Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Scotland: Glencoe, Glenfinnan, spectacular scenery of the Scottish Highlands

For the last leg of our Scottish journey, we traveled from the Isle of Skye to Glasgow, through fantastic snow-covered landscapes of the Scottish Highlands.

We left Skye by ferry at Armadale, arriving at Mallaig in the Scottish mainland thirty minutes later. Our fingers were crossed since the weather was so unpredictable, snow could have caused road closures that would have left us stranded. It could be sunny, cloudy, raining or snowing in a single day!

Our first stop was the Glenfinnan Monument (£3.50 entrance fee). The monument was completed in 1815 to mark the place where Prince Charles Edward Stuart (known as Bonnie Prince Charlie), pretender to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland, raised his standard at the start of the Jacobite Uprising in 1745. The 18-meter monument is set amidst spectacular scenery at Loch Shiel.

If you're observant, you will notice the Glenfinnan Viaduct a distance away. It is featured in the 2002 film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Lunch was at Fort William where it started to snow!

The highlight of the day was our stop at Glencoe Village to see the spectacular mountain scenery of Glen Coe (a glen is a deep valley). This was also featured in another Harry Potter film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. If you're not there to hike to the glen, you can enjoy the view at the Glencoe Visitors Centre (£6.25 entrance fee), which also has interactive displays that introduce Glen Coe to visitors.

Pass of Glencoe looking towards Loch Achtriochtan
We drove through more of Glen Coe, part of the National Scenic Area of Ben Nevis and Glen Coe, on the way to Glasgow. It was difficult to take a nap since you'd miss the spectacular scenery!

Because the views were too stunning, we made several stops to take photos and enjoy the views while dealing with strong winds. But it was well worth it!

Part 1: Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, Harry Potter and more from the Scottish capital
Part 2: Eilean Donan Castle and Loch Ness
Part 3: Exploring the Isle of Skye
Part 4: Glencoe, Glenfinnan, spectacular scenery of the Scottish Highlands
Part 5: Glasgow's George Square at night

Also check out my photos of England, Scotland and Wales.

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