A very short drive from the Ferry Terminal is a stretch of beautiful beaches with plenty of caravan parks. We were surprised, given that it is low season, that most of them were full but luckily we found a great pitch right next to the beach.
Silversand beach is so-called because the sand is white with a silvery glint. The water is spectacularly clean and clear.
We were running low on provisions so headed off for the town, Arisaig which we believed to be fairly close by. However, after quite a walk and much complaining from the children, we asked a local for directions and found out that it was still a mile away. James turned back with the children whilst Katherine continued on to town.
You would think that motorhomes would give you some freedom but the reality is they can be a bit limiting without bicycles in tow — More often than not caravan parks are out of town and parking options for larger vehicles is limited. if we did it again we’d get a campervan along the lines of a VW California, which you can park anywhere, and bring bikes.
The following day we set off through the Caingorms National Park to our next stop at Blair Castle in Blair Atholl. The funny thing about Scotland is that there is such a distance between population centres so unlike in England, there aren’t pubs dotted all over the place. It’s very difficult to find somewhere to stop for lunch to break up a long drive. We finally managed to find a cafe with mediocre food but wished we had hung on another 20 minutes. We would have had an exceptional lunch at House of Bruar!
House of Bruar is, we suppose, the Harrods of Scotland. It’s an enormous shop selling country clothing, kitchenware, fishing gear, gifts etc., with a restaurant and food hall. After a look around and to stock up on provisions and gifts we continued 5 minutes on to the caravan park which is adjacent to Blair Castle.
Unfortunately it was too late in the day to visit the castle but with the security guards having clocked off we were free to wander the grounds, meet the resident peacock and see some of the tallest trees in Britain — will buy the Duke of Atholl a pint next time we see him in lieu of our entrance fee.
The Blair Castle Caravan Park is probably the best one we stayed in during our week of motorhoming, and it was quite nice to feel a little closer to civilisation after our stay in the Highlands.
The following day we returned the motorhome. What a relief to be back in a normal car!
The next 2 nights we stayed with the Walker family at their amazing home, Knock Castle, in Largs. The featured photo for this post shows their home from the Clyde. The girls were very excited to be spending a couple of nights in a castle!
We were greeted warmly by Bruce who immediately presented our supper on the castle steps.
The afternoon was spent having tea in the garden and being initiated into Clan Walker with a dip in the pond.
(Yes…the flying fox did break…!)
James was put in charge of building a fire which we sat around, drinking wine and whiskey. We were entertained by Bruce’s French woofer (workers on organic farms) on the guitar and with a fire show, and later on by Roland Walker on the bagpipes.
The following day we went of to Kelburn which is owned and lived in by the Earl of Glasgow. We spent pretty much all morning here walking around the grounds and doing lots of kids’ activities. It’s really quite clever how they’ve done it. The kids were continually enthralled by everything so didn’t realise they were actually doing a walk, sparing us from the usual complaints of sore legs and being bored.
There’s a brilliant adventure playground, indoor play barn, sculptures to spot along a walk (with prizes at the end) and our favourite part was the Secret Forest where you have to go through a series of little houses to end up in the Goblin Castle. If you make it to the end you’ll find a Goblin Family Tree where the names of the Goblins are hilarious.
We then headed into Largs for a light lunch and a bit of fun on the seaside fairground rides.
That evening we went off on Bruce’s boat to a pub on the opposite side of the Clyde. The grub was great and we didn’t leave till 10pm. It was still fairly light outside! Amazingly Lizzy didn’t go to bed till nearly midnight and was still quite full of beans.
This is the pub when we arrived…
And this is us when we left at 10pm!
The following day we said goodbye and headed off on a fairly long journey to Penrith, Cumbria, where we will be exploring the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales over the next week or so.