Sample Day From a Client's Itinerary

Sunday, September 27

Inverness to Port Appin

The scenery today will be lovely, and the drive along several lochs is delightful. Since there is only one road in your direction, you really don't have to worry much about getting lost, so enjoy a relaxed day.

There are several possible stops along the way, the first being Urquhart Castle (mentioned earlier in Loch Ness section) about 25 miles south of Inverness. Urquhart Castle is a dramatic ruin of a castle dating to the 14th century on the loch. From here, you have a wonderful view of Loch Ness! Since it is a ruin, it is accessible at any time so you don't need to worry about Sunday morning closings.

Further south is the village of Fort Augustus where the original fort became a monastery, but is now a visitor centre for the Great Glen area. It is at the top of the Caledonian Canal which at this point connects Loch Ness with Loch Oich. The canal was devised so that boaters can navigate conveniently from the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. On the south end of the canal is lnverrary, which may provide a nice tea break.

At this point the A 82 crosses to the eastern side of Loch Oich then Loch Lochy. As you head toward Ft. William you may be able to see Ben Nevis, Scotiand's highest mountain. Continue through the Leanachan Forest to Fort William at the intersection of Loch Eil, Loch Linnhe and Loch Lochy.

Fort William is home to the West Highland Museum, and the Scottish Crafts and Ben Nevis Exhibition. It is a bustling tourist centre but not a terribly attractive highland town.

From Fort William, continue on the A 82 through North Balachulis, across the end of Loch Leven, then pick up the A 828 (heading to Oban) and drive along Loch Linnhe to Portnacroish, then Tynribbie where there is a road out to Port Appin.

Loch Ness

While you are in Inverness you can explore Loch Ness. (You will also drive along it as you head south to Port Appin.) While it is famed for the mythical monster, it also deserves to be appreciated for its beauty and the lovely surrounding countryside. There are a number of cruises offered (ask at the hotel for the latest information and schedules), including Deepscan. This cruise leaves from Drumnadrochit, which is south on the A 82, about 25 miles from Inverness (you will drive through this on the way to Port Appin). It is a research boat and only carries about a dozen passengers. The guides aboard are good and a cruise offers a nice change of pace. It departs hourly from 10:30 a.m. (Costs about $14.) Also try Jacobite Cruises Ltd. from Glenurquahart.

At Drumnadrochit there are two Loch Ness visitor centres. One is the Official Loch Ness Monster Exhibition in the centre of town. It offers a 40 minute program not only about the monster but also the geological origins of the lake. Next door is the Original Loch Ness Visitor Centre complete with "photos" of the monster. Clearly, you can overdose on this creature and its souvenirs! We would choose the first exhibit, or simply book the above cruise from here. Urguhart Castle, which you see from the cruise boat, is a few miles south and open to visitors.

 

 

Your hotel in Port Appin is:

 

 

The Airds Hotel

Port Apin, Appin, Argyll, PA 38 4 DF

tel. (01631) 730 236

fax (01631) 730 535

You have two rooms with shower reserved at the Linnhe House. The Linnhe House is a bit more modest than the hotel, but you will be comfortable and enjoy great meals at the hotel.

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