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View Full Version : Just back from a trip to the north of Scotland



northman
28-09-2014, 08:00
Just back from a great trip to Scotland taking in a lot of ground; Loch Lomond, Oban, Fionnphort, Iona, Calgary, Tobermory, Ardnamurchan, Dingwall, Ullapool, Lochinver, Stoer Head, Shieldaig, Glencoe, Falkirk and Lauder. Mostly wilding with a few CCC sites thrown in. For those planning a trip north a few points that may be of interest.
1. The LR at Ardlui on Loch Lomond is currently unusable because of major roadworks (as is the A82!!) Came back via Callander to avoid that road.
2. Although not technically wilding, the campsite at Fidden Farm, Fionnphort, is a great place (56.306196,-6.278334). It's well run, superb showers etc (no electric) and a massive site with beach side pitches. It's handy for the Iona ferry (free parking at the disused Columba centre 1.5 miles away from the site) and it costs 7 per night. Great value. I attach a photo of out beach view when we stayed there.
3. The south side of Calgary Bay (12 long miles from Tobermory) is a great place to camp and doesn't appear to be on our list of POIs. The north side is a POI but there seemed to be a widely ignored notice there about no overnighting. The south end is fine, with public toilets. The location is 56.576261,-6.278334.
4.Wilding is quite difficult on Ardnamurchan owing to the narrowness of the access road and the rules of the Ardnamurchan Estate. Fortunately we were able to park in the drive of a friend. Ate in the Kilchoan Hotel and was served a haggis supper in a box!
5. It is really, really worth going north of Ullapool. Even Torridon, Applecross, Glen Shiel etc can't compare with the change of scenery you get as you drive north (as many of you will l know). Loch Assynt is spectacular and we found a new POI in a lay-by overlooking the ruin of Ardveck Castle at 58.169311,-4.994661.
6. If you up at Lochinver there are three things you must do.
* Buy a venison and cranberry pie at the pie shop and cafe. I can't remember the exact name but Lochinver is not that big and a local directed me there immediately on overhearing my mention pies!
* Visit the Achan bookshop and cafe at Inverkirkcraig, surely the oddest and least convenient bookshop in Britain.
* Camp at Stoer lighthouse. The road is spectacular, the location fantastic and you can walk to the Old Man of Stoer and back, looking forward to your pie for tea!
7. Shieldaig remains a great stopping place. The Glen Torridon road has been vastly improved and we arrived just as the smokehouse was selling off fresh (live) langoustine because they didn't have enough to sell to a hotel. 13 for a fiver - delicious!
8. This is out of order, but we stayed one night at Glen Sonas Certified Site, Oban, before we caught the ferry to Mull. The site was recommended in a series of posts earlier this year and there was some discussion about an offer of special rates for forum members. Unfortunately the owner made the offer thinking that a block booking was involved and has since been reported to the CCC and may lose her licence; I hope the website didn't trigger this. The site is primitive but spotlessly clean and effective, and is in a stunning location. The owner is lovely and sells the freshest eggs you'll find anywhere. She charged us 6 each per night and it remains a good bet, even if the CCC takes action against it. Recommended!
9. The lay-by at the end of the little back road from Glencoe village is a great POI. Not only is it relatively quiet and well away from the road but it is ten minutes walk from the Clachaich Inn. We fell on it almost by accident (thank you Tom Tom) while just looking for somewhere convenient to park up and the Clachaich is a great bonus.
10. Finally, don't miss the Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies. They are spectacular, close together and set in fantastic parking and dog walking areas, Also they are in easy reach of the major routes south so can easily be tacked onto the journey up our down. I attach a few photographs.
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jane wilkinson
28-09-2014, 08:25
you mention the back road to Glencoe village. Can you tell me exactly where this is. I usually turn off the main road to the village and then turn right to go down and use the little shop there.

runnach
28-09-2014, 08:39
You certainly had a full trip.

I had my best venison dinner in the Lochinver Larder and, you can still buy in your pies from them Pies by Post - Home (http://www.piesbypost.co.uk)

Image with you at cairn on Iona, if I'm correct, the rock island to your rear are what the local call "The Railings" due to rows of basaltic pillars. Used to be a great spot for cray fish, unfortunately now fished out!

st3v3
28-09-2014, 09:13
Sounds like a great trip, to a lovely part of the world.

