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Isle of Lewis to Glen Coe and Loch Leven

Isle of Lewis, Tarbert, Eilean Donan Castle, Fort William, Glen Coe (Meeting of the Three Waters and Loch Achtriochtan), Glencoe village and Loch Leven


View From Hadrian's Wall to the Western Isles on 3Traveller's travel map.

We woke up and packed up the tent while while it was still dark to get to Tarbert by the advised time of 06:30 for our ferry at 07:10. On our hour-long drive we were suddenly treated to the sight of a magnificent stag looking directly at us from the side of the road!

The sun rose shortly before the ferry departed.

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Although the weather wasn't as good as last time, we still enjoyed the trip. We had Scottish breakfasts again at the café and went out on deck a few times to take in the views and sea air.

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From Uig Skye Ferry Terminal we waved goodbye to the ferry before beginning our long journey to Fort William, where we aimed to have a late lunch. The sun came out as we crossed the Isle of Skye and the bridge to the mainland.

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Shortly after arriving on the mainland we made a short impromptu stop at the side of Loch Duich to stretch our legs and have a look at Eilean Donan Castle.

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The scenery nearby was dramatic:

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In Fort William we stopped only for another stretch of the legs and a visit to our favourite bakery for some wonderful steak & ale and macaroni cheese pies.

From there to Glen Coe it was a short drive through yet more spectacular scenery.

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In Glen Coe we stopped at a couple of especially scenic spots: the Meeting of the Three Waters and Loch Achtriochtan.

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In Glencoe village we learned more about the infamous massacre of Clan MacDonald by government forces which took place in Glen Coe in 1692. After a visit to the Glencoe Memorial, we went into the Glencoe Folk Museum.

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The museum is held within a small single-floor cottage with outhouses.

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One of these outhouses contained the Massacre Room, which told us more about the people involved in the Glencoe Massacre and how the terrible events unfolded.

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Other parts of the outhouses contained displays of garden tools, kitchen and dairy objects (such as a cheese press, a cheese cutter, a buttermilk skimmer and butter paddles) and other everyday objects from the past 100 years or so, including a bike with a carbide lamp.

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The main part of the museum contained a fascinating hotchpotch of small displays on different aspects of Glencoe life in the past. My favourite full display was on local shops and (mainly) food packaging/advertising in the 20th century.

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Favourite individual exhibits included:

A replica of the Ballachulish Goddess, a life-sized wooden figure of a girl who dates from roughly 600 BC and was discovered in a peat bog close to Loch Leven in 1880. The original is held within the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and was damaged by being allowed to dry out and by the transportation process.

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A teapot, teacup and plate - not so interesting by themselves, but I loved the accompanying story - funny whether it's true or not;

'This (plate) belonged to the wife of the last miller in Glencoe. :-) Her son, a sailor, sent her some tea (the first to come into the Glen) and told her how to make the tea. She followed his instructions but threw away the liquid and put the leaves between bread and butter.'

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A post horn used to announce the arrival and departure of the Glencoe Stagecoach, with an accompanying poster dating from 1903.

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The wedding kist (chest) of the wife of Chief McIain McDonald, used to store blankets, throws, lace and other materials. It is said to have been in the Chief's house at Invercoe, and rescued from the fire after the Massacre.

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A genealogical tree of the wider Clan Donald, drawn up in 1814 by the genealogist to the Prince of Wales. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a good picture of it.

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Dave finished looking round the museum before me and waited outside. While he was waiting he spotted a small deer who looked at him and then bounded across the glade in about three bounds, completely silently - its speed and silence was amazing.

We camped on the bank of Loch Leven. The weather was overcast by now and a few drops of rain were falling as we found a good spot in the campsite.

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Posted by 3Traveller 02:24 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged landscapes waterfalls lakes scotland road_trip united_kingdom museum camping ferry fort_william explorations british_countryside

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