A Scotland Road Trip: Trossachs, Glencoe and the Highlands

I think everyone who travels to Scotland for Hogmanay should follow that experience with a road trip around the countryside. Having done it three times now I’ve got more than a few recommendations of where to go but I want to focus on this year’s trip with this post. We started, of course, in Edinburgh….

….and proceeded towards Stirling where we made our first stop at The Kelpies. These larger-than-lifesize statues, by artist Andy Scott, of what appear to be horse heads actually depict the Scottish legend of a creature that lived under water but came on land in human form to drag women back under the water, forever to be trapped in forced marital servitude.SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSC

Dramatic legend. And dramatic statues. I really enjoyed seeing them in real life again after having seen the smaller versions in Bryant Park last year.

We then proceeded west and north through the village of Callander where we got takeout from a Chippy to enjoy in the local park. Enthusiastic seagulls and a couple of inquisitive swans tried to steal our chips for themselves but we still enjoyed the gorgeous sunshine and yummy food before continuing on through the Trossachs and up into the Highlands.SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCstonewalls

Past Lochs, stone walls and fields of sheep we drove, stopping often to take photos. Our group of four photographers saw an image waiting to be captured around every bend and since we weren’t on a schedule, we seized the chance while we had it. We even saw Hairy Coos!! Finally, on my third time in Scotland!!

roadside war memorial

roadside war memorial

bouquet left in tribute by a roadside war memorial

bouquet left in tribute by a roadside war memorial

[from L to R] Juno, Dante and Laurence while shooting

[from L to R] Juno, Dante and Laurence while shooting

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We arrived after dark at King’s House Hotel and enjoyed a good dinner at nearby Clachaig Inn, which was quite cozy, before retiring for the night, eager to begin again the next morning. King’s House is just south of Glencoe itself on the A82 and it’s surrounded by gently sloping, low-lying mountains with a wide expanse of moor that is home to roaming deer and elk.SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSC

We're not sure who this Land Rover belongs to, but we all loved it!!

We’re not sure who this Land Rover belongs to, but we all loved it!!

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For our only full day in the Glen, we met local photographer Karl Griffin who took us on a tour of the best spots for pictures and then we made our way to the Village of Glencoe to capture the boats on the Loch. We also stopped at the Ballachulish Tourist Information Center which has a lovely cafe, gift shop and totally free WiFi. Terrific place to warm up.

Black Rock Cottage again

Black Rock Cottage again

We returned more than once so we could get the Home of Scottish Hiking Association in varying light.

We returned more than once so we could get the Home of Scottish Hiking Association in varying light.

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We returned more than once so we could get the Home of Scottish Hiking Association in varying light.

We returned more than once so we could get the Home of Scottish Hiking Association in varying light.

Home of Scottish Hiking Association

Home of Scottish Hiking Association

Laurence shooting at the Home of Scottish Hiking Association

Laurence shooting at the Home of Scottish Hiking Association

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Dante holding a piece of ice from the top layer of a small pond we found.

Dante holding a piece of ice from the top layer of a small pond we found.

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Before driving back to Edinburgh on our last day, we explored Glencoe’s Three SistersSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSC

and then Glen Etive, the “Skyfall Glen.” Though we didn’t find the exact spot 007 stopped with M in the movie, we did find PLENTY to capture with our cameras. From waterfalls, to wild horses, to rivers, to lone trees and even more deer — what should have been a 45 minute drive, took us 5 hours and we reluctantly left only after promising ourselves we’d come back again. To say we didn’t want to leave at all, would be a vast understatement!SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSC

For more photo inspiration and information, check out the posts by my fellow road trippers:
Dante – Road trip to Glencoe and Glen Etive
Laurence – The Stunning Landscapes of Glencoe
Juno – The Kelpies


This road trip was a part of my most recent Blogmanay experience. #blogmanay is brought to you by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and is supported by ETAGEventScotlandVisitScotlandHomecoming Scotland 2014 and co-creators Haggis Adventures. Created and produced by Unique Events. As always all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.