We'll be going sometime soon.


As long as a couple of forum members don't beat us back at the boarder...

Lol. Runnach - the pies look good and mail order is perfect. Cheers.

runnach
28-09-2014, 09:32
We have ordered a few by post. OP,s post may see more zooming south, soon! :tongue:

A good site for planning a trip north, is here Undiscovered Scotland: Home Page (http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk)

There will be a small fee at the border for this info :D

northman
28-09-2014, 10:03
I've never stayed in the village itself, which is just a rather twee ribbon development. If you go right through from the Ballachulish end the road continues into a wooded area over a small bridge. This road leads to the Red Squirrel campsite, several signs saying No Camping and, eventually, to the Claichaig Inn. A little past there (about ten minutes walk) the road meets the main A82 and the POI is immediately on the right as you turn left onto the A82.

POI Admin
28-09-2014, 14:59
Thanks for all the information. I've added the couple of new spots to the Wild Camp POIs :D

Just a quick suggestion - the longitude values you have quoted should all be negative, and it would be helpful if you edited your post accordingly. Thanks ...

Deleted user 21925
28-09-2014, 15:20
You certainly had a full trip.

I had my best venison dinner in the Lochinver Larder and, you can still buy in your pies from them Pies by Post - Home (http://www.piesbypost.co.uk)

Image with you at cairn on Iona, if I'm correct, the rock island to your rear are what the local call "The Railings" due to rows of basaltic pillars. Used to be a great spot for cray fish, unfortunately now fished out!

Thanks for this Terry. Just ordered a batch of 20 pies of assorted flavours.

I like pies!

runnach
28-09-2014, 18:17
[QUOTE=Robmac;460579]Thanks for this Terry. Just ordered a batch of 20 pies of assorted flavours.

I like pies![/QUOTE)

Minimum order of ten, Rob. Don,t blame moi for extra fuel consumption. ;)

They actually taste better when nibbling by the golden sands of Achmelvich Bay..........sigh!

Jitterbug
29-09-2014, 20:23
Thanks for those nuggets - I have incorporated them into my Itinerary for next June 2015. How long did it take you?

Kind regards

Jitterbug




Just back from a great trip to Scotland taking in a lot of ground; Loch Lomond, Oban, Fionnphort, Iona, Calgary, Tobermory, Ardnamurchan, Dingwall, Ullapool, Lochinver, Stoer Head, Shieldaig, Glencoe, Falkirk and Lauder. Mostly wilding with a few CCC sites thrown in. For those planning a trip north a few points that may be of interest.
1. The LR at Ardlui on Loch Lomond is currently unusable because of major roadworks (as is the A82!!) Came back via Callander to avoid that road.
2. Although not technically wilding, the campsite at Fidden Farm, Fionnphort, is a great place (56.306196,-6.278334). It's well run, superb showers etc (no electric) and a massive site with beach side pitches. It's handy for the Oban ferry (free parking at the disused Columba centre 1.5 miles away from the site) and it costs 7 per night. Great value. I attach a photo of out beach view when we stayed there.
3. The south side of Calgary Bay (12 long miles from Tobermory) is a great place to camp and doesn't appear to be on our list of POIs. The north side is a POI but there seemed to be a widely ignored notice there about no overnighting. The south end is fine, with public toilets. The location is 56.576261,-6.278334.
4.Wilding is quite difficult on Ardnamurchan owing to the narrowness of the access road and the rules of the Ardnamurchan Estate. Fortunately we were able to park in the drive of a friend. Ate in the Kilchoan Hotel and was served a haggis supper in a box!
5. It is really, really worth going north of Ullapool. Even Torridon, Applecross, Glen Shiel etc can't compare with the change of scenery you get as you drive north (as many of you will l know). Loch Assynt is spectacular and we found a new POI in a lay-by overlooking the ruin of Ardveck Castle at 58.169311,-4.994661.
6. If you up at Lochinver there are three things you must do.
* Buy a venison and cranberry pie at the pie shop and cafe. I can't remember the exact name but Lochinver is not that big and a local directed me there immediately on overhearing my mention pies!
* Visit the Achan bookshop and cafe at Inverkirkcraig, surely the oddest and least convenient bookshop in Britain.
* Camp at Stoer lighthouse. The road is spectacular, the location fantastic and you can walk to the Old Man of Stoer and back, looking forward to your pie for tea!
7. Shieldaig remains a great stopping place. The Glen Torridon road has been vastly improved and we arrived just as the smokehouse was selling off fresh (live) langoustine because they didn't have enough to sell to a hotel. 13 for a fiver - delicious!
8. This is out of order, but we stayed one night at Glen Sonas Certified Site, Oban, before we caught the ferry to Mull. The site was recommended in a series of posts earlier this year and there was some discussion about an offer of special rates for forum members. Unfortunately the owner made the offer thinking that a block booking was involved and has since been reported to the CCC and may lose her licence; I hope the website didn't trigger this. The site is primitive but spotlessly clean and effective, and is in a stunning location. The owner is lovely and sells the freshest eggs you'll find anywhere. She charged us 6 each per night and it remains a good bet, even if the CCC takes action against it. Recommended!
9. The lay-by at the end of the little back road from Glencoe village is a great POI. Not only is it relatively quiet and well away from the road but it is ten minutes walk from the Clachaich Inn. We fell on it almost by accident (thank you Tom Tom) while just looking for somewhere convenient to park up and the Clachaich is a great bonus.
10. Finally, don't miss the Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies. They are spectacular, close together and set in fantastic parking and dog walking areas, Also they are in easy reach of the major routes south so can easily be tacked onto the journey up our down. I attach a few photographs.
25207252012520225203252042520525206

