Blog - Steve McGregor

Welcome to Our Motorhome Touring Page

So, it's taken many months of planning, which is a little strange considering nothing has been booked. we have a rough idea where we are going but the idea is that it's not set in stone. If we wish to stay somewhere for a couple days we will, if we don't, we won't.

I will try to produce a blog, with a little information about the trip and some photos as we go along


Days 21, 22 & 23, Teversal

Thu 25th, Fri 26th and Sat 27th Aug 2016

The Coal Miner

The Coal Miner

The end is within sight, the last 2 days of driving were really hard especially the trip to where we are now. Traffic was heavy, it rained, a lot, I made a few mistakes which shouldn't really be possible but I managed it, ended up driving 20 miles further that I needed to.

We decided, many months ago that this would be our last stop, the main reason is we know it quite well, it's only about 4 hours from home, which means we have nearly the whole day when we get home Sunday to sort out the motorhome, get washing done and shopping etc. This means that Monday will be free to visit our grandson, whom we've really missed. The other reason we chose this site is the quality of the dog walking, and because we didn't know what Scotland would offer us in that respect we thought it only fair that they had a good couple of days off lead. Of course, it's quite a popular site and it's Bank Holiday weekend so we needed to book in advance..

That will probably be it now for the entries to the diary as we travel. Next week, beginning of September, I will add some statistics and a final reflection on the trip. Hopefully you have enjoyed what in reality is a photo diary of our trip and maybe you've enjoyed some of my comments too?

Teversal, Nottinghamshire


Day 20, Travelling to Englethwaite Hall, Nr Carlisle

Wed 24th Aug 2016

I didn't take one photo today, It was a day of travelling, we wanted to get as far as we could to make tomorrow's journey slightly easier, the further South we go the more likely it is that we will hit traffic.

We had hoped to stop at Luss today, which is a quaint, if not over commercialised town by the side of Loch Lomond but due to the amount of tourists wishing to do the same as us there was no parking available in what I would describe as their ample parking areas.

We bypassed Moffat, which was on our list of possible sites and headed for Carlisle where we found a site for old people, it's not advertised as that but believe me, it should be its 'tag' line. It's 8:30 pm now and I swear everyone is in bed. It's a beautiful evening and I could of taken a picture of a sunset but I think you have probably had enough of them, I certainly have. 

So apologies for no photos, hopefully there'll be a few taken at Teversal over the next 3 days. It's going to be the chill out end to our magnificent holiday, we know the site and the area well and the dogs will love it.


Days 18 & 19 Oban & Mull

Mon 22nd & Tue 23rd Aug 2016

I am updating now because I suddenly have 4g, which appeared yesterday afternoon but disappeared an hour or so later, possibly an issue with the local network.

I will update later, if I remember.

We arrive in North Ledaig, which is around 6 miles from Oban, and enjoyed a walk along the beach with the dogs off lead, something we haven't been able to do since Dunnet.

Then today I, without Sue went on a trip to Mull, Iona and Skaffa, the last is where Fingal's cave is. It was a long day, catching the bus outside the site at 9 am and returning at 9:30pm. It rained, it was cold, but throughly enjoyable. I realised another third of two of my life's ambitions the first was that I saw my second of three 'Sheela Na Gigs', this one wasn't planned and to be honest I had difficulty finding it and it isn't very good, in fact the website I have linked to isn't convinced because it is so worn.

The second is that I have seen the resting place of my second Labour leader, John Smith, leader of the opposition until 1994, TBH, this isn't really a life long ambition, it just so happens that I bumped into Harold Wilson's grave on the Isles of Scilly about 6 years ago, so after today I only need one more dead Labour leader to get 3, I've just had a thought, when I was cycling to Paddington on my way to Glastonbury I did go past Tony Blair's house, so perhaps that ambition has been realised....I know, I know....

Fingal's Cave was very special, enjoy the photos.

Fingal's Cave

Skaffa

North Ledaig (Oban)

Mull, Iona & Skaffa


Day 17, Glen Nevis/Ben Nevis

Sun 21st Aug 2016

On our way to Glen Nevis, which is at the foot Ben Nevis which is the tallest mountain in the British Isles we had to come through Fort William, which for some reason I've heard of but have no reason why?

