You may wish to view our collection of photographs strictly by category,
using the links at the bottom of this page;

or, you may wish to follow us on our adventure,
using the links associated with each bed and breakfast.

 

We hope you will follow us on our journey through Scotland in May ...

 

  

The Kirkton House -  After twenty-five sleepless hours, this quiet haven just fifteen minutes from the Glasgow airport was the perfect place in which to recover and set one's bearings.  The grounds were lovely, the room was cozy, the food delicious, and the hospitality wonderful.  Stewart's sense of humor was especially delightful.  We also enjoyed the company of two charming, fellow guests from England ~ Michael and Hillary Davies.


The View Across the Clyde

The Kirkton House in Cardross, Argyll
Proprietors
: Stewart and Gillian MacDonald

May 13 - 15


The Lawn at Kirkton House

Kirkton House was our base for the first three days of our journey.  We made short trips to Loch Lomond and Helensborough, and then ventured to Dalry in Ayrshire.  On our last full day at Kirkton House, we drove down to the former barony of Lynn in Dalry and then to Irvine.  Argyll to Ayrshire and Back Again.

By the end of our stay at Kirkton House, we were thoroughly at home in Scotland.  With an odd blend of reluctance and anticipation, we left the MacDonalds for the next leg of our journey.

This day, we traveled from Argyll to Ayrshire again, and then on to Galloway.  We enjoyed lands and historical sites we had planned to see and were delighted with unexpected scenes of beauty and interest.  We discovered Crossraguel Abbey in Ayrshire and Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde.  From there, we made our way through the bonnie hills of Galloway to the 1685 tomb of a martyr on the moor of Craigmoddie Fell.  Later, we saw the "silv'ry winding Cree," Kirkmabreck Parish Church with its 1684 carved wood paneling, the Bay of Wigtown, and Threave Castle.  Argyll to Galloway

The day's adventures were both relaxing and romantic, but at last we arrived at our next bed and breakfast.

Craigadam Estate was much more than a place to hang our hats.  The approach with its formal white posts was suggestive of an old manor house.  The cottage exteriors evidenced Craigadam's charm yet masked the striking interior of certain rooms.

The Entrance to Our Suite

 

A Quiet Stroll on the Grounds

Craigadam Estate in Kirkpatrick Durham, Kirkcudbrightshire

Proprietors: Richard and Celia Pickup

May 16 - 17

The Chinese Room
 

A Hielan' Coo Bids Farewell

After a night's rest in The Chinese Room, we drove a bit east to Dumfriesshire, visiting castles, kirks, and other things.  We went first to the town of Dumfries and saw the River Nith, St. Michael's Kirk, and the Robert Burns House.  From Dumfries, we turned back toward Craigadam but followed a slightly different route.  There, we happened upon Drumlanrig and Durisdeer Kirk. Dumfriesshire

Finally, a bit tired from our adventures, we returned to Craigadam, where a quiet walk among the stately trees and Bluebells of Scotland was a balm for body and soul.  The following morning, we bid adieu to the pheasant, lambs, and hielan' coo and continued on our journey.  We made no unplanned stops but drove directly to that ancient city, Edinburgh, where a full day was planned.  The great fortress, Edinburgh Castle, was the first of several historic places on our agenda.  From there, we walked to St. Giles Cathedral and Greyfriars Kirk.  Each place in its own way evoked in us a sense of awe.  From Edinburgh, we drove to Queensferry for dinner at the historic Hawes Inn, where the food was good, the staff most cordial, and the atmosphere historic.  Edinburgh and Queensferry

From Hawes Inn, it was on to Kirkliston and our next bed and breakfast.

Craigbrae - Finding it was a bit more of a challenge than we had anticipated.  Street signs in the cities and towns are inconsistent, and four times on our 13-day, 1600-mile journey we needed rescuing.  In Kirkliston, we stopped at a telephone booth and called Louise Westmacott, who said, "Oh, ye're only five minutes. Stay, an' ah'll come an' fetch yew."  And she did. Her garden was peaceful and her breakfast delicious, but we spent just a night.

Craigbrae Farmhouse in Kirkliston

Proprietors: Michael and Louise Westmacott

May 18

On the seventh day of our journey, we visited Lin's Mill on the banks of the Almond River.  From there we drove to Perthshire and the scene of Scotland's greatest victory over the English, the fields of Bannockburn.  We learned that some of the inspiring words spoken in "Braveheart" were paraphrased from Scotland's declaration of independence, the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath.  Linsmill and Bannockburn

From the fields of Bannockburn, we drove toward Culloden and our next lodging.

Leanach Farm - Another one-night stay, Leanach was very attractive and very comfortable.  Rosanne MacKay was helpful in directing us to a local pub for dinner, and the next morning's breakfast was made all the pleasanter by the view from the conservatory across the valley of the Nairn.  The one photograph we took did not do justice to Leanach, and we appreciate the use of these images from www.aboutscotland.com.

