A Tour of Scotland: Kintail Lodge, Eilean Donan Castle, Kyleakin to Portree…

I was up early to do some chores and the alarm went off at 7 am.  Looking out the window of Kintail Lodge, I noticed that the Loch was very still and the water was glassy and smooth.  Was this a good omen for the day?

Morning at Kintail Lodge

So still

The Loch and Hills

Morning on the Hills

Through the window at breakfast

Breakfast time came at 8 am. I waited and decided to go ahead because I wanted some good coffee. They serve it in French Press coffee makers.  The breakfast room was in the other part of the hotel and it was filled with people. There was one table that had a very large party of very happy people. I started with a bowl of Corn Flakes and the waitress brought toast. I ordered the Salmon and scrambled eggs. Alan appeared, he ordered the Haddock and a poached egg. I was sitting in the bay window looking out on the Loch and that was nice.  This was day 12 of our 21 day trip.

Kintail Brochure page 1

After breakfast we dallied in the room getting packed. Eilean Donan Castle didn’t open till 10 am so we had time. Getting our luggage down to the car was not easy because the steps were many and they have these heavy fire doors. We went through the bar area and found a door that was unlocked to the outside. The day was going to be a great with sun and some clouds.

Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most photographed castles in Scotland. It is situated on three saltwater lochs making it very strategic:   http://www.eileandonancastle.com/

The castle was close and located at the other end of Loch Durich.  It did not take us long to get to the very busy and crowded parking lot. Apparently the tourist buses come early.

Take a look at this tourist map of the area. We were at the Kintail Lodge just past Shiel Bridge on the south end of the Loch Durich. The Castle is where the Dornie sign is. We are getting close to the Isle of Skye.  You will see some place names of interest if you study this.

Lochalsh map

We made our way to the visitor center and took our time for their was a piper playing his bagpipes. It was time to pay the piper, giggle. I did record him but WordPress won’t let me upload for security reasons and they want me to pay them for audio and video.

Bagpipes at Eilean Donan

A little contribution

Much Better of the Piper

We made our way to the visitor center and Alan purchased the tickets.  From the visitor center we went through the ticket area  which lead toward the castle.  The wind was a bit cold and biting. 

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan is set out on a peninsula and there is a bridge to it. They had to repair it all because it was in ruins and it took a long time to make the castle safe. You can take pictures of the outside and the interior outside of the castle but you are not allowed to do so in the inside.

Me at the Eilean Donan Castle May 2018

Here is a map of the castle:

Map of the Eilean Donan Castle

We entered this room and learned about the beginnings of the castle in the medieval period. Castles have history and stages of styles. They change over the centuries. There was mention of Vikings trying to take this Castle but they failed.  I believe this was the first real mention of Vikings on our trip.  I was happy. I was hoping that Alan would get some ancestral stories.

A smaller version of the Viking long ship called a Birlinn was used in the Western areas of Scotland. These ships worked better in the lochs and were faster and smaller.

A Dragon – Isn’t he cute

A Birlinn Model – oops didn’t see the man standing there!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birlinn

There are a lot of stairs and narrow passageways in this castle and thin windows:

A thin window through the castle walls

There was a large room with a big table, portraits, artifacts, furniture, dishes, books and more. It was very grand. Apparently someone did live it in this castle after the renovation.  I did not take this photo, I found it online.

The grand room

We climbed around, up and down stairs and saw many small and large rooms and different levels of the castle.  There were lots of MacRae Honor roles on the walls. Two very fancy grand dresses in a display. I do not know how they would have managed the large skirts in this castle.  The kitchen had dishes, fake food and wax figures standing around. It was a bit eerie.

The last room had the portcullis and we couldn’t figure out where the gate came out. Alan saw that it was the big front door.  If you looked closely you would see these teeth sticking out from the top which looked pretty scarry.

The Entrance

Alan examines the gate and the teeth

Well this castle was owned by the MacKenzies and maybe MacLeods and later the MacRae’s. However, they did have a bit of trouble with Donald Gorm MacDonald a Lord of the Isles in 1539. I will let Wikipedia explain the history it is just to complicated with clan feuds and fighting, AUGH!

MacDonald’s arrives

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eilean_Donan

You can climb around the interior outside area of the castle and experience mismash of buildings styles, the different levels, views and strange narrow walkway areas.

A variety of building styles

Looking down

Out on a thin walkway

Eilean Donan climbing around

Looking down on the entrance area

The bridge

The Car Park

We wandered back to the visitor center and headed for the cafe where we had tea and coffee and rested up. There was a woman in a wheel chair who was looking at a video of the interior of the castle which was very cool.  Apparently they offer this computer video at the visitor center for the disabled because there is no way a wheelchair can get inside the Castle.

We then wandered through the very crowded gift shop and I found a map and a book for Alan about Vikings and he bought them. Book: The Vikings and all that, by Allan Burnett and illustrations by Scoular Anderson. It is done in a carton manner but does describe the Viking culture with illustrations. I thought it was for kids but I am not so sure after reading some of it. Table of contents: The Viking Age, Boats and Battle Axes, The Viking Empire, How to be a Viking, Viking Explorers, The Viking Universe, The curse of the Horned helmet.  In the back is a timeline of Viking events.

Where we came from – Loch Duich.

Another map of the area

Where we were going in our drive which along Loch Alsh

It was time to move on the next adventure and that would be the Sky Bridge that connects the Isle of Skye to the mainland at Kyle of Lochalsh across to Kyleakin. We could see the bridge in the distance as we were driving toward it.

I kept expecting the Scottish towns to be flat but they never are.  Kyle of Lochalsh was hilly.  It was also tightly packed with narrow roads. We were soon up an over the bridge to Skye in no time. It was too quick. I had Alan take us into the town of Kyleakin on the Skye side so I could take pictures of the bridge.

The Skye bridge is not a fancy bridge with gargoyles and pillars, but it does have a lovely gentle arch. The bridge is a little further from the town of Kyle of Lochalsh via another flat bridge to this island area then to the bridge.

Kyle of Lochalsh across the loch

Another flat bridge

The Skye Bridge

Skye Bridge & Lighthouse

It was a lovely day and we lingered along the shore of the Loch before we went over to the Castle Cafe Moi and had some lunch. I had an Italian soup and Alan had the Haddock soup which looked something like a clam chowder. They called it a broth which was a little confusing.

As I ate my lunch, I watched the cars and trucks cross the Sky Bridge. It was built-in 1996. There was a ferry from Kyle of Lochalsh before that time. The pier is still there. This ferry would cross to Kyleakin and the little harbor is where it docked.  There is another ferry from Glenelg to Skye but it is operated only during the summer, I believe?

