Scotland 2022: Homeward Bound

Concluding my account of my Scottish holiday with a look at the journey home.

Welcome to the final post in my series on my Scottish holiday. This one deals with my return to King’s Lynn.


On the Friday evening after getting back from the visit to Eigg I picked up an email warning me that the train I was supposed to be travelling on from Fort William to Glasgow had been cancelled. I was able to establish that I could get back on track by taking a train from Crianlarich (where the Oban and Mallaig lines diverge), but it still meant that I missed the most scenic part of the train journey. It also meant an earlier start to the day.


Barring a delay getting into Glasgow, which is was of no relevance given how far ahead of schedule I was due to having had to alter my travel plans there were no hitches on this section of the journey, and I arrived in Edinburgh still miles ahead of schedule…


I opted to spend time waiting at Waverley station and travel on the train on which I had a booked seat rather than take my chances on earlier train, a decision that although it did not work out for me I still regard as having been the correct one. Unfortunately, the last London bound train before the one I was booked on was cancelled due to someone running about on the tracks, which meant that the train on which I was booked had to take two trainloads worth of passengers. I am cautious about long distance trains and always look to board early, which was a lucky decision on this occasion – I was seated in the seat that was technically reserved to me well in advance of departure time, which was just as well, as an onboard computer malfunction meant that the only way a reservation could actually be enforced was in the way that I had done so – by actually being sat in the seat. The addition of an extra unscheduled stop at Berwick on Tweed, and a couple of other minor delays had me briefly worried about my onward connection at Peterborough, but we actually got to Peterborough 15 minutes before my next train was due to depart, and not even the shocking organization of that station (it is not easy to find general departure information there) could make me miss that train – I was safely seated comfortably ahead of departure time.


The train from Peterborough arrived at Ely, my last change point, bang on schedule, and there was never a chance of me missing the train on to King’s Lynn. That train also ran to schedule, and I arrived in King’s Lynn just after 10:30PM. I then walked home, and was unpacked by 11:00PM.


Here are my pictures from this eventful day:

Scotland 2022: Eigg to Acharacle via Mallaig

Finishing the account of the Friday of my Scottish Holiday.

This post continues my series about my holiday in Scotland with an account of the journey back from Eigg to Acharacle which included a diversion north to Mallaig. This is my fourth post about Friday’s activities and the penultimate post in this series.


The voyage back to the mainland was calm as the outward voyage had been, and we set off along the coast road to Mallaig (there is a quicker main road which we used on the way from Mallaig to Acharacle). This route is very scenic. Mallaig was very busy when we got there but we found a parking space not too far from the centre.


Mallaig well repaid a brief visit – there a few things of interest to be seen there, including a good account of the coming of the railway (late by British standards, early 20th century), and some splendid views. I first passed through Mallaig nearly three decades ago, when I arrived by ferry from the Isle of Skye and travelled on by train to Oban (one change at Crianlarich), and also saw the area immediately around the train station much more recently when I travelled on The Jacobite between Fort William and Mallaig in 2017.

The journey back to Acharacle passed without incident, bringing to an end the active part of a very enjoyable final full day the holiday.

Scotland 2022: Exploring Eigg

Continuing my account of my Scottish holiday with a look at the beautiful and interesting island of Eigg.

I continue my account of my Scottish holiday with a look at our explorations of the island of Eigg, the third of four posts devoted to Friday (see here and here).


There are a cafe and a shop right where the boat drops one on the island of Eigg. Having noted the existence of these establishments we began our explorations. The first point of interest was some information about the island itself:

We then came to a memorial…

Then it was walk uphill, until we came to a footpath that we took. Conscious of time constraints we did not go massively far along the path, though what we saw was very scenic…

There were some more information boards before we got back to the cafe, which we were now ready to patronise. First this, about the geology of the inner Hebrides:

Then this about electricity and green issues:

The cafe proved to be excellent. I ate a bacon bap and drank a reasonably local beer that proved to be of splendid quality.


We did a little more exploring after lunch, before heading back to the boat, which we boarded in good time for the journey back to Arisaig. Eigg was very interesting as well as very scenic, and I enjoyed my visit there.


Here are my remaining pictures from Eigg…

Scotland 2022: The Crossing to Eigg

Continuing my account of my Scottish holiday with a look at the crossing from Arisaig to Eigg.

I continue my account of my recent Scottish holiday with a look at the boat trip from Arisaig to Eigg. This post picks up where yesterday’s left off.


Though not by any means a large craft the boat taking us to Eigg was considerably larger and stouter than the one on which we travelled between Alderney and Guernsey earlier this year. Additionally, the presence of so many islands so tightly clustered together means that the Sound of Arisaig is not by any means as savage as one might expect of sea of the coast of Scotland. Finally, there was very little wind about, which further contributed to the crossing being a smooth one.


Here are the pictures between Arisaig and Eigg…

Scotland 2022: An Adventurous Friday

Starting an account of the Friday of my Scottish holiday. There will be several more posts about the day.

I continue my coverage of my Scottish holiday with a multi-part account of Friday’s activities. In this post I set the scene for several more post.


We had arranged to visit the island of Eigg, which involved journeying to Arisaig (home of mainland Britain’s most westerly railway station) to catch the boat. We would explore Eigg, get the boat back and then pay a quick visit to Mallaig before returning to Acharacle. To ensure not missing the boat we were underway by eight AM.


