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Harris and Highlands Adventure: Scotland 2019!

Harris and Highlands Adventure: Scotland 2019!

Postby Dave » 29 Jul 2019 18:10

We're setting off on Thursday for our third successive summer holiday in Scotland. :D

The planning started almost a year ago when we booked two very desirable cottages for a week in each - the first on Harris in the Outer Hebrides and the second somewhere north of Ullapool. Getting in early gave us exactly what we were looking for.

Then, almost a year later, I got around to trying to book ferries. There was no availability on the day that we wanted to cross to Stornoway, so we're going a day early and staying overnight in a small cottage because all the hotels on Lewis/Harris were full. And we're crossing back to Ullapool ridiculously early in the morning because the civilised sailing was fully booked. My organisational skills proved to be sadly lacking! :oops:

I had better luck with hotels to break up the north and south -bound journeys though. We're staying overnight in Stirling on the way north, and in Carlisle on the way south. :D

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The cottages look fantastic. We've stayed in similar kinds of accommodation before and we've loved them all.

Week One:

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Week Two:

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I've been determined to make amends for my previous lack of organisation. I've researched and planned activities for every day - including some serious mountain walking - and today I went to Go Outdoors to buy midge nets, anti-midge spray, anti-midge wristbands and midge cream. In our previous four weeks in the highlands and islands we've not had a single encounter with the little pests, but it's best to be prepared! :angel:

As usual, I'll be posting lots of updates about our adventures...
Dave

Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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Re: Harris and Highlands Adventure: Scotland 2019!

Postby Camela » 29 Jul 2019 18:20

I'm the same Dave, take loads of First Aid type stuff on our travels, much easier than having to find a retailer especially in a foreign place. Or is it I remember the Guide motto?!!
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Re: Harris and Highlands Adventure: Scotland 2019!

Postby rdw123 » 30 Jul 2019 07:17

Have a super holiday both of you. I must say there is not a big choice of hotels on Harris but nil points for ferry organisations! Glad you are well prepared for the midges, little blighters they get EVERYWHERE! Have fun.
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Harris and Highlands Adventure: Scotland 2019!

Postby Gillzajoker » 30 Jul 2019 10:43

Well, Dave, your anti-midge preparations almost make up for your 'ferry fiasco'. But I'm sure
all will work out well in the end and you'll have a super time - to which I am already looking forward
to hearing about! :D
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Re: Harris and Highlands Adventure: Scotland 2019!

Postby Dave » 01 Aug 2019 18:57

The adventure is underway!

We arrived in Stirling after a nine-hour trouble-free drive. The Stirling Highland Hotel is old, big, very pleasant and typically Scottish. The building is a former school and is central and near the castle.

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We checked in then almost immediately went for a walk around the old city, starting with the castle and the adjacent graveyard. The views were fantastic.

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Then we headed down to the city centre to find dinner. We had Vegan Aioli wraps in a rather scruffy Subway and they were delicious! :-)

Tomorrow we'll be driving to Ullapool to catch the ferry to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. We're sleeping over near Stornoway before driving to Harris and the first cottage.


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Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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Harris and Highlands Adventure: Scotland 2019!

Postby Gillzajoker » 02 Aug 2019 11:01

Glad to hear the initial stage went so well. Fabulous views! :D
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Re: Harris and Highlands Adventure: Scotland 2019!

Postby Dave » 02 Aug 2019 17:21

Thanks Gill.

After breakfast we set off for Ullapool. We had plenty of time before we needed to check in for the ferry, so we decided to stop in Inverness on the way for a look around and to get some lunch.

We visited Inverness about 20 years ago and remembered it as being smaller and nicer!

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The drive to Ullapool was excellent as the world became ever quieter and wonderfully scenic. We really liked the town - and the warm sunny weather too!

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A panoramic view of the loch at Ullapool:

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We enjoyed ice creams while waiting for the ferry:

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Here it comes: :-)

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Next stop, the Outer Hebrides!



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Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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Harris and Highlands Adventure: Scotland 2019!

Postby bobbyoscar » 02 Aug 2019 21:20

Can't wait for the rest of your updates. We had hoped to visit Harris some years ago but it wasn't to be. The furthest we got was Skye and stayed near Portree. We were also last in Inverness about 20 years ago.
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Harris and Highlands Adventure: Scotland 2019!

Postby Gillzajoker » 03 Aug 2019 08:14

Beautiful views again and a gorgeous day! :D
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Re: Harris and Highlands Adventure: Scotland 2019!

Postby Dave » 03 Aug 2019 14:40

Thanks for the replies! :-)

We stayed overnight in a basic, but surprisingly pleasant apartment (especially considering the price) near Stornoway. This morning we set off early for our cottage on the south coast of Harris, and, because we had several hours to kill, we spent time in Stornoway, Tarbert and Leverburgh along the way.

We stolled around Stornoway for a couple of hours and had breakfast and coffee. The view of the town from near the castle:

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The scenery on Harris is like nowhere else. On the way to Tarbert we stopped to take in the views:

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In Tarbert, Fred was quite pleased to find a big Harris Tweed shop. She was over the moon when she came out with a very nice handbag!

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We stopped for lunch by a loch in Leverburgh:

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And finally - on the afternoon of our third day of travelling, we arrived at Blacksheep Cottage. :-)

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Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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