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.