United Kingdom

Argyll and Bute

Here you’ll find travel reports about Argyll and Bute. Discover travel destinations in the UK of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day9

    Heute ist "Fahrtag". Ca. 340km zur nächsten Unterkunft, mit kurzen Zwischenstopps bei Sehenswürdigkeiten.

    Auf dem Weg zum Castle Stalker begegnen wir zum ersten Mal in diesem Urlaub regelrechten Horden von Motorradfahrern.
    Offensichtlich haben wir eine der typischen Motorradstrecken erwischt.

    Eine winzige Insel, auf dem ein noch winzigeres "Schloß" steht.
    Viel mehr gibt's dazu auch nicht zu sagen, außer daß man es von der Landstraße aus schon sehr gut sehen kann und es am dieser Stelle, laut Reiseführer, deswegen viele Auffahrunfälle gibt.Read more

  • Day129

    Departed Skye at the usual time, sad to be leaving though we won't miss the inclement weather. Even heavier rain today than yesterday! After crossing the bridge back to mainland Scotland, we turned southwards and made our way into the valley of Glencoe.

    Glencoe is a famous river valley, surrounded by high mountains and pine forests, where in 1692 a bunch of MacDonald clansmen were massacred by members of a rival clan. It partly inspired the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones, and these days it's hard to believe such a brutal act could happen in such a nice part of the world.

    We stopped for lunch at a well-known pub and filled up, then drove to a nearby lake and went for a short hike - only an hour or so. The rain was fairly incessant and neither of us were feeling great about it, so we decided to head back to the car and press on southwards to Oban. A bit of a shame that we both felt underwhelmed, maybe we caught it on a bad day! Orkney and Skye are definitely a hard act to follow though, and it's also possible we were just getting a bit fatigued with the highland scenery.

    Arrived in Oban late afternoon, surprised to find that it's actually a large bustling tourist town! Big enough even to have one of those big red open-topped bus tours like in major cities. And a mid-sized cruise ship anchored offshore, yikes. Had a coffee and cake in a local tea-room before heading to our Airbnb. This place was another B&B, though we at least had an en suite bathroom. Definitely felt more like a hotel though, as there was no kitchen facilities (shared or otherwise), not even a chair to sit on. Just a room, a bed, a bathroom and a cupboard. Oh well.

    After a big lunch and a late afternoon tea, neither of us particularly felt like heading back out for dinner, so we ended up staying in and just chilling out!
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  • Day130

    Time for something a little bit different! We'd read that Oban would be hosting a Highland Games today, so we decided that we'd spend the day there. It wasn't a huge festival or anything, more of a local carnival, but definitely still worth checking out.

    First stop was a cafe on the promenade for breakfast, where I had a decent sized feed of bacon & eggs. A quick stop at the pet store for a refill of Schnitzel's food, then we headed out to the games on a local high school's field.

    Lots of cultural stuff happening including a pipe band, highland dancing competitions, track & field, a dog show, and traditional Scottish events like welly boot throwing and of course the caber toss.

    We spent all day here checking out the various activities. Most of the dancing was being done by kids, so I didn't spend long there. We entered Schnitzel in the "best male dog" category but sadly he lost out to another dachshund! Another couple were their with their two dogs, some of the only ones we've seen in Scotland. What are the odds.

    The weather was fairly inclement with the occasional shower, sunny breaks but mostly overcast clouds. Still managed to enjoy the day, particularly the heavy events like hammer throw, shot put and the caber toss. I was surprised to learn that the object of caber tossing is actually to hold the caber vertical, run forward, and throw it up with the aim of flipping it 180 degrees to land precisely on the other end. Nobody quite managed though a couple of guys came close!

    By around 4pm it was starting to peter out so we headed back to our apartment. Stayed in for the evening as I was feeling a bit off colour and had a stomach upset, probably the first proper one of the trip. Managed to drive Shandos out for a takeaway pizza, since of course all the supermarkets shut at 7pm on Sundays. Out of the highlands tomorrow, hopefully I feel better!
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  • Day8

    Beautiful Scottish scenery...

