Adeo on the Road – Scottish Familiarisation Trip
After a very busy season here at adeo Travel, we finally got the opportunity to take a break from the office and head out to bonny Scotland! Eager to have as much practical knowledge as possible about the places and accommodations that we recommend for our guests, trips like this one give us, as advisors, the opportunity to experience first-hand what we offer to our guests and gives us a helpful insight into how our trips work for our guests…
After an early start we arrived at our local airport in Cardiff and headed to Glasgow for our 4-day adventure…and what an adventure it was! Landing in Glasgow after a short flight we made our way to pick up our vehicle.
Easily found just a couple of minutes’ walk from the arrivals hall, the process was quick and smooth. We tend to advise our self-touring guests to pick-up their vehicles from the airport for a few reasons: airports in Britain are generally based on motorways, meaning your first drive in the UK would be connecting to a main road as opposed to smaller roads and we find this helps our guests ease into the driving laws here in the UK (and often getting used to driving on the other side of the road!). There are usually more of a supply and variety of vehicles at the airport, they tend to be open 24 hours a day (and therefore there aren’t any out-of-hours fees applicable.)
Check out this link to a blog created by my colleague Darryl, back in July, which includes our Top Ten hints and tips for driving in the UK. https://adeotravel.com/travel-blog/top-tips-for-driving-in-the-uk/
Maps at the ready we headed out first of all to Drymen (approx. 50 mins North of Glasgow.), a quaint and typical Scottish village located on the outskirts of the Trossachs National Park. Here we visited a couple of hotels we offer our guests; in keeping with the sorts of accommodation we tend to suggest (older buildings with classic features and typical of the area) the authentic Buchanan Arms and Winnock Hotel didn’t fail to please!
Afterwards we were back on the road to continue our plan of heading out to Ballachulish (near Fort William), and so we travelled alongside Loch Lomond (the biggest Loch in the UK) and through the stunning Trossachs National Park (often described as the Highlands in miniature). Here we experienced the first taste of what this amazing country has to offer! As we started sweeping through the country roads, we began to see ice & snow on the tops of the mountains on either side, creating a beautiful contrast between the lovely autumn richness of reds, oranges and yellows – with the lochs still and tranquil we experienced many stunning views, and stopped off for photo stops along the way!
On one such stop we were extremely lucky to come across a wild Stag, who was strutting around at one of the many look-out laybys dotted along these scenic roads. (One of the things that struck me along this drive was how easy it was to guide yourself through, signposting is very well done and there are very limited roads and therefore it is actually quite hard to get lost. There are many places you can stop to take photos and save the memories of the stunning vistas, as well as public toilet stops and café’s dotted along your drive for your convenience). With the perfect lighting behind it, the stag stood majestic, posing for photographs for the few fellow tourists and although keeping our distance from its antlers, we were lucky enough to get reasonably close and take some once in lifetime shots! Such a fabulous memory!
And the experiences continued as we started to approach the desolate and awe-inspiring Rannoch Moor towards the rugged peaks of Glencoe where you could sense we were getting further and deeper into the highlands. Again, stopping off for another photo opportunity, we paused at one of the photo stops and as you can see from this picture, we felt as though we were all alone in the world, just us, surrounded by this deep valley and towering mountains…with just one house, stood alone, enveloped in beauty. Again, a truly breath-taking experience!
With the time getting on, and dusk beginning to settle (due to the time of the year) we pushed on to go and visit another one of the hotels we work with regularly, the Isles of Glencoe in Ballachulish. Set on the banks of Loch Leven, the views from the hotel are simply irresistible, with their dining areas and most rooms facing towards the loch and the valleys surrounding them, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy the area! After a show around we headed off to the Isles of Glencoe Hotel’s sister property (located at only 5-10 mins away) which was our final destination and certainly my first choice of accommodation for this area, The Ballachulish Hotel.
Set between Loch Leven and Loch Linnhe the Ballachulish is a beautifully located hotel, offering stunning vistas. Most rooms give views of these beautiful Lochs and the hotel itself boasts character, warmth and true Scottish charm. With friendly, local staff greeting us we thoroughly enjoyed our experience, from the room itself to the public spaces, we ate well in their lovely restaurant offering a variety of cuisine and local delicacies. We finished the day in exactly the way you should after such a fantastic day of exploring in the Highlands at the end of November…a nice dram of Oban Whiskey, sourced from the local distillery enjoyed in front of a roaring open log-fire.
December 8, 2017