After lunch we went over to the visitor center called the Bridge of Brightwater.  https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/skye/brightwater/index.html

The nice lady at the desk was helpful and answered our questions.  She told us that you couldn’t go over to the Castle ruins because it was too dangerous and they had it blocked off. So I took pictures from afar. It is called Caisteal Maol.

Castle Maol

https://ancientmonuments.uk/124930-caisteal-maol-castle-moyle-kyleakin-skye-eilean-cho-ward

The visitor center had a gift shop with many tempting items. There was this wonderful sculpture of an otter but it was very expensive. Outside was a statue that was similar.

Otter sculpted

The visitor center also had a museum with all kinds of history of the area, artifacts and a huge relief of the area with the Skye bridge. They had a small genealogical section and one of the two volumes of very thick book. The second volume has a 2 on the cover – The Great Book of Skye:   http://www.greatbookofskye.com/

The Great Book of Skye Volume I

It was time to head to Portree the main town of Skye and where our lodging was located.

The Isle of Skye was not what I expected but then I am not sure I really understood its topography even though I studied photos online. As we drove along we both remarked that it looked rather desolate and I even compared it to the moon. This made Alan laugh.  I am not being critical, just surprised and amazed at the landscape there. It is so varied.

It took about 50 minutes to get to Portree and the road was winding its way along the eastern coastline next to the Inner Sound. We passed through Broadford and it was bigger than I was led to believe. It is also flat, at least where the highway was located. We would be back to experience a little more of this town.

The road once again came close to the water at Loch na Caindh and the Isle of Scalpay was across from it. Then the A87 turns and follows Loch Ainort past a mountain called Glamaig and around to Loc Sligachan. You pass through Sligachan and head up to Portree with the Loch of Portree on your right and you might get a glimpse of the Sound of Raasay and the island in the distance. The traffic was not too bad but we did run into one lane construction areas with the stoplight. As we drove along, approaching Portree, I could see the Old Man of Storr in the distance.  That was very cool.

The navigation system would not accept the Viewfield House as our destination. Viewfield House is located on A87/Viewfield Road before the A87 and A855 junction in Portree. I kept an eye out for the signage and spotted it. Alan turned left into the steep driveway and a van was coming down the road blocking the entrance and forced us to back up into the busy road. Alan managed to avoid that problem.  This van was coming from a garden center along the road to the house.

Viewfield House, a former hunting lodge

https://viewfieldhouse.com/

We parked out front of the Viewfield House.  I entered through a huge door and found the buzzer on the wall and a tall man came out and greeted us. He confirmed that we could park in front.

He took us into the hall and told us about drinks before dinner at 7 pm and showed us some of the rooms.  He then took us to our room which was on the top floor in an apartment with a dormer. Yes, lots of steps and fire doors to the upper floor. It had sloping roofs in some areas. It was a large room with a sitting area and a big bed. The bathroom was small but useful. The Viewfield House is set on a hill so our view out the window was the Loch of Portree (harbor)

Our Room, very nice!

The View out of our window

This hotel was a bit pricey but I was having trouble booking lodging back in January a full four months before our trip.  I liked the way the house looked and their website made it very tempting. I decided to go for it.

I was happy to learn that I could wash my clothes for they had a laundomat in the hotel. It took us a bit to figure out the coins for the laundry but we got it done. The laundry machines were downstairs in the coat closet off the main hall. I had dallied too much in the room and someone had arrived before us. They were using the washer and almost done with the cycle, darn. We left and came back and I got my wash into the washer for two £1 coins. Alan monitored it and we used the coin that is silver with many sides like a hexigon for the dryer. I can handle the bills and the small £ coins but the rest is too confusing. We did 40 minutes so that was two hexigon coins.  In any event, my laundry was done and I was happy.

Alan and I went outside to enjoy their garden and lovely green lawn. We sat on the bench overlooking the Loch.  It was beautiful but a little cold, the weather was changing. We moved over to the lawn area and arranged a bench so we had the sun on us. The lawn was beautifully mowed grass with tufts of grass around the daffodils clustered and scattered about the lawn.  Behind the house was the garden and a hot-house. A lady was tending that garden.  It was very pretty and well maintained.

The Viewfield House was a hunting lodge at one time. So you see a bit of taxidermy in the main hallway and in some of the display cases. Apparently this has offended people who have stayed there. This little guy greeted us in the porch area before the big door to the house.  They had him covered so I removed the cover for a minute. I was surprised to find a Red Panda.

Yes, this is a red panda who is usually covered because the animals bother him.

It was a lovely home. The man who had greeted us was a descendant and owner of the house. He is a MacDonald of Viewfield.

We were told that drinks would be served at 7 pm so we moved into the lovely large room with a grand piano in it and they had a fire going in the fireplace to the right of the wing backed chair.

The lovely room where we had our drinks

A nice couple from Utah chatted with us.  They were serving drinks and Alan and I decided on the Merlot. Other couples arrived in the room but we didn’t get a chance to talk to them for the woman who had the load of laundry before me was dominating the conversation by that time. Happily the announcement for dinner came and we went into the large lovely dining room. They had the tables numbered with our room number on it. Alan and I got a nice table right in the middle of the room.

I had the cod and Alan had the lamb. The white potatoes were delicious. The dinner was surprisingly good.  My dessert was vanilla ice cream and their ice creams are very lovely. Alan had some type of pudding. The server asked if I wanted to book dinner the next night but I said no. I wanted to eat in Portree. We will be here two nights. Tomorrow is a big day. Dinner had been served at 7:30 pm so it was late when I crawled into bed. I was tired.

Posted in Kyleakin Isle of Skye, Portree Isle of Skye, Scotland May 2018 | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Tour of Scotland: Fort Augustus, Glengarry Heritage Center to Kintail Lodge…

We were up after 7 am this day. We were staying at the Caledonian House Bed and Breakfast in Fort Augustus. I liked our room it was square and had wooden trim on the doors and more.  I slept good because Fort Augustus is very quiet.

Breakfast was in the dining room which may have been a living area at one time. A man was handling the serving and he said he was Carol’s brother. I changed my order to scramble eggs and smoked salmon. I had a bowl of Rice Krispies with milk and sugar something I have not done in years. Yup, they still crackle.

Later in the breakfast Carol came in and told stories, she is quite the character. Nice, funny and friendly. She is very knowledgeable about the area and where things are. She also told stories. Apparently she worked with a chef at one time and traveled a lot. One of her dogs disappeared and was found north of Inverness. It cost her a small fortune to bring him home. She brought him into the room and  I saw that he was a hunting dog and a bit wired.