Leanach Farm at Culloden Moor, Inverness-shire

The Guest Lounge

Proprietors: Iain and Rosanne MacKay
May 19

The Conservatory

http://www.leanachfarm.co.uk/

After Rosanne's delicious repast, we went with solemn hearts to the scene of Scotland's bitterest defeat, Culloden Moor.  From there, we drove west and then south along the great Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle, then on to Ben Nevis and Glen Coe.  Glen Coe, like Culloden, evoked a certain degree of sadness.  Culloden to Glen Coe

Sadness could not linger, though, as we continued our journey through Scotland.  From Culloden, we drove through Crieff to Callander and stopped for dinner at The Coppice Hotel, where a matronly woman was the desk clerk, waitress, and entertainer. As we dined on Scottish fare, she read to us instructions for catching that elusive Highland creature known as the wild haggis. Having enjoyed a good laugh, as well as good food and good company, we drove another half hour or so to our next lodging. Along the way, we delighted to see a rainbow over a glen, which we regret having to view now only in memory because it did not photograph well.  At last we arrived at ...

The Barns of Shannochill - We were at once captivated by the beauty of Shannochill.  After settling in our room, we took a stroll on the grounds as the sun began to set on the pastoral scene.  The following morning we rose early for another walk.  The Bluebells of Scotland were bonnie, as were the pink Campion and other wildflowers.  Rabbits there were aplenty.  Thus delighted, we returned to our room for breakfast.  George brought Val's delicious repast to our room.  How splendid was that!

Sunset at the Barns

The Barns of Shannochill

Proprietors: George
May

 by Aberfoyle, Stirlingshire
 and Val Willis

 20

A Morning Stroll

Shannochill was so lovely it deserved more than one night, but we left, eager to continue our adventure.  At the village of Killin, we enjoyed the beautiful Falls of Dochart, lingering awhile before heading west again.  At Loch Awe, we saw St. Conan's Kirk, and at Loch Laich, Castle Stalker, so named because King James IV often visited his cousins there to enjoy hunting and hawking in the Highlands.  From Stalker, we drove to the loveliest castle of all ~ the enchanting Eilean Donan in the Kyle of Lochalsh.  Many photographs later, we crossed the Skye Bridge to the famous isle of the same name.  From the Falls of Dochart to the Isle of Skye

On Skye, we drove straight to our next lodging ...

Kinloch Lodge - Okay, we were finally, unmistakably over our heads on the social scale, and one English guest made it clear he suspected.  His wife and others, however, could not have been more gracious; and the staff at the lodge certainly did nothing to suggest they felt we did not belong.  Kinloch Lodge was once the hunting lodge for the MacDonalds' Armadale Castle.

 

 Proprietors:   Lord  Godfrey

Kinloch Lodge on the Isle of Skye
Macdonald of  Macdonald  (High Chief of Clan Donald)
May 21

 

 and Lady Claire Macdonald

After freshening up from the day's trek, we repaired to the drawing room to enjoy a bit of wine and conversation and to await dinner.  We conversed with the English and at last were seated in the dining room.  John indulged in locally smoked trout with dill and lemon roulade, and I partook of roast Highland lamb with apricot-mint relish and red wine gravy.  Each day, the staff prepares elegant dinners from recipes created by Lady Claire, a world renowned Scottish cook.  Her dinner was delectable. Seated at the table next to us were newlyweds from Italy.  He held her hand across the table, looked longingly into her eyes, and tenderly kissed the palm of her hand.  After a dessert of white chocolate cheesecake with white chocolate and rum sauce, we strolled the grounds of Kinloch until twilight.

We enjoyed a good night's rest and a delicious breakfast, departed from Kinloch Lodge, and traveled south along the east coast of Skye.  We photographed a ruin which we later learned was a reputedly haunted castle.  From there, we went to the Clan Donald Visitor Center and Armadale Castle.  From the romantic Armadale ruins and its well-kept gardens, we turned north again and stopped next on the shores of Broadford Bay.  On the Isle of Skye

Somewhat reluctantly, we left Broadford and returned to the mainland of Scotland.  After stopping again at Eilean Donan, with clear, bright skies that generated the most spectacular photographs, we passed by a few more Highland lochs, the Grey Mare's Tail, and Rannoch Moor.  Eilean Donan to Rannoch Moor

The day thus far had been filled with the beauty and enchantment of the Highlands, but we turned again now to the Lowlands and our next lodging, in the romantic village of Alloway.

The Doonbrae - The beautiful "Hill on the Doon" overlooks the River Doon of the Robert Burns song "Ye Banks and Braes." There was so much to love at The Doonbrae that it's featured on the page of adventures associated with it.  The picture below is deceptively plain.

 

The Doonbrae in Alloway, Ayrshire
Proprietors:  John and Moira Pollok-Morris*

May 22 - 23

John and Moira were gracious hosts, and our room was both lovely and superbly comfortable.  While at Doonbrae, we visited all the sites that make up The Burns National Heritage Park, then enjoyed dinner at an historic hotel and an evening on the banks of the Doon.  Romantic Alloway 

The beauty and comfort of the Doonbrae, coupled with the romantic history of Burns's Alloway, made the latter part of our journey better even than the first.  It was our favorite stay in all of Scotland.

On the drive back north, we happened upon Dundonald Castle, near to which are the fields of Highlees.  Dundonald and Highlees.

Leaving Highlees, our journey was drawing to a close.  Reluctantly, we headed for our final bed and breakfast.  For our last night in Scotland, we chose lodging that was close to both the airport and Loch Lomond.  It seemed fitting to complete our journey and close our adventure in the same lovely spot where we had begunLoch Lomond Farewell

Sheildaig Farm

  By Yon Bonnie Banks

Loch Lomond 

   

 

 

* The Doonbrae is now The Doonbrae Hotel in the Costley and Costley Hoteliers group.  Whether John and Moira continue to manage the facility is not obvious.  If they do not, more's the pity.

 

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