We’d had a great stay at Clachtoll Beach Campsite but it was time to move on and explore a bit more. The idea was to end up at Gairloch stopping at Ullapool and other places along the way.
First off we needed to retrace our steps past Ardveck Castle before turning right to head south. Besides still seeing great view after great view we came to Knockan Crag where we pulled into the car park and went to find out more. I won’t do it justice to try and summarise the geological history told here, but suffice to say that it’s well worth stopping off and finding out how old rocks ended up on top of young rocks.
Out of the car park and turn left for Ullapool, passing by Ardmair Point on the way. As we arrived into Ullapool we picked up a sign for a car park. Pulling in to the car park we recognised a campervan right in front of us, in fact we had been parked up next to it the day before when coming back from the Stoer Lighthouse. And then in the first shop that we go in to are Jon and Jennie – the world is shrinking rapidly!! After a quick chat as to where we were individually headed next, we went to find a coffee. Ullapool is a lovely little town with a magnificent scenic backdrop.
The sun was now out in full and time to continue heading south towards Corrieshalloch Gorge. This was the first time that we had encountered midges on our trip! The walk though was great.
The fantastic views continued to come at us at a rate of knots, firstly Little Loch Broom and then Loch Ewe. It was fascinating to stop off at the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum in Aultbea and learn abut how the ships headed to Russia in WWII met up at Loch Ewe before setting off in convoy.
The last section of the day’s journey was to the campsite at Big Sand just outside of Gairloch. Our pitch provided us with a great view out towards Skye. A fitting end to a wonderful day of views and experiences.
We woke up to rain and the forecast for more rain on the west coast of Scotland. We therefore decided to head south and towards the east coast to ‘chase the weather’. After a stop for a tour of the Glen Ord distillery we made our way to the A9, following this to the M90 past Edinburgh eventually ending up at Beadnell Bay in Northumberland. The people there were really good, waiting for us to arrive well past the usual time.
Once we had parked up we got out the whisky samplers that we were given at Glen Ord, very much needed after such a long day.
The only reason that we decided to cut our time short in Scotland was the prospect of rain. It had rained all night and was still raining as we were getting up on Friday morning, with a forecast for rain all day. Heading south now didn’t feel like one of our better decisions.
Fortunately the forecast was wrong, the sun came out and we had a great time re-visiting Alnwick, finally going to Warkworth Castle and finishing off with a really nice meal at the Craster Seafood Restaurant.
The trip was really enjoyable with too many highlights to pick out any one in particular. How can you distinguish between seeing dolphins just off the beach, to sea stacks, ‘wow’ moment after ‘wow’ moment when driving down the west coast, to pitching up with a view over to Skye? Along the way we met loads of really nice people, people with a similar desire to enjoy the scenery, explore the various sights and relax. We’ve only experienced a section of the NC500 and we fully intend to explore some of the more northern and eastern sections.