Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 15th January 2012, 02:15   #31
BHPian
 
Morph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 39
Thanked: 21 Times
Default Re: Hayek's Road Trips : England, Wales and Scotland

Hayek - excellent write up. I'm glad you like Scotland. I'm based on the road out from Edinburgh towards the Forth Road Bridge so you probably went about 200 metres from where I'm sitting
Morph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th January 2012, 10:11   #32
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 312
Thanked: 105 Times
Default Re: Hayek's Road Trips : England, Wales and Scotland

Dear Hayek and Ramky,

Planning around the trip drive from Edinburgh to Inverness to see the Loch Ness-is it doable-have the whole day at our disposal-early start-7 am and back by 7 pm?? Next day drive to Windemere and back??
Judemayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th January 2012, 13:26   #33
Senior - BHPian
 
ramkya1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Palakkad, Keral
Posts: 1,817
Thanked: 362 Times
Arrow Re: Hayek's Road Trips : England, Wales and Scotland

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
Dear Hayek and Ramky,

Planning around the trip drive from Edinburgh to Inverness to see the Loch Ness-is it doable-have the whole day at our disposal-early start-7 am and back by 7 pm?? Next day drive to Windemere and back??
Tight drive, not advisable, some sections are 'code black', dangerous, you'd not get much time to stop and enjoy the scenes. Suggest one night stay in Loc Ness, enjoy the ride and drive back next day and skip Inverness.

Inverness and Scotland up north deserves a 2 days, perhaps a long weekend woud do, the drive from Inverness to John O Grates, the northern end through the costal route is to die for.


--Ramky
======
ramkya1 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th January 2012, 15:51   #34
BHPian
 
Morph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 39
Thanked: 21 Times
Default Re: Hayek's Road Trips : England, Wales and Scotland

@Judemayne
Edinburgh to Windermere and back in a day would be quite a long trip - at least 3 hours each way. If you want to do the lake district I would take a couple of days, staying in Grassmere which is really nice. I used to live on the edge of the lakes and go walking in the hills more or less every weekend.
Morph is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th January 2012, 15:57   #35
MX6
Senior - BHPian
 
MX6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: City of seven islands.
Posts: 2,882
Thanked: 210 Times
Default Re: Hayek's Road Trips : England, Wales and Scotland

JudeMayne. it is possible.
Edinburgh - Pitlochry - Loch Ness - Inverness and back in a day is very much possible.
But do keep in mind the adverse weather you may encounter that would spoil some good sceneries/ photo moments.
There's plenty of places where you can detour as well if you make it a 4 - 5 day trip. I spent half a day just walking up and down the firth of forth bridge!
MX6 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th January 2012, 23:40   #36
Senior - BHPian
 
ramkya1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Palakkad, Keral
Posts: 1,817
Thanked: 362 Times
Arrow Re: Hayek's Road Trips : England, Wales and Scotland

"1984, Neal Champion covered 1423 kms from John O'Groats to Land's End in 11 hours 14 minutes on a bike, somebody last year did it in a car last year in 11 hours"

Just checked the AA Maps, some facts: Edinburgh to Inverness: M-9, M76, Stirling- A84, Ardchyle- A-86, Crianlarich A 82, Fort William, Fort Agustus, Drumnadrochit, Inverness, only 321 Kms, 4 hours one way without stops, would be more than possible. What's the point?

The whole area is one of the most beautiful rides through mountains, locs and Ben Navis Range and Loc Ness, dashing to Inverness and back would be just touching points, forget sight seeing and enjoying on a ride like this. It would be like doing GQ in 6 days I suggest stay at mid points, there are many B&B options, check the net, you'd get a decent place for 30GBP around Fort William.

