If you don’t have a car or can’t drive, оne-day organised trips are the best way to explore some of the beautiful places in Scotland. There are a couple of companies which offer trips every day with a starting point from Glasgow or Edinburgh. The tour I booked with some friends was with Rabbie’s, from Glasgow to Oban, Glen Coe and lakes and castles of the Highlands.
It was the middle of May 2016 and the weather was awesome, sunny and just a bit windy, which for Scotland is the best weather you can get. The starting point of the tour was next to George Square. The driver of the minibus was our guide as well and told us many stories about the places visitеd. The whole trip was very entertaining, we listened to Scottish music, learnt new things about Scotland and saw scenic places.
We started our trip by going to the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond and stopping at Luss. On the way, we learnt about the native tribes that use to live in Scotland many years ago the Picts, the Vikings, the Celts, the Roman invasion of England and the Adrian wall. In Luss, we manage to see the famous Highland Cow and we enjoyed a short walk through the village to the banks of Loch Lomond.
Our next stop was the famous pass Rest and Be Thankful on the A83, a viewpoint above Glen Croe where you can enjoy the scenic view of the valley. People would stop to rest here after reaching the top of the valley. You can see the beautiful valley, and the old valley road engineered by General Wade after the Jacobite Rebellion. “Rest and Be Thankful” were the words inscribed on near the junction on the A83 and the B828 placed by the soldiers who built the road. That is where the pass gets its name.
From there we continued our trip to Inveraray, where we saw Inveraray castle and many of the beautiful bluebells.
The ruins of Kilchurn castle were our next stop. We were on the other side of the shore, but still, the view was pretty amazing. Going to the ruins is definitely something I will do the next time I am there.
The great thing about the organised trips is that if the weather is great, the guide can make additional stops and you can see something extra that was not on the itinerary. Thus, after seeking Kilchurn castle and before going to Oban, our main stop, we did a small pit stop at St Conan's Kirk. The church is located on the north shore of Loch Awe and it is nothing like you might imagine, as it doesn't have any particular style. The church was designed by Walter Campbell, who lived in this area with his mother and sister. The nearest church in Dalmally, was too far for his mother to visit, thus Walter decided to build a church close to their house. The church is called eccentric and a bit bizarre, as the best of different European styles meet in the design of the kirk to produce something magnificent.
Oban is known as the seafood capital of Scotland. We had lunch there at Eeusk and guess what, we ate fish! You should definitely try the mussels, it is one of the best things on the menu, but I may be biased. Apart from a good lunch, Oban has many more things to offer. There is the Oban distillery, although you need a bit more time for the tour, but you can visit the store and go back home with a good whiskey. Another store which was recommended by our driver/guide was the Oban Chocolate Store. Now, this is something you don't want to miss. If you fancy a walk, you can go up to McCaig's Tower and enjoy the scenery. We didn't have time for that, though.
Back on the road, our next stop was castle Stalker. The castle was built around 1320 and had changed its owners a couple of times during this long period from the MacDougalls to the Stewarts, the Campbells and Stewarts again. You can read all about its history on the official website of Castle Stalker.
The magnificent Glencoe, our last stop before going back to Glasgow. I believe you all know the story, so I will just leave you with the photos below, which can only try to represent this spectacular scenery.
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A girl from Bulgaria, travelling around Europe and sharing her travelling experiences! Currently living in Scotland.