bigdave1962
29-09-2014, 22:53
Hi I was the guy you spoke to on the ferry from Tobermory after ardnamurchan we took the road to malaig and found a campsite by the side of Loch sheil basic just 7 a night but with its own private beach on the loch. On the way home we saw the kelpies at the side of the m9 they looked superb if not a bit distracting when driving by don't think the weather's so good up there this week.

northman
30-09-2014, 11:36
Thanks for those nuggets - I have incorporated them into my Itinerary for next June 2015. How long did it take you?

Kind regards

Jitterbug

The trip took 15 days and we covered just over 1200 miles. We only stayed for more than one night in two places; Ardnamurchan with a friend and Fionnphort because it was so great, but I might take a bit more time next time and try to fit some walking in. Unfortunately the prevalence of sheep makes dog walking a bit of a chore in most places.

Moonraker 2
30-09-2014, 20:35
I spent 6 weeks away with one month in Scotland and including the miles from home ( Sussex) I did 2600 miles. I used the poi's some of the time but found that places were very easy to find in Scotland. I only used a campsite 8 times to do housekeeping. What a wonderful place.

Marlin
13-10-2014, 19:24
Just regarding the Clachaig Inn - am not sure that it can be classed as an actual Pub Stop but we have been about 6 times to see a band we like who play there and have got parked in their car part (admit we never actually asked but there is two large parking bays and a van was parked in the other) Staff saw us and didn't say anything or we would have moved - spent evening (dinner etc) in Clachaig and moved off next morning - also - have often seen vans parked on road just behind Clachaig, - we're going on Saturday so will update if still OK to park.

maingate
13-10-2014, 22:26
Just regarding the Clachaig Inn - am not sure that it can be classed as an actual Pub Stop but we have been about 6 times to see a band we like who play there and have got parked in their car part (admit we never actually asked but there is two large parking bays and a van was parked in the other) Staff saw us and didn't say anything or we would have moved - spent evening (dinner etc) in Clachaig and moved off next morning - also - have often seen vans parked on road just behind Clachaig, - we're going on Saturday so will update if still OK to park.

We did ask if we could overnight in the Car park and they said it was OK.

We would have been happy in the POI but the bridge had been washed away and it was a long walk to the pub at that time.

We had a good night and will call in again.

phillybarbour
14-10-2014, 06:03
Sounds like a wonderful trip thanx for sharing.

Deleted user 21925
14-10-2014, 06:53
I've stopped at the Clachaig, with permission. The barmaid said it's usually ok depending on how busy the car park is.


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