Sunday, 23 October 2011

Glasgow to Torcastle

Hi all,
In my last post about Scotland we had just left Glasgow, so today we will continue our journey towards Rogart. Today's post will take us from the outskirts of Glasgow to our B&B at Torcastle, just beyond Fort William.

It never ceases to amaze me just how quickly one escapes the clutches of Glasgow when travelling north up the A82. One minute you are surrounded by imposing high rise buildings and then suddenly, you are smelling the sweet air that drifts down off the Trossachs. The road as far as Tarbet which is situated about three quarters of the way up Loch Lomond is a good one. It follows the shoreline for most of the way and there are lots of picnic spots overlooking the Loch. It was now lunch time so we stopped and ate a couple of delicious sausage sandwiches that my wife had made the night before.

Full of grub, we carried on past Tarbet and beyond the end of Loch Lomond to Crianlarich, which borders the very remote Ranoch Moor. The countryside in this part of the world is awe inspiring and it sets the traveller up nicely for the spectacular that is Glen Coe,

where huge mountains roll down to a thin ribbon of road that winds through the valley. We stopped half-way down Glen Coe, got out our flask and drank in our surroundings along with a nice cup of tea.
Eventually, we arrived at Loch Linnhe
where we turned right and followed its shores up to Fort William. The photo above is of Loch Linnhe, with my wife and our dog Buzby, who is, more sadly than I can explain, no longer with us.

Fort William looked very nice and I am disappointed that we didn't have time to explore it. It was now late in the day and we needed to book in at our B&B and have a bit of a rest. We easily found the B&B in the small village of Torcastle and once we'd sorted ourselves out, we went out for an evening meal. We hoped to find a nice village pub and that is exactly what we found in Banavie, a small village situated towards the bottom end of the Caladonian Canal. In fact, the pub was right on the side of the canal next to Neptune's Staircase, which is one of its wonders. Neptune's Staircase is a set of 8 locks that are part of the total of 29 that raise the water levels as it travels up the Great Glen. Below, you can see a picture of the Canal with Ben Nevis looming in the background.

The Caladonian Canal was engineered by Thomas Telford and built to provide a short cut for ships travelling around the north coast of Scotland. The canal links several lochs, including Loch Ness, on its 62 mile journey from Inverness on the east coast to Fort William in the west. The canal took aproxiamately 17 years to build and was completed in 1822. It was a terrific feat of engineering, but sadly, it never fulfilled its potential. By the time the canal was finished, ships had become much bigger and couldn't fit through the lochs.

I'll leave this post here because I think we have gone far enough for one day.

Here's just a reminder that you can find out more about my books by clicking here.
You can also see some of my pyrography work by clicking here.

Finally, you may interested in checking out a website called Folksy. It is a website where crafty people can sell the stuff they have made themselves. There are some great things on there at very reasonable prices.

I have set up a shop on to sell some of my pyrography work and to get the ball rolling I am offering some of the items from my website at a discount on Folksy. Here is the link if you would like to take a look.

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