When the sun is out, Scotland is one of the most beautiful countrys in the most beautiful countrys in the whole world! With it's rugged landscape, beautiful lochs and picturesque castles.
Unfortunately, seeing the sun is a very rare phenomenan in Scotland.... If you are lucky you will have a couple beautiful days in April and May and then the Scotish 'summer' is over again. One day skies are blue and the next day it's back to white (or grey..). What I am trying to say is, if you are lucky to be off from work, study, or whatever you normally do, while the weather is good, MAKE THE MOST OF IT. Even if you are working during the morning, just go in the afternoon. This tour takes about 5-5,5 hours to drive. Adding about 3 hours for stopping (20m a stop), this trip would take you about 8 hours to complete. So even when leaving at 1 PM, you can still be home before 9PM if you want to.
Glagow is the perfect startingpoint for a trip towards the highlands. Leaving the city, you can be at the bottom of Loch Lomond in about half an hour from where the amazing scenery starts. This roadtrip has got 10 great stops along the way. From Lakes to Waterfalls to Castles and of course the most amazing peaks in the highlands, Glencoe and the Three Sisters. You will all see it, in ONE day!!
1. Loch Lomond
There is a couple of great places to stop along Loch Lomond, under which Balloch and Luss. These two are the main stops, both beautiful places, but both used by all the main travelcompanies aswell. So especially in the summer, these villages are so packed, that they loose a bit of their Authenticity. But driving your own car, you can choose your own spot to stop. I choose Loch Sloy. There is a visitors centre and some toilets as well. From here, you get some great views over the Loch, especcially when walking up the little mountain.
On the hill, you can see Loch Sloy Powerstation, UK's largest conventional hydro-electric power station. It provides the National Parc with a sustainable source of electricity by taking water from Loch Sloy through four large diameter pipes down the mountainside giving a working height of 277 metres. Water is stored in Loch Sloy untill extra power is needed. Then valves are openend and the water rushes down the tunnels turning turbines and generating electricity.
2. Falls of Falloch
From the parkinglot it is only a 5-10 minute walk to the main waterfall. You can take two paths, one which goes along the river and one shortcut. We took the one along the river, but it was a little muddy and that in a very dry week. So I don't think this path will be accessible on a rainy day.
3. Loch Tulla
A very obvious stop along the route. Having driven along Loch Tulla, the road will turn left and start climbing. For then to get to the Loch Tulla viewpoint. A parkinglot where you can expect to be a lot of people and busses. But the views are absolutely stunning!
4. Loch Na h-Achlaise
Just another Loch, because I just can't get enough of them..... This Loch is not as well known and definitely not a place where all the touringcars will be stopping. There is just a tiny little strip along the road where you can park your car, so dont miss it!
This is the first of three stops very close to eachother, because this part of the route is without a doubt the most beautiful. We stopped at the Glencoe visitors centre to go for a cup of coffee and a quick toiletbreak.
6. River Coe
This is the first of tree stops very close to eachother, because this part of the route is without a doubt the most beautiful.
7. Three Sisters
8. Castle Stalker
Castle Stalker is a picturesque little towerhouse set on a tidal island on Loch Islet. The castle got famous after appearing in the Monthy Python film: 'Monthy Python and the Holy Grail' . Originally the castle was a small fort built around 1320 and it is still entirely authentic. Making it one of the best-preserved medieval tower-houses surviving in western Scotland. The setting of this picturesque castle make it a very famous, almost cliche image of the Scottish Highlands, often seen on postcards, calenders and on the internet.
9. Kilchurn Castle
Another castle at a beautiful setting. I think we can definitely say that the Scots knew where to put there castles..
Kilchurn Castle was built in the 1440's and the original site was actually an island. The island became connected to the shore when the water level of Loch Awe was lowered in the 1800's. Originally it was 5 storys tall, but later improved and expended. The Castle was tested over and over again in battle, turning into a ruin. And for many years the castle lay scandalously neglected and overgrown. But luckily today, the castle has een restored by Historic Scotland. You can acces the castle by foot, from the A85, for free.
This village was founded in 1745 and a county town. With it distinctive white-washed buildings and black casings it's a classic example of 18th century Scottish Georgian architecture. There are several visitor attractions that are worth visiting if ou have the time like the Inveraray jail, the courthouse and the Inveraray Castle. This Castle was built in 1745 and is still the family home of the Duke of Argyll.
That was it! My little one day roadtrip. I think this gives you a great day away. Wether you are just in Glasgow for a couple of days and want to explore a little bit, or you live here and want to enjoy the weather when it's here. You will be gazing away at every sinlge corner, on every single road at every single castle, because they are all evenly beautiful.