Killin & the Falls of Dochart

Falls of Dochart, Killin

We’re almost at the end of my posts about my trip to Scotland; I think this is going to be the penultimate post! 

On the last day of our holiday, we explored the town we were staying in, Killin.

Killin, near Loch Tay

Tree roots

In the morning, we took a walk around the shores of Loch Tay, in search of a crannog. It was marked on the map, so we thought there must be something there. 

Loch Tay, Killin

Unfortunately, all that’s there now is a piece of land jutting out into the loch (where the clump of light green trees are sticking out into the loch) that you can’t possibly walk on and get to the end where the crannog should have been. While I was a little disappointed, I wasn’t too disappointed because we knew there was a replica one built at the other end of Loch Tay. 

Grass and trees

St Fillan's Episcopal Church, Killin

We walked back through town and pre-ordered our pizza for the evening. (We’d spotted a sign saying ‘pizza Friday’ on the first day, and decided it would be a good meal to end our holiday.) 

We then made our way towards the Falls of Dochart. On the first trip into town, I spotted these and I’d been excited about visiting all week. 

Falls of Dochart, Killin

Falls of Dochart

The Falls of Dochart, are a collection of waterfalls which run through the middle of Killin, and my are they stunning. 

There are plenty of huge rocks around, so you can explore the falls quite easily. It was a nice, sunny day, so I decided to eat an ice cream sat on a huge rock at the edge of the water. 

Falls of Dochart, Killin

Falls of Dochart, Killin

Despite the noise from the water, it was surprisingly peaceful. I found myself wishing I’d have put a book in my bag, because I’m quite sure it would have been lovely to read a book while surrounded by waterfalls. 

I had to practically be dragged away from the falls, because they were so beautiful. I could happily have stayed there all day. 

Killin

We walked back across the bridge to head to the car, because we were planning to visit the other end of Loch Tay, when Tom spotted a stye over the other side of the bridge. He decided this obviously meant that we could climb over it and view the falls from the other side. 

So, over we climbed and we explored the other side, where we found a few more falls. 

Falls of Dochart

Killin and the Falls of Dochart were so beautiful, and are well worth a visit if you’re up in that part of the world. 

The next two travel posts will be about my trip to Cambridge, so the final post about my Scottish adventure will be up in three weeks. 

Have you ever visited waterfalls before? 

Follow:

Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

I have a bit of a thing for finding a high point in a city so that I can look over it, and get a good view of the whole city. When we went to Edinburgh in April, a trek up Arthur’s Seat was at the top of my list.

We were blessed with a gloriously sunny, fairly still day, which made the trip even more enjoyable. 

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

To start with, we got lost trying to find the top. There were a couple of paths, but no clear signs, so we followed the one that looked most used. 

It turned out that it wasn’t quite the path we wanted, as this one just went around Arthur’s Seat instead of up it. We weren’t going to complain though because it provided us with beautiful views over Edinburgh, including the glorious Edinburgh Castle. 

Edinburgh Castle from Arthur's Seat

View over Edinburgh from Arthur's Seat

Interesting fact: In the photo above, on the right hand side, in the grass, you can kinda see a couple who were full on going at it. 

View over Edinburgh from Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

After getting about halfway round on the path well worn, we decided to turn back around and went in hunt of the path up to the top. We found it, and it turned out to be a little treacherous. You know the kind of path that just looks like it’s desperate to break one of your ankles? 

On the way up we were passed by a bloke who was running. He was running up something that I was out of breath from just walking up! It was so steep. Major props to him, he must have been fit as a fiddle. 

At the top, we were treated to spectacular views over Edinburgh. 

Edinburgh from Arthur's Seat

View from Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

View from Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh

We sat at the top for a while and drank in the view. I love being able to view a city from above, you spot things that you don’t see while your wandering around the streets. 

I always find that memories of cities from afar, like this one, tend to stick with me a little more than 

Do you like seeing places from above? 

Follow:

Glen Coe – Scotland – The most beautiful place in the world?

Glen Coe

Glen Coe

One of the most stunning places I went to in Scotland, was somewhere we just stumbled upon; a beautiful, long stretch of road through Glen Coe.

It is a Top Gear driving road if I ever saw one. 

We came across it while driving to the safari park, and despite the miserable weather it still looked beautiful. A couple of days later, we drove through it again on the way back from Loch Ness. That time, the weather was much kinder to us, and we were treated to beautiful scenery. It’s easily the nicest place I’ve ever driven through. 

The thing that struck me most was how vast and timeless it is. Apart from the road, and the odd hotel, there are very few signs of civilisation. It could be any period in time, and it’s not hard to imagine dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts roaming the glen. 

And that makes it so beautiful, and a little haunting, because you can easily imagine dinosaurs and prehistoric beasts roaming the glen. In that way, it reminded me of parts of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. 

Glen Coe

Near one of the pull-ins, my Mum spotted some deer so we parked up, and hopped out with our cameras and quietly headed down towards them. 

Deer in Glen Coe

I almost tripped over something, and looked down to find a deer antler at my feet. It’s now resting on the top shelf of the bookshelf in the living room. 

Deer antler

Strangely, the thing that drew my attention more than the deer was the white house. I don’t know if it was lived in, but wouldn’t it be a stunning place to live? If it is lived in, I might feel a little weird about taking photos of someone else’s house…

White house in Glen Coe

Deer in front of a house in Glen Coe

Sure, it would be bleak in the winter but I’m sure the views would be more than worth it. I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of person might live there, why they would live there? And would they let me move in? 

There were a few places I visited in Scotland that were just so peaceful, and this was one of them. It’s a feeling that words can’t do justice. It was nice to feel like modern civilisation might not exist, and just appreciate the stunning beauty of the place. 

I couldn’t help but recall my favourite line from Desiderata

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world

Its easy to get so caught up with the terrible things that happen in the world, and amongst all of that we can forget the good. 

What’s the most remote-feeling place you’ve ever been? 

Follow:

Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle

I’ve wanted to go to Loch Ness since I was a little kid. The whole idea of ‘Nessy’ is something that captivated me since I was a kid. 

The loch was a good three hours away from where we were staying, a journey that was made even longer by a car we followed for about 40 minutes who insisted upon driving at 30mph in a 60 zone, for no reason.

Loch Ness Forecasting StoneJacobite Loch Ness cruise boat

To my surprise, there aren’t many places that you can get down to the shores of Loch Ness. We decided to do a boat trip around the loch, and to Urquhart Castle to see more of the loch, and because we’re all big castle fans. 

There are a few points you can get cruises around Loch Ness from. Out of interest, we went on the Jacobite Freedom, The Clansmen and the Castle from Clansman Harbour. 

As we set off towards the castle, we could see big grey clouds ahead. Thankfully, the changeable Scottish weather was kind to us, and it cleared up.

Rain clouds over Loch NessLoch Ness from a Jacobite boatNo puffin

We stepped off the boat to glorious sunshine and blue skies. Oh, and a trebuchet, which instantly caught Tom’s attention. He loves trebuchets and wants to build one of his own. Urquhart Castle from Loch NessUrquhart CastleUrquhart CastleTrebuchet Urquhart Castle

The ruins of the castle were beautiful, and I can only imagine how stunning it must have been when it was in it’s full glory, perched at the edge of Loch Ness. It must have been quite a sight. 

The main tower had been renovated a little so that you could climb it and take in the views. 

Urquhart CastleUrquhart Castle arrow slit

Something that always amazes me about castles is how ridiculously tiny, tight and uneven the staircases are. It must have been awful to try and climb up and down those stairs all the time, especially in the dark when you might have been carrying a candle or a light to see by. Or perhaps, we’re just used to nice, wide, even staircases? Maybe it was a piece of cake.

As we headed back on the boat, I had a good look for Nessie but I couldn’t see her. However, I did begin to understand why people might have thought they saw things. The loch is so deep, and the water is dark, so I can imagine how the waves might play tricks on the eyes. 

Visiting Loch Ness was a childhood dream come true, and I’d love to go back again. I’m sure I’ll watch Nessie documentaries with even more excitement knowing I’ve been there now. 

Have you ever been to Loch Ness? 

Follow:

The Glenfiddich Distillery Tour

Glenfiddich Whiskey Distillery

Glenfiddich Distillery

I must confess, I’m not a whiskey fan. I adore the smell of whiskey, but the taste? Nope. If it tasted the same as it smells, I would love it, but I’m not a fan of the burny taste. 

My Mum and Tom are big whiskey fans though, so when we decided to go to Scotland the Glenfiddich Distillery tour was at the top of the list. 

Glenfiddich Washback

Glenfiddich Underback

The tour was really interesting, but the best bit for me was the smell. As we walked through the first building, the delicious smell of whiskey got stronger and stronger. I was practically salivating. 

Whiskey always reminds me of cosy nights by a log fire. Which is interesting because I’ve never drunk whiskey by a log fire, but that’s just the image it conjures up in my mind. 

We were taken into a couple of the storage rooms, where we heard about the barrelling process, and how they experiment with new flavours. I felt pretty old when I saw barrels of whiskey that were barrelled the same year I was born.

Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos in there, which is a shame because they would have made fantastic photos. But I guess you have to go for yourself to see what they look like! 

Glenfiddich tasting

Glenfiddich whiskey tasting

The best part for my Mum and Tom was the tasting session. I was driving so I couldn’t take part in the tasting, but I was only really interested in the sniffing. 

We were given four different whiskeys, a 12 year old, 14 year old, 15 year old, and 18 year old. They all sniffed amazing to me. Apparently they all tasted incredibly nice also. 

The Glenfiddich Whiskey Distillery

The Glenfiddich Distillery

I’ve been on a couple of brewery tours before (including the Guinness one I posted about here), but neither of them had grounds as pretty as the Glenfiddich Distillery. We didn’t go to any other distilleries, but we saw a few on our rounds and they all appear to surrounded by beautiful scenery. 

While we’re talking about fancy and grand, the toilets. The toilets. The toilets, wow. I have never been in a bathroom so grand in my entire life. The bathroom had a waiting area with a logfire and ARMCHAIRS! WHAT EVEN?!

Glenfiddich Distillery fancy bathrooms

Have I been using bathrooms wrong my entire life? Because I have never needed to sit in front of a logfire before or after going to the toilet. 

Looking at these photos makes me want to go back to Scotland *sobs*. 

Have you ever been on a distillery or brewery tour? Have you ever needed to sit in front of a logfire in a bathroom?

Follow:

Rainbows at Kilchurn Castle, Lochawe

Rainbows at Kilchurn Castle

Have you ever seen both ends of a rainbow? Neither had I until I went to Scotland. 

In my post about Strone Hill & Oban, I mentioned how quickly the weather had been changing in the morning. In the afternoon we headed to Kilchurn Castle, and the weather still had no plans to do calm or settled.

When Tom and I went to Scotland over Christmas, we visited Lochawe and took photos of Kilchurn Castle but we couldn’t figure out how to get to it. We would have missed it again this time if we hadn’t spotted a couple of cars parked in a clearing from the road. I’m not sure why there wasn’t a big sign saying ‘glorious ol’ castle this way’.

The sky was blue when we first got out of the car and started walking towards the castle, but we could see a dark, ominous looking cloud rolling in. 

Lochawe, Kilchurn Castle

Dark clouds over Lochawe

Blue skies at Lochawe

See what I mean? The two photos above were taken seconds apart. I think all I did was turn from one side to the other; beautiful blue sky on my left, and dark clouds on my right.  

With the cloud moving in, we hotfooted it to the castle. 

Chiltern Castle at Lochawe

Kilchurn Castle at Lochawe

What I liked most about Kilchurn Castle is that they allow you to wander it freely. What I really mean by that is that it isn’t ruined by health and safety, which surprised me since there were no staff or anything like that at the castle to make sure no one does anything stupid. I like that though. 

Kilchurn CastleKilchurn Castle

Kilchurn Castle

Kilchurn Castle

Lochawe cannon-hole

Scottish Heritage had put some new staircases and little walkways in to allow you explore the upper levels of the castle and get some stunning views of Lochawe and the surrounding area. 

Stormy clouds over Lochawe

As we got to the top of the tower the dark clouds moved in and opened. Of course, they would wait for us to climb up to the top of the tower before they decided to ‘make it rain’. 

But since it was sunny in parts, it produced beautiful rainbows, WHERE YOU CAN SEE BOTH ENDS! Never in my life, have I see both ends of a rainbow at the same time. 

Rainbow at Lochawe

I raced back down the castle, hoping to find a leprechaun and his pot of gold. But which end do you go for? If you can see both ends of a rainbow, how do you know which end the pot of gold is at? 

The little girl that you can just about see in the photo below, had the same idea also and was trying to beat me there. 

It was quite funny because she kept asking her grandparents (I assume they were her grandparents) why the rainbow kept moving away. As she got closer and closer to the carpark, she started to get really annoyed at the rainbow. 

Rainbow at Kilchurn Castle, Lochawe

Rainbow at Kilchurn Castle, Lochawe

The rain cleared through quickly, and the skies returned to blue a few minutes later. 

Rainbow at Lochawe

I fear that Scotland may have ruined rainbows for me. Normal rainbows, where you usually can’t even see one end of it, just aren’t going to cut it anymore. There’s only one thing for it: I’m moving to Scotland! I wish. 

Have you ever seen both ends of a rainbow before? 

 

 

 

Follow:

Oban & Strone Hill

Strone Hill

Hello loyal subjects, I’m back from Scotland and I’m going to start waffling about it right now!

I decided the best way for me to post about it is in chronological order, so today’s post is about Sunday morning. 

Something I learned quickly in Scotland is that the weather is incredibly changeable. On Sunday morning we had; sun, rain, hail and snow. 

We planned to go to Loch Lomond but less than 10 miles into the journey it began snowing heavily, so we changed our mind and headed towards Oban in the hope the snow would clear. Thankfully it did, as driving on snowy roads in my new car was a little scary. 

The snow suddenly cleared. One minute it was snowing heavily and the sky was white, the next it was beautiful and blue, with fluffy white clouds. 

We pulled into the first car park we saw because the scenery was stunning. The first stop we came across was Strone Hill, which had a little trail that led to a waterfall. Having never seen a waterfall in person before, I was all over this. 

Strone Hill

Strone Hill

Strone Hill

Strong Hill waterfall

After marvelling at the waterfall, we headed back to the car and decided to carry on towards Oban for lunch. 

Oban

Oban

Oban was not what I expected. For some reason I expected it to be bigger. Secondly, I did not expect to see what looked like a colosseum perched on top of a hill. I also did not expect to see lampposts wearing jumpers.

We headed up to ‘the colosseum’ and discovered it was called McCaig’s Tower and it provided us with stunning views of Oban, Mull, and Kerrera. 

Oban

Oban

Oban

Oban

I’m missing Scotland already, I wish I could go back. Keep an eye out for more posts about my trip to Scotland over the next few weeks; I’ll probably be posting about it once a week. 

Where have you been recently? 

Follow: