Loch Leven - Glencoe

Loch Leven - Glencoe
Perfect Reflections

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The Road to the Isles

The Isle of Skye Brewery - Uig

Next time you visit the supermarket make sure that you look out for ales from the Isle of Skye Brewery.

Even better, next time you're on Skye, make sure that you pay them a visit in Uig!

The award-winning Isle of Skye Brewery was established in 1995 at Uig, the ferry port for the Outer Hebrides, in the north-west of the island.

Famous ales such as Red Cuillin, Black Cuillin and Cuillin Beast have attracted acclaim from Scotland, the rest of the UK and abroad. In fact, the export market for Isle of Skye beers is growing steadily and includes the United States, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

At the brewery a seasonal shop (April - October) offers all the Skye ales as well as brewery-related souvenirs and other gifts.

Have a look at the website at www.skyebrewery.co.uk


Glencoe Road Trip

So you're going to the North of Scotland via Glencoe - What should you look out for?

Driving from the South on the A82 all roads meet at Crianlarich. A favourite comfort stop is the next village along Tyndrum. Tyndrum is a key stopping off point on the West Highland Way, the long distance walking route from Milngavie to Fort William, some 90+ miles long.

Stop at the Green Welly Shop in Tyndrum - they have a number of great shops to browse, along with a cafe and petrol station. You will see from the busy busy car park that this is a very popular spot. Leave around an hour to stop, relax and browse (including tea!)

Also in Tyndrum is the Good Food Cafe - it is a "fish and chip shop" but with a difference. It tries to source and sell local products where possible. - worth a stop.

After a refreshing stop in Tyndrum, head North on the A82 towards Bridge of Orchy. After the Bridge of Orch hotel the scenery starts to open up and you pass the German bridges, just before the Horse Shoe Bend ( you will know it when you see it!!). At the top of the hill - make sure that you stop for a snack at Errol's snack van - you can't miss it in the big layby.

The Stag in the picture above was taken at the van. The views from the snack van are superb so well worth stopping here for tea and a bacon roll and fantastic views and just visit The Green Welly Shop for some retail therapy!!

Back on the road you will pass the big rock with a Rowan Tree growing from it's core.

On your left you will see Lochan na h - Achlaise. This is a very popular spot for photographers to stop. You will see two examples at www.highlandscapes.co.uk - A Reflective Day and Frozen Times. Frozen Times has also been included in our very poular greetings card range.

Heading on from Lochan na h - Achlaise, the road starts to rise and the mountainscape opens before you with Buchaille Etive Mor dominating the skyline. The Buchaille - or The Great Shepherd of Etive is my favourite mountain, as you can see from the many photographs on the website.

Just before the mountain you will see the signs for the Glencoe Ski Centre. This little road is well worth a detour if you have time. Firstly you will come across Black Rock Cottage - this is a Highland Bothy and is available for rent! What a great place to spend New Year!!

Further on you will come to the actual Ski Centre itself. 2007/08 was a cracking year for Ski-ing in Scotland with excellent Snow levels and conditions. If it's open the centre also has a cafe with the most amazing panoramic views down the glen.

On the opposite side of the road is Kings House Hotel, built in 1750, but modernised since, it still retains that rustic charm. It is one of the most amazingly located hotels in the world. Check out reviews here.

Next part of the journey coming soon.....

If you're passing through Broadford in the Isle of Skye make sure that you stop off at Teo's Handspun at the Old Pier in Broadford. Theo's Handspun was conceived some twenty years ago in Northern Argentina, where he was staying at the time learning about life and crafts. Making handknit shoes at the time, he was fascinated by the possibility of making them during the winter. The strength and the dyeing qualities of handspun wool, seemed to indicate this was the path to go, and it was. The colourful boots were a success, yet soon he moved on to sweaters, handspun in a thick chunky yarn, in the way of the indians there and the Uruguayans further south.

The easy joy of creating these fun, different garments, told him he was ready to move to better places. One year handspinning cotton in Brasil and ten years in a craft shop in Andalucian Spain were to elapse before designer Di Gilpin discovered him there and gave him the chance to work on the Isle of Skye with her.

