44: DAY TWO & THREE OF SCOTLAND ROAD TRIP – plenty of Glens, plenty of Bens and plenty of rain

So it was only the second day of the road trip and posting daily blogs and I already failed. Yesterday was day two of the road trip and I left my hobbit house in Loch Lomond at about 10 am.

I headed up to Tyndrum where I stopped at the Real Food Cafe to have a Scottish breakfast. I had the vegetarian option which had veggie haggis with it and it was absolutely delicious. This is a really cosy café with an open fire; so a great stop for breakfast and a coffee in the morning. Then I went a couple of hundred metres up up the road to the Green Welly Stop to fill up with some slightly pricey petrol, before heading on my way to Glencoe.

The weather definitely took a turn for the worst yesterday and the heavens opened for the entire day. It definitely did help make the journey to Glencoe much more atmospheric though. Driving along the western edge of the desolate Rannoch Moor there was certainly an eerie and mysterious atmosphere that would’ve been leaned without the low clouds and rain. En route to Glencoe there was a turn off to Glen Etive, was used as a backdrop for some scenes in the James Bond movie, Skyfall. It’s eerie atmosphere was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. The scenery is some of my favourite that I’ve seen so far.

Continuing on to Glencoe I kept stopping off at various points to check out waterfalls, lochs and different viewpoints. I eventually passed through Glencoe village and stopped at the Glen Coe visitor centre. The centre wasn’t open but I parked my car here and went walking around the trees and hills for a couple of hours. It’s certainly wasn’t a dry walk and I got back to the car absolutely soaked, however I was glad to have made the most of a rainy day.

Then I headed onto Fort William which was about half an hour away. I’d booked my first ever Air B&B here as it was the most reasonably priced In the area. It was just a room in a ladies flat but it had good heating and there was a bath and shower so I couldn’t complain!

Unfortunately I didn’t have a very good nights sleep, but I got up early this morning and went for a spoons breakfast in Fort William town to soften the blow. From Fort William I headed onto Glenfinnan, the route I had to plan using an *actual map* due to the fact that my satnav temporarily didn’t work – can you believe it?!

Glenfinnan is home to the Viaduct now commonly known as the Harry Potter viaduct due to its appearance as the Hogwarts express bridge in the films. The impressive viaduct crosses the River Finnan and is in a beautiful location overlooking Loch Shiel & the Glenfinnan monument.

Glenfinnan is only around a half an hour drive from Fort William. When I arrived there I parked at the visitor centre carpark. Usually it would cost £3.50 to park there but it’s free for National Trust Scotland members. Today the machine was broken and the staff there said that you didn’t have to pay. From the car park there is a five minute walk up to a viewpoint to see the viaduct and then watch the steam train go across. The morning service departs from Fort William at around 10:15 am and the train should appear on the viaduct around 15 minutes later. The train didn’t appear until about 11 o’clock today but I was really glad to have seen it on the viaduct.

From Glenfinnan I headed on towards the Isle of Skye. I originally thought of getting the ferry from Mallaig for journey over to Skye but unfortunately there were no tickets available. The two hour journey to the Skye bridge took me much longer because I kept stopping at amazing views on the way! Some spots I stopped at were Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Glengarry.

On the way to the Skye Bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh is Eilean Donan which is a small tidal island where three Lochs meet. The island is dominated by Eileen Donan Castle which makes for an excellent photo opportunity. There is a place where you can get food and drink here and enjoy it overlooking the view.

Not far from Eilean Donan Castle is the bridge over to the Isle of Skye. From here I headed to Portree, making a brief stop at Sligachen on the way. I’m staying here in Portree at a B&B this evening – the nicest accommodation I’ve ever stayed in on my own I think! For dinner I went down into the main town and grabbed some chips at the Harbour and sat eating them there. The area was really pretty and the chips were the best I’ve EVER eaten (no exaggeration!)

I’ve spent the rest of the evening just relaxing and have plans to explore Skye properly tomorrow! I’m staying another night here but at a different B&B just around the corner.

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