--Ramky
======
ramkya1 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th January 2012, 23:47   #37
Senior - BHPian
 
ramkya1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Palakkad, Keral
Posts: 1,817
Thanked: 362 Times
Arrow Re: Hayek's Road Trips : England, Wales and Scotland

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
Dear Hayek and Ramky,

Planning around the trip drive from Edinburgh to Inverness to see the Loch Ness-is it doable-have the whole day at our disposal-early start-7 am and back by 7 pm?? Next day drive to Windemere and back??
Sorry forgot the Windermere part. I drove from Inverness to Keswick, slow enjoyable ride, 7AM-4 PM, awesome ride. A whistle stop there would be not enough, suggest ride to Lake district on a friday evening, spend saturday and sunday and Sunday ride back. You would be able to see some of the most beautiful landscapes and vistas there, it's the Mecca of UK tourism, as you know people spend months there. Believe me, I spent 3 days there and only scratched the surface

--Ramky
======

Last edited by ramkya1 : 16th January 2012 at 23:59.
ramkya1 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 18th January 2012, 10:08   #38
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 312
Thanked: 105 Times
Default Re: Hayek's Road Trips : England, Wales and Scotland

I wish we had all the time in world to spend in Scotland-just three days of our 17 day Euro trip with 3 at London-4 in Austria, 4 in France and 3 at Rome-any advice on these places will be most welcome.Will be driving in Scotland and Austria-how will it be driving in Italy??
Judemayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th January 2012, 13:35   #39
Senior - BHPian
 
ramkya1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Palakkad, Keral
Posts: 1,817
Thanked: 362 Times
Arrow Re: Hayek's Road Trips : England, Wales and Scotland

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
I wish we had all the time in world to spend in Scotland-just three days of our 17 day Euro trip with 3 at London-4 in Austria, 4 in France and 3 at Rome-any advice on these places will be most welcome.Will be driving in Scotland and Austria-how will it be driving in Italy??
Aditya, TBHP handle name AVR, from Ahmedabad did a driving trip in Italy recently, URL:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/members/avr.html

If you PM him he would be able to help you with details on Italy.

--Ramky
======
ramkya1 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th January 2012, 18:00   #40
BHPian
 
coloneljasi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: KL-11
Posts: 682
Thanked: 227 Times
Default Re: Hayek's Road Trips : England, Wales and Scotland

@ Mayek: Thank you for the nice writeup and photos. They sure do bring back memories. I used to live in Ash Vale, Surrey, which is 40 minutes away from Windsor.

And you're so very right about driving in the UK. As long as you stay within the speed limit and follow the rules (quite a bit of 'em infact!), it's a breeze. But I should warn you, it will be unnerving once you come back to India.

Eagerly waiting for the rest of your travelogue.
coloneljasi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2012, 16:58   #41
BHPian
 
Hayek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Bombay
Posts: 709
Thanked: 1,635 Times
Default Re: Hayek's Road Trips : England, Wales and Scotland

@Ramky et al, thanks for reading and for your encouraging comments, and sorry for the delay in updating this thread.

@JudeMayne, I would agree with some of the responders that while theoretically, you can drive from Edinburgh to Inverness, and Loch Ness and back in a day, its not advisable. 320 miles can certainly be covered in a day if you are determined to do so. But the best thing about driving in Scotland is stopping from time to time to take in the views - and a day trip would make it seem too much like work.

Now, for the final part of our road trip - the journey from Bunchrew to Edinburgh via Fort William, Glen Coe and Loch Lomond.

The route map for the same is below:

Name:  Fullscreen capture 26012012 162405.jpg
Views: 684
Size:  155.5 KB

Once we took our decision to take the long road back to Edinburgh, it was very clear that we would need to get going on time. And as it happened, my wife woke up and got ready even before the alarm went off at 6 am, and hence for the only time on this trip, we were able to make a 730 am start.

We drove along Loch Ness till Invermoriston, using the same route we followed on the previous day to Skye, and thereafter continued down Loch Ness till its end at Fort Augustus. Post Loch Ness, we crossed the Caledonian Canal, and then traveled along the southern banks of River Oich, before flipping back to the Northern shore of Loch Oich. The Caledonian canal, as I may have mentioned before, starts on the North Sea coast at Inverness, and links the sea to Loch Ness – it then links Loch Ness with Loch Oich, and then links Loch Oich with Loch Lochy, and Loch Lochy to Loch Linhe, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Before the roads we were driving on were built, it acted as the main route for traffic along the Lochs, and as a short cut from the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, through relatively protected waters.

