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" Scotland - 1 - Cumbria To Achiltibuie"
Date & start time: Thursday 11th - Friday 12th May 2017.
Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( 54.3 degrees North ).
Places visited : Meikleour Village then north on the A9 / A835 to Achiltibuie.
Walk details : Just short dog walks along the way.
Highest point : 58.3 degrees North . . . where the days are longer.
With : Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.
Weather : Overcast to start but improving on Friday.
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Off to Scotland for a week's self-catering at a rather nice location.
When living in the Lake District the one thing we miss are views of the open seas and rugged coastline.
Plenty of those to come on this holiday as we travel to Achiltibuie and the Summer Isles.
Let's hope the islands live up to their name and provide us with lots of sunny summer weather.
It's a nine hour drive to the top of Scotland, even from our location in the north west of Cumbria.
As a consequence we've booked an overnight stop north of Perth to split the journey into two easier travelling days.
This is The Meikleour Arms . . . on the evening of our first day.
They're doing some major upgrading of the main building . . . not that the work affected things in any way.
Our accommodation for tonight is in the annex across the car park.
No problem . . . it is as delightful as the bedroom in the main building where we stayed two years ago.
In fact it has the distinct advantage of having direct access to the garden for the dogs.
The hotel have made special effort to make the dogs feel at home !
- - - o o o - - -
The following morning we had plenty of time to walk the dogs before the second half of our journey.
The couple we talked at breakfast this morning (Jan and Graham) had stayed in the new hotel cottages
which back on to the old estate walled garden a short drive across the farm estate from the main hotel.
They mentioned the easy access and lovely forest tracks that started just next to their cottage.
Mixed woodland flora with sycamore on the woodland edge, rhododendron, narcissi and of course bluebells.
Deeper in the woodland the bluebells proliferate and in the more moist area the wild garlic thrive.
Further down into the wood we see flood debris five feet up the trees,
which reminds us that we are only a short distance from the River Tay.
Time to be heading back to the car and start our journey north.
We will cross the Tay Bridge at Dunkeld.
Classic Scottish architecture close to the car park . . . as we return to the car.
Dunkeld is the point when we joined the A9 and drove north towards Inverness.
This is the Dalwhinney Whisky Distillery as we crossed the Pass of Drumochter and headed on towards Aviemore.
A slight change of scenery and weather as we pass Inverness and Dingwall, now heading north west on the A835.
The old Black Water Bridge in the Strathgarve Forest region.
Time for a coffee and a short break . . we'll check out the falls at the same time.
Beautiful weather for sitting by the river and reading a book . . . if you have time.
He'll catch a good suntan in this weather !
The main road travels over a new bridge just down river from the old stone arches.
Loch Glascarnoch, a reservoir up river of the falls where the lack of water in the lake is very noticeable.
Back at sea level as we reach Loch Broom.
The gorse is in full bloom as we stop to catch a photo of distant Ullapool.
Just north of Ullapool is the headland of Ardmair, Isle Martin and the high mountains of Ben Mor Coigach.
Can't be far now as Achiltibuie has a view of Ben Mor from the other side.
From the main road we turn onto our first single track road which takes us down past Loch Lurgainn.
Ahead is possibly the most recognisable of Scottish mountains . . . Stac Pollaidh (pronounced: 'stack polly')
From the car park at its base we get the dramatic side view of the hill.
It will feature in our photos nearly every day this week.
Bardentarbat Bay . . . with the linear village of Achiltibuie on the southern side.
Bardentarbat or Polbain Pier . . . never really discovered its true name.
Just a short drive through the houses of Polbain and our accommodation is now in view.
Can you see it ? . . . . it's not any of the three white houses on the far hillside.
There's no missing it now . . . a reverse shot once we get there.
Welcome to the Brochs of Coigach . . . our home for the week.
Inspired by the ancient 'broch houses' the new-build has basically a circular front room
but this one extends back into the hillside for the bedroom and kitchen areas.
Environmentally friendly, it has solar heating and a turf roof on top in stead of tiles.
From the house we have superb views across to the larger of the Summer Isles
with the mountain of An Teallach and other major peaks in the far distance.
With the big lens on we can make out the fish farm on Tannara Mor Island.
. . . and a perfect view of the Hebridean Princess as she leaves the anchorage
to continue her cruise of the Scottish Islands.
Passing through the Sound in front of the house a short time later.
Time for supper and to put the music on . . . then sit back and enjoy the delights of our new home.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's new Panasonic Lumix Tz60 Compact, or my Panasonic Gx8 Compact System Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a glass of something Scottish to welcome you to the Broch.
Previous walk - 5th to 9th May 2017 - Crummock, Bikes and Bath
A previous time in the area - 8th to 18th May 2015 - Durness and Northern Scotland
Next walk - 13th May 2017 - Scotland - 2 - Fox Point