Over the sea (well bridge) to Skye!

Discussion in 'Scotland' started by fugly76, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. @The Bobdogs and myself spent many a cold hour working on our vans over the Winter with engine changes and rebuilds. During those long dark days a plan was hatched to make good use of all our hard work and take the pair of them, with our good ladies and the dogs to Scotland. We really didn't have much of a plan only that we wanted to get to the Isle of Skye and drive the mountian pass to Applecross.
    It just so happened that the VW show 'The Mighty Dubfest' at Alnwick near Newcastle was also happening the weekend we planned to drive up North from the East Midlands. We were also joined by our friends Jason and Sue in their aircooled T25 westy, although they nearly didn't make it after a daft moment from Jason:eek:
    Andy and Jason set off on Friday and we joined them Saturday morning after an uneventful drive North.
    Spent Saturday chilled at the show and had a walk into Alnwick to get a few supplies and try the local drinking houses out and have a look in the 'Titanic room' in the 'white Swan'.
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    Great views of the castle from the show, just a shame they didn't try and cut the grass!!
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    Andy looking from the next campsite..
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    Nice ice cream van and never seen so many traders, trading out of Bays and Splits.
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    Tea time was steak time:D
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    Flood lights on the castle.
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    Steady evening Saturday :burp:as we had a long drive up to Glencoe Sunday..........:thumbsup:TBC
     
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  2. Looks great. Good to see you're both out and about.
     
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  3. bernjb56

    bernjb56 Moderator

    Lovely place Alnwick. Nice place to have a show.
     
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  4. Looks like a good trip. We need more photos!
     
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  5. That looks like a great trip! :)
     
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  6. When I go camping (into the unknown) my strimmer comes as well....:thumbsup:

    looks fab...:hattip:
     
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  7. Woodylubber

    Woodylubber Obsessive compulsive name changer

    Proper :thumbsup:
     
    fugly76 likes this.
  8. That's what it's all about!
     
  9. Don't forget tyo go to Plockton !
     
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  10. Sunday and we finally got into Scotland. After leaving the show at Alnwick mid morning we had planned a cross country drive North West through the Borders to Glasgow then up the West side of Loch Lomond, over Rannoch Moor and through Glencoe to the Red Squirrel Campsite for the evening. Every thing was going fine until we got to Glasgow and got mixed up a long traffic jam. My usual route to the West Highlands is up to Stirling and across through Callander and onto Crainlarich, but Sue and Jason wanted to see Loch Lomond, so Glasgow it was even though Im no fan of driving through the place.
    We all bought cheap CB radios for the trip, not only very useful for Fuel/toilet and photostops but handy for abit of banter and mickey taking. Sue's daily morning weather forecast were always looked forward to.
    Once through Glasgow and over Erskine bridge I said on the radio 'piece of cake to Glencoe and the Clahaig pub now'....how wrong was I!!! The A82 was completely closed at Inverbag due to a bad crash and we were dirverted via Garelochead and Arrochar. To say the narrow single track roads were gridlocked is an understatment:eek:
    We finally got to Red Squirrel campsite about 6 that evening knackered from all the driving, 7 hours in total. We were soon set up and ready for the walk along to the Clahaig Inn. One to get away from our first meeting with the local midges and two to get to one of my favourite pubs. With 15 hand pumps, 100's of different bottles of whiskey, great food and abit of local live music..how can you go wrong?!?
    Monday....Andy's birthday, Isle of Skye, party on the beach...what could go wrong?
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    All set up at Red Squirrel campsite
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    Off for a walk to the pub....
    TBC
     
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  11. Watch this closely as I'd like to do the same trip up Scotland some time looking good keep the pics comming :)
     
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  12. Monday.....we woke to sunshine and midges, but dispite that I was really looking forward to it. Not only were we going over to the Isle of Skye on the ferry from Mallaig, a place I have never explored and it was only a short drive today too. To top it all it was Andy's birthday so we planned a BBQ and party on the beach at the Glenbrittle campsite on Skye.
    By the time we had had a light breakfast, Sue and Jason were wild swimming in the River Coe...in their underwear!!! Well that soon woke me up....
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    We drove up to Fort William for fuel and supplies then along the 'road to the Isles' towards Mallaig. We stopped at Glenfinnan to see the 'Harry Potter' viaduct and also have a bite to eat and a coffee in an old railway carriage at the station. We arrived just as the 'Jacobite' steam train was stood in the station. I then went and backed into a parked car:eek:..no damage done:thumbsup:
    Once at Mallaig we were soon on the habourside for the next ferry only to be told that one of the ferries had brokendown and they were fully booked till tomorrow...oh poo..no Isle of Skye today:mad: After a short conference we decided to book on the first available ferry on Tuesday and find a campsite near Arisaig for the evening.. I knew there were a few along the coast near there. We found one at the end of a single track road/farm track called 'Gorten Sands'. What a lovely place right on its own beach, idea for our birthday party:) Within what seamed no time we were walking the dogs on the beach and Sue and Jason were in the sea followed by Andy and myself. To say it was cold was an understatment, especially when I was in that deep it was over my head:eek:. After the shock of the freezing sea water it was time to warm up with a wee drem of Skye Whiskey... Talisker Storm, which sure did warm me up from the inside out.
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    The rest of the day was spent eating, drinking and laughing while enjoying the superb sea views with no worries of those little midges..
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    I still remember walking the dog at midnight without to use of a torch as the sky was still a light blue, strange feeling.
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    Tuesday, finally on the ferry to the Isle of Skye, or was it??:eek:
     
