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Sunday 12 February 2023

Scotland Revisited

On Sunday morning we pick my Dad up and head north to Scotland. Out first stop is a new one to us at Arrochar which is about half-way up Loch Lomond but actually on nearby Loch Long rather than Lomond itself. We stay at the Claymore Hotel which has been taken over by several coach parties. 


These seem to be its main trade hence fixed mealtimes and a three course set meal for dinner. Which is mostly pensioner sixed but generally fine as we are all sort of around that age anyway. They do have a good range of Loch Lomond beers which are unfortunately in cans but you can’t have everything. The Silke Stout goes down very well. 


We are advised to have a late breakfast after the coach party rush which works well and allows L to get a run in first. Then it’s back in the car for the relatively short trip up to Glencoe.

We pull into Glencoe ski centre and frequent their new café which replaces the one that burnt down and which was just being finished when we were here last year. My Dad gets offered a ride up on their rickety old chairlift which we decline on the grounds it’s not a great idea for a 94 year old.

Then we check into the Kingshouse Hotel for two nights which is somewhere we have wanted to stay for a long time. We eat there, which is a bit posh and expensive but very nice and they have Glen Spean beer on the bar. Afterwards I have the first whisky of the holiday.

In the morning L goes off for a run along the old, abandoned route of the A82 which runs across the back of the hotel. She has the Lad off lead which is very brave for her.

Later we take a first ever trip down the long road to the bottom of Glen Etive, then head to the ‘Crafts & Things’ café in Glencoe village for coffee and cake before a trip round an old favourite, Loch Lochan, which the Lad drops his ball in. After a convoluted rescue operation he then can’t be bothered to carry it anymore.

In the evening we eat at the Clachaig but again end up in the Lounge bar because the Boots bar is closed for a mountaineering talk. Which is a shame as my Dad would have loved it in there. They have Cairngorm Wild Cat and again Loch Lomond Silke Stout on the bar among others.

Inspired by L and the Lad, I join them for their off the leash run down the old A82. It’s more hobble than run for me though. Then we head up to Fort William for our next stop.


A trip down Glen Nevis goes well until we get to the end of it when the car picks up what appears to be a stone in one its brake shoes but the local garage couldn’t find an issue and it goes away on its own. The problem then metamorphosises into a flat tyre for when we arrive at The Moorings where we are staying again. I ring the RAC and they send a local guy out who puts the ‘space saver’ spare on while we eat. Then in the morning we’re back at the garage but only after L has done a morning run along the Caledonian Canal.

We drop off the tyre and revisit the Highland Soap Company café for breakfast. When we have the tyre sorted we then head up to the Gondola at Nevis Range, which I’d love to take my Dad up but it’s closed due to high winds. We visit the café instead.

In the evening we eat at the Ben Nevis Inn where there is a live band, a traditional one not a rock band. There is again Cairngorm Wild Cat on the bar. 

On Friday, after L has done another run along the canal, we move on to our next stop via breakfast in Spean Bridge and then a rather long detour to allow my Dad to revisit Aviemore. I show him the train up Cairngorm, which is totally new to him as it opened in 2001 long after his last trip up there. It has also only just reopened after being closed for five years due to needing repairs. It isn’t running today due to high winds (naturally) and lack of snow but they are skiing on the nursery slopes sat the bottom on manmade snow. We, of course, visit their café and ceremoniously throw my Dad’s old shoes away after they fall apart. 

Then we head down to a place called Ballinluig just south of Pitlochry for our final two nights. We are here (partly) for the three book shops, a brewery, a distillery and of course parkrun. We eat at the rather nice Old Mill Inn and have Whisky (again) back in the bar by the accommodation.

Saturday is Faskally Forest parkrun on a rather interesting and hilly forest course. I had considered running it but decide supporting would be more sensible. Then afterwards we have breakfast in Pitlochry, after which L skips off looking for the book shops and at a faster pace than she ran at Parkrun.

We then take a trip out to Loch Tummell before going Indian in the evening at Cidsin Bistro. Then back at the accommodation we sample the local Edradour whisky, from Scotland’s smallest distillery. It is so good I buy some to take home.

Then on Sunday we head home after breakfast in Bridge of Annan.

(Sunday 12th February)

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