Once in Skye, Teo found out that this was an ideal place to be and trade his hobby come profesion.After an article about us in Vogue Knitting, some articles published in the British"Journal for handweavers,handspinners and dyers" and an interview for the program "Grassroots" in Radio Scotland, joyful hobbie-business took off and increased its sales twentyfold.

Pop in or visit Teo at http://www.teoshandspun.com/


Art in the West Highlands

If you are in the Fort William area, be sure to stop off at the Crannog restaurant to see Alistair Smyth's paintings.
Primarily a painter of people, Alistair has an eclectic approach, finding inspiration in the people and landscapes of the West Coast of Scotland, which provide the source material for his social-historical, religious and literary subjects. Apart from his landscape paintings which are plein-air and painted with acrylics, work is done in oil paints with acrylic under painting

Alistair has, over the years, exhibited and painted private Commissions & Sales successfully in the North and West of Scotland.

He currently has work on display, at "The Crannog Restaurant" on the pier in Fort William and The Lime Tree Gallery, Fort William

Make sure you pay a visit. You can also view Alisdair's work on his website at www.alistairsmyth.com


Rannoch Moor and Glencoe

Kilberry Inn Argyll

It's not often that a restaurant scores 25 out of 25 in a newspaper review!

Last Saturday the Kilberry Inn in Argyll scored 25 out of 25 in The Daily Record Saturday Magazine. It was likened to the Three Chimney's in Skye - which is a fantastic accolade.

The Kilberry Inn is close to Tarbert Argyll, the haven for Yachts on the West Coast.

Every now and then, if you are lucky, you'll come across a place like the Kilberry Inn. Its a place of superb food, friendly service and a warm Scottish welcome.
An original red tin roof cottage, The Kilberry Inn has been transformed into a quality restaurant with comfortable letting bedrooms, exuding charm and character with some of the best cooking in Argyll.

Visit the Kilberry Inn website at http://www.kilberryinn.com/

This would be an ideal location for getting the first ferry to Islay from Kennacraig in the morning.

The website doesn't include a menu - as it changes daily

If you have been to the Kilberry Inn - please leave a comment and let us know how you got on.


Travelling in Skye

Firstly, if you are reading this you are hopefully going to be visiting Skye!

Skye is just the most amazing place to spend some time. Being on the West Coast of Scotland, the weather can be mixed, but if you crack Skye on a good week, there's no place like it.

Over the Sea to Skye doesn't have to be at thing of the past, as you can still take the small passenger ferry from Glenelg. It operates in the main tourist season. Further details at http://www.skyeferry.co.uk/

Alternatively you can sail from Mallaig to Armadale or take the bridge. I'd recommend crossing from Mallaig if you are in the Fort William area and then coming back via the bridge to Kyle. This will give you a great round trip. (take the Glenelg ferry if you have time)

On Skye there's no shortage of places to stay and eat. My favourite combination is the Cuillin Hills Hotel with the most amazing breakfasts and views out over Portree Bay. Donnie Munro, of Runrig fame lives at the end of the drive, so you might catch a glimse!

The Skye Sea Eagles are also very close by and a walk through the hotel gardens will take you to the shore. The Aros Centre just outside Portree is a good stopping off point if you are interested in the Sea Eagles as they often have RSPB wardens to tell you all about them. Visit the website on http://www.aros.co.uk/skye-sea-eagles.html

For lunch or dinner and to stay (if you can afford it) it has to be the Three Chimneys Restaurant and the House over By. I have dined a number of times for both lunch and dinner. If you're watching the pounds (both £ and lbs) lunch is a good choice.

The drive to the restaurant takes you along a single track road, weaving it's way along Loch Bracadale. If you have time before you dine, a visit to Neist Point Lighthouse will reward you with dramatic views and help you work up a healthy appetite.

Back at the Three Chimneys you will enter an old style cottage, to the right an open fire beside the bar and to the left, beautifully set tables, complete with candles and slate place mats. Your menu comes on a similar slate presented by excellent waiting staff. You can see sample menu's on the Three Chimney's website.

Take time to enjoy Skye, plan your journey and don't rush it. When you cross the bridge, it's difficult to explain, but your breathing will slow, your mobile phone will be cast aside and you will start to relax and enjoy.