  13. Didn't manage to get to Plockton this time but it is on the list....
     
  14. Looks great :thumbsup:
     
  15. Monday evening I recevied a txt from the ferry people saying that our ferry was again cancelled Tuesday morning, so time for another rethink....
    New plan, go to Applecross for the evening/night then over the bridge on Wednesday and finally on to the Isle of Skye.
    So it was turn tail back to Fort William then turning left at Spean Bridge along the side of the Caledonian Canal and Loch Lochy to Invergarry, then along the A87 to Shiel Bridge.
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    This was another stunning drive especially in nice weather. We had a short stop at Eilean Donan Castle, then it was time for the drive over the famous Bealach na Ba, or Pass of the Cattle. This road is just breathtaking in any weather with views to die for..
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    We had Andy @The Bobdogs in his 2 litre bay on a single Webber, Jason in his very smokey 2 litre T25 and me at the rear in my 2056cc auto Bay. Well we all got up and over fine with a photo stop at the top to cool things down. Then it was just a roll down the other side and straight onto to campsite at Applecross, complete with a few smokey and smelly front brakes. If you are thinking about trying it, don't worry just go for it and you won't regret it.
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    It didn't take long before the awnings were out and we were down the steep hill for a pint or two in the Applecross Inn, what a great place with a good atmosphere and very friendly staff. After the well deserved afternoon pints and to collect Claire who had gone for a shower, we found a Swiss T25 camped next to us and a couple on a motorbike from our home town of Grantham...small world.
    Andy had visited this campsite a few times before and was disappointed to find the flower tunnel cafe closed down and the campsite had lost alot of its chilled out vibe.
    So back to the pub for some lovely meals including a sea food platter for £35:eek:.
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    Once back at the vans we lit the stove, cracked open a few bottles and were soon joined by our Swiss neighbours (they were not going to get an early night aways;)), it soon turned into an international party with another guy from Switzerland who Andy invited over earlier on...
    My last loo run of the evening tied in with a dog walk and was about midnight. Coco was attracted to something moving in the farm house gardens...Four stags feeding only a few metres away. I went back to the vans and told the Ladies about the deer who then set out to find them, cameras in hand...
    Would we finally get to Skye on Wednesday?.....
    @agaric
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  16. One of Andy's pictures from the above mentioned evening at Applecross with the Swiss..
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  17. Nice family pic on top of the pass! :thumbsup:
    Looking forward to the rest of the trip report.
     
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  18. Wednesday and would this be the day we finally arrive on the Isle of Skye. No cooking this morning, but a short drive to the Walled Garden for a full English or should I say a full Scottish breakfast in the Potting Shed cafe. Very nice it was too and as we left, the Swiss arrived from the campsite asked if we had seen the pod of dolphins in the bay this morning? Gutted as we were filling our faces, we missed them playing around for 10 minutes or so :mad:. Then the couple from Grantham arrived only to tell us the same thing...looks like we were the only ones in Applecross that day to miss the dolphins.:rolleyes:
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    The Potting Shed.
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    Applecross has a petrol station, well it has a petrol and a diesel pump. Its run by the local community, you go to the pub get a card, fill up and return the card with printed receipt to the pub and pay. Not very expensive either.
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    Once all three vans were filled up we are on the road again, but not over the pass instead round the top of the peninsula on a road that only opened in the 1970's. Not as hard work as the pass but the scenery was as gorgeous with views over to the Isles. Then we were soon at the Kyle of Lochalsh with the Skye bridge in sight. This time it looks like we had made it! Not as exciting as a ferry crossing but by now it didn't matter.
    We're on!! Soon at Broadford (not a very Scottish name) in the local super market stocking up with food and beer for the evenings meal at hopefully Glenbrittle campsite.
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    Not a bad view from the Super Market car park!

    We also found some of the best ice creams I have ever had here too. After an hour or so drive, passing the campsite at Sligachen and down some of the nices single track roads I have driven.
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    Cuillin Mountains.

    We arrived at Glenbrittle, nothing there just the campsite and a beach, with some big mountains behind....the Cuillin Monutains. What more would you want....beach, great views and good friends.. time to relax with a beer...
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    Just a beach and campsite....perfect.
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    Those midnight skies again....
     
  19. Love it, looks a great trip. Just back from Tiree, Coll, Stirling etc. Will get round to some photos and a write up soon...
     
    Coco likes this.
  20. Merlin Cat

    Merlin Cat Moderator

    Fab photos, cheers for putting them on :) looks like a great holiday
     

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