Scotland travel tips (Ayrshire, Glencoe, Carrbridge) – Part 1

We have a confession to make, we have been terrible at writing new blog posts in the past 10 months (data below). After averaging 5 posts a month for 2 years straight, we have written only 7 posts in the last 10 months! We have so many unblogged travel tips and memories to share but as we have mentioned in two blogversary posts – writing a post take a fair bit of time and expat life (visas, day job, etc) has kept us busy.

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Drastic reduction in posting new content

To turn the tide, we are going to make sure we blog once every Sunday with travel summaries of unblogged places if we do not have a full post ready. Each post will be of a country with pictures, public transport logistics, food and drink recommendations and a “twitter-style” summary per city / area. And the natural starting point is obviously Scotland 😉

Ballachulish & Glencoe Visitor Centre

Summary: Part of showing Yoda’s parents some of Scotland, we stayed a night at Strathassynt Guest House, Ballachulish to see some of Glencoe’s grand landscapes. We couldn’t quite work this leg optimally as the Glencoe and Dalness visitor centre is quite far from the classic Three Sisters view but does have a couple of trails and an indoor coffee shop to keep us dry.

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Giants of Glencoe – house for scale

Public transport: Took bus 918 from Oban (took an hour). Took an onward bus to Skye via Eilean Donan castle and Fort William. Part of this itinerary.

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Early morning at Loch Leven, Ballachulish

Additionally, Citylink bus towards Glasgow (a handful connections a day) to get to the visitor centre and back

Food & drink: Breakfast at Quarry Cafe, Ballachulish

Camping at Crosshill, South Ayrshire

Summary: We camped at the wonderful Walled Garden campsite (part of our top 5 Scottish campsites) with our close friends at 22 Nelson Street as a replacement for our missed Galloway Forest Park trip. We were lucky to get clear skies and saw a number of shooting stars. The location also allowed us to take a bus trip to Glentrool and back as a daytrip giving us access to some nice hiking.

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Lovely tall trees just outside the campsite

Public transport: ScotRail trains from Edinburgh – Glasgow Central – Maybole followed by bus 58/361 to the Kilkerran road stop. The walk to the campsite is about 20 mins but it is worth it! (total trip just under 3 hours)

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The campsite also has a California Redwood!

Additionally, bus 58 to Girvan followed by 359 took us to Galloway Forest Park @ Glentrool. We had to let these locals use the passing place on our way there 🙂

Food & drink: Bombay Cuisine in Girvan (JustEat) has some legit Indian snacks (pakora, etc).

Carrbridge, Cairgorms National Park

Summary: Daytrip from Inverness with Yoda’s parents to show them the lovely 300 year old packhorse bridge, a 15 min walk from the train station. Leaving in the afternoon from Inverness allowed us to take an onward train to Aviemore for dinner at the Winking Owl (its that good) and back.

Public transport: ScotRail train from Inverness (Off-peak day return to Aviemore with a journey break)

Food & drink: The Winking Owl (the taproom for the Cairngorms Brewery)

Tip: Similar to Brienz, Switzerland, Carrbridge is known for its wood carvings. Carve Carrbridge is an annual wood carving competition slotted for 1st Sept 2018.

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