The journey from Acharacle to Arisaig is exceedingly scenic. Capturing said scenery on camera was rendered slightly challenging due the problems created by being in the back seat of a car with rather small rear windows, but I did get some good pictures. We arrived in Arisaig in good time, and were seated aboard the boat by 9:30, for a 10AM sailing.


Here are my photographs from leaving home to getting on the boat…

Scotland 2022: Acharacle

Welcome to the next post in my series about my Scottish holiday. This post focusses on Acharacle where we were staying, and the surrounding area. It covers Wednesday evening and Thursday of the week in question.

Birthday Meal

The evening of Wednesday June 1st featured a belated birthday meal at an excellent restaurant. I opted for smoked venison for a starter and steak for the main course, washed down by a rather good local beer.


Thursday had been forecast to be the least good day of the week weatherwise, and it was (although for western Scotland it was far from being bad). During the two periods when the weather was good enough to go out we did first a walk to the village shop, visiting the church on the way back, and then in the late afternoon/ early evening a walk over the Shiel bridge and then part way along one side of the loch that the river turns into in that direction (the Shiel is a very short river). There is a small settlement called Moss, and indeed mosses and lichens grow very luxuriantly in this part of the world.


Here are my photographs taken in and around Acharacle…

Scotland 2022: Singing Sands – Beach and Back

Continuing my account of my Scottish holiday with my second post about the Singing Sands.

Welcome to my latest post about my Scottish holiday, my second about the walk centred on the Singing Sands.


We spent a little time on the beach, crossing the river that runs across it at a carefully picked spot that enabled us not to get our shoes wet. While we were on the beach I refreshed myself, having been sensible enough to equip myself with water and a little food. It was a truly splendid location, and I was careful to ensure that I left nothing other than footprints and took nothing other than photographs.


We walked back the way we had come, seeing a few new things on the way. It had been a very enjoyable walk, and I recommend it to anyone who is in that part of western Scotland.


Here are my photographs from this second part of the walk…

Scotland 2022: The Walk to the Singing Sands

Continuing my account of my Scottish holiday with the first of two posts about the walk that formed the centrepiece of the Wednesday.

Welcome to the latest post in my account of my Scottish holiday which ended a week ago today. This post is the first of two posts covering the walk we did on the Wednesday. This involved a short car journey to the car park from which the walk began (doing it this way the walk was in region of six miles, three out and three back, which is manageable for all of us).


The Singing Sands is the name given to a beach because when the wind is blowing it does indeed sound like the sand is singing, and it is approached by way of a good track which runs through what used to MOD territory and then more recently was managed by the Forestry Commission. The beach is accessed by a side path off this track.


The walk starts alongside a patch of mud flats, then after the crossing of a bridge from which the remains of at least two earlier river crossings can be seen the track heads into the woods, and then finally one emerges to a sight of the beach which is remarkable. I will be covering the beach and the walk back in my next post.


Here are some photographs from the parts of the walk covered in this post:

Scotland 2022: The Tour of Ardnamurchan Distillery

An account of a tour of the Ardnamurchan Distillery.

Welcome to the latest in my series of posts about my recent Scottish holiday. This post covers the tour of Ardnamurchan Distillery on the day of my birthday, now eight days ago.


The Ardnamurchan distillery was built over the course of 2011 and 2012 and produced its first whisky in 2014. The tour was very comprehensive, taking in the warehouse and every stage of the distilling process. It ended with a sample of the product, which is very distinctive – virtually no smokiness or peatiness to it and sweeter than most whiskies. I rate it very highly myself. I will leave photographs to tell the rest of the story – click on an image to view it full size…

Scotland 2022: The Western Edge of Mainland Britain

An account of a quick visit to the westernmost point in mainland Britain.

I am continuing my series about my holiday in Scotland (after a long and stressful day of travelling back on Saturday I was far too tired to do anything yesterday). We have reached Tuesday (six days ago now), the centrepiece of which was a tour of the Ardnamurchan Distillery. That will be the subject of my next post, while this post deals with the first event of that day.


The Ardnamurchan Distillery is located just west of the village of Glen Borrodale on the northern shore of Loch Sunart, which is the southern edge of the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Beyond this to the west is Ardnamurchan Point, the westernmost point of mainland Britain (to give you an idea of how far west the Ardnamurchan peninsula juts out to the west, the Inner Hebridean isle of Eigg is due north of the western half of the peninsula), and our plan was to see this before arriving at the distillery for the 2PM start time of our tour.

Unfortunately, a combination of a later than intended start and the poor quality of some of the roads meant that we only had time for a very brief stop at the Western edge of mainland Britain before turning round and heading back to the distillery.

Here are the pictures from the outward car trip:

I just had time to take two pictures at the point:

The journey back to the distillery was enlivened by an encounter with someone I have dubbed ‘psycho cyclist’. We were behind him on the road and he took a long time to pull into the side so that we could get past, and did so with astonishingly bad grace – swearing at us and gesturing manically. I am normally sympathetic towards cyclists, but this individual did himself no favours with his wilfully aggressive and confrontational attitude. I took a few more pictures heading back: