The Bruce goes to Islay (August 2014)

Discussion in 'Scotland' started by The Bruce, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. @KarlB
    Apologies for the late appearance!
    We set off on Saturday early pm and headed up the A1 to the North East, looking to visit Hadrian's Wall on the way to Scotland.
    We got up the A68 towards the A69 which more or less follows Hadrian's wall by dark (after a quick pub meal) and wild camped in a picnic area we stumbled across. We had no idea where we were or what surrounded us.
    Woke to the sound of car doors slamming and chit chat, a peek out of the window showed a few camouflage clad fisherman (not the feared land owner/car park attendant :))
    We found we were here...
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    Not bad for a punt in the dark!
    A quick drink and off we went to Housesteads Roman Fort on 'the wall'
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    One of the most impressive sites I've been to on the wall.
    We then pootled Westwards to Birdoswald Fort and had a wander around the wall and museum and had the standard Bruce meal on the move ..cup a soup mmmm:)
    Then we headed for the border!
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    :)
    More to follow
     
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  2. Hoping for a trip back up to Scotland this year in the van.
     
    chrisniclia1 and The Bruce like this.
  3. We headed North of Glasgow, followed the Clyde past Port Glasgow and got the ferry from Gourock to Dunoon, in beautiful weather.
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    landing(!) in Argyll early evening. We trundled across West, round the top of Loch Striven, heading for Glenduarel.
    We found the campsite easily and what a setting! Surrounded by hills, with mature woods all around, there are quite a few static caravans with good flat pitches for tourers and vans and a massive flat field near the entrance drive for tents. We (eventually!) managed to pay, the owner had left one of the residents in charge for 'an hour or so!'. We settled on a pitch, just a few strides from the facilities. There were just two showers for men, a bit basic but all ok, a communal washing area for dishes etc a washing line and a small shop. We settled in for the night with some candles and a cider or two ;)
    We awoke to this in the am.
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    Bangers and beans for breakfast:)
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    This campsite was decent, a great setting and we saw a good few kids riding bikes, playing in the woods and hitting balls around but it was in no way too noisy, really enjoyed it.

    http://www.glendaruelcaravanpark.com

    We set off heading for Tarbert for the ferry to Islay.
    One of our interests is history (cairns, castles, stones etc) and eagled eyed Mrs Bruce, spied a tell tale brown sign just up the road, so we pulled in looking for the Kilmodan stones
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    Set in a churchyard (in a building that admittedly looked like a public convenience) we found these impressive medieval carved stones.
    We then made our way North up the shores of Loch Fyne towards Inverary, stopping at Old Lachlan Castle
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    and Kilmorie Chapel just up the road
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    We had a half hour stop in Inverary before heading on towards Tarbert. We detoured to take in Castle Sween on the way, a great spot, you have to walk through a well placed caravan site (right on the shore of Loch Sween) to get to the castle.
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    It was well worth the detour, you could clearly see Jura and the paps from this drive and some of the shots are glorious
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    We wild camped just outside Tarbert in a clearance that we realised in the morning had been used for roadworks...piles of grit, old boots and gloves and tar!
    Ah well, that's wild camping for you!
    TBC
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  4. A quick wash and brush up in the public toilets in the Tarbert harbour, while we brewed up and cooked bacon sangers was the order of the morning. The weather was great again.
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    We then headed to Kennacraig for the ferry over to Islay (port Ellen)


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    Great weather again :)
    When we got to Islay, we headed straight to Kintra (where I stayed 20 years ago on a tour with some mates) for one of the best located campsites I've ever seen.
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    Kintra has lots of pitches right in the dunes, park where you want pretty much and wander over to the farmhouse (It's a working farm) and sign up and pay when you see somebody (or just leave your cash in the honesty box)! There's a couple of shower cubicles and toilets for men, a washing up area, washing machine, dryer, freezer, books to swap/borrow...etc etc All of this is in an outbuilding attached to the farmhouse, there are a number of rules written in the communal area and from the comments book, some people got a bit narky about this but imo the owner is running a farm and she's just trying to make things work easily. It seemed simple to me! Just check out the view! You can have a campfire/bbq, you're right on three miles of white sand and facing West...check out the sunset...
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    View from my bedroom window first night
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    :):):)
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  5. Looks a great trip , thanks for sharing the pictures:thumbsup:
     
    The Bruce likes this.
  6. The following day came beautifully sunny again, and quite a bit warmer. Tray BBQ, burgers and cider rapidly purchased in the metropolis that is Port Ellen (and a bucket so I could do the ALS ice bucket challenge) and what a day spent paddling, drinking, relaxing, drinking, reading, drink...you get the idea :):):burp:
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    A great relaxing day ended like this.....
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    Kintra campsite
    http://www.kintrafarm.co.uk/
     
  7. Great pics :) :)
     
    The Bruce likes this.
  8. Fantastic! Its making me want to pack the bus and head off now!
     
    The Bruce likes this.
  9. We didn't just booze on Islay.....o_O
    we had a good trundle all over the island visited Kilchoman cemetery (Commonwealth war graves form a shipwreck in 1918), Saligo Bay (a very dramatic wee beach) the museum of Islay life, and did a tour of Bowmore distillery (just a wee dram!)
    I was keen to go back to Finlaggan, the heart of the Pictish kingdom back in the day (I know, spod)
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    Paps of Jura in the background

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    Coals to Newcastle?
    We spent one night wild camping and then went back to Kintra for the last night. The weather started to turn a bit sour as we headed back to Port Ellen fro the ferry back to the mainland.
    :(
     
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  10. We decided to head North up to Kilmartin Glen, a site of massive historic interest (more spoddery I'm afraid)
    We visited Fort Dunadd, site of the coronation of ancient Scottish Kings (Kenneth McAlpin, first King of the Scots was ....eh? who's turned me microphone off??)
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    After seeing Kilmartin museum we headed for possibly the most atmospheric and most photographed castles in Scotland, Kilchurn.
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    The weather had really turned now and was proper Scottish! We soldiered on though....

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    This castle is stunning on a better weather day, we'll have to come another time ;)

    We were proper soaked by this time so decided to just trundle home (this was Friday pm) at a steady pace a day early.
    Overall a fantastic week, over 900 miles covered and not a spot of bother, well I'll tell you about overfilling with petrol another time ;), and the fine we got for falling asleep in the services on the M6 on the way home.....
    None of that took the shine off a great trip
    :D
     
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  11. That kintra campsite look the nuts :thumbsup:

    Great write up.
     
  12. Thanks :)

    It is brilliant, nowt there but that view, the beach, campfire etc. Superb.
     
  13. Lol, me too.

    I'm crying now as I want to go back!
    That and the fact it's taken me two and a half hours to post the photos etc! No wonder it took me 10 months to get around to it!
     
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  14. lovely...:cool:
     
    The Bruce likes this.
  15. Just booked ferries for next week going via Arran then 3 nights at Kintra.
     
    The Bruce likes this.
  16. You'll love it at kintra mate...if the weather is even half kind it's amazing
    Pics please!
     
  17. Terrordales

    Terrordales Nightshift Mod

    I feel all homesick after reading through this.
     
    The Bruce likes this.
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    This place is amazing.
     
    The Bruce and Terrordales like this.
  19. Haha, told ya! :):):)
    Hope you have a great time, more pics if u can
     

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