So really strange mobile internet connection at the base of Ben Nevis that had the full gamut of speeds from G to E to H to H+ through to 4g but mainly no connection. So today I'm in the car park of a gift shop type place in Fort William which has 4g and was able to upload 3 photos in 30 seconds, something that took upwards of 6 hours last night and that was with me wondering around the campsite holding and waving my mobile around looking for that evasice H+ or 4g connection. 

So our walk along the base of Ben Nevis, along the river was lovely, the dogs loved it as it was their first run off lead for 6 days, such is the nature of Scotland and one of my concerns before coming here, alot to do with private land and livestock. 

Ben Nevis looked wonderful, I said to Sue that I would like to climb it before I am 60, she just fell about laughing, so as to not to give her the opportunity to say "I told you so" by attempting it and failing, I've decided not to bother + I looked at it again this morning and it don't half look fucking big.

The river running below Ben Nevis

The river at the base of Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis/Glen Nevis


Day trip to Isle of Skye

Sat 20th Aug 2016

WOW!

That's my first thought I had today as I ventured onto Skye and the WOWS got bigger as the day went on.

As you know our plan was to stay here for a couple of days but wasn't able to book the site as it was full, obviously we were very disappointed about that so we decided to spend a few hours here anyway. We even visited the site where we were hoping to stay, the owner/warden came out to see us and I politely asked if it OK to have a look around as we would loved to have stopped here? 'Oh. you should have called, we have 3 vacancies' So for the second time this holiday I have wanted to punch someone in the face.

To make it even worse he then said that the prices are cheaper than where we are staying and then pointed to the Age Concession price, WITHOUT asking how old I waa....bloody cheek. The same thing happened to me at Dingwall, I booked in and was told the cost would be £16.80, 'Oh lovely' I said 'are there any reductions for age concession?.' 'Yes there are' came the reply, 'that'll be £16.80.....'

So Skye was stunning, We drove, stopped, drove, stopped...for about 8 hours. I took loads of photos but have narrowed down what's on here to just a few. To be honest pictures cannot convey how wonder the place was. Enjoy then anyway.

A waterfall leading to a river and a Loch

Photos


Days 15 & 16, Morvich

Fri 19th & Sat 20th Aug 2016

Nr. Morvich

Morvich

After some debate we decided that after travelling so far on this trip that we would regret not going to the West of Scotland if we didn't do so. Isle of Skye was always one of the destination that was on my 'must do' list whilst up here. If we get bittern by midges, like I was last night then so be it, I can survive the sleep deprivation that occurred last night due to the intense itching.

So I contacted the campsite that was on Skye only to discover that they were fully booked, tried to find an alternative but the only place I could find is where we are now, and that is Morvich. It appears to be in the middle of nowhere, there is no mobile reception and definitely not any data connection, fortunately I have managed to purchase some Wi-Fi and it appears to be reasonably speedy and reliable, well I'v manage to upload a few photos.

Today we passed the 1,000 mile mark, and it happened to be just was we were driving past Loch Ness, I thought that was quite cute. Obviously had to stop to see if there was any sign of the monster and it brought back memories of Rosemarkie last week, or whenever it was, and those dolphins that were just as elusive as Nessie.

Quite a nice drive today, plenty of lochs, rivers, hydro-electric dams etc. Arrived at site had a pleasant walk with dogs before it started raining.

Tomorrow, we are taking the motorhome out for the day and visiting Skye.

Slideshow of trip to Morvich

Loch Ness

Loch Ness

No monster or dolphins


Days 13 & 14, Dingwall

Wed 17th Aug & Thu 18th Aug 2016

There has been a change of plan and direction, this was due to a couple of reasons. Firstly not realising how slow and difficult it was driving through the Highlands on narrow single track roads. It's not a major issue as such and there are plenty of well signposted 'Passing Places' and for a majority of the time your forward vision is well catered for, but it is slow. So I didn't fancy a 120 mile journey in such conditions. The second reason was the MIDGES, they were unbelievable at Altnaharra and our limited knowledge of the beasts meant that where we were headed (that is the West Coast) they would only be worse and we had to make a decision as to whether we wanted to take the risk of going to that side of Scotland and it spoiling our holiday.

