Day trips

The west coast of Scotland is very long and there are wonderful sandy beaches and and rocky coastlines.    Going north-east along Loch Ness towards Inverness, it's much more populated with more cultural places to visit.   Going north there are the remote north west highlands. 

One  beautiful spring morning I spent the day outside reading in the garden, our friends a few miles away, a hundred metres higher were snowed in.  Scottish weather can be very unpredictable.  Also we're never sure what the kids are going to jump into, so we always leave towels, good waterproof jackets and trousers and fleece jackets  in the car.  It's worth getting wet suits for the kids, ours tend to jump into anything wet, be it sea or river, they're not terribly expensive.

Seaside

Mallaig and Sands of Morar, Glenfinnan

Head west along the A82 towards For William but turn north on the road to the Isles, keeping going and you will reach Mallaig, we like the Fishmarket RestaurantMallaig scallops are particularly good.  Then head for the Morar Beaches.    If you ever saw the film Local Hero, there was the beach and the village, the beach was shot at Camusdarach Beach at Morar, the village was actually on the other side of Scotland.  Snorkelling good too, lots of crabs.

 

On the way back, it's very worthwhile stopping at Glenfinnan, fantastic views over Loch Shiel, turn around and you have a fair chance of seeing the Jacobite Steam Train, aka Hogwarts Express, cross the viaduct. The National Trust runs a  visitor centre, there is a  railway museum and lunch on offer in a 1950s dining car at Glenfinnan station.

Glenuig

Head west along the A82 towards For William but turn north on the Road to the Isles (A830) but turn off at Lochailort.  Park near the Glenuig Inn.   The Smirisary and the White Beach is a little more energetic in that you have to walk to the beach and back, but it's very pleasant.


Glenuig slideshow



Inverness via Loch Ness

 Drive east along the A82 towards Inverness, passing Loch Ness, wave to the Monster.   One can stop at Fort Augustus for a Cruise on Loch Ness.  The Loch has more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined and is  230 m deep.  Several companies run cruises on Loch Ness.  Inverness offers many possibilities. If you are travelling with kids, bring your swimming costumes and visit the Leisure Centre which has great flumes. Go and explore the site of the Battle of Culloden, just outside the town centre, or visit the Inverness Museum & Art Gallery.


Glen Affric

A day trip, leave eraly and drive north on the A82  along Loch Ness, then turn at Drumnadrochit on to the A831.  It's worth checking out the  Trees for Life web site,  dedicated to restoring the  Caledonian Forest of which Glen Affric is one of the largest remnants.   Glen Affric is very beautiful, in the past much of the Highlands seemed given away to sheep and forestry, so the diversity of species is kind of  strange and heartening.