We set off from here Tuesday 4 Sept, getting on the M6 at Preston and staying on the motorway past Glasgow and Stirling to Callander and a little way further (on the A84 and A85). Where the A85 turns west to Crianlarich we went north on the A827 for a short hop to Killin and Loch Tay. We spent the night at <http://www.theoldsmiddykillin.co.uk/>, in a nice room with a view of the Falls of Dochart. Dochart is translated "Scouring" or "Destruction": a clear warning not to play about in the river, though some people did. The river was fairly high when we were there, and sounded like 8 lanes of fast heavy traffic. The falls are clearly visible on Google street view (but they were there in a summer of low water).
Wednesday we drove the length of Loch Tay to Aberfeldy and then, rather than wimp out toward the A9 main highway (through Pitlochry) we spent 2 hours driving the 25 spectacular miles on B roads through the Tay Forest Park to the A9 at or near Calvine. Some bits of that countryside were steeply up, and some steep down, but very few were level. There were lots of rocky waterfalls, but none with places nearby to stop and take photos. (We never saw Calvine, but were glad to see the 4 lane highway). Just an hour later we found lunch at a place too small to find on Google maps, somewhere south of Newtonmore. Eventually we arrived in Inverness, at a really nice B&B - our room's window offered a glimpse of the Moray Firth.
Thursday it was quite cool and showery (on Skye the rain was horizontal), but there were two bookshops in Inverness that I wanted to see (shop at). The big one, Leakey's (biggest second-hand bookshop in Scotland) had a good cafe on the second floor, so once I got there I was settled. Derek went out to see the castle and the cathedral.
Friday we tried to get close to the Moray Firth (for completeness) but we found ourselves en route to the road west along Loch Ness instead. Having had enough of (small) city traffic, we went west. We could have spent days on Loch Ness, but the idea had been to have a holiday on Skye, so we pushed west. We did take a mountainous detour to go over to Skye on the little 6-car ferry at Glenelg rather than the road bridge. We called in at the Windmill Cafe in Broadford to say hello to our hosts Catherine and Alex Shearer and dropped our bags at their Sheiling B&B. <http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/skye/serpentarium/index.html>
We drove west out along Loch Harport, and had tea at the Wee Tea Shop - served by a photographer who had retired to Skye from Hertfordshire. He spoke blithely of weekly shopping in Portree and occasional round-trip-in-a-day excursions to Inverness (4 hrs each way) for large purchases. He is really enjoying his life there, but I would find the driving too much.
Saturday Derek climbed most of Ben Tianavaig while I went into Portree for lunch-makings and postcards. After the picnic, we went round the gardens of Dunvegan Castle, and had a superb meal at the Sligachan Hotel
Sunday we drove north up the Trotternish Peninsula, past the Old Man of Storr, to see the waterfalls that flow over the cliffs around Kilt Rock. (I've just spent an hour admiring the photos on google maps, and refreshing my memories. It is fun to look at the photos taken from offshore - with no risk of seasickness!) Then we went round the top of the peninsula, and Derek explored the ruins of Duntelm Castle. The numerous warnings that the site was unsafe cut his visit short. A few miles south was a souterrain, which someone just had to explore...
Unfortunately he didn't take a torch (flashlight) with him so he couldn't see much, and he had to sit in the mud to get turned round to get out. His wife was wearing jog pants (a cold wind was blowing in off the sea) and she had a skirt handy for the forthcoming meal at the Sligachan Hotel. While she was able to slip the skirt over her head and the trousers out from underneath without getting out of the car, he had to get out and take shoes off etc. The trousers fitted well, and were a lovely sky blue. Much merriment ensued.
Somebody says "Didn't get out to change trousers! Did that in the car!"
Monday the weather forecast was dreadful, so we packed up and started home. We went back to Killin to admire the falls (which had even more water than before flowing over them), but instead of stopping overnight there again, we went just a few miles farther south to Loch Earn, and stayed at <http://www.clachancottagehotel.co.uk/>
Tuesday we drove east all along the north side of Loch Earn. (Let google show you the road on the south side! We also took the road on the north side of Loch Tay.) We went as far as Comrie, and then took the B827 for a nice drive to Braco, the A822 and A9
to Dunblane (we cheered for Andy Murray) and Stirling, all through beautiful soft hills and rich fields. Then we were on the motorway, and it was easy to detour through more soft country to Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch, where we visited the museum and library, and had lunch. On the road again we had the familiar motorway journey home, this time through occasional heavy showers,
very sharply defined so that we went from dry road to pouring down to dry road with nary a trace of drizzle. We arrived home at 7pm with the trip mileage at 1200.