If you've been to Skye and have any other good tips for accommodation or restaurants -please add a comment, so that we can all benefit!

Loch Leven Holidays

If you're looking for accommodation in the West Highlands I would recommend Loch Leven Chalets. Loch Leven Holiday Accommodation comprises of 7 chalets, 1 pine lodge, a luxury cottage and a bed & breakfast. They are situated just over 4 miles from the village of North Ballachulish, 6 miles from Glencoe village, 5 miles from Kinlochleven and 16 miles from Fort William in the stunning West Highlands of Scotland.
They are in an enviable position sitting on the North shore of Loch Leven facing South over the spectacular mountains of Glencoe, with the Mamore range behind us. The area around has much to offer with walking, climbing, cycling, boating, sight-seeing or just relaxing.

Loch Leven Holidays is around 4 miles from The Ice Factor in Kinlochleven - one of the top indoor ice climbing locations in the UK. Glencoe and Ben Nevis are also very close with all their tourist and outdoor activities.
Visit the website at www.glencoeselfcatering.co.uk

Rainbow over the Pap of Glencoe

Rainbow over the pap
Originally uploaded by cannysquirrel

Walking between Ballachulish and Glencoe Village, this is the view you get of the Pap of Glencoe. This was quite a dull damp day, but I was blessed with this amazing rainbow.

This part of the road is said to be particularly haunted. Just out into the water is the Burial Island of Eilean Munde. Eilean Munde on is the traditional burial ground of the people of Glencoe. Tradition has it that Alasdair MacDonald, (MacIain of Glencoe), was buried here after the massacre in 1692. The island takes its name from an Irish disciple of St Columba, St Mundus, who settled there for a period in the 7th century.

One local witch was also going to be buried on the Island, but every time they tried to sail her body across, a storm came, preventing the party from crossing. Her body was buried on the shore - where the A82 road now runs!!

Across the water is Callart House. Many folk have spoken of the Callart Light, coming down the hill and then starting to cross the loch.

You can see in the picture, on a day like that it a tranquil oasis. Just watch out in the dead of winter, with the wind howling and the rain battering against your window!!

The highlands are renowned for their Ghost stories and tales. What do you think? Do you believe in Ghosts?

What does Wikipedia have to say about the Scottish Highlands?

Scottish Highlands
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article pertains to the geographic region of the Scottish Highlands. See Highland and Highlander for alternate meanings

Lowland-Highland divide
A Highland Council sign on the boundary of the Highland council area implying, controversially[citation needed], that the boundary is also that of the Scottish HighlandsThe Scottish Highlands (Scottish Gaelic: A' GhĂ idhealtachd, Scots: Hielans) include the rugged and mountainous regions of Scotland north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault, although the exact boundaries are not clearly defined, particularly to the east. The Great Glen divides the Grampian Mountains to the southeast from the Northwest Highlands. The Highlands are popularly described as one of the most scenic regions of Europe.

The area is generally sparsely populated, with many mountain ranges dominating the region, and includes the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis. Before the 19th century however the Highlands was home to a much larger population, but due to a combination of factors including the outlawing of the traditional Highland way of life following the Second Jacobite Rising, the infamous Highland Clearances, and mass migration to urban areas during the Industrial Revolution, the area is now one of the most sparsely populated in Europe. The average population density in the Highlands and Islands is lower than that of Sweden, Norway, Papua New Guinea and Argentina.


Hi everyone and welcome to the Highlandscapes Blog!

You have seen the gallery and shop at www.highlandscapes.co.uk. Now here's our blog!

The Highlands and Islands of Scotland, are in my opinion the most amazing place in the world. I just love getting out and about in the Highlands, as you will see from my photographs.

The area has so much to offer locals and visitors alike. We have some of the most amazing restaurants, crafts, musicians, hotels, islands, mountains, whisky, jewellery, people - you name it we have it!!

On this blog I want to tell you all about it and I want to hear from you. Whether you are a local with a story to tell about your area, one of our many crafts folk with produce to showcase and sell, or perhaps a visitor to the area past or present - we want to hear from you.

Where will the blog end up, well nobody really knows, but let's just jump right in and see where we go! Ps. Don't forget to sign our MAP so that we can keep track of our many visitors!!

Slainte Mhath!

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