Alan and I went back to our room, packed up and we were out of there a little after 10 am. We headed to the store for some food. I purchased a sandwich, banana and some juice. We were heading into areas that might not have food available. I didn’t really need to worry, you do not go hungry in Scotland. The area was very busy with tourists, buses, motorcycles, and cars and it was a little hard to get around them all.

We went the wrong way going north upon leaving Fort Augustus.  We figured it out. We  turned around and headed south on A82 in the direction of Invergarry. The highway took us passed the Lundie View Guest House, the Aberchalder Estate and then we came to a bridge that opened up to let a boat through. It is called the Aberchalder Swing Bridge. These location names are very familiar to me and my Canadian family research. We are entering Glengarry country.

Map of area south of Fort Augustus to Invergarry

At the top of the map you see A82 crossing over the River Oich and Canal to the other side of Loch Oich. That is where the Aberchalder Swing Bridge is located near the Aberchalder Estate. http://www.aberchalderestate.co.uk/history/

We arrived in Invergarry turnomg onto A87. We stopped at the very tiny post office and I asked the attendant where the Glengarry Heritage Center was located. She was very helpful explaining that we just needed to keep going on the road and we would find it.

The Google map below is not correct. The Glengarry Heritage Center is located in the Glengarry Community Center, not over by the Craigard House. We left the Post office and drove A87 west around the corner and just were the green area is we turned left and left again following the road signs to the Glengarry Community Hall.

Glengarry Heritage Center is in the Glengarry Community Center

The roadway to the Glengarry Heritage Centre

The Glengarry Community Center in Invergarry

Somehow I stumbled upon the Glengarry Heritage Centre website before we left for Scotland.  I was excited. They mentioned emigrants to Canada on their website.  You never know when you are going to find a gem and this was one of those.  I rearranged our itinerary to make sure I did not miss this archive.  I emailed them letting them know I was coming.  It took several weeks for a reply but they are small and all volunteer, so please be patient.

Glengarry News Board

Glengarry Community Center in Invergarry – Me, Bonnie, ready to go inside to the Heritage Center.

http://www.glengarryheritagecentre.com/

Website for Glengarry Heritage – a portion

The Glengarry Heritage Center is a room housed in the Glengarry Community Center. There is a cafe as well and meeting rooms etc. I entered the heritage center and was greeted by Veronica. She had pulled some books for me. There was about 4-5 books of which I had some in my own home library.  Veronica, Patsy, Catherine and a tall man (name escapes me but very knowledgeable) were all very helpful and answered all my questions.  As usual, there is never enough space and this room for the heritage center is a nice size but they do have a lot of information stuffed into the room.

A quick picture of the Books on the bookshelf

More books

Books on shelf at the Glengarry Heritage Center. Okay, this is not a complete listing of the books in the pictures, but it is a nice grouping.

  • Scottish Clans & Tartans, Ian Grimble
  • Tartans, Christian Hesketh – I have several books about tartans and clans
  • Adventurers & Exiles, Marjory Harper
  • A Dance Called America – I have a copy in my library, one of the 1st I bought about emigration to America and very good.
  • The Last of the Chiefs, Brian D. Osborne – See my comment below
  • History of the Highland Clearances
  • Clearance and Improvement, T.M. Devine
  • Legacy of Tradition,  F.R. McDonald
  • The Dynamics of Heritage
  • The Highland Clearances, MacKean
  • The Highland Clearances, John Prebble. I have a copy in my library
  • The Highland Clearances, Eric Richards – See below books I bought from them.
  • The Lochaber Emigrants to Glengarry, Fleming. I have page copies somewhere
  • The Last Highland Clearance, Iain MacKay
  • Scotland Farewell, The People of the Hector, Donald MacKay
  • A Summer in Lochabler, Scots in Canada, Cathriona Fford
  • Back to Lochaber, Stuart Macdonald
  • Miss K. Janie Balfour’s Diary 1831-32, Ellice
  • Discovering Inverness-shire, Maclean
  • Inverness, J.Cameron [Lee]
  • Jane Ellices Receipes 1846-1859
  • Knoydart – A History, Benis Rixson – Bought Later
  • Lochiel of the 45, John ____________
  • Mist in the Corries, Allistair Grant
  • Moidart, Charles Macdonald – Bought Later
  • Scots in Canada, Jennie Calder – I am rather interested in this one?

I bought the following books from them and we gave a donation.

  • Caesars Wilderness, by Peter C. Newman – £1 This book was among their books for sale pile and was recommended by Patsy.  Not sure what it is about but I am willing to check it out.
  • The Highland Clearances by Eric Richards – I asked them all about Prebbles, Highland Clearances and there seemed to be mixed review of his work.
  • Placenames of Glengarry and Glenquoich etc., Edward Ellice – This has a map in the back and covers Glengarry, Aberchalder, Ardochy, and Glenquoich Districts. This book is a reprint in 1999.  There is an 1898 version at Internet Archive but no map.
  • 2 Glengarry Heritage Centre Historical Guides – This pamplet has a listing of locations/buildings  in Glengarry and a map.
  • 2 Each Invergarry Castle Ancestral Home of the MacDonells of Glengarry pamphlet

Veronica had pulled several books. Unfortunately, I did not write down our note the books she had pulled.  Not a good move on my part. I was pulling books from the shelf, for sale table, asking questions and generally causing myself confusion.  I was very excited and happy.

  • The Clan Ranald of Knoydart & Glengarry with some papers place in the pages she thought might be of most interest to me. This book was at the Highland Archive on their bookshelf. I know have my own musty copy from Leahey’s Bookshop in Inverness purchased when I got home. It is currently being aired out and it is a hard copy. It is online but very expensive so you have to do a little digging to find a less expensive copy or try to find it in a local archive.
  • Lucille Campeys “After the Hector,” I am a Campey fan and have all her books. Hmm…maybe it was the other book above Scotland Farewell, The People of the Hector, Donald MacKay.
  • I think she had Marianne McLean’s “The People of Glengarry,” which I have a copy of in my home library and was reading it before I left for Scotland.