We made very good time that morning, and took our first halt barely 15 miles from Fort William at a War memorial at about 1045. From there, we could get views of the Nevis Range. A friend of ours had mentioned how they had gone for a cable car ride on the Nevis range during their visit to Fort William, and we were keen on taking our son for a similar ride. A few miles beyond the war memorial, we saw signs for the Nevis Range cable car, and diverted off the highway to check it out. We reached the cable car site around 1130.

The cable car runs from the base station, which is about 50 metres above sea level to a peak about 650 metres above sea level. It serves both as a route up for joy-riders like us, and also as a lift for mountain bikers who ride down the mountain. In winter, it also acts as the first leg of a ski lift. Traveling in the cable car, which quickly climbs above the tree line, and then moves more steeply up the peak, was very enjoyable. I spotted a number of mountain bikers on the way, who were heading rapidly down the mountain. Some of the mountain bikers were clearly experts, willing to jump at high speed over the trail (in locations where one slip would send them tumbling down the mountain). I found it interesting that people who grow up in a highly safety conscious culture (car seats, seat belts et al) then voluntarily risk their lives for a thrill. After about 15 minutes, we reached the peak.


Views from the Nevis Range


Name:  IMG_4834.JPG
Views: 567
Size:  84.9 KB

Name:  IMG_4842.JPG
Views: 569
Size:  142.8 KB

Name:  IMG_4854.JPG
Views: 547
Size:  101.9 KB

Name:  IMG_4855.JPG
Views: 576
Size:  121.9 KB


There were a number of walking trails around, and we picked a relatively easy one (as revealed by the number of people who were walking down it.) It was about a kilometre long, and took us to the top of a small peak, about 100 feet above where we were, which offered fabulous views of the surrounding countryside, including various Lochs, and the entire Nevis range. On reaching the base station, we grabbed lunch, and then set out on our journey. Through these two halts, we had spent over 3 hours, and it was past 2 when we crossed Fort William.

We then mapped the GPS towards Glen Coe – the initial part of the drive was along Loch Linhe, with landscape similar to what we had seen before, but we then turned into the Glen, which offered stunningly bleak landscapes for us to see.

There were road works underway on the highway across Glen Coe – what we found interesting was the safety consciousness with which these works were carried out. There were signals installed at each end of the region where work was on and all traffic has to halt at these signals. Movement is permitted only in one direction at a time, and in a convoy behind a convoy truck, which ensures that no-one speeds, or interferes with the construction workers or equipment. The fact that in a high cost economy, they deployed convoy truck drivers to ensure that the relatively light traffic did not interfere with the workers was highly impressive. The contrast with the way road works are done in India (where you often find people painting a median strip without any lighting) was also striking.

After driving through Glen Coe, we approached the town of Crianlarich, where we needed to decide whether to head directly for Edinburgh, or to head towards Loch Lomond and Glasgow, which would imply about 25 miles of extra driving. After having traveled this far, we decided that we could not leave Scotland without seeing Loch Lomond, and so once again chose the longer route.

The road along Loch Lomond was narrower and even more twisty than the one along Loch Ness, and also had much more traffic. Progress was therefore slower. Around 345, we reached the village of Inveruglas, where there was a small restaurant next to the lake. We took our final break here. We were keen on trying to grab a boat ride on Loch Lomond, but were told that the shortest boat rides were one and a half hours long – and decided we did not have that much time. Nevertheless, we decided to spend sometime on the shore. There were a number of ducks that were walking along the banks of the lake, and our son had a great time chasing one of them saying “Duckie, Duckie, Duckie”. The duck too seemed to be keen to play with him – when he got too close, it would fly off into the lake, but in a bit it would come back closer, as if teasing him.

