Our recent road trip to Scotland took us to some of the most beautiful parts of the British Isles: Lochness, the Isle of Skye and The Isle of Lewis and Harris. Often voted as one of the best islands in the World, Lewis and Harris is located off the North-West coast of Scotland and forms part of the Outer Hebrides. This is a quick recap of our trip.
Day 1: Travel up to Lochness from the Midlands
We spent most of the first day travelling up to Lochness through the Cairngorms national park.
We were rewarded at the end with spectacular views of Lochness from our home for the night, The Craigdarroch Inn.
Day 2: Travel from Lochness to Isle of Skye
It is in no way possible to explore the Isle of Skye in a day, but we tried. We started early, from Lochness and drove to Carbost, on the Isle of Skye.
We were in Carbost to visit the Talisker Distillery, which has been operating since 1830 in Carbost. It is the oldest distillery on the Isle of Skye, and being at a similar latitude to Alaska, one of the northern most distilleries in the World.
Talisker has developed a reputation as one of the best whiskeys in the World. We got to know about Talisker through the BBC Radio 4 sitcom, Cabin Pressure, where a 25-year-old Talisker features in several episodes. (If you want to know more about my cabin pressure obsession, read about our Trip to Uskerty). We had a tour of the distillery, followed by lunch at The Old Inn nearby.
After lunch, we headed to the Fairy Pools nearby. Located about 7 miles south of Carbost down a single track road, the Fairly pools are a series of crystal clear pools at the foot of the Black Cuilin mountains.
The walk to the fairy pools from the car park takes about 20 minutes and provides a magnificent view of the mountain range.
Once there, you will see a stream working its way through the rocks forming a series of pools, in varying shapes and sizes. On the day we visited was one of the sunniest and hottest and the pools were very busy and full of bathers. This website provides a of information about how to get to the fairy pools.
After the fairy pools, we headed to the port at Uig to catch the ferry to Tarbert on the Isle of Harris.
Dusk was falling as we arrived on the Isle of Harris, and we drove through the most beautiful landscape to get to our home for the next three nights.
We were staying on the south-east coast of the Isle of Harris, at Coll Lodge, one of the Finsbay Cottages.
Day 3: Exploring the Isle of Harris
On day 3 we ventured out to explore the Isle of Harris – on the East we found a rocky mountainscapes dotted with pools of water, small bays and secret coves.
On the West coast, it was a different story of white sands and blue seas. Empty beaches that stretch for miles and clear cold waters of the north Atlantic.
Day 4: Exploring the Isle of Lewis
On Day 4, we headed North to explore the Isle of Lewis, visiting the legendary Callanish stones and Stornoway. On the way was more breathtaking scenery.
Scotland’s very own Stonehenge, the Callanish Stones are on the North West coast of the Isle of Lewis. The stones have been dated back to 3000 BC. There are many theories as to their origins, but the most widely believed theory is that this is an ancient burial site. The site also has a visitor centre, with a cafe, shop and a small exhibition. Entry to the stones is free and you can go at anytime. There is a small charge for the exhibition.
Afterwards, we headed to Stornoway for a quick stop and to go to the supermarket. (There are only two super markets on the Isle of Lewis and Harris, and they are both in Stornoway).
In the evening, we headed down to Finsbay, (which was on the door step of our cottage) where we could see wild seals sun bathing.
Day 5: On the way back: Ben Nevis and Glencoe
After 3 nights on the Isle of Harris, it was time to head back. We said good-bye to our beautiful cottage and headed to Tarbert to catch the ferry back to Uig.
There was time for a quick stop at the Isle of Harris Distillery before we boarded the ferry. Established in 2015, The Isle of Harris distillery will produce its first whiskey sometime in 2020s. Until then, it is producing gin.
Then it was time to say good-bye to these beautiful islands.
On return to Uig, we travelled down the length of the Isle of Skye to get to the mainland.
On our way down to Loch Lomond, we travelled past Ben Nevis. At an elevation of 1345m Ben Nevis is the UK’s tallest mountain.
After Fort William and Ben Nevis, it was time to traverse through the famous Glencoe, on our way down south. We saw many beautiful scenery in this trip, but Glencoe has to be one of the best.
We finished what was a very long day on the shores of Loch Lomond, on the town on Balloch.
Day 6: Travel Back to the Midlands
It was the last day of our trip and we headed back to Birmingham, completing out Scottish Road Trip.
This was a quick overview of our trip. If you would like to know more about our time on the Isle of Harris, tune into my post next week about First time visit to Lewis and Harris: Things to Know.