Departing Glenfinnan was tinged with sadness. Not only were we saying goodbye to another beautiful part of Scotland, but in 24 short hours, we would be boarding a plane and heading home. Luckily, being Scotland, there would be no shortage of beautiful sights to see as we drove back toward Edinburgh.
First and foremost was the Glencoe National Nature Reserve, a magnificently green stretch of land along the A82. Glencoe is known not only for its natural beauty but also for the terrible day in February of 1692 when members of the Campbell clan massacred the neighboring MacDonalds. Although the two clans had a history of contempt, this act of treachery was on order of King William III who sought to punish any clans that did not pledge an oath of allegiance to him. Glencoe was not originally part of our route back to Edinburgh, but our friends who had already been to Scotland assured us that the views were well worth the detour. And they were right!
Our first stop was the Glencoe Memorial Site, where a cross was erected in honor of the fallen chief of Clan MacDonald. Wandering around the area, we found the village to be lovely and tranquil, and were it not for the monument, we would never have guessed that this peaceful town could have experienced such a terrible act.
From Glencoe Village, we drove through the glen, marveling at the verdant hills and munros that line the valley. There were multiple lookout points along the way, so we were sure to stop to admire the glen.
Were it not for our need to make it to our B&B at a reasonable hour, we might have stayed planted at our little lookout point all day. Or more realistically, we would gladly have stayed longer if not for the fact that I felt guilty for taking a picture of the piper without pitching in a £1 and for obliviously blocking another visitor’s photo opportunities with my big head… But let’s not worry about the details, right? 😛
Back on the road, we continued toward our next destination in South Queensferry. The landscape maintained its unbelievable green beauty and we contentedly gazed out of our windows for the next couple of hours.
About 30 minutes out from our bed and breakfast in South Queensferry, we passed the Kelpies, two massive horse head sculptures in Falkirk. The Kelpies are pretty interesting and definitely hard to miss, so if you are anywhere near Falkirk, keep your eyes peeled for these guys.
From the Kelpies, we had just a short drive into South Queensferry. We unfortunately had no time to make any more stops, but with a few extra hours, we would have loved to visit Stirling Castle or the Wallace Monument, both of which are just a short detour off of the main road. As it was, we kept on trucking and made good time to our very last B&B, the Parkhead House.
Tips and Lessons Learned:
Be sure to visit Glencoe and drive through the Glencoe National Nature Reserve if you get the chance. If you are feeling outdoorsy, there are several walks, hikes, and other activities that you can do.
Lallybroch, South Queensferry, and an all-too-short stay at the Parkhead House