Thursday, 18 August 2011

John O'Groats to Lands End

Well not quite but very close! In the past 2 months husband and I have taken a couple of breaks. In June we went on a coach tour of Scotland. H had never before visited "north of the border" and the last time for me had been some 45+ years ago. Recent times have seen us jetting off on long-haul flights to visit our children in Australia and New Zealand. Well now the "Australians" are back living in the UK and although our NZ family are staying put and therefore another trip there will take place, it is not on the cards at the moment. So in mid June we boarded a coach and were taken north, as far as Inverness.

We saw Loch Ness


but not "Nessie", this was the closest we got!


The Caledonian Canal is another famous Scottish waterway and we stopped here at Neptunes Staircase and saw a set of 8 locks designed to raise vessels to 70 feet above sea level and thus negotiate the surrounding area. There are 29 locks in total on the canal.





We drove through the wonderfully atmospheric Glen Coe, site of the historic massacre of the MacDonalds by the Campbells.






This monument is to the Commandos who died during the 2nd World War. The surrounding area was their training ground.


We stayed in Fort William which is very close to Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in the Bristish Isles) and from there had a train ride to Mallaig which is said to be one of the most scenic in the world. It was certainly beautiful and the morning was perfect with sunshine, blue skies and hardly a breeze so the reflections in the lochs were very sharp and clear. I didn't take many photos as I wanted to concentrate on the views and after all we were rattling along in a train.


Unfortunately we had only a brief stay in Edinburgh but did manage a couple of shots of the Castle.


and a piper


On the way home we went to Gretna Green on the border of England and Scotland, which has seen so many runaway marriages.



Last week we travelled down to see some friends who have lived in Cornwall for the past 5 years. We went via the Tamar Bridge.


We actually stayed in the village of St Keverne, on the Lizard which is the southernmost part of the British Isles. The hotel we stayed in "The Three Tuns" is reputed to have a ghost! Fortunately we didn't see anything untoward.

Lands End is a short drive away and we travelled over there one day and had lunch in a hotel overlooking St Ives.



A very pleasant few days catching up with our friends and we promised to do it again before too long. We realised on our way home that we had almost travelled the length of the British Isles during the past few weeks, but not quite!

19 comments:

A Heron's View said...

Isn't it great to go on tour !

jabblog said...

Nice to get home again and take stock!

Jay said...

Looks like fun! Although I think Glen Coe would be a very sad and sombre place to be, it does look very atmospheric and would certainly be an experience.

Cornwall is an altogether softer place isn't it?

Deb said...

what a awesome trip....too bad no Nessie sighting would make a great blog post...good to see you back girl...

Gattina said...

What a wonderful tour ! I have never been so far up north, but after my stay in Eastbourne I spent 3 days in Oxford in an old college. That was wonderful too.
http://gattinatravels.blogspot.com/2011/08/oxford-uk.html

Maggie May said...

I did that trip a few years ago. The weather was perfect and it really turned out to be a wonderful holiday.
Lovely to see it all again.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

cheshire wife said...

Thank you for the trip down memory lane, as I have visited most of those places.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Heron's View - it was great and to see parts of our own country.

jabblog - indeed and to plan another trip.

Jay - Cornwall is a gentler place somehow but both are lovely in
their own right.

Deb - wouldn't it have been something to catch Nessie on camera!

Gattina - so much to see - so many wonderful places right on our doorstep!

Maggie - we had pretty good weather too and it was a great trip.

CW - I think it is a popular tour - so glad you enjoyed it all again!

Gattina said...

You are very welcome in our group "Cats on Tuesday"

joo said...

It's so good to see you again Anne, and with such a lovely post!
Thanks for the photo from the north. I spent lovely holiday there two years ago. Unfortunately, didn't meet Nessie as well, next time maybe:)
Have a great weekend!
Hugs
Joo

Amish Stories said...

A very nice blog and thought id say hello. Richard from the Amish community of Lebanon,Pa.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Gattina - I'll see you there!

Joo - good to hear from you. So glad the photos evoked some memories for you.

Amish Stories - thank you for your visit and kind comment

Mary said...

Wonderful photos from your trip! I bet this was really beautiful.

Alcoholic Daze (ADDY) said...

Lovely photos. I stayed in Glencoe many years ago - and bumped into Jimmy Saville in a cafe. He lives there from time to time apparently. I found the whole area really breathtakingly beautiful. Britain has a lot of good scenery to see.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Mary - pleased you enjoyed the photos - it was a great trip.

Addy - We heard that Jimmy Saville has a cottage in Glencoe - can understand why - so beautiful.

Denise said...

I thoroughly enjoyed all these super photographs Anne. The last time I was in Scotland I was 22 and would love to go back one day. A lovely trip for you and your husband.

Gill - That British Woman said...

my mother did a similar coach tour back in May can't remember what firm they used, but they have used them a number of times and always have a good time. They live in Carlisle by the way and my brother actually lives in Gretna.

Gill in Canada

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Denise - it was a lovely trip, so pleased you enjoyed looking at the photos.

Gill - I think it is a popular trip run by many operators. Fancy your brother living in Gretna!

stefani9999 said...

hey! very interesting photos !!!