The Last of the Chiefs by Osborne is about Alasdair Ranaldson Macdonell of Glengarry 1773-1828.  My Aunt Miriam had a small picture of him framed that is in the memorabilia bin here at my home. I asked the group their opinion of this man and again received mixed reviews. The tall man suggested this book. I would learn a bit more about him in the next weeks and see other portraits.  He was very young in 1788 (15 years old) when he took over from his father Duncan MacDonell.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Ranaldson_Macdonell

Alasdair Ranaldson Macdonell

Veronica kindly accepted my family research packet. I showed her the lineage on my tablet and explained what I have researched and done. I also gave them my blog pamphlet which refers to this blog, my other blogs and my research on the family and more.

Glengarry Heritage Center, May 2018

More stuff on the shelves:

There were about  3 shelves with these binders of the file records and file boxes below.

I took time to study their many reader boards that featured emigration of Glengarry inhabitants and they had the “MacDonald” ship to New York 1774. These were the settlers who settled on the land of Sir William Johnson in the Mohawk Valley.  I traveled there several years ago to Sir Johnson’s house. The boards mention the “Friends, Helen and Jane” ships in 1802, the Lochaber migration.  A list of locations that the immigrants left from in Glengarry. Maps on the wall and a relief map of the Glengarry area with locations identified.  I saw a brief description of the settlers walking to Fort William to board ships, oh my.

I selected the blue binder book covering Emigration (Folder 4) Contents. It was a listing of about 2 pages of information and sources about this subject. I took photos. As you can see there are many of these blue binders that one could study.

The highlight was the MacDonald chart that was resting on a table. It was huge. Veronica indicated that the majority of it was proved except for the part that was Somerled’s ancestors. I looked the chart over and recognized names of chiefs.  Unfortunately, they would not allow photography of it for copyright reasons and it is not for sale.  I told them that I was very interested in a copy. We will see.

It was a fun several hours at the Glengarry Heritage Center. I encourage and recommend that you go and visit.

We headed out, finding the Glengarry Castle hotel built between 1866-69 for Edward Ellice Jnr. The Ellices made their fortune in furs and lumber and were associated with the Hudsons Bay Company. This name is familiar to me for I have seen it in the records at the Highland Archive:  Here are some okay links to the Son and then father:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Ellice_(Scottish_politician)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Ellice_(merchant)  

Veronica told us that they might have copies of the book I was interested in – The Clan Ranald of Knoydart & Glengarry, by Norman H. MacDonald. Well they had sold their last copy.

Glengarry Castle Hotel and car park

It is huge this grouping of buildings

We asked about meals and they said that they would be serving tea soon. It sounded wonderful and we would be back:  http://www.glengarry.net/

A fun map of Invergarry, notice Loch Lundie

Armed with instructions on how to find the castle ruins we drove out along the road. The castle was on the grounds of the hotel. It was not that hard to find once we got a little better oriented.  This castle was a MacDonell of Glengarry castle.

What follows is a slide show of Invergarry Castle pictures I took in May 2018. They have done much to keep it from crumbling further as you can see the big beams inside. Click a photo and it will open in slide show mode. You must be at the blog on the internet to view these. If you get an email notice sent to you then go to the actual blog to view.

As I was looking at the Invergarry Castle ruins a car pulled up and parked.  The lady and her son were touring the area. They were both English. She was an expert on castle histories. She called the Invergarry Castle, a Keep. She explained that it was probably white washed so it could be seen. She was trying to find the entrance. It was wonderful to hear her explain it all. It was not like Urquhart Castle but built more for military reasons. The Duke of Cumberland destroyed it. Veronica called him the Butcher.  Alan went down the trail to the loch edge and saw the wreck and followed the pheasant.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invergarry_Castle

Well, I think I am going to have to study up on castle histories it is all so very interesting. Castles have their own stories and histories. http://traveluto.com/castles-in-scotland/

After viewing the castle ruins, we went back to the Glengarry Castle Hotel and had tea and coffee in one of their lovely rooms.  They served a tray of lovely delicacies.  It was 3 tiered starting with sandwiches and ending in pastries at the top. It was delightful.  http://www.glengarry.net/

One of the lovely rooms in the Glengarry Castle Hotel

Waiting for our tea and goodies

The weather was threatening to be nasty but we were managing to keep ahead of it.  Alan went off to explore the grounds and Loch Oich. Spring was showing itself and the grounds were lovely. This Hotel is in a great location if you really want to explore Glengarry. It is within reach of Fort Augustus, Fort William and other locations in the area.

Down to Loch Ouich

Down to the loch and the wonderful tree

Through the window

Glengarry Castle Hotel grounds

Glengarry Castle Hotel – Alan saw it online and joked that he wanted to stay in room 9. Alas, we did not stay but it was a lovely visit.

From Invergarry we headed west on A87 which passed along Loch Garry. The highway then turned up and skirted the northern part of Loch Loyne. We turned left at the Junction of A887 with A87.

Now if we were really digging deep in to the Glengarry area we would have driven around Loch Garry out on country roads. Another possibility was, I could have had us leave Fort Augustus go north and turn west on A887 to cover more of the Glengarry area.  If we had gone further west we would eventually come to Knoydart. I found these maps at a fishing site which has more maps of the area. Just scroll down the site and you can get an idea of the area involved.  Remember these are current maps: http://www.trout-salmon-fishing.com/scotland-glengarry.htm

This site shows elevation of the A87 and the surrounding mountains, really cool: https://elevationmap.net/3-a87-kyle-iv40-8hn-uk#latlng=(57.22164137750767,-5.416754313696288)

Loch Garry looking west, by a Kenneth Barker in 2010, someones ancestors lived along the shores of this loch years ago…

As I have stated above, the highway, A87, goes along Loch Garry and then curves up past Loch Loyne and you leave the Glengarry area: https://canmore.org.uk/site/search/result?NUMLINK=312944&view=map

We turned west and drove past Loch Cluanie.  Alan pulled off and I took pictures of the area. Loch Cluanie is getting deep into the Highlands. It is very quiet an a tad cool. There are mountains to the south of the loch.

So what do you think of Loch Cluaine versus Loch Garry (see photo above), it looks lonely to me.

Loch Cluaine

Loch Cluaine hills

Loch Cluaine Hills and A87

Loch Cluaine Mts

Loch Cluaine

Loch Cluaine

At the end of Loch Cluanie (A87 is 750 feet or so in elevation) and a bit past is the Cluanie Inn. I thought of staying at this inn but decided that another was my goal. Their website photos of the area are amazing and I suggest you take a look.  It is amazing country:  https://www.cluanieinn.com/

We zipped past the Battle of Glen Shiel (recognize this name from Canadian research). Another battle in the long history of the Jacobite Rebellion. This time it took place in 1719. I am amazed that the government was this far into the Highlands but I do see reference to a Military Road on the maps:

http://www.battlefieldsofbritain.co.uk/battle_glenshiel_1719.html

We made it to the Kintail Lodge Hotel on Loch Duich (a saltwater loch) a little after 4 pm and settled in. Their address is Glen Shiel, Kyle of Lochalsh;   http://kintaillodgehotel.co.uk/

They offered dinner at 6 pm so we made reservations. We dithered in our room. It was very pleasant with many windows that looked out on the grounds and the loch. It had a sitting area and a desk. I was pleased. The sun broke through. So we went for a walk on the property before dinner.

