We hadn't done a run to the land of tartan together for a few years so we were both feeling the need to return there sometime soon. Over the next 18 months or so the idea was put on the backburner but we kept returning to it periodically - it became one of those "someday" ideas as other things came up which seemed to be more exciting, but still it never went far away. It doesn't matter where in the world we go, Scotland always calls us back, there's nowhere else quite like it.
Fast forward to Dec 2016 and our thoughts had turned to what adventures were were going to get up to during the new year. We'd thrown about a few ideas for summer that were centred around a run down through Italy with a return via Montenegro and Croatia, but by the time late 2016 arrived Brexit had also arrived with it, and as things stood it looked like the UK £ was going to drop quicker than an adolescent's nadgers, signs were also beginning to emerge that the politicians were going to make a monumental cock up of the whole thing. So, maybe it wasn't a good time to go visiting Europe while all these nadgers and cock ups were in evidence, and we returned to the possibility of the run to Scotland and the Hebrides. It would be nice to do a road trip that didn't involve borders and passports for a change anyway, so plans are soon well underway and by April 2017 the accommodation and all the ferries are booked for a July trip north ....To infinity and beyond!
Rather than head straight for the ferry and the Islands, we decide that a revisit to a few mainland places first would be good, so as our route takes shape it becomes: Balmaha on Loch Lomond's lovely east side, followed by a run north to Grantown-on-Spey in the Cairngorms for a couple of nights.
From here we go west over to gorgeuos Wester Ross and spend a night at a stormy & wet Poolewe, then the following day head south via Applecross to Skye with two nights at the nice little harbour town of Portree.
The early morning CalMac ferry from Uig takes us over The Minch to Tarbert on the Island of Harris - a two hour crossing on flat calm water. We then drive north on the Isle of Lewis to spend 3 nights in a rented house in Stornoway, which is an ideal base for exploring the island.
When we leave there, a day's drive south via more ferries to Berneray / The Uists and Eriksay eventually brings us to the tiny southern islands of Barra and Vatersay. Here we stay in a B&B in the little town (village) of Castlebay for 3 nights before heading back to the mainland on the 5 hour ferry crossing to Oban - on not so flat calm water.
Route map thingy
The Scottish Mainland Bit
Next stop, The Isle of Harris .......... Page 2