands and via a loop through the Outer and Inner Hebrides will bring us back to the highlands and then Glasgow.

My original itinerary had us going from Glasgow to Perth and then up towards Cairngorms National Park and then west to Ullapool where we would catch the ferry to Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides.  That was the plan....until I saw the above image of the A82 motorway passing through some pretty spectacular scenery in the Scottish highlands.  After doing a bit more research, I decided it would be worth a detour to do a circuit around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.  After a bit more research, I decided it would be worth doing the circuit so I rerouted our drive.  I realized then that our route around the Trossachs would not take us to Glencoe but I so badly want to see this valley that we will be making a bit of a diversion to do so.

So here's our revised Trossachs + Glencoe itinerary.

Luss
(Photo by SeaDave. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

From Glasgow, we will drive to the quaint village of Luss which is situated on the western bank of Lake Lomond.  We'll be spending the night here at a small B&B that I found on Airbnb.  There's a small Visitors Center in the village where we can go to get information but other than taking a relaxing stroll through the village, we also have an option of taking a 90 minute boat cruise around the lake which I would really like to do so we can see what the landscape looks like from the vantage point of being on the water.  I'm sure there are several boat companies that will take you around but for convenience, I already found one online, called Capercallie,  that offers rides for a reasonable price.  The boats only run 4 times ago so we'll have to be mindful of the departure times if we want to do this.  If we find that we have more time on our hands, we can also take a short drive (15 minutes?) to the nearby village of Tabert.

The next day will be a long day of driving which I hope will be really scenic and we'll stop in a few small towns along the way.   By late afternoon, I hope to arrive into the city of Perth where we will spend the night.

From Luss, our first destination will be Glencoe which will take us on the A82 through the spectacular Glencoe Valley.  It'll be about an 1.5 hour drive to go from Luss to Glencoe so not a long drive.  Glencoe Village itself is really teeny, weeny and I don't think we'll spend any time there beyond maybe getting out and stretching our legs.  I did see some images of thatched roof cottages there so that might be an attraction as I'm a sucker for anything thatched roofed.

Watch this YouTube video for more glimpses into this gorgeous part of Scotland.


We do have the option of stopping in Crainlarich if we want to though from the images I find on Google, there's not a whole of anything interesting there.

Falls of Dochart
(Photo b G Laird. Licensed under CC BY 2.0)
From Glencoe, we make our way to Killin which is also on the A82 but headed east so we'll have to do a bit of backtracking from Glencoe.  It'll be about an hour's drive to reach Killin.  Along the way, we'll make a quick stop at the Falls of Dochart for a quick look see and photo op.  Considering that Pat has been to Victoria Falls, these will not be much of anything for her but I hope it will be more pretty Scottish countryside that we pass through on the way to Killin.

Killin itself is another small Scottish village located in the middle of nowhere. We may stay for a bit or else just do a quick drive through.  We'll see how we feel.

Next stop on our drive through the Trossachs will be Crieff.  It will be about a 45 minute drive from Killin to Crieff.  My plan is for us to have lunch here as there are a decent number of restaurants we could go to albeit, it could be a late lunch depending on how much time we've already been on the road! 😀

Crieff
(Photo by jim and liz denhamLicensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)
As described in Wikipedia, Crieff is a Scottish market town that...
"... has become a hub for tourism, famous for its whisky and history of cattle droving. Attractions include the Caithness Glass Visitor Centre and Glenturret Distillery. The nearby Innerpeffray Library (founded about 1680), is Scotland's oldest lending library. St Mary's Chapel, adjacent to the library, dates from 1508. Both are open to the public: the library is run by a charitable trust, while the chapel is in the care of Historic Scotland".
My hope is that we'll have time to check out a few of the sites before leaving the town.

From Crieff, we head to our final destination of the day - the small city of Perth, which is situated on the banks of the River Tay.  After checking into our B&B, we'll explore the city.  Surprisingly, there are quite a few things to see here including two castles and a burial ground.  What's another two more castles and a burial ground when you've already seen so many on your travels around the world?  If we have time, we'll do the historic stuff.  I want to start with the River Tay Public Art Trail.  The circular trail displays 25 sculptures which draw their inspiration from the river and its wildlife, the city, its history, its poets and its life.  Given the location of the trail, if we go on it, it'll take us on a nice walk through the small city.  Conveniently, there is an interactive map of the trail that we'll use to guide us around.



Here are my maps for our trip through and Trossachs and short time in Perth.




I'm looking forward to driving in highlands.  I just hope we can go to all the places I have listed on the map....especially the A82 drive to Glencoe!