Loch Lomond

Name:  IMG_4887.JPG
Views: 551
Size:  120.5 KB

Name:  IMG_4897.JPG
Views: 551
Size:  114.2 KB

After a 20 odd minute break, we set off down the A82, and headed towards Glasgow. Post Loch Lomond, the road was wider, and we were making pretty good time. We then diverted onto the motorway leading towards Glasgow airport and Edinburgh. We had just settled down to driving at the limit on the motorway, when we saw a sign warning of an accident ahead. As it happened, there were two accidents ahead of us – and the traffic slowed to a crawl. The traffic jam cost us about one and half hours, but once we passed the accidents, progress was smooth, and before we knew it, we were in Edinburgh.

I had programmed the GPS to take us to Edinburgh city centre, and had to use a couple of traffic lights to get it to lead us to our hotel. But when we reached very close to our hotel (literally around the corner from it), we found that the GPS mapping of central Edinburgh was wrong – while there was no right turn at a particular junction, the GPS was asking us to go right. At this point, I had no choice but to go straight, and hope that the GPS would find an alternate route. But this was easier said than done. Every time we missed a turn, the GPS would take time to recalculate the route, and sometimes, we would have passed the turn it wanted us to take before it told us what to do.

I followed the GPS instructions through a number of turns, only to find that we were at a T junction where it was posted that both directions were reserved for taxis and buses alone. The GPS once again asked us to turn right there. We wondered what to do and briefly considered attempting a U turn, but with vehicles on all sides of us, we were left with no option but to follow the GPS’ instructions and go through the restricted road (Actually, a bus lane). The bus lane took us to a point across the road from our hotel, but we could not find a U turn to enable us to get to the hotel parking lot. So we turned off into a side lane, and after a few more twists, we were finally directed towards our hotel. What had happened was that Princes Street had been turned into a Bus Lane fairly recently, and this was not stored in the GPS map. It was ironic that after about 200 miles of driving in England and 700 miles in Scotland, we had finally lost our way (and violated a traffic rule) 50 metres from our destination. Fortunately, there were no fines imposed on us.

The next morning, I set out to return the car to the car hire agency. On reaching the Europcar office, I realized that the car Europcar had given us was not the same one which was referred to in the car hire document – while leaving, I had only checked that the document mentioned a Mercedes C Class, and had not verified the license number. Fortunately, Europcar were already aware of this error, and had rectified the same in their system.

Incidentally, this brought out the value of paying for zero damage insurance. The car hire document I had been given claimed that the car given to me had no pre-existing damage, and that was borne out by my inspection of the car while hiring it.

However, when I returned the car, I found that the car I had actually been given had a number of “major” and “medium” scratches, which I had clearly missed. On returning the car, Europcar claimed that there was an additional medium scratch on the wheel rim which did not exist when the car was given to me. I could see this scratch too only when it was pointed out by the attendant, and I cannot be sure whether or not it was there when I rented the car. Fortunately, we had taken the risk reduction package, and hence were not liable for any damage. Given the definition that the rental agencies have for a scratch, customers depend purely on whether the service attend points out a scratch before the hire or not. In the absence of the insurance package, it would have been very easy for Europcar to have claimed damages from us, whether it was our fault or not.

So our driving holiday in Scotland was done, leaving all of us with great memories, nice pictures, and now, this travelogue.

Ciao then, and I do hope to post travelogues on my subsequent trips (I have done parts of the US and a Bombay Goa Bombay drive since this one) sooner rather than later.

PS: This is my 100th post on T-BHP - feels good.
Hayek is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Driving in England / UK: Same side of the road, but what's different? PGNarain Route / Travel Queries 23 16th June 2015 14:57
Hayek's Road Trips - A Central European Sojourn Hayek Travelogues 15 5th March 2015 13:10
4 days... 3 nights... 2 drivers... 1 car... 1300 miles of joy... England to Scotland Mr.Boss Travelogues 13 7th August 2011 00:44
UK -2007 - A bit of Wales, Kent and a lot of London ajmat Travelogues 22 15th September 2008 17:26
Pics from Off-Road Driving School in Scotland sawan 4x4 Excursions 20 18th June 2007 19:09


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 02:28.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks