After a glorious week in and around Edinburgh, we started in Queens Ferry with a view of the north bridge. We traveled north toward Sterling and the Trossachs. Just north of Edinburgh we viewed Linlithgow Palace, and in Bannackburn we saw The Wallace monument. Finally we saw Stirling perched on its craig in the sun unlike on our earlier visit. In the Trossachs we were greeted with the outstanding natural beauty of thickly forested hills, romantic lochs and trails. The Trossachs is a popular tourist destination and visitors and cyclists are drawn to the area by the natural landscape and romantic language of Walter Scott’s poem Lady of the Lake, inspired by Loch Katrine, and Rob Roy, the region’s most famous son. It’s a peaceful setting to gaze at the reflections in the lochs.
Later we drove to Inveraray Castle in western Scotland. It is the seat of the Chief of Clan Campbell, the Duke of Argyll.
The castle has several architectural features, and the layout is square with four round, castelated towers at each corner, each of which bears a conical spire. It is located about a mile north of the village near the shore of Loch Fyne in Argyll and Bute.The village is a collection of buildings all white with black slate roofs and black trimmed windows and doors. Our driver, Kathy Cameron, owned a bed and breakfast in the village.
Thr castle contains beautiful furnishings and interiors from the 18th and 19th centuries. The elaborate decoration of the castle’s State Dining Room, is the only surviving work of the French painters Girard and Guinard.
The Armoury Hall, has the highest ceiling in Scotland. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to tour because an episode of Downton Abbey was being filmed there at the time of our visit. Photographs of Hugh Bonneville and other actors in the series were in the local newspapers.
Our day continued up to Loch Awe to Kilchurn castle, a ruin of one of the MaDougal Castles.
Near Oban, a beautiful village on the coast, were Dunollie Castle ruins, a stronghold of the MacDougal clan. It is covered in vines. A post-shaped indented stone sits outside the castle called the ‘dogstone’ because of Celtic myth that the warrier Fingal tied his dog there.
We stayed at the Glenburnie Guest house and had a wonderful seafood dinner in a restaurant right on the water.
As the sun set the colors of the sky and water reflected gold, to purple to grey truly a gorgeous site. We had such a feeling of peace as we watched a father and son fish from the dock.