Scottish Road Trip June 2012.
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Hi Folks,
Since we are all petrol heads on here I thought some of you may be interested in my recent Scottish Road Trip. I have detailed all the roads so anyone interested can use it to plan their own similar journey as I spent a lot of time researching routes to avoid traffic and commercialism.

Our trip was to span Friday afternoon - Monday Afternoon and take in just over 1200 miles. We left Friday afternoon, and headed up the Motorway to our first overnight stop, which was Falkirk. The route was M6, M74, M73, M80, M876, A883, A803. Section time Blackpool - Falkirk = 3.5hrs.

We stopped there at a hotel, had tea then headed out to a place called Aberfoyle, via Stirling castle for a few pics then a road known as "Dukes Pass" these were great driving roads and very enjoyable route as the sun set before we headed back to the hotel in Falkirk for drinks and sleep.
Section time = Falkirk - Aberfoyle - Calandar - Falkirk = 3.5hrs.

Next morning, Saturday, we headed north from our hotel at Falkirk, to Killin via A803, M9, A84, A85, A827. Killin is a lovely place, famous for its river and waterfall. Section time Falkirk - Killin = 1.5hrs.

We stopped there for an hour or two, had some brews, took some pictures and watched a trial bike event which was great, its a really cool place to kill some time. From Killin, we went North again to Dores, which is at the north end of the famous Loch Ness.

We took the south side route, a little known road, the B852, also known as "General Wades military road". Its pretty much single track and almost devoid of traffic. An excellent road by anyones standards with some mind blowing scenery. The route there was A85, A82, B862.

Along that route is a place called "Foyers" which has some nice waterfalls and a cafe, so we took an hours break here and took the walk down to the waterfall view points, which almost killed me on the way back up!
From Foyers we headed up to Dores and stopped for coffeee at the Dores Inn which is sat right on the edge of Loch Ness. A tiny, but very busy place. Section time Killin - Dores = 3hrs.

We then headed further up north to Inverness for fuel. The roads were getting busy due to being bank holiday, so I fuelled up and we made the decision to cancel our north side loop of Loch Ness, and retrace our path back south via General Wades Military Road again. Well worthwhile as the scenery looks different again travelling the other direction. Our destination this time was the Glenspean Lodge hotel for the night at Fort William. The route back was B862, A82. Our hotel was exceptional and I would recommend anyone looking for a hotel in this area to give it a try.
Section time Dores - Inverness - Foyers - Fort William = 2hrs.

Sunday. After a night of great food, sleep and breakfast, we headed out at 8am to the leg of the journey I was most looking forward to. Fort William to Applecross. This journey took us along the A82, A87, A890 and A896 and must encompass some of the most incredible driving roads that the UK has to offer. In fact, even the road sign as you enter Applecross almost screams "Petrol heads only"....
Section time Fort William - Applecross = 3hrs.

We stopped a few times on Applecross pass for pictures, but didnt spend a lot of time in Applecross itself as there is very little there bar the Applecross Inn. We stopped long enough to recouperate from the 3hr drive, then headed back, next stop - Loch Leven.

The route down to there was A896, A890, A87, A82. The hotel here was ok bar a 1hr20min wait for food, but our room had its own patio section that opened out onto the Loch so it was a nice place to chill out with a bottle of wine and watch the sun go down over the Loch.
Section time Applecross - Loch Leven = 3hrs.

Next morning, Monday, I headed out with my camera at 6am to get some early morning sunrise shots, then came back for breakfast and we were on the road again for 8:30am. destination - Oban.

We took the A82, A828, A85 route along the shores of Loch Linne and Loch Creran, then the shores of Ardmucknish bay, another incredible mountainous route with very little traffic. Again, we took a few pics and a coffee, but were eager to continue our journey onwards, down to Duck Bay Marina at Loch Lomond.
Section time Loch leven Hotel - Oban = 1.25hrs.

As we were ahead of schedule, I chose the longer but more scenic route to Loch Lomond. We took the A85, A819, A83, A82 route which takes you through some very mountainous section via Inverary and then the old military road through Argyle forest park.
Section time Oban - Duck Bay Marina = 2hrs.

We stopped at Duck Bay for lunch and some time out, its a nice place but very commercialised which is not really what we came to the highlands for, but all the same, it was good food and service and a very nice place to end our journey. Sadly, from here we drove straight back down to Blackpool only stopping for a brew halfway.
Section time Duck Bay Marina - Blackpool = 3hrs 30mins.

So there you have it, a wicked 3days driving encompassing 1200 miles and 26hrs of driving. I would recommend it to anyone, its the best road trip I have ever done and probably the least tiring due to the variation and scenery. 4hrs up here is no harder than 1hr down south. Incredible how different it is on the mind and body to being stuck in traffic on a
miserable motorway in England!

I actually got up at 6am and went from home to a place called Nantle in Wales called Dorothea Slate Quarry the next day, which was another 8hr round trip.

Its a very eiry place, full of history and its strange to think while your diving there that it once used to be a busy place full of workers before it shut its doors about 60 years ago and then gradually filled with 100M of water. The old blast huts and cranes are all still in there and a lot of divers have died exploring it!

It was a wicked end to my own weekend which gave me some personal time out and great diving while Mandy worked. Perfect.


** Better versions of these pictures are available at my Photography Site by Clicking here **

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