Hanging out with My Parents in Loch Tay
It’s been years since I last went on holiday with my parents so when they changed their holiday plans to visit Scotland instead of Wales I was pretty excited. I was brought up on summer holidays of camping and caravanning around the UK with favourite spots in Wales and Cornwall. The last time I went on one of these holidays was years ago – I think I must have been 17 and we stayed at St Ives, one of my FAVOURITE spots in Cornwall. Needless to say I was excited to get back to my roots of caravanning, even though my parents had changed caravans and I was completely lost in this new one.
They are part of the Caravan Company and so chose to stay in one of their sites located in Killin, on the edge of Loch Tay. I had given them suggestions of places to stay that were within two hours of Glasgow so I could pop up often. The site was small and basic – no toilets or facilities but it did have electric and best of all it was quiet and peaceful (gosh I sound old). I drove up from Glasgow the day after they arrived to join them for the day and night. Getting to Loch Tay from Glasgow is easy and you can pick from three different routes, I chose to head up the Trossachs ‘side’ of Loch Lomond and it took exactly 1hr 30mins with beautiful views along the way.
I quickly went about planning what we would do with our afternoon and evening. Deciding I wanted to drive around Loch Tay and then along a scenic route listed in Lonely Planet before tucking in to a bbq and finding somewhere to watch the sunset. It seemed like a pretty good plan until I realised how big Loch Tay was and with how much I like to stop for photographs it ended up taking us nearly two hours to drive the whole way around. It didn’t help one side of the Loch has a single track lane. Still the views were beautiful and the sun came out to play as we made our way clockwise around the water.
Next up was the scenic drive, another windy single track lane with a dead end sign, but the book said there was a way through so we drove past the sign, and on and on. Just when we were beginning to wonder if we were lost or had missed this ‘secret road**’ turning we hit the dead end. A farmer had put up private property gates and none of us felt like risking it, especially with bellies rumbling and not really knowing where we were going. Turning back we all felt a bit defeated but that didn’t last long when I spotted some Highland cows. Ever since my first roadtrip around Scotland I’ve been desperate to capture some pictures of these iconic cows. Finally I had my chance, I switched to my zoom lens and started chatting to the cows trying to get their attention. Luckily they played ball and looked straight up at me, unfortunately they were missing their horns but I still think they are the cutest cows you will ever come across.
We arrived back to the caravan in time for my boyfriend and brother to gatecrash our bbq. This was my first bbq of the summer and probably my last given I live in a flat with no garden so I was very much looking forward to it. In typical Scottish fashion the midges were out in full force and within 10 mins of cooking we were all cursing at these silly insects. The bbq was still a hit and as soon as we were finished it was back in the car and off again. Heading for Ben Lawers as the sun was starting to turn golden, we climbed up higher and higher getting gorgeous views of Loch Tay and playing chicken with the sheep until we reached the dam. A drive which I had been recommend by Susanne on twitter. The dam was pretty incredible in the golden sun light and as we drove back down the sky began to turn a beautiful pink colour.
Spending the night away from home in the caravan was a fun change of scenery, waking up beneath the trees as the sun began to stream through was certainly welcomed. I drove back to Glasgow that morning planning out every hour of the next week to be able to escape again.
**Incase you were wondering the road did exist, my parents went back the next day and drove around it in the other direction. Turns out the farmer had no rights to put up those gates and it is a public road – just full of potholes!