    The grass a yellowy green rather than the vibrant green of Wales or England ... Much of the vegetation on the hills reminds me of the Cape "Fynbos"

    Lots and lots of water, so no need to worry about water restrictions here 😊

  • Day4

    It is simply not possible to capture the beauty of this house with 6 photos (which is all I can load with the free version of this travel blog site), but I recently discovered how to do collages! Hill House was absolutely stunning. The house was commissioned by Glasgow publisher Walter Blackie and completed by Macinktosh in 1902/1903. With his wife Margaret Macdonald, he designed both interior and exterior. Every detail contributes to the overall aesthetic, creating a sense of harmony. The mix of light and dark worked beautifully and there was a general air of tranquility. Every room was a work of art. The attention to detail was awe-inspiring. There were a couple of rooms where the owner had requested that Mackintosh incorporate his own, more traditional furniture. The contrast with Mackintosh's style was stark and highlighted his forward thinking. The gardens are also very beautiful, though it seems Mackintosh had little involvement in their design. Despite the popularity of this tourist attraction we managed to avoid major crowds, which added to a very memorable experience for us.Read more

  • Day6

    Edinburgh is like a grand old lady, with its beautiful wide streets lined with magnificent Georgian apartment buildings. Green spaces abound, creating a sense of peace and quiet. Even the excesses of the Edinburgh Festival couldn't quell the quiet appeal of this city. It was easy to avoid the crowds, especially as our B & B was some distance from the major attractions. The Scottish Museum of Modern Art, near the pretty Dean Village, was a particular favourite, accessed along an equally enjoyable leafy path that followed the Leith River. The festival itself was a bit overwhelming - so much choice and so many people. We managed to catch Kiwi theatre group Trick of the Light with their wonderful "The Road that wasn't there", as part of the Fringe Festival. And our pre-booked tickets to the 1950's classic play "Rhinoceros" were well worth the money. Performed in the beautiful Lyceum Theatre ,the apparent simplicity of the costumes and props belied the complexity of the unfolding story - ultimately about whether to follow the crowd (and become a rhinoceros) or celebrate difference. The Edinburgh Tattoo also features as part of the festival - we were fortunate to experience this impressive spectacle. And of course one cannot visit Edinburgh without taking in the imposing castle. Both of these are captured in subsequent posts.Read more

  • Day7

    The great rock on which Edinburgh Castle is sited has been occupied for at least 3000 years, its position offering a natural defence against unwanted visitors. Edinburgh was a royal centre by 1093 and has always been seen as a place of military strength. Its structures have been rased to the ground on numerous occasions, only to rise again as new occupants make their mark. The layering of cultures and societies that have made the castle their home is evident in the many excellent displays presented throughout the castle complex. As expected, the castle was over-run with tourists, so we resigned ourselves to a day of queuing in the drizzle (and sometimes downpour) that has thus far characterised the Scottish summer for us.Read more

  • Day9

    Our first week in Scotland focused on a taste of what Glasgow and Edinburgh had to offer. As we boarded our train for the coastal town of Oban, our thoughts turned to the week ahead, which we would spend on board the 42 foot yacht Saltwater Gypsy, with skipper David and 2 further guests. At least that's what we thought! Our arrival in Oban was greeted with briliant sunshine and hordes of tourists enjoying this pretty seaside village, gateway to the inner and outer Hebrides Islands. With a wait of 4 hours until the appointed meeting time we decided to store our bags and stretch our legs. With bellies full of local fish and chips we headed to Dunstaffsage marina and awaited our host. David arrived at the appointed time, only to inform us that we were his only guests, that this was his second to last cruise before his retirement and that the weather forecast meant we would only be able to sail to one or two of the many islands that dot this yachties playground. Somewhat disappointed and slightly apprehensive at the thought of a week alone with this rather gruff Scotsman (with a confusingly English accent), we boarded the yacht for a night on the mooring. David laid down the rules (essential on a boat) and we settled in for a pleasant evening.Read more

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Argyll and Bute, AGB

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