Kintail Lodge a former hunting lodge

From our Window – Kintail Lodge

The area around the Kintail Lodge

The Kintail Lodge is not small

Wee Bunkhouse – no we did not stay in this building

A lovely garden grounds

A group of wild goats were walking on the highway.  I had seen a road sign warning about wild goats. They were right on the road and the cars go by really fast, fortunately they hurried.

Wild Goats

Wild Goats

Wild Goats

The Wild goats seemed to know where to go

The restaurant is a combined with a bar.  There was a group of men enjoying drinks.  People kept coming in and out of the restaurant and it did fill up.  I ordered the Steak and Whiskey Dinner.  Alan tried the Venison stew. I also chose wine for dinner and Alan had a dark Skye brewed beer. The Scots know how to make ice cream so I ordered some and Alan broke down and helped me eat it. It was wonderful. Like I said, you don’t go hungry in Scotland.

The Tavern Entrance

Skye Beer

Venison Stew

Steak and Whiskey Pie

Off to our room and time to get ready for bed. I am tired.

A quick note: The town of Glenelg was about 30 minutes to the west from the lodge on a country road.  It is right across from the Isle of Skye. There is a ferry north of it that goes to Skye. We were pretty tired so I decided not go there. Glenelg is pronounced saying the final g. It is another familiar term for Canadian research. It is also the parish name that covers a large area of the Highlands. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenelg,_Highland

Posted in Fort Augustus, Glen Shiel Kyle of Lochalsh, Invergarry, Loch Ness area, Scotland May 2018 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Tour of Scotland: The Highland Archive and Society to Fort Augustus

We were up early to get packed and ready for our trip to Fort Augustus which is at the south end of Loch Ness. The day was going to be sunny with some cloudiness but otherwise a good day.  I was going to visit the Highland Archive and then we would head south along Loch Ness to Fort Augustus.

Breakfast was very good at the Ardconnel, I tried beans with my scrambled eggs and sausage. They do make good sausage in Scotland. They serve baked beans with breakfast and I kind of like it.  They also fry or roast half a tomato and serve them as well. They had freshly baked hot cross buns which was a treat.

A nice couple from Connecticut sat at the other table and mentioned Rick Steves. He is a travel guru with his home base in Edmonds, north of Seattle. Alan told them he knew him from his church. They described their trip so far. We, in turn, gave them our trip ideas and were we had been and where we were going. She mentioned that they had not done the visitor center in Glencoe because it was closed due to technical difficulties. Hopefully it would be fixed by the time we went there.

We packed up making sure the room was emptied. We were soon off down the street to our car, me with my two bags and Alan dragging the two pieces of luggage along with him.

We headed out of Inverness driving over the River Ness on B861 for the last time and south down A82. We turned onto Bught Road and got a bit confused for there were all these large buildings and one had a big swimming pool. It was some sort of recreation complex. The Navigation was not helping.  I was confused by it all.

Highland Archive Location

The Highland Archive building was tucked into the southwest corner of the property in a separate building. I made my way up to what appeared to be the pool building and found a map of the complex.  I figured out that I needed to go east and south. So we walked over to the building. Alan tagged along so he would know where I would be. He was going to go and do some errands while I was at the archive.

Entrance to the Highland Archive

Before I had set out on this trip to Scotland, I studied the website of the Highland Archive and the Highland Family History Society. Fortunately, they are housed in the same building.

The Highland Archive in Inverness is the main archive the Highlands. There are four archive centers. Each one of the listed archives houses records appropriate to that area. Each one has their own hours (some are limited) and locations so you need to be careful in your planning.

I find the Highland Archive website to be confusing so take your time studying it.

https://www.highlifehighland.com/highland-archive-centre/

  1. Highland Archive in Inverness – Main archive, open 5 days a week https://www.highlifehighland.com/highland-archive-centre/highland-archive-centre/archives-held-in-the-highland-archive-centre/
  2. Caithness Archive Center in Caithness. This archive is north of Inverness.  I am very confused about this archive, its location and name, so contact them for details. I did not go into the northwestern area of Scotland above Inverness, my focus was south of Inverness:  https://www.highlifehighland.com/archives-service/archive-centres/caithness-archive-centre/
  3. Lochaber Archive Center in Fort William – open only on Fridays.  They do not make appointments for you to come in on any other day. They have the Donald Cameron of Lochiel collection which is pretty amazing. It looks closed at this time: https://www.highlifehighland.com/lochaber-archive-centre/  
  4. Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre in Portree. I visited this in Portree and will describe it in a future post. https://www.highlifehighland.com/skye-and-lochalsh-archive-centre/

You will find that each of these archives have their own set of records for the area they area serving. Here is a sort of guide based on my experience:

  1. You will need to identify what areas of the Highlands the archive covers.
  2. You will need to study the web pages for each archive to find out what records are housed there.  To find out what they hold go to the links provided in the above in the list and study the information.
  3. Find the highlighted writing that reads: Find out more. Click it and it will take you to a description of the records kept there. Here is the link for the Highland Archive in Inverness: https://www.highlifehighland.com/highland-archive-centre/highland-archive-centre/archives-held-in-the-highland-archive-centre/

Record Summary Example – area covered and records held in the archive

4.  On the website for the Highland Archive record contents are highlighted red writing. Click on those and it will take you to another webpage:  “Privately deposited archives” and “Church records” and “Inverness District Asylum.”

5.  I clicked the “privately deposited archives” on this webpage find the link to the “Topical Index” click on that and it will take you to a PDF “Topical Index to Deposited Collections.” It contains a table of contents of the different records. Other tables of contents can be 100’s of page. They call them “catalogues.” This list is 57 pages. Starting on page 4 of the PDF is the table of contents listing subjects.

6. I read through the online Topical Index and made a list of those records that interested me.

Example of Table of Contents (catalogue) of one record set

7. Review the catalogues and select the ones you are interested in. The archivist will need the Reference Number, Description and years.

8. I wrote an email to the Highland Archive and told them what I was looking for. I was interested in anything about MacDonalds/Macdonells etc., and would be visiting the Highland Archive in May. I was surprised by the response. The archivist sent me the “catalogues” of various records sets for me based on my email inquiry and my list from the Topical Index to Deposited Collection.  So I recommend that you be specific and do some studying of the Topical Index and drill down.

9. I did read through the catalogues that he sent to me and eliminated them drilling down to what looked doable.

The next thing I did was study the Highland Family History Societies website. I clicked on all the links: events, publications, resources, membership, useful link (which is very good) and contacts. There are other highlighted words on their website, click those too:  I have found them to be friendly so please email them with your questions.  http://www.highlandfamilyhistorysociety.org/

Web page Highland Family History Society, Inverness

My goal was to visit two repositories on this day. My time was restricted. I had about 3 hours.

  1. The Highland Archive which had the records of the Highland areas of Inverness, Nairn, Ross and Cromarty, and Sutherland.
  2. The second was the Highland Family History Society which just happened to be housed in the first room of the Highland Archive in Inverness.  They have their Catalog listing on their website and member interests which I found all very interesting.

Sign inside the foyer

I entered the foyer of the building and saw the standing board with the sign pointing upstairs.

Sign for where to go

So I climbed the stairs and entered the Highland Archive room which is on the 2nd floor.  I was greeted by a very friendly young man who had me sign in and explained the rules. He pointed to the lockers at the front of the room. He also showed me the books in the back of the room and the Clan Donald titles. So I emptied my bag taking what I needed and then put the remaining into the locker and took the key.  I put that key in my pocket and zipped it up. I have been known to lose a key and it is not fun. So guard it carefully.

First Room Highland Archive – the Genealogy Room, perhaps

There are two rooms. The room in the photo above is the first room and it has the reception desk, lockers, computers, microfilm readers, books, and map files. The second room is back further on the floor. In the photo the 2nd room would be behind me. That inner room is where you consult the special research files that I described above.

I sat at the large table to the right of the photocopier. It was next to the Highland Family History Society desk and the bookcases along the back wall of the room not shown in the picture.  http://www.highlandfamilyhistorysociety.org/

Just a few minutes later the Highland Family History Society volunteer appeared at the desk. We talked for some time and he asked me questions. After I convinced him that I knew what I was doing, he accepted my family research packet of  mainly the MacD’s and my blog brochure.  I was pleased. I decided right then to sign up for membership.

At this point I turned to studying all Clan Donald book titles on the bookshelf. I found about 14 titles in the Clan Donald section that might be helpful in identifying the different groupings of Clan Donald. I was learning that Clan Donald is very complicated in its lineages such as: Clanranald, Glengarry, Boisdale, Glenaladale, Lundie, Sleat etc., etc. As I studied a book, I wrote down the title, author, date of publication information. I also identified pages to copy.

Here is a list of those books/articles I had copied. Some of these books might be online for viewing.

  1. Clan Donald Magazine, No. 12, 1959 – 1) The MacDonald’s of Glenalladale, Iain R. McKay. 2) MacD of Glenaladale and Borrodale 3) MacDonalds of Lundie 4 MacDonells/macDonalds of Glengarry/Stormont – Canada by Duncan Darby MacDonald U.E.
  2. Coilkitto! A Celebration of Clan Donald of Colonsay 1570-1674, 1997 by Kevin Burns
  3. The Clan Ranald of Knoydart & Glengarry, Norman H. MacDonald FSA Scotland, 1979 and also a 1995 version.  (I was to purchase this book online after trying to find it in Scotland.)
  4. Moidart Amoung the Clan Ranalds, Charles MacDonald 1997
  5. The MacDonald’s of Clan Ranald by Alexander MacKenzie FS Scot., 1973
  6. The Lord of the Isles, by Ronald Williams 2009 and 1997

Did not make copies of the following books.

  1. MacDonald of the Isles, A.M. W. Stirling 1914
  2. The MacDonalds of Glencoe, 1998 by Alexander McDonald
  3. The Clan Ranald of Lochaber 1973-75, Norman H. MacDonald
  4. History of the MacDonalds, Lord of the Isles, 1973 by Alexander MacKenzie
  5. The Fate of Glengarry, Bernard W. Kiley, 1905
  6. The Clan Ranald of Garmoran, Norman H. MacDonald 2008
  7. The MacDonald’s of Glengarry, Alexander MacKenzie 1973
  8. Clan Donald, Donald J. Macdonald of Castleton 1978

The receptionist at the front desk did the copying for me and counted the copies and put them with the book I was getting the information from.

I also studied their map collection and found some were modern ordnance maps and others were Victorian vintage, which I think I might like better. You can buy them online but I will try the map collection of the National Library of Scotland first. I have spent some time studying maps for the Highlands and it has helped a great deal in understanding where things are.

About this time Alan appeared and he settled in next to me. I told him I was moving into the inner research room of the Highland archive. I entered that room and signed in again at the desk.

I requested the table of contents (catalogue) of the (D456) MacDonnell of Glengarry (Baillie of Dunain papers 1789 to 1831) listing that I had found in my research and inquiry above. I was told it was too large for them to send me via email.  The assistant handed me the title inventory book and it was completely filled with this collection. It was huge.  I searched through the whole book and found the Glengarry information at the back-end of the book D456/C Macdonell of Glengarry papers.  Now this was just the table of contents of the collection (catalogue) and it was 9 pages long. The last page was Other Solicitor’s Correspondence D456/D/1 and it looks like I was cut off. I did scan through the whole book.

I had a packet of my family history research that I wanted to give to this archive, but I learned that the archivist was at a meeting in Fort William this day. Well at least the Highland Family History Society had copies.

At this time I decided after reading through the copies that I did not have time to dig in because the detail was overwhelming.  It would take a good day of serious research, if not more, to wade through all the information. So I asked to have the table of content (catalogue) pages copied.  I paid for the copies and we also gave a donation.

Loch Ness to Fort Augustus

We headed out of the Highland Archive.  I suggested to Alan that we eat in Drumnadrochit.  I also wanted to check out the visitor center that I saw there the day before. Our drive down Loch Ness went easily.  We parked in the Visitor parking area in Drumnadrochit.  I went into the Visitor center and proceeded to study the Explorer Maps and others they had for sale, but decided not to buy them.  They are broken down in various groupings that I don’t always like.

