I’ve always loved camping. There is something about sleeping outside under the stars and listening to the sounds of nature around you that is so relaxing. I went camping a lot as a child and loved exploring around the campsites with my two sisters. I hadn’t been camping for a couple of years (unless you class a nights Glamping in a wigwam) so I really wanted to get away just for a weekend. We have been to Florida this year so wanted to save money and set out to explore more of our own country for the rest of the year. We decided to stay in Glencoe and travel up to the Isle of Skye for the day before heading home on the Monday.
We set of early, so we could make the most of the day and travelled up towards Glencoe through Crieff. For once whilst camping, the weather was on our side and it made for a beautiful drive. We stopped of a few places like Loch Earn to stretch our legs and take some pictures then continued up the road to the lovely Glencoe. There is something about Glencoe that is eerie but beautiful. The mountains on either side almost make it claustrophobic but at the same time magical. I highly recommend anyone travelling through to stop at the car park to take some pictures. I could have stayed there all day. Dougie pretty much had to tackle me back in to the car. We arrived at our campsite, The Red Squirrel Campsite, which was just off the main road, past the famous Clachaig Inn. The site was basic but just what we needed. I was small, and you could pitch your tent wherever you liked as there was no set plots. We managed to get a spot by the little stream (I loved falling asleep to the sound of the water). After the relationship test that is putting up the tent we spent a little time exploring around the site and finding out what there was to do in the area. In the evening we spent some time exploring the little village of Ballachulish. We came across the old Slate Quarry that had been turned into a community park and we enjoyed having a walk around in the evening sun and reading all the information signs about the history. We had run around in the car to Kinlochleven which has the most amazing waterfall called the Grey Mares Tail. You have to climb along small planks to get into waterfall to be able to see it but it was worth the climbing. If you are ever up that direction check it out. The rest of our first day was just spent chilling at the tent and getting an early night before our big trip to Skye.
I have wanted to visit Eilean Donan Castle and the Isle of Skye for so long, so I was so excited for this day. We ended up waking up early on the Saturday morning because it was so sunny and set off on our journey about 8 o clock. The drive up to Eilean Donan Castle was another stunning drive and I was so happy when I finally seen it. It is one of the most photographed places in Scotland and once you are there you can easily see why. We decided to go in and see it properly and it didn’t disappoint. You can explore the rooms which are all set up with period furniture, displays of weapons and every window has lovely views of the lochs. One thing I never knew about the Castle was that it was a ruin and was rebuilt as a family home in the early 1900s. After a cup of tea and obviously a trip to the gift shop we set off on our way to the Isle of Skye. Going across the bridge at the Kyle of Lochalsh you get the most spectacular views and every corner you turn after that they get better and better. We decided to do a the Trotternish loop which takes your past the most iconic spots on Skye. We drove up to Portree first and stopped off at the Old Man of Storr. We didn’t climb right to the top because it was so hot, but we got some lovely views. Hopefully one day we can go back and climb to it. We visited Kilt Rock, which was so windy but so worth the drive. The cliffs were so high I felt a bit uneasy but the waterfall was just so picturesque. We then took a drive right up round the top of the Island. We were completely in the middle of nowhere and the only life we saw the whole way around was the lambs that kept lying in the middle road. The weather just made everywhere looks so pretty to the point where I didn’t want to come home. We continue down through Uig and back to Portree where we enjoyed some Fish and Chips before travelling back to Glencoe. I really hope to go back to Skye one day as there is so much more to explore. Hopefully next time we can stay on the island aswell.
We travelled home on this day but wanted to stop of a couple of places that we never managed to get to. Firstly, we popped into the Glencoe Visitors Centre which is run by the National Trust for Scotland. We are National Trust members, so we got free entry into the exhibition. This told us all about the history of the Glen and how they were formed millions of years ago and tells its story right up to the present day and how it’s effected by tourists. Its worth a visit if you have an hour or so to spare. It has a lovely café and gift shop as well as a nice viewing platform where you can get some great photos. We then stopped of at The Glencoe Café which was basically like sitting in someone’s livingroom having your lunch, but the food was delicious. It was then time to go and head back home. We had one more stop to make which was to Cultybraggan Camp. This camp, which is hidden in the Perthshire countryside was used for Nazi Prisoners during World War Two. You can still see the old Nissan Huts where they slept and the Old Guards Block. The site is now owned by a community trust which occupy many of the huts for different businesses but your can purchase a leaflet for £1 that gives you a walkthrough tour of the camp. We enjoyed an hour walking round here and ended up buying the book from the office that goes into more of the history. After this we got back on the rod one final time and returned home to sunny Fife.
Since we have been back we have been trying to plan some nights away camping again. We hope to do the North Coast 500 sometime this year so if anyone has done it and has any posts or tips then let me know. We are also doing some researching into camping using our new car a a make shift camper van so I will keep you all updated about that.
Hope you have all enjoyed reading about my travels.