Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Inverness and Culloden

Last night we pored over our map to make a decision about which way we'd head today.  We decided we would head West to Loch Lomond.  As we set off through Anstruther the tide was out so I took one more photo of the harbour.  The Tom Tom took us on the road towards Perth.

I had the map on my lap and was thinking about getting out my Kindle book reader to start again on the Diana Gabaldon books.  I've read them several times and really enjoyed them.  They sparked my interest in Scotland.  As we approached Perth, I glanced down at the map and spotted Inverness.  A quick discussion and we altered our route.  I've always wanted to visit Inverness and in particular the Culloden battlefield.  Plus, how could we resist a chance to look for the Loch Ness monster!

My photos today don't come close to representing the scenery we saw.  It was just incredible but being a rather gloomy day for the most part, it was impossible to get a photo showing what it was like.  There wasn't many opportunities to stop for a photo anyway.  

We drove past huge swathes of bluebells, way more than we've seen so far.  The purple rhododendrons that we have seen recently were there in abundance.  We saw them lining a long driveway looking so perfect they didn't look real.  There was even the odd stretch with clumps of colourful lupins.  When we neared the highlands the landscape had totally changed.  First there were steep hills of pine plantations and then stark, bare mounts with some sporting snow.  Finally a wide river valley heading to Inverness with rolling green hills.  It was a lovely days drive and we are so glad we did it.

As we approached Inverness it was early enough in the afternoon to visit the Culloden battlefield visitors centre.  I would have paid to visit but it was a pleasant surprise to find it was a National Trust property.  Mick wasn't so fussed about it but I enjoyed the visit.  He doesn't like places where you have to read lots of boards to understand what it's about!

We hadn't booked anywhere to stay so we got the iPad out and after a bit of research we decided to splash out on the Mercure, right in the centre of Inverness.  It's a city about Mick's speed and he was happy to be in the centre of it.  I asked nicely when chatting to the lady at the desk and she allocated us a room with a lovely view.  We went our separate ways to walk the city, and I detoured to the shopping centre, before meeting back at our room.  

We decided to get pizza for dinner as we haven't had any since we left home (I don't count the amazing pizza I had in Italy - it's no comparison to takeaway).  All we could find was a Dominos but they did thin Italian based pizza so we placed our order.  Somehow it turned out that it was cheaper to order a large one than a medium one!!  As we waited for it my phone rang so I spent the waiting time chatting with Cathy from nb Moriarty.  We miss our new found friends and wish we could have spent more time with them.  They're simply going to have to come and visit us!

Over dinner we pondered our next move. We have another two nights unaccounted for before our week in a cottage near Warwick beginning on Friday.  It's quite liberating to be able to just go anywhere we feel like.  I remembered another tourist attraction that I'd been recommended some time ago.  We checked the map, checked the driving time and booked the next couple of nights hotels.  Now we have a plan.  Meanwhile Mick's happy gazing out the window of our hotel room, wondering what time it will get dark tonight.  At Anstruther it wasn't dark yet at 10pm and getting light at 4am.



deb (NZ) said...

Ah, another excuse to consult the travelogue :-)
Maybe one or two of these will help ...

Things we liked around Inverness
- Urquhart Castle
- Foyer Falls
- Fort George
- Clava Cairns

Don't know what your route will be but

Must see driving down the A9
- Blair Castle

Things we liked in southern Scotland
- Stirling Castle
- Falkirk Wheel
- Antonine Wall
- Rosslyn Chapel
- Melrose Abbey

Things we liked in northern England
- Hadrian's Wall
- Coniston Water (Lake District)
- Windermere (Lake District)
- Royal Arms and Armour Museum (Leeds)

Things we liked around Warwick
- Warwick Castle
- Kenilworth Castle

You can find our travelogue at:
but be aware it is very much work in progress

have fun!
deb (NZ)

Elly and Mick said...

Wow Deb!
What a list. We've seen just a couple of them. We keep saying to each other "we can't see everything!".
I'll have a read about some of the others. You never know, there might be a holiday again one day.