The Fiddler Restaurant

Drumnadrochit is a fun town with lots of activity in this central area. There were several cafes and hotels across the road so we headed over to the Fiddlers Highland Restaurant to get some lunch. I had a hamburger and Alan got soup and a salad. They had a lot of bottles up on their wall arranged in groupings of location where the whiskey was from.  http://www.fiddledrum.co.uk/

We continued to our drive along Loch Ness.  The road is narrow and winding so it was slow going. A motorcycle and a big car passed us. Alan did pull over once for about 6 cars. Fort Augustus was not that far about 15 miles.  We located our bed and breakfast and fortunately there was parking out front of the Caledonian House Bed and Breakfast. http://www.caledonianhouse.co.uk/

Caledonian Bed and Breakfast in Fort Augustus

We rang the door buzzer and were greeted by the owner.  She didn’t  have me down for the day as a guest, so I showed her the confirmation email. This was the only B&B that I paid for in advance the total cost. She confirmed it was her’s. She gave us the room on the first floor which meant no stairs. Carol, the owner, is quite the character and used the phrase on a good day a lot.

Alan and I wanted to see the Caledonian locks and the Clansman Center so we set off on our walk. Getting around in Fort Augustus is easy for it is small.  It turns out the Canal center was undergoing renovation which was a disappointment.  I was hoping for a museum explaining the canal system.  https://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/canals/caledonian-canal/

The Clansman Center

So we walked over to The Clansman Center. We entered into a small gift shop and a few minutes later the salesperson appeared and I asked about the presentation.  He said that they have had to cut back on their presentations because they are not getting the tourism they once had. Again, I was disappointed. I had wanted to see their presentation about Clan life, it looked very interesting from what I saw on their website: http://www.clansmancentre.uk/

Caledonian Canal lock section

Caledonian Canal Mechanisms

We wandered up to the canal and climbed up the stairs noting that the water was lower in some of the sections and boats were up at the top of the staircase canal. There was a fancy speed boat, several other types of boats and a tourist barge waiting to leave a section of the locks.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caledonian_Canal

Boats along the canal

Fingal a vacation Barge

Fingal a barge

Fingal a vacation barge

Fingal

Schedule post

Opening the gates

Boats Leaving, they don’t dally…

We observed the water filling up the section and then the doors opened.  First out of the canal were the small boats, some rafts with motors on them and then the two large boats.

There are more Caledonian Canal sections from Inverness down to Fort William. It is a whole system of canals through the Great Glen. This was only one part of the system. https://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/canals/caledonian-canal/

Back at the room we settled in. I took some cough medicine that Alan bought me and caught up the journaling. Our room was a nice size with lots of wood paneling. We were on the ground floor so the window opened onto the road and I had to be careful about the privacy. The bathroom was roomy. It was a very nice room.

A Picture of Fort Augustus

Alan and I decided on the Boathouse Restaurant http://www.lochnessboathouse.co.uk/ which was out on the very south end of Loch Ness. It was a bit unusual because you had to walk to it. If you look at the old picture above located the canal on the right and you walk along on the left side. The walk was a good several long blocks on a semi dirt/gravel walkway. You could peer through the trees and hedge into the grounds that are to the left in the photo. There was a huge house inside the grounds, I believe it is the Highland Club. which is very fancy.

The Boathouse Restaurant was at the loch shore sort of where the white dot is in the photo above.

Boathouse Restaurant in Fort Augustus

Through the sliding window of the Boathouse Restuarant looking out north to Loch Ness

The restaurant was designed like a boat with a wooden ceiling and rafters that came down the ceiling and small windows on one wall that reminded me of port holes. The weather was milder and warmer than the north end of the Loch.

For dinner, I had salmon and Alan had a shrimp dinner. Once again our timing was great for the restaurant really filled up quickly.

The south end of Loch Ness

The south end of Loch Ness

Walking back from the Boathouse.

Back at our room we settled in for the night.

Posted in Fort Augustus, Inverness, Loch Ness area, MCDONALD/MACDONALD etc., Scotland, Scotland May 2018 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Tour of Scotland: Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

I was up pretty early and I tried to catch up the journaling of our trip.  Yes, I do a detailed itinerary so I know what each day will bring.  I can make decisions about what to do or not do when the time comes. I then journal the day’s activities: where we went, what we saw, how I felt, what we ate. I have learned that it is so easy to forget. I like to do it when it is fresh in my mind. I then review it later and add to it.  I do go back and use parts of it for my stories on my blogs and to refresh my memory.

Remember that we had to park our car in the car park at the end of the block. Well it had rules and we needed get our car out about 9:05 am this day. We decided to just leave and head to the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition.

The Loch Ness Centre with gift shop to the left in the white building and hotel and restaurant to the left with the round front.

It was about 30 minutes away so it was not too far. We had a lovely full breakfast in a little bit of a rush and headed out in the rain to our car. It was quiet on the streets of Inverness because it was Sunday morning.

We crossed the bridge over the River Ness and proceeded down A82 but lost the Navigation at a couple of roundabouts. The road was narrow at the north end of Loch Ness and the route had some bad spots on the left side. It was very foggy over Loch Ness and rainy. You could see mountain tops peaking above the thick fog. I had confidence it would get nicer by the afternoon. There was very little traffic so that was good.

We arrived at the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition and pulled into the parking lot. The centre is housed in a former old brick hotel. http://www.lochness.com/

Parking the car

Loch Ness Centre side view and entrance

The tour meandered into and out of separate rooms where they told the story of Loch Ness,

The Presentation map

They reviewed the ancient history of Scotland and continental drift. They talked about the sightings of the monster and gave a timeline of those events and what was seen. They tried to explain what might have really happened. They talked about the sonar mapping of the Loch.  The Loch structure and base has been totally mapped. They discussed that large sea creatures could not live in the Loch without food and Loch Ness does not have enough food to support the type of creature people are seeing. They talked about the wave action of the warm and cooler water causing shifts in the surface of the Loch that might cause ripples creating effects. One sighting might have been a bird others might have been debree or a giant sturgeon.  It was a good presentation and I enjoyed it.

I have the Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition brochure and we also have the Loch Ness, by Adrian Shine, Loch Ness Project guide-book. Both are very interesting. I was very pleased with myself for knowing quite a bit about the Loch Ness Monster. I believe I have seen PBS Specials on the Loch Ness Monster and maybe other specials over the years. I like legends.

There is the scientific exhibit and then there is Nessieland. We did not make it to Nessieland.  After studying the website. I can see that we would have needed a full day to do that. It is also in another location and separate from the exhibit we visited.  It is more for children but I am sure we would have managed:  https://www.nessieland.co.uk/  

They also have cruises on the Loch. The shuttle was leaving off tourists who had taken the cruise and they were laughing and talking and saying it was a good tour and they were glad they had gone on it.

