Travel Diaries: Scotland Tour – Ullapool, Kylesku and Scourie

We take the scenic route from Aviemore through Bonor Bridge and into the mountains. We wonder if anything can match the sheer splendour of the snowcapped Cairngorms in the early spring sunshine, and I feel a reluctance at having to leave so soon.

We drive due west, straight across the country to the bustling port of Ullapool and are rewarded with our first sight of the beautiful western coastline. We stock up on a few supplies at the supermarket whilst our car is plugged into the carpark’s ChargePlace Scotland charger. We have our fingers crossed as we’ll be relying on these, rather than Tesla chargers or Ecotricity, whilst we are in the middle of nowhere, and this is our first attempt. A moment of holding our breath and … phew – it is easy to use and works perfectly. We can relax now! It is very breezy here, despite the bright sunshine, and our youngest son is almost lifted off the ground as he munches on a sandwich.

Picnic eaten and car battery full, we then turn northwards and are on the final stretch. The skies are the clearest blue and we can see every detail in the distant mountains.

The route takes us alongside Loch Assynt and Ardvrek Castle and although we cannot stop now as we are aiming to reach our holiday cottage and unpack before dark, we do return in the Autumn to climb up to see the waterfall that feeds the stream you can see in the foreground.

We drive over the famous Kylesku Bridge, a well-known landmark along the North Coast 500 route. I am positively itching to grab my walking boots and get out and explore.

Vast evergreen forests meet the shorelines of the lochs. Every distant mountain seems larger than the last.

Yellow gorse lines the roadside and we do not see another car for twenty minutes at a time. Having an electric car that runs near-silently means we have to be very careful of wildlife, as animals cannot hear our engine coming. We wind our windows down and breathe in the crisp pure air.

I am startled to see whole vistas without a tree in sight. We live in a forested area and I am used to the Peak District and The Lakes. The crags here are stark and imposing, with nothing to interrupt the view of the rocks and scree for miles.

The light seems to shift and change, moment by moment. Looking through my archive now, photographs taken within seconds of each other look entirely different.

We find our lovely little holiday cottage just north of Scourie, unpack and then quickly get on our walking gear to explore the river that runs past the garden. This will be our base for the next four days – a nature lover’s paradise.

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23 Comments Add yours

  1. What a beautiful road trip!


    1. We were warned that it would be torrential rain and fog – the nine days of blue skies and sunshine was lovely and completely unexpected! 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

  2. shazza says:

    Looks wonderful. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was! I cannot wait to go back there 🙂


    1. 🙂 Thank you Gerard 🌿


    1. It was! And the next day was even sunnier, I’m just working on the photos from our holiday cottage garden, Durness and Smoo Cave 🌿


  3. Wonderful landscapes and I particularly like the last picture

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Derrick – I’ve had so much feedback on the last pic that I’m gathering all the best photos from outside the cottage to share 🙂 When we returned that autumn, we hiked all the way along that river into the mountains, it was glorious 🌿

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such wonderful descriptions Mrs TP, and I can also agree as someone who lived in the Peak District from birth until I was 20 when I married, just how different these Vistas are in comparison… I still call the Peak District -Home.. 🙂
    Loved each photo and yes the Light changes all the time casting a different perspective upon those mountain views…

    Many thanks for sharing another wonderful part of your journey ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awwr thanks very much Sue 🙂 I really want to get back to the Peaks soon! We have never really explored the northern areas fully 🌿

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have you ever been to Monsal Dale? and the railway track now turned into a walking bike trail.. Lots of lovely places.. I found you out an old post with some links to the place.. You can hire bikes and buggy bikes too from Hassop Station to do part of the trail,,,


        1. I have but it was a long long time ago – I need to go back! 😀 Thank you so much so the link xxx


  5. Jo says:

    The timing of this read is perfect. We’re planning a north of England/ Scotland tour for next April & I’d just added Ullapool to the list as an overnighter to tour the top corner.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The top north west corner was my absolute favourite part of the North Coast 500 🙂 Happy planning! (I’m posting up our Scottish journeys every 3-4 days at the moment, with Scourie being tonight’s post)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jo says:

        I look forward to reading it!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Dina says:

    Your post brings back so many happy memories from our extensive Scotland tour a couple of years ago. Lovely images.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Dina, thank you for all of your lovely comments – we’ve enjoyed reading them all out 🙂 It’s such a lovely country, we cannot wait to return there 🌿


  7. We had such a wonderful holiday in the Cairngorms in 2017 and took the scenic route you describe up to Ullapool. Like you, we were extremely lucky with the weather and it was absolutely beautiful – we still talk about it. Your post – and especially your photos – are a wonderful reminder of a truly happy holiday (much appreciated on a dank February day). Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a lovely comment, thank you Julie. I’m already nostalgic and keen to be back there! I’m just prepping my photos and notes on Durness for tomorrow’s post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I look forward to reading it!

        Liked by 1 person

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