Monthly Archives: November 2017

Glen Etive

Glen Etive, Scottish Highlands, Scotland

September 2017

From the junction leading into Black Rock Cottage, the turn-off to our next destination Glen Etive, is just 1.6 miles ahead. When you’re driving north on the A82, the distraction of the beautiful mountain scenery is so breathtaking that it’s easy to miss the next junction. It is marked by just a small signboard but you’ll have no problem finding it on Google map. This will be one of the most scenic detours in the North West Highlands and well worth the drive. The scenery is simply superb and as soon as the A82 is out of sight, a sense of calm sets in.

Glen Etive

Google street view of the small signboard alerting you of the junction off A82 ahead. It’s about a 2 minutes drive from the junction into Black Rock Cottage/Glencoe Mountain Resort.

Glen Etive is a narrow valley in the Highlands of Scotland. A single track road leads from highway A82 down south to Glen Etive. This road ls also known as the ‘road to nowhere’. It meanders for about 14 miles to a dead end at Loch Etive. There are numerous passing places where you can stop to take photos to record your memory. For most of the drive, the road is often close to river Etive that forms numerous pools and picturesque waterfalls as it courses down to the Loch and eventually towards the sea.

Glencoe, Scotland

Forget about what seems to be a long drive back to the entrance later. A non stop drive to the end of the road at Loch Etive is about 30 minutes. The road, for most of it’s length is generally in good condition.

Allow yourself plenty of time as you slow drive along the valley to absorb the superb scenery along the way. There’s absolutely stunning landscape throughout. This is our first experience where on both sides, we were flanked by huge majestic mountains that seems to squeeze you. Literally, you’ll be driving in a narrow strip of valley. If you are a James Bond fan, try to recreate a scene from the film “Skyfall” shot within the vicinity.

Glen Etive

A scene from ‘Skyfall’.

Glen Etive, Scotland

River Etive at the foot of the mountain.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Although the riverbed looks mucky, the water is crystal clear.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Waterfall from up the mountains joining river Etive.

Glen Etive, Scotland

One of the many small pools along the river.

Glen Etive, Scotland

A bridge crosses the river leading to a private property.

Glen Etive, Scotland

River Etive getting a little broader and deeper cutting through boulders.

Glen Etive, Scotland

River Etive flowing towards the Loch.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Opposite side of the river is another mountain range. You drive in a sort of narrow strip of valley between the two mountains.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Single track road all the way in from the A82 highway. Plenty of passing places to allow overtaking or on-coming vehicle to pass or to take photographs.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Horses on private property.

Glen Etive, Scotland

A short stop to soak in the views and to run away from the strong chilly winds.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Meeting of a stream with river Etive.

Glen Etive, Scotland

During melting of the snow, this stream would probably turn into a river.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Converging of streams now becomes river Etive flowing towards Loch Etive.

Glen Etive, Scotland

Majestic view of the mountains.

On your way back along the same road, soak in all of the amazing scenery completely from a different perspective. You will return from Glen Etive back to the A82 highway with a heavy heart and a sense of regret. Back to the busy world on A82, you feel being robbed of something so serene and tranquil.

About 4½ miles from exiting the junction heading toward the town of Glencoe is ‘The Meeting of the Three Waters’ waterfall just besides the A82. It’s not signposted and located after a series of bends after a bridge. Parking spot is available before the bridge and a keen eye will ensure you’ll not miss this spot. You can type in ‘Glencoe Waterfall’ into Google map to find it. The waterfall isn’t one that is spectacular falling off a high cliff but alas, it’s still beautiful to admire and photograph.

Glencoe, Scotland

The crystal clear waters of ‘The Meeting of the Three Waters’ or also called as ‘Glencoe Waterfall’  just off the A82.

Glencoe, Scotland

Love locks at the bottom railing. The top of the waterfall is a little higher than the A82.

Continuing our drive north, you’ll find the ‘Three Sisters’ mountain range. The ‘Three Sisters’ is in the Scottish Highlands residing off A82 about a mile from the ‘The Meeting of the Three Waters’ waterfall heading towards the town of Glencoe. This part of Scotland is filled with rolling hills and waterfalls as we have just seen earlier. You can pull your car over into one of the two parking areas and enjoy a few minutes of serenity before proceeding with your drive.

Glencoe, Scotland

‘Three Sisters’ Mountain range.

Glencoe, Scotland

Reading up a bit on the ‘Three Sisters’. Haah … that guy in blue T is already in kilts !

Glencoe, Scotland

Getting a closer view of one of the ‘Three Sisters’ from the car park.

Glencoe, Scotland

Ample and convenient parking along the A82.

We reached Fort William by mid afternoon and checked into Premier Inn. This is the first time we will be staying at Premier Inn which in our opinion is comparable to Travelodge. The deciding factor in choosing Premier Inn is it offers free parking. Check-in was super fast, room was spacious and best of all, is the free, fast & stable wi-fi. It’s located within a short walking distance to Morrisons, a hyper market and Fort William train station where you can board the Jacobite steam train. Will definitely recommend and stay again at Premier Inn.

Premier Inn, Fort William

Premier Inn, Fort William.

Premier Inn, Fort William

Spacious room. Notice the sort of extra bed at the corner.

Premier Inn, Fort William

Modern bathroom.

Glencoe, Scotland

Glencoe, Scottish Highlands, Scotland

September 2017

Our next destination after Luss, is ‘Black Rock Cottage’. It’s located off the A82 and is a popular photo spot. It will be just over an hour’s drive, and along the way we were rewarded with beautiful scenery of the mountains. This is the start of the Scottish Highlands.

Glencoe, Scotland

A railway bridge just after Inveruglas Visitor Centre along A82.

Glencoe, Scotland

Quite difficult to photograph this bridge as it’s located besides a sharp bend, there is no parking area. We got lucky as the container vehicle in-front was terribly slow.

Below are beautiful mountain scenery along the route of our drive. No captions to the pictures as we stopped by the roadside and snapped away. There were no landmark either to pinpoint where we were except it’s along A82. As I’m using a compact camera, it does not record the location.

Glencoe, Scotland Glencoe, Scotland Glencoe, Scotland Glencoe, Scotland
Glencoe, ScotlandBlack Rock Cottage is located off the A82. Coincidentally, Glencoe Mountain Resort is located at the end of this slip road. Heading towards Fort William, look out for the blue Gelncoe Mountain Resort signboard to your left to turn in. Black Rock Cottage with Buchaille Etive Mor in the background, is photo worthy although it’s in the middle of no-where. It will turn out picturesque when photographed.

How to get to Black Rock Cottage/Glencoe Mountain Resort :
You can get both locations on Google map. The image below extracted from Google street view is about what you’ll see when you drive along the A82. Both locations are visible from the highway. There will be a signboard to ‘Glencoe Chairlift & Ski Centre’ and about 1 mile ahead, the blue ‘Glencoe Mountain Resort’ signboard (see below).

Black Rock Cottage

Look out for the brown tourist signboard to ‘Glencoe Chairlift & Ski Centre’ & the blue ‘Glencoe Mountain Resort’ signboard ahead. Credit: Google.

Glencoe, Scotland

The signboard you’ll see along A82 at the junction turning into Glencoe Mountain Resort.

Glencoe, Scotland

Half way towards Glencoe Mountain Resort, you’ll pass by this ‘Black Rock Cottage’. A favorite photo shot for photographers.

Glencoe, Scotland

The picturesque setting of the ‘Black Rock Cottage’. Not sure whether it’s a private dwelling, B&B or what not.

At the end of this slip road passing Black Rock Cottage, you’ll arrive at Glencoe Mountain Resort. What the resort offers during autumn are hiking trails up in the mountains. In winter, naturally you’ll be able to ski and sledge around. Chair lift is available to get you up the mountains. A transfer to 2 more lifts, gets you to the peak of the mountain at more than 1,100 metres. A quick stop for a look-see & the use of free toilet facility would suffice during non-winter months.

Glencoe, Scotland

At the end of the slip road, you’ll reach Glencoe Mountain Resort.

Glencoe, Scotland

Large parking lot means large crowds during the winter season.

Glencoe, Scotland

The ticket office and the ‘limited-offering’ restaurant.

Glencoe, Scotland

Something to plan your activity here.

Glencoe, Scotland

The chair lift up to the mountains.

Glencoe, Scotland

Entrance to the chair lift.

Glencoe, Scotland

Visitors are scarce during autumn. Those who come, goes up to hike the mountains.

Glencoe, Scotland

Dry ski slope for practice.

Glencoe, Scotland

The dry slope.

Luss, Scotland

Luss, Scotland

September 2017

A short drive of 20 minutes from Balloch, takes us to the scenic village of Luss located on the west bank of Loch Lomond. This small village was established in the 18th and 19th century and has a row of quaint cottages that you would walk through as you make your way to the loch shore. Luss, just off the highway is a convenient stop for tourist heading north towards the highland region. An allocation of half hour would suffice for some picturesque photos here.

Luss, Scotland

A little bit of Luss.

Luss, Scotland

No, you do not get a chance to park besides the residential cottages. Those are the resident’s vehicles.

Some of the lovely cottages in Luss. It’s located just on this short ‘un-named’ street leading to the shore of Loch Lomond.

Luss, Scotland

Luss, ScotlandLuss, ScotlandLuss, ScotlandLuss, ScotlandLuss, Scotland

Luss, Scotland

The short street leading to Loch Lomond shore and pier.

Luss, Scotland

Loch Lomond shore.

Luss, Scotland

The pier at Luss for water activities.

Luss, Scotland

On the pier looking towards the street and the lovely cottages.

Luss, Scotland

Water activities available at the pier.

Luss, Scotland

Luss pier.

Luss, Scotland

Loch Lomond Arms at the entrance of the street.

Loch Lomond Arms overlooking the hill.

Luss, Scotland

B&B on the same street of the cottages.

Luss, Scotland

Autumn leaves along the street.

Luss, Scotland

Tree planted by villagers of Luss to commemorate the longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

Luss, Scotland

Luss village hall.