Waking up in Fort William we hoped for a lovely clear day so we would get an amazing view of Ben Nevis; alas it wasn’t to be. We headed to the Corpach Sea Locks after breakfast and check out. The locks are the starting point of the Caledonian Canal and the big attraction seems to be a shipwreck; this was a bit off the beaten track but recommended to us so we had a quick look given its close proximity to Fort William.
Hitting the road we started the long drive towards Glasgow and hit some quite severe snowy weather on the way. We pulled up at the Glencoe Visitors Centre and Nature Reserve when the snow started hitting hard to have a bit of a break. The location was the host for films such as Harry Potter, Skyfall and Braveheart; unfortunately for us it was a bit snowy, very cold and mostly shut! From looking at their website however this looks an amazing place to visit in the warmer months
We then hit a biggg traffic jam around the Three Sister’s Viewpoint. The road was pretty bad and a bus got stuck on a bend, with of all things, a snowplough heading the other way. You couldn’t make it up! We ended up stranded for a considerable time but we couldn’t complain cos the view was amazing! We found this spot purely by accident but it is a well known viewpoint in the Canmore area due to the 3 mountains named Faith, Hope and Charity!
The stop put us behind schedule but luckily we had provisions in the car to keep us going and eventually the fire service arrived to come and supported the bus to get clear and on we headed towards Loch Lomond. The scenery on the drive was just stunning!
We arrived at Loch Lomond just after lunch; parked up at the Inveruglas Pier and took in the amazing views across the loch. It was pretty chilly and but we spent some time just admiring the wildlife and views. Loch Lomond is part of the Trossachs National Park and is 36km long and between 1-8km wide. It’s known for its wildlife, walking paths and water based activities as well as having whiskey distilleries in the area. It’s a popular tourist spot and it was easy to see why! It was stunning!
Onwards again it was now time to head into Glasgow for Nigel to get his football fix at Celtic Park. From Loch Lomond to Glasgow it took about an hour and 15 and luckily the roads were a lot clearer than they had been earlier in the journey! Celtic Park is the home of Celtic FC and hosts the biggest football stadium in Scotland. The ground is nicknamed ‘paradise’ and thought to originate from a comment made in 1892 about the new stadium back in : “It’s like moving from the graveyard to Paradise”. The stadium has undergone major refurbishment over the years and now has a capacity of 60,000.
Finally we were heading now to our destination for the night, Edinburgh! One last stop called though…the Forth Bridges! Some online research indicated that the best views of the bridges can be seen from Queensferry, we set the Sat Nav for the Innkeepers Collection Hotel and pub and it was the perfect location to see them; especially at sunset. The Forth Bridge is the red cantilever railway bridge which was completed in 1890 and considered a symbol of Scotland as well as being an UNESCO heritage site. The Forth Road Bridge is a suspension bridge which opened in 1964 and at the time was the longest suspension bridge in the world outside of the USA. There is a 3rd bridge; the Queensferry Crossing which opened in 2017 to carry the traffic from the M90 Motorway. The Forth Road Bridge exceeded its capacity carrying over 65,000 vehicles a day at its peak and is now dedicated to public transport, cycles and foot passengers only.
Finally, after 6 hrs driving and 202 miles we made it to our hotel for the night the Best Western Kings Manor hotel in Edinburgh! We only had a short time in Edinburgh so despite our tiredness we headed straight out to find the famous castle, the most famous historic landmark in the area. Edinburgh Castle has origins back to prehistory and has been a royal residence, a garrison, prison and a fortress. More about its fascinating history can be found here. It didn’t take long before we were able to spy it on castle rock so we parked up for a closer look.
Next was to find somewhere to have a drink; something we didn’t feel would be too tricky in Edinburgh and we were not mistaken. We headed to Grassmarket; located in the historic old town and known for its independent merchants, designers and artists. In addition there are also loads of pubs so it was a done deal for us!
We next headed for a recommended pub in Lawnmarket, a street where linen was historically sold and part of the Royal Mile. A friend who had visited previously recommended a pub called the Jolly Judge so we decided to find it! and find it we did! Unfortunately due to covid regulations and capacity they wouldn’t let us in however 🙁 It looked a nice pub so we were disappointed.
Instead we found a nearby pub called the Deacon Brodie Tavern which served a good pint, nice food and even herbal tea!
We really liked what we saw in Edinburgh and disappointed we had so little time left as we were heading home the next day. We both agreed Edinburgh deserved another longer visit and at some point in the future we will plan to book a weekend here. For tonight, however it was time to head back to our hotel.
On our last morning before we headed back towards Nigel wanted to see one last thing… you’ve guessed it a football stadium!. This time it was Easter Road, home of Hibernian FC. The ground is the 5th largest in Scotland with a 20,000 crowd capacity.
Sadly our Scottish driving adventures had come to an end and it was home time. We had had the most amazing 10 days seeing snow, mountains, deer, rivers, lakes and castles we had only seen in fairytales. Despite how close we are to Scotland it is amazing both of us left this trip so late; maybe because of the close proximity it was one of those things we would get to do at some point and so was never a priority. Nevertheless a Scottish Road trip is highly recommended by us and we definitely want to return to Edinburgh
Carol & Nigel x