Due to unforseen circumstances prior to our holiday, our frivolity funds were somewhat depleted by our second week. Determined to stay at the Buccleuch on our last night, we resolutely exchanged a few nights in B&Bs for a campsite on the banks of Loch Leven, in the shadow of Glencoe. The Invercoe site was lovely: a 5 minute walk from Glencoe village with great facilities and this view 200 yards from our tent:
Unfortunately, camping never offers the most comfortable night’s sleep, and we were up the next day at the very crack of dawn. In need of a cup of tea, we hit the road bright and early, and were in Fort William before 8am. Which would have been fine had we been in any English city. In a Scottish Highlands town, however, the pace of life is somewhat different, and cups of tea – or, indeed, and other signs of humanity – were not readily available.
We had meant to drive on to Glenfinnan first, to see the monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the raising of the standard in 1745. But when we got there, well, that wasn’t open either. So we kept on driving, planning to get on the road to Maillig and see how far we got before we hit somewhere that waat least awake…
And then I saw this:
In Dapper’s bathroom are framed pictures of Ardnamurchan. He owns a wee patch of land out that way, and had often mentioned how beautiful it is. We had also watched a truly fascinating and inspiring documentary about The Lighthouse Stevensons just days before our trip, which had left me in awe of these amazing buildings and the stories of those who built and manned them.
Which is why I uttered the words: I want to go to Adnamurchan Point.
The trip to Ardnamurchan Point is very exciting indeed. When you see the sign that informs you you’ve 36 miles to travel, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ll be there in 45 minutes, an hour, tops. But you’d be wrong. The road is single track and features endless blind corners and humpback hills. The scenery is a dense, verdant green, in some places almost swamp-like and dripping with heavy moss, then opens up suddenly across small bays to showcase spectacular views across the loch to Fort William, and later across the sea to the Isle of Mull. Once the Atlantic is in reach, the scenery changes to encompass spectacular mist-shrouded mountains, then later, brief expanses of ocean, bordered by raised mounds of island. The whole journey was awe-inspiring.
The trip did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm for lighthouses – or for heights for that matter, which I’ve always loved.
The lighthouse dog was an oddity – well kept, well fed, but seemingly belonging to no-one, he was invariably described as something of a pain, but was obviously a character the various lighthouse staff were accustomed to, and secretly fond of. He attached himself to Dapper and I, spent the afternoon at our side, and on our leaving, ran three times widdershins around the car before lying beneath the “Thank you for visiting” sign to watch us leave. On asking who the dog belonged to, we invariably expected the answer “What dog?” to come as response!
I think this may have been my favourite day trip of the whole holiday, and am planning to turn full-on lighthouse bagger in the future! I have also added The Lighthouse Stevensons by Bella Bathurst to my amazon wishlist, and may be treating myself very soon…