August Bank holiday we made the long drive up to Scotland. I love visiting Scotland and we had chosen to stay near Loch Lomond, which is simply stunning. Our arrival on the Friday was rather late, in fact reception was closing as we arrived so we headed straight in the car after checking in to go and locate some food.
We stumbled across a pub which from the outside looked like a haunted house. In all honesty that is the best way to describe it, the girls unsure, but we headed inside anyway. Oh my word. Anyone visiting Loch Lomond has to visit the Drovers Inn. It is amazing. Inside it is full of stuffed animals. Any animal you can think of is stuffed and at the Drovers Inn, I am not kidding. Sharks hanging from the ceiling, bears in the hallway, the girls loved it. Staff wearing Kilts, even the men, it was a real Scottish pub. The Drovers Inn served proper home cooked food, good sized portions and we all enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. We stayed in Scotland for 3 nights and ate there on 2 nights!
Apologies for such a rubbish picture but the light in the Drovers is really dark, and the girls would not sit still!!
The next morning was race day. A 10K race up Glencoe! I was really excited and ready for the challenge. I had read in the race brief that the finish was down the ski slope and under the chair lift, this was in front of me when I arrived. One very steep decent!
Before the race began I was covered in midge bites. They were everywhere. I mean everywhere. The sky filled with little black biting insects. You could tell those who had run here before as they were prepared with some midge nets/hats. Impressive but not helpful to me. I decided to just try and run fast. The start is at the top of the car park and then it is onwards to the base of the hill.
Next came a slight climb. The path was rocky stone, that which you put any weight on and it just slips from underneath you. Ankle breakers. The lady in front of me running with two Labradors, struggling with her footing. Her dogs at the same time deciding to switch sides, resulting in a cross of leads and this poor women flying into the air as her legs became trapped. I honestly thought there would be no skin on her face given the amount of air she had travelled and the surface she had landed up. I picked her up, she was a bit dazed and confused, we sorted the dogs and then ran onwards.
A lovely decent, but still on ankle breaking ground before a sharp turn upwards through the mud. This was proper mud. It looked like grass, but no your whole foot disappeared. Boggy, smelly and squelchy. I loved it. Almost impossible to run through, but I kept on going and running where I could. The hill just seemed to keep on going and before I knew it I could see the car park, but quite literally to the side of me. If I had jumped I would have landed on top of the car, although a long way down. Then I saw the ski lift and the near vertical decent. A decent on that ankle breaker rocks again. It was time to disengage brain and just go for it.
Lots of comments were made that we should have had climbing gear for that decent, but either way no injuries occurred and we all made it down.
Despite all the midge bites I had loved it. I think this is what made me decide to run more trail and fell. I had had so much fun.
A short drive back to the lodge and then we were ready to explore around Loch Lomond.
We stumbled across Falls of Falloch, and they were breathtaking.
The girls wanted to see where I had run, so we took a drive up to Glencoe and cheered on the last remaining Ultra runners before exploring the local area.
It was such a beautiful afternoon, simply walking and taking in the views. Watching the girls chase each other and Little Man exploring all the different textures.
Sunday was our full final day at Loch Lomond and so we decided to explore our holiday village.
The girls played in the playground and J found plenty to keep him occupied, even trying to remove a stick from the Loch.
Although we did not really go anywhere it was such a lovely day. Sometimes a simple day is the best thing to do. The girls chose where to eat given it was our last night and they both picked the Drovers Inn!
We had decided to break up our way home by stopping at Luss.
Luss was really beautiful to walk round, but we seemed to hit it with a lot of tourists. Little Man has a bit of a duck obsession so wanted to stay near to the Loch to see the ducks. We managed to bribe him away with an ice cream. The graveyard was full of fascinating history and the girls were really interested about the past and what had happened. It was actually really interesting walking around and learning more about the history of Luss.
This weekend was about getting outdoors and exploring Loch Lomond and surrounding areas. We spent quality time together playing outside, and making many memories. The girls love Scotland and we cannot wait to visit again. This time with more midge repellent!