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UNITED KINGDOM - Scotland


Location - Western Europe; Capital - Scotland - Edinburgh; Population - Scotland - 5.2 million; Currency - Pound Sterling MORE UK - SCOTLAND

Amber weather warnings in the highlands meant I cancelled the Skye ferry and took the bus to Glen Coe, just south of Fort William - May 2016.

 

scotlandnote3England and Wales discontinued the £1 note many years ago, but Scotland still has them

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland586Glen Coe is an area for walking and hiking through the highland valleys near Fort William, glen being the Scottish term for valley

 

scotland591As with most trekking experiences it's much better on a sunny day! This attractive section is Glencoe Lochan, an artificial lake only 15/20mins walk from the village of Glen Coe

 

scotland592Snow-capped mountains always look evocative - Glen Coe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland599The hub of mountain climbing, trekking and walking in the highlands is Fort William, set in the shadow of Ben Nevis

 

scotland603On a clear day a boat cruise on Loch Linnhe is a great way of getting the perfect view of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis - Fort William

 

scotland615Ben Nevis rises above the outskirts of Fort William

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland619 Ben Nevis stands 1,346m tall and is climbed by a huge 100,000 visitors a year - Fort William

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland622And in the original of this photo you can see over 20 of those climbers on the snow capped peak - Fort William

 

scotland650The train ride from Fort William west to Mallaig is known as one of the most beautiful journeys in Britain. Here the train skirts Loch Eil, with Ben Nevis as a backdrop - Fort William

 

scotland636The Glenfinnan viaduct ride is famous as a setting in the Harry Potter films - Fort William to Mallaig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland632 Shortly after Glenfinnan a gorgeous loch and valley reveals itself - Fort William to Mallaig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland642Mirror images on a still loch - Fort William to Mallaig

 

scotland645For that extra Harry Potter experience a steam train also makes the 1.5hr journey - Fort William to Mallaig

 

scotland655Mallaig is a port on the north west coast and the ferry gateway to Skye, as well as the small islands of Eigg and Rum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland659A hazy view of Skye across the waters of the Sound of Sleat - Mallaig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland665Another scenic glen a short walk from Fort William is Glen Nevis

 

scotland663It's (literally) the gateway to ascents of Ben Nevis - Glen Nevis

 

scotland671One of the Ben Nevis trails begins opposite the visitor centre - Glen Nevis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland667Ben Nevis is also one hurdle in the Three Peaks Challenge, where the three highest mountains in each of Scotland, England and Wales are climbed in 24hrs - Glen Nevis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland688The waterfront at Oban, 1.5hrs by bus south west of Fort William

 

scotland702McCaig's Tower is a 19th century folly giving great views of Oban

 

scotland703

Take in the panoramic scene at McCaig's Tower. On the left is Pulpit Hill, rolling down to the ferry terminal and Oban Bay, which is protected by the long, thin island of Kerrera. Behind Kerrera is the Isle of Mull with a distant mainland (or Lismore island?) on the right - Oban

 

scotland707Oban Bay and Kerrera, with the mountains of Mull rising behind - Oban

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland706Ferries connect Oban with the islands of Mull, Colonsay, Uist, Lismore, Coll, Barra and Tiree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland694Upside legs wearing wellies, of course! Oban

 

scotland714Mural outside a shop on the way down from McCaig's Tower - Oban

 

scotland718Little and large. A CalMac ferry passes canoeists near Dunollie Castle - Oban

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland729The sun sets behind Kerrera - Oban

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland732A beautiful sunset on the calm waters of Oban Bay - Oban

 

scotland726Mull and Kerrera islands - Oban

 

scotland735The bus ride south east from Oban to Loch Lomond passes Loch Fyne at Inveraray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland737Inveraray Castle is the seat of the Duke of Argyll, the chief of the Clan Campbell - Inveraray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland738Shortly after Loch Fyne the road winds down through Glen Croe