Brochures for Loch Ness

After you finish with the presentation in the centre you end up in the gift shop. Of course I studied it all very carefully – twice. Here I am attempting to take a selfie of me and a stuffed Nessie toy. I am so bad at selfies.  You can see my eyes are wrong and I had the wrong setting with the postage stamp thing. AUGH!

Toys and Selfie

I purchased a T-Shirt with Loch Ness on it. I do collect them when I travel. Alan found a mug with a Scottish Coo on it and he wanted me to see it.  So we headed into the store called the Whiskey Store.  It is a nice mug, sturdy. It says that it is dishwasher safe but I am not sure about microwaves?

Coo Mug

While he was buying the mug I asked the sales ladies several questions. The name of the town is Drumnadrochit. The sales ladies tried to help me to pronounce it. The trick is to say it very fast Drum na dro chit. Somehow Alan was talking about driving and how hard it was and I said my job was watching the left side of the road. Well many people in the shop laughed.  Yeah, I am a funny kid.

Alan suggested that we get a snack and some coffee so we went over to the cafeteria. He tried what was a nut bar. I had sponge cake that was very sweet. The coffee was wonderful and I told them it was. The Scots are not really into coffee.  We like the French Roast which is a rich coffee and it makes it hard to adjust to other flavors. We dallied there at the nice cafe and then Alan decided that we should do Urquhart Castle in the nice weather. I was right, it had cleared up. He wanted to explore Lochend because he liked the picture that I put on my Facebook of Loch Ness. We had a plan.

Urquhart Castle (pronounced – Urket) is not far from the town. It is further south on Loch Ness. We found parking in the tight parking lot. It was getting very busy with lots of people. We purchased our tickets and a guide-book. It is a bit confusing but you go down the elevator to the lower floor to access the gift and coffee shop, their small museum display and the exit to the castle grounds.

Urquhart Brochures

Scale model of Urquhart Castle

The small museum display was about castle life.  It explained the different jobs that were needed to run the castle, such as: feed the people, dress the lord and lady and help with travel arrangements if needed, care for the animals, defend the castle, and just run things. It was quite complicated. This is a little bit of a funny description of castle life  https://www.ranker.com/list/what-life-was-like-in-medieval-castles/shanell-mouland 

They had a short film that told of the conquering of the castle over many years. The MacDonald’s and the Lord of the Isle’s were involved on many occasions taking cattle and basically causing lots of problems till the owner Lord Grant decided to just destroy the castle.  The dates of raids by MacDonalds start in 1395 and go to 1545 the last raid. Click the photo and read the reader board it is very interesting.

MacDonald Raids of the Castle

Grant’s feud with the MacDonalds

The Castle as it looked through the years.

We spent quite some time walking the ruins. Alan helped me with some of the stairs for they didn’t have hand rails. The weather was perfect having cleared up considerably.  https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/urquhart-castle/

Presentation

Quaich Cup – Friendship cup, my cup

There was supposed to be a free tour but we waited and nothing happened till I saw this man in a tri-cornered hat setting up his presentation. He did a wonderful talk about weaponry and how it was used. It was also a bit gruesome.

He had a Quaich cup which he explained. This is called a friendship cup.  When someone comes to your home you present this cup. First you hold it and drink from it to show your guest that it is not poisoned. Holding the cup requires using both hands making you vulnerable to the other person and a possible attack. Then you hand it to them and they drink exposing themselves. It is a sign of trust.

https://www.scottishsilver.com/blog/quaich-scotlands-cup-friendship/

Here is a gallery of photos of Urquhart Castle Ruins. You will need to be at this blog online to view it. If you are getting an email the link might not open up.

The day turned out lovely, sunny with clouds. Here are some views of Loch Ness. Sorry no Nessie sightings today.

We left the castle and headed up to the small village at the north end of Loch Ness called Lochend. We missed the turn so we sought out the Jacobite Cruise sign where we had been told there were some Highland Cows. Well, it is not as romantic as pictures of them out in the wilds of Scotland. They were totally uninterested in us. There was a sign asking to not disturb them.

Highland Cows. They can really swish their tails

Highland Cow in Inverness

We pulled off parked and just enjoyed the animals in the field. These were real highland cows lying about chewing their cud. There were about 4 of them in a field by the car park.  Yes we got butt ends.

Lochend – the land that juts out at the bottom of the loch

We tried again for the Lochend and Alan turned off a little too soon onto a road that was very rough and undeveloped. He drove up to a gate which ended our little adventure. It wasn’t till later that I realized that he had taken the correct road to what he had seen in the photo I had found of the Loch. It was not developed like we had thought it was. Apparently there had been some plans to fix it up but so far it was not happening.  The gate we had seen meant we could have walked out onto the area. Be careful the road down into this is very rutted and scary when turning off the highway.

Satellite view of Loch End

Alan decided that he wanted to go and talk to the man who was really into Nessie.  This man had a trailer parked near the Dores Inn. http://www.thedoresinn.co.uk/ 

Nessie Hunter

The Dores Inn was on the east side of the lake. We drove down a lovely tree-lined road with beautiful green fields on both sides. The Dores Inn is located at the northend of Loch Ness on the east side. We managed to get a table. I had fish and chips and Alan had some Beef dinner with potatoes and gravy.  We sat in the restaurant area and not outside in the wind.

The Dores Inn

Wooden Boat Art inside the Dores Inn restaurant

The man who Alan wanted to see was not at his trailer.  It was in the corner of the parking for the Dores Inn. This man is really into Nessy. http://www.nessiehunter.co.uk/

Northeast Loch Ness

Loch Ness Info board

Loch Ness – not as tranquil as near Urquhart Castle.

This is at the northeast end of Loch Ness.  The water was lapping the shore and as you looked out on the Loch you saw gray water and waves. It was like a big sea. The wind was trying to whip me about, even thought it was sunny with clouds. It was not really picnic weather.

We headed back to Inverness and the Ardconnell House. The Navigation system got hung up again at this roundabout which apparently is new. We lost it and we ended up heading back and retracing our steps. In any event, we made it back to Ardconnell Street and the car park. This car park is in a location for the main part of the city of Inverness and is highly prized. I was a bit worried we might have trouble finding a space but there were some tucked in the back area.

Since we had dinner at the Dorne Inn we were ready to just relax and prepare for leaving Inverness the next day. I needed to get ready for my visit to the Highland Archive at the south end area of Inverness.

Posted in Inverness, Loch Ness area, Scotland, Scotland May 2018 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment