United Kingdom and Ireland - Day 46

 

 

Monday, 9 October 2017, Glasgow to Loch Lomond, Killin, Alberfeldy, Blair Athol and Fort William

 

Awoke to rain this morning and, apart from a couple of hours of almost fine sunny weather, it stayed like that all day and on into tonight. Early start this morning with a good distance to cover but better roads than expected so we did well. Good practice for tomorrow as it will be one of our longest days. The forecast is not looking good.

 

Out of Glasgow with the early morning traffic with our first stop at Luss, a small village on the banks of Loch Lomond. Would have been a much better day for the colour of the loch and the hills, but not to be. All quiet except for a morning runner and a few ducks.

 

Continuing alongside Loch Lomond until we turned north to Killin at the southern end of Loch Tay. Entering Killin, you cross a bridge made from rubble stone in 1760. On the south side of the bridge are the "Falls of Dochart", really cascades but a lovely sight and wonderful to listen to the sound of the rushing water and apart for a vehicle every few minutes, not much else makes a noise. Below the bridge the water flows either side of an island, the ancient burial ground of the MacNab clan.

 

A water mill situated on the bank of the River Dochart was built in 1840 as a meal mill and in 1912, it was converted to a woolen mill and manufactured Tweed until 1950. After going through a few owners and fallen into disrepair, the mill was handed to a community group that have restored and incorporated a small shop to make the upkeep self-sustaining. The mill also contains some relics of St Fillan including healing stones, a bell and a Quigrich or symbolic crook.

 

Continuing north along side Loch Tay, barely visible through the mist and fog, we arrived in Aberfeldy but not until we had passed by a village by the name of Dull. Not that unusual maybe, but the sign said it was twinned with the town of Boring, in Oregon, USA. Aberfeldy is home to Castle Menzies, which we drove past, and also the Dewar's Distillery.

 

Pitlocky was to be a visit to the Dunfallandy Stone but as it involved a 4-500 metre walk and it was raining quite hard, that idea went by the wayside. Instead, we ended up in a little business, Heathergems, that manufactures "gems" for use in jewellery made from the stalks of the heather plant. The process involves stripping the bark and leaves from the branches and then dying the sticks various colours of heather. These sticks are then pressed into a block using a 60 tonne press and glued together with a resin. The block is then sliced, the "gems" cut and polished and mounted into a large range of products. Not made anywhere else but exported throughout the world. Interesting and beautiful products, no two can ever be the same.

 

On past Blair Castle at Blair Athol, past Loch Garry where it flows out into another valley and into the Dalwhinnie Distillery at Dalwhinnie. No sample tasting as I was driving and not a whiskey drinker anyway. This distillery claims to be the highest above sea level in Scotland and believes it's the clear cool water and the ancient peat in hills that gives the flavour to their product.

 

South to our accommodation in Fort WIlliam on Loch Linnhe passing a large reservoir, Loch Laggan on the River Spean. The water from this reservoir travels through 8 klms of tunnels to Loch Treig from where a further 24 klms tunnel takes the water to a power station in Fort William.

 

That's it for today, early start tomorrow and hoping for finer weather.

 

 

  • By the Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond By the Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond
  • Highland cattle like long hairy coats for winter Highland cattle like long hairy coats for winter
  • The Falls of Dochart and the Old Mill, Killin The Falls of Dochart and the Old Mill, Killin
  • The Bridge of Dochart at the Dochart Falls; Seven span bridge built in 1790. The Bridge of Dochart at the Dochart Falls; Seven span bridge built in 1790.
  • The Falls of Dochart, Killin The Falls of Dochart, Killin
  • The River Dochart below the falls The River Dochart below the falls
  • Loch Tay in the rain and fog Loch Tay in the rain and fog
  • Castle Menzies, Aberfeldy Castle Menzies, Aberfeldy
  • The Dewar's Distillery at Aberfeldy The Dewar's Distillery at Aberfeldy
  • Tree-lined Avenue approach to Blair Castle, Blair Athol Tree-lined Avenue approach to Blair Castle, Blair Athol
  • Blair Castle, Blair Athol Blair Castle, Blair Athol
  • Wild Heather Wild Heather
  • Loch Garry near Dalwhinnie Loch Garry near Dalwhinnie
  • Dalwhinnie Distillery, Dalwhinnie Dalwhinnie Distillery, Dalwhinnie
  • Laggan Reservoir on the River Spean near Fort William Laggan Reservoir on the River Spean near Fort William
  • Loch Linnhe at Fort William Loch Linnhe at Fort William
  • Loch Linnhe at Fort William Loch Linnhe at Fort William
     

 

 

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