So coming to Dingwall has given us the opportunity to make a decision, we did try to book Rosemarkie again, which is only about 15 miles from here, just so I may have the chance of seeing the dolphins but they were fully booked.

So, Dingwall, site is lovely, town is ok, but it isn't Dunnet or Brora or Altnaharra by any stretch of the imagination. Photo opportunities were scarce.

Our decision is to go to the West Coast, it's what we will be doing tomorrow, unfortunately, the Skye site was fully booked so we are going to somewhere called Morvich which is just off of Sky and we may have a day visit to the Isle.

Railway lines in Dingwall

Railway lines

Dingwall


Day 12, Altnaharra

Tue 16th Aug 2016

Photos from Altnaharra

I didn't want to leave Dunnet, it is the perfect holiday destination, if you have dogs and a wife who loves dogs..

The whole trip has been building towards heading to the West Coast of Scotland, everyone says that we have done it the right way and I have to say that with each day the places we have visited have got better and better. But to get to the West Coast means travelling across the Highlands, these roads are slow going due to the fact that they are single track (with passing places) so our planned stop was to be Altnaharra, a basic site (no showers/toilets) by Loch Naver. The drive to it was lovely, so picturesque, when we arrived the warden and decided to go to Inverness for a few beers, so on instruction from another camper we parked up and settled down to enjoy the peace and quiet and wonderful views.

The man and his wife also suggested that whatever we wanted to do we should get done by 5 pm as this is when the midges descend.

Well, at 7:30 pm I was enjoying sitting in the breezy loch side wondering what they were on about. by 7:35 I was wondering what had hit me. It is impossible to describe the impact of what a million midges arriving all at once can have on you. Just trying to get into the motorhome meant I probably invited what seemed like a hundred thousand of them in for a private party.

We ended up prisoners in our own home for 13 hours and even when we tried to pack up and leave 13 hours later they were still hovering around.

It has altered the whole dynamic of the holiday which I will explain later.

Altnaharra


Days 10 & 11, Dunnet & Orkney

Sun 14th & Mon 15th Aug 2016

These 2 days are by far the best 2 days so far, massive improvement in the weather, another campsite set on a beach but with the welcome addition of some forestry commission land about a 200 metre walk away, perfect for the dogs, and me as a means to getting out of the overpowering sun, and I'm not joking. I also had day trip to Orkney, which has so much history. There are loads of photos that I really should have separated into different areas but I couldn't be bothered, unfortunately because I haven't had any internet access for 4 days I have too much to do to catch up, and because I haven't taken notes as I've gone along if I don't upload and comment on stuff as I go along I will forget where I've been.

Anyway if you don't enjoy what i write please enjoy the photos.

Mmmm, a bit disconcerting

Bizarre

Dunnet and John 'o Groats

Orkney


Day 9, Brora

Sat 13th Aug

Alway love a beach post or two

Some posts buried in the sand

We were going to head straight from Rosemarie to Dunnet but someone had recommended a stop off in Brora, another site set next to a beach. It was windy so time on the beach was both a bit cold and consequently empty. 

Brora


Days 7 & 8, Rosemarkie

Thurs 11th & Fri 12th Aug 2016

It rained in Braemar for nearly 24 hours and we just wanted to get on the road, we knew we had about a 100 miles to drive today but didn't realise it would take so long, although the roads were fairly quiet they were not 'fast' roads, some single track too. We had hoped to visit Loch Ness, just because we were within 15 miles or so of it but we ran out of time.

We ended up getting to Rosemarkie at about 5pm just as it started to rain but that couldn't dampen my enthusiasm for what is a wonderful area. We had a walk down to Chanonry Point where we will return tomorrow hopefully to see dolphins feeding, apparently the area is world famous for it

Chanonry Point Lighthouse

Chanonry Point Lighthouse.