 

scotland742 If you want to visit a picturesque village on the shore of Loch Lomond then choose Luss over the tourist centre of Balloch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland748When the coach tours disappear Luss has an idyllic setting on Loch Lomond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland747In season boat cruises are available to the lake's islands - Luss, Loch Lomond

 

scotland754It was a blue sky day with temperatures in the 20s, perfect for a sunbathe (with the ducks) on the lakeshore - Luss, Loch Lomond

 

scotland760Loch Lomond is the largest lake in Britain, though Loch Ness is the largest by water volume - Luss, Loch Lomond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland756I planned to take a boat to Balloch on the lake's southern tip but it didn't turn up, so it was a bus jobby instead - Luss, Loch Lomond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland767The Maid of the Loch is a vintage paddle steamer open to the public - Balloch

 

scotland769Boats docked along the River Leven near the train station - Balloch

 

scotland771Stirling is an attractive historic university town and a great base for exploring central Scotland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland818The Old Town Cemetery with the 15th/16th century Church of the Holy Rude hiding behind the trees - Stirling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland816It's strange to see a big pyramid in the cemetery (unless you're in Egypt/Sudan of course!) The Star Pyramid is dedicated to martyrs in the name of religious freedom in Scotland - Stirling

 

scotland821Standing on top of a hill above the cemetery, and the whole city for that matter, is Stirling Castle - Stirling

 

scotland785The castle walls provide quality views of the city below - Stirling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland782A cannon points towards the National Wallace Monument on the hill - Stirling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland795The rooms of the Royal Palace have been fully restored, including the Queen's Inner Hall - Stirling

 

scotland799Look upwards to spot King James V who reigned Scotland in the 16th century - Stirling

 

scotland801The National Wallace Monument stands above the city on Abbey Craig, with the Ochil Hills behind - Stirling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland82317th century Cowane's Hospital served as an almshouse and is now an arts venue and cafe - Stirling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland829I'd say the legendary Rob Roy is the inspiration for Groundskeeper Willie of The Simpsons. On the undiscovered scotland website Rob Roy, born in 1671, is described as a 'soldier, businessman, cattle-rustler and outlaw, but above all a folk hero' - Stirling

 

scotland841The Old Stirling Bridge is near the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, where Scottish forces under William Wallace and Andrew Moray defeated the English in 1297 - Stirling

 

scotland834At the peak of Mote Hill is the Beheading Stone, a medieval execution block, again with the National Wallace Monument visible - Stirling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland848The National Wallace Monument is dedicated to William Wallace, leader of the First War of Scottish Independence - Stirling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland849William Wallace was born in 1270 and died a national hero in 1305. His story was told in Mel Gibson's 1995 film Braveheart - Stirling

 

scotland855Climb the steps of the monument tower and take in the 360° views of Stirling

 

scotland852The River Forth winds its way through the Forth Valley - Stirling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland851On display in the tower is a sword belonging to Wallace - Stirling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland866On the slopes of Abbey Craig are a few walking trails radiating from the monument with great views of the Forth River and Stirling Castle - Stirling

 

scotland859Sitting on another hill a few kms away is Stirling Castle - Stirling

 

scotland858There's also great views from right outside the monument, taking in the River Forth and the Forth Valley with Stirling Castle and the city below - Stirling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scotland874The historic site of Bannockburn is a 15min bus ride from Stirling, dedicated to the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, where the Scots - led by Robert the Bruce - defeated the English during the First War of Scottish Independence

 

scotland879Robert the Bruce was the King of Scotland (or King of Scots) between 1306 and 1329 - Bannockburn, Stirling

 

scotland882One more look at Stirling Castle rising above the Forth Valley, as seen from Bannockburn, Stirling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2017 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

www.visitscotland.com - Scotland tourist board

www.historic-scotland.gov.uk

www.travelinescotland.com - public transport info for Scotland

www.visitbritain.com - Britain's official tourism website

www.britainexpress.com

www.thetrainline.com - train information across Britain

www.nationalexpress.com - National Express coaches cover Britain

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
   
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