Sunday, 19 April 2015

Lysblink Seaways

My first post for a few weeks as the Lysblink Seaways is taken from Inchgreen Drydock where she had been taken after running aground off the West of Scotland 2 months ago.

The 120 metre long cargo ship had grounded near Ardnamurchan while travelling from Belfast to Norway on February this year and had been brought to Greenock for repairs.

Svitzer tugs Anglegarth and Ayton Cross moved the ship to Roseneath Pier this morning.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Stirling and Doune Castles

Historic Scotland membership is great value for money, but to make it even better why not visit 2 sites in one day?

First stop was Stirling Castle, a place I have been several times in the past.

Robert the Bruce statue outside Stirling Castle
Forework and circular towers
Colours of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in the regimental museum
One of the Stirling Heads which adorned the ceiling of the King's Inner Hall in the palace.
Stirling Castle commands a vantage point over the surrounding land
Eight miles to the north-west of Stirling lies Doune Castle, home of Robert of Albany, Regent of Scotland from 1388 till 1420.

The castle has taken on a new role in more recent times, recognisable to many as one of the location used in the making of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, along with other films and television dramas.

Doune Castle
Great Hall with central fire basket
The Lord's Hall, with timber panelling and minstrel's gallery above
Saltire flying from the top of the castle
View of the kitchen from inside the large fireplace
Courtyard and well

Wednesday, 18 March 2015


As promised to myself, we took another very enjoyable trip up the A82 with the aim of visiting Glencoe.

Just short of Bridge of Orchy, the pyramid shaped Beinn Dorain caught our eye again and so we stopped for a couple of photographs.

The Rio Tinto Alcan train runs regularly to Fort William with a cargo of alumina and we were on time to see it coming back down the line.

Next stop was Lochan na h-Achlaise where the distant snow-topped mountains were reflecting beautifully in the still water.

We eventually reached Kingshouse Hotel where we stopped in the carpark for a cuppa and a sandwich. The wildlife inhabitants soon came by to visit us and were happy to pose to have their photographs taken.

After our break it was time to get back on the road. We drove into Glen Coe and parked the car for a walk up the Devil's Staircase. The uphill walk was long and tiring but the hike was worth the energy spent. Once at the summit, which still had patches of snow lying, we had a view towards the Mamores beyond Kinlochleven.

We left the footpath and headed west for a view of the Three Sisters, three shoulders of Bidean nam Bian, the highest peak in Argyll. Although the day was generally bright and sunny there was a haze which hung around most of the time.

Back at the base of the Devil's Staircase it was time for another coffee and sandwich to replenish ourselves and for one last photo opportunity before leaving Glencoe.

At the foot of Buachaille Etive Mor is Lagnagarbh Hut which is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and provides accomodation, mainly for climbers.

On our way home we stopped at Loch Tulla in time for the sun setting on a very enjoyable day out. There are still many areas of Glencoe to be explored, so I'm sure I will have at least one more visit this year.

Friday, 20 February 2015

RSPB Lochwinnoch

It has been too long since my last visit to the RSPB nature reserve at Lochwinnoch. The staff are very friendly and helpful, as are the visitors I spoke to in the photo hide.

Within a short space of time I had seen at least a dozen species of birds, some of which were too quick or distant to be captured by my camera.

I have promised myself a return visit shortly.

Male Chaffinch with a tasty morsel
Lesser redpoll beside a pond
A pair of  Mallards
Male Mallard
Male Siskin on a tree stump
Blue tit
Long-tailed tit at a peanut feeder
Long-tailed tit hiding behind the feeder
Robin on a mossy rock
Goldfinch on a thorny branch
Reed bunting
Great tit at a feeding station
Scarlet elf cup fungi on a branch
Snowdrops beside the visitor centre

Saturday, 7 February 2015

A82 Road Trip

Running from Glasgow to Inverness, the A82 is the main road linking the central belt to the western highlands of Scotland.

Within a relatively short period of time you can get access to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.

We set out early in the morning with the intention of going to Glencoe, but had to stop several times to take in the sight before us.

A day is too short a timescale to take in so breathtaking vistas. The outcome being that a return trip is already being planned.

Mist covering the base of Beinn Dorain near Tyndrum
Bridge over the River Orchy
Loch Tulla
Black Rock Cottage with Buachaille Etive Mor in the background
Red deer grazing
Kingshouse Hotel
Loch Etive
Ben Starav overlooks Loch Etive
Red deer stag
Sunset over Glen Etive