Afternoon and evening stroll



Day 2 at Rosemarkie, promised so much, after the 40mph winds subsided we ventured out for a walk, some lunch and watching the world famous dolphins. It was so hot we ended up taking our hats, scarf and coats back and collected and donned some 30 factor sun creme. We then made our way to Chanonry Point. As we approached we noticed many people already positioned in hope of a glimpse of something very special, we also noticed some 'white' water and could only imagine the dolphins had arrived a little early, but that wasn't the case.

So we settled down in anticipation of the spectacle that was to follow, the sun had decided it had had enough and made way for a rather strong breeze, but not enough to curtail our excitement. The next 2 hours or so did drain me of my will to live and there is only a finite amount of stones that you can throw into the sea before that too becomes tedious and mundane. 

We spoke to a lovely family who had seen the dolphins here a few years ago and they explained how interesting it was. I asked, 'Well what happens exactly?' Sensing my innocence it was explained to me how they swim past and then jump out of the water, sometimes in twos and threes, showing how enthused I was I think she started to exaggerate and by the end, was telling me how they went back on their tails and waved to everyone with their flippers, demonstrating by holding her hand to her chest a flipping it from side to side.

Well, after two and a half hours we decided that today was not going to be the day that the dolphins were going to make an appearance and we decided to head back in the rain for a coffee and cake.

Later in the evening we decided to take a walk in the opposite direction with the dogs. It was lovely as you can see by the rainbow... On the return journey a man with a can of beer asked what was in the direction we've just come, I just said 'What you can see', 'Is there a pub?' He replied ...and before I could answer he pointed and said 'Is that an animal out there?' I quickly and excitedly lifted my binoculars only to find it was a man in a wet suit swimming out to sea...I said I as hoping it was a dolphin, we were looking for them for over 2 hours this afternoon but didn't see any, we gave up about quarter to five. 'Oh', he said, 'we got here at about 5:30 and they told us we we too late for the dolphins but we went there anyway, within a minute there were loads of them, look, let me show you the video I took of them on my phone' 

I'm not sure if I have issues in my life but for some reason I wanted to punch him in the face...



Rosemarkie


Days 5 & 6, Braemar

(Tue 9th & 10th Aug 2016)

Glenshee

Glenshee Ski Centre

It was only a short trip today, about 55 miles and very pleasant too. We went through, and are still in the Cairngorms National Park, where there is lots of skiing I would imagine, but probably in the winter. Although to be honest it felt like winter to me.

We arrived in Braemar early afternoon and promptly went for a walk, National Parks normally concern me when it comes to walking dogs off lead but no such problems here. it's peaceful and quiet and the we gradually ascended the hills that gave us a brilliant view over the local area.

We are here for 2 days and look forward to making our way into the village today for some lunch and local sightseeing.

Braemar


Day 4, Forfar

(Mon 8th August 2016)

Hopefully the tour will start here. Ok, as much as I love Peterboro' it doesn't count, it just gave us a chance to get out of London on the Friday night, and Strathclyde don't count either, you know it's probably a very nice place but I live in a nice place like that but I'm looking for something a bit different. 

Well Forfar is a world of difference, went for a 3 mile walk with the dogs today and it took nearly 3 hours, yes I was taking some photos but everyone was so friendly that we just stood chatting. Forfar is a delightful little town, couldn't sit outside a coffee shop but was able to buy one and sit in the town centre. Weather helped today, quite warm, no wind and lots of sun. 

Tomorrow, a later start for us as were only travelling about 60 miles, We're off to Braemar which is in the Cairngorms and staying for a couple of days.

My favourite of the day

Forfar Library

Forfar


Days 1-3, Peterboro' and Strathclyde

(Fri 5th Aug to 7th 2016)

Not quite the Scotland I was expecting!

A little bit of fly-tipping


So this is what we've done so far and what is planned over the next few days click here. This map will open in a new window.

The first couple of days have been spent getting to Scotland and having a day 'recovery' we are currently at Motherwell at a Caravan Club site in Strathclyde Country Park. It's not what I would think the trip is all about although the weather may be what can be expected. But tomorrow we are passing through Glasgow and head 90 odd miles to Forfar, the weather is looking better than the last 2 days, that is, not 40 mph winds and rain and the scenery may involve me being able to publish a couple of photos.

Strathclyde

Peterboro'

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