Our luck with the weather improved on our second day of the Scotland road trip.
For a whole twenty minutes.
Luckily, those twenty minutes coincided with exactly the time we stopped in the gorgeous lochside village of Luss. In fact, all day the rain stopped and started at the right times, so in some ways it could have been much worse, although it was a little frustrating when I had a few hikes in mind.
I really enjoyed Luss. I had gathered, just from its prime location on the waterfront of Loch Lomond just off the A82, and from the road signs, that it would be a tourist village. And I was right – but totally not in the way I was expecting, because I had pictured a tacky resort village with no character, and instead we were faced with some of the cutest cottages we’ve ever seen, and an incredible view of nearby munros. It was touristy, and it was pretty busy, but it was beautiful and that’s what this trip was about.
My aim for next time: get a photo without a truck, and without a shitload of tourists. She says, being a tourist.
One of our best finds in the gift shop – knit your own Billy Connolly!!
We could see the rain closing in again, so we decided it would be a good time to explore an interesting looking pub we had passed.
And boy, did we make the right decision?! I give you – the 300-year-old Drovers Inn.
We had so much fun exploring the interior that we ended up having an early lunch there. Even the food was good!
Just look at all this! There’s a motherfucking BEAR!
We sat in the main bar (the dark one, of course) in a cubby hole in the window, which we figured must have been the old kitchen as the bricks were charred. All the brickwork remained as it would have done for centuries. We enjoyed exploring all the other rooms, although the retro arcade machines outside the bathrooms were a bit of a contrast to everything else!
And with that, it was time to drive north to some of the most beautiful parts of Scotland. And it rained.
And then finally, just as we turned the best corner of the A82, it stopped. Sort of. Enough for me to take one of my favourite photos of the whole trip.
Every stop we made with the prospect of a little hike, our hopes (my hopes, anyway…) were dashed by incoming torrential rain. But with views like this, it didn’t matter.
Eventually, it was time to move on and find a camping spot before it got dark. I had my heart set on somewhere around Kinlochleven – it looked like a perfect gateway to our next stop on the itinerary, and it was somewhere slightly off the beaten path as most people drive straight over the loch rather than along to Kinlochleven itself.
So we made it to the town, and it was, for all intents and purposes, in a very stunning area completely surrounded by mountains. But then it started to rain (of course), and Ash took to WikiCamps to find us somewhere reasonable in the area.
I had really been looking forward to the prospect of real wild camping, but with WikiCamps at our disposal, it threw us the option of camping at the King’s House Hotel for free. It was 10 miles back the way we came, which I thought was a bit pointless, but in the rain, the idea of finding somewhere suitable to pitch our tent was becoming less and less attractive.
So we had to painstakingly drive back through the beauty of Glencoe again, and of course made lots of stops again. What a shame.
WikiCamps cost us a whole 99p. I think it more than made up for its price with this place.
The Kings House Hotel itself was closed for whatever reason; whether it was renovations or just that it’s closed down, I’m not sure. Next door is a wee hostel, and even a cafe has opened up to serve all the campers and hostellers.
Anyway, we couldn’t have asked for a better place to camp – and for free, too!
I was surprised to find zero midges, in summer, in Glencoe, next to a river. It’s okay. They all arrived overnight and by morning you couldn’t see for them. I’m pretty sure I was picking them out of my ears for days.
However, the best part by far was our distinctly larger neighbours.
They were super ridiculously friendly!
So a lot of the day had been a wash-out – but it really didn’t matter! We had a freaking awesome day, and at the end of it we got to camp with some deer. Plus I’m sure you’ll agree that Scotland is beautiful in the rain, right?!