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Slow Travel Google Map: United Kingdom, Scotland, Southern

Author: DavidX
Notes: Scotland south of Fort William. You will need to scroll the map to the west for the islands and Moidart and south for the Rhins of Galloway.

Accommodations

Loch Rannock

Excellent Forestry Commission camp site beside the loch.

Ancient Monuments

Dun Edin Broch

Not in the same league as those in the islands or even Glenelg but well worth seeing [click 'read more'] and most remarkable so far south.

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Beaches

Ardalanish

A superb beach - massses of room and uncrowded and only at most 10 minutes walk from a small car park. If that's too far, see the nearest marker to it!

If you click to 'read more' you will get a report I did for Globosapiens. If you click on the second picture, you'll get a picture of the beach at a reasonable size.

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Ardchiavaig

Ideal for young children and the infirm in particular; a large beach of beautiful sand with a fine outlook with a road right down to it.

Coldingham Bay

Those famous beaches in Northumberland don't stop at the Scottish border. This one is great.

It's right by the model village of St Abb's with the promontory of St Abb's Head beyond it.

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Boundary

Country Border

I hope it doesn't provoke a war but this is only meant to be a rough guide! Therefore there may be the odd place just to the wrong side; apologies!

Map boundary

Points above this line and on the Mallaig to Fort William road are covered in my North Scotland map.

Historical Buildings

Stately Homes

Dukes, Earls and Aristocrats are not my scene and the near feudalism in parts of the Borders area is not something I like.

However for those who are interested, the 'read more' links to a website which will help you find them.

Read more

Castles

Cessford Castle

Ruined castle - not open and unsafe.

Even so it marks an age of border skirmishes with England and is situated near one of the biggest farms in the borders.

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Kinloch Castle

Doesn't look much like a medieval castle - hardly surprising as it was largely built in the 1890s and completed in 1901.

It was the quintessential example of conspicuous consumption - quite incredible luxury. it is now undergoing desperately needed restoration. I suggest you check it's open before visiting.

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Stirling Castle

A major landmark on the way to Callander.

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Large Towns

Belfast

Yes; that's the capital of Northern Ireland - note its proximity to Scotland!

Edinburgh

Scotland's capital and one of Europe's finest cities. Could do with a map of its own; any offers?

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Glasgow (SV)

By far the largest city in Scotland; I haven't been for ages and I'd love to see notes and a map on the Slow Travel site.

Read more

Driving Route

Alternative route to A9

This will not be faster than going via Perth and hitting the A9 earlier but it's a beautiful and relaxing route and keeps you off the A9 until you can feel that it has started.

Gardens

Logan Botanical Gardens

Given the proximity of the Gulf Stream, these gardens could hardly fail to be good - and they don't!

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Parks

Galloway Forest Park

If you click on 'read more' and scroll down, you will find a number of suggestions for places to visit in this lovely area.

Read more

Sights

Aonoch Eagach (SV)

A magical ridge rivalling An Teallach in the Torridonian sandstone area further north to be considered best on the mainland.

Unsuitable for dogs and children need to be under firm control.

In winter conditions it is only suitable for climbers.

Read more

Ardnamurchan Point

The most westerly point on the Scottish mainland. The road to it is more vegetated and gentler in its scenery than much of Scotland and there are beaches of fine sand all along the coast.

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Bass Rock

A spectacular gannetry; boat trips in season from North Berwick, weather permitting.

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Beinn Resipol

A mountain worth the ascent because of its view going so far west. No problems beyond some wet ground as long as you pick weather a few degrees cooler than we chose!

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Ben Arthur [The Cobbler]

The most popular mountain below 3000 feet in all probability because of the amazing rock shapes of its three peaks as well as its proximity to Glasgow.

To ascend all the peaks requires climbing ability but there's no need to fret if you only do one [like me.] it's a grand place to be.

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Ben Nevis

The highest point in the UK. Best ascended from the distillery on the Inverness road if you have a good head for heights.

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Bidean nam Bian

The marker is meant to denote the whole range rather than just the summit.

Therefore you won't find individual markers for Stob Coire an Lochan, the Three Sisters of Glencoe or the Lost Valley - but there's more than one fine walk up there.

Do be careful though - there have been too many accidents in this area.

Read more

Canna [island]

A lovely island with only 15 families and one school child. Today's newspaper [06 November 06] has an article about an attempt to get another two families. Apparently there's intense competition, some from as far away as Australia!

If you click on 'read more,' this is the last island covered after Rum, Eigg and Muck.

Read more

Cir Mhor (SV)

This is a fabulous peak and the ridge walk to it via the Carlin's Leap [Witch's Step if you must!] and Caisteil Abhail is superb.

I did it the opposite way to the 'read more' website and I think my route is better as it makes Cir Mhor the climax.

Like the author, I had mist at the top but it did clear for a short time - when I saw five stags together right near - a magical effect!

Read more

Coll

I'm leaving it to you to 'read more' as I've only seen it on the way to Tiree, which we did as a day cruise.

Read more

Dryburgh Abbey

Situated with the Tweed on three sides of it, near but not in St. Boswells, the abbey remains are extremely picturesque.

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Eigg

A lovely island with a fine beach on the west side and an unmistakable hill, the Sgurr of Eigg roughly where the marker is.

After some bad treatment by former lairds, the islanders have actually succeeded in buying the island themselves. May they prosper!

Second island covered if you 'read more.'

Read more

Glen Trool

Beauty spot and start of some good walks.

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Loch Katrine

Loch Katrine is the home of the steamship Sir Walter Scott. it's an integral part of the first National Park in Scotland, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

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Loch Lomond

Very fine scenery all along this famous loch but the winding road gets very crowded because of its proximity to Glasgow.

From the south it's usually quicker to get to Crianlarich via Stirling and Callander.

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Loch Shiel

An interesting and beautiful loch, fourth longest freshwater loch in Scotland, very narrow and unusually variable in depth and with more woodland than most lochs.

Cruises are run on the loch through the summer.

Read more

Loch Tay

Very attractive scenery.

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Mamores

Since there are 10 mountains in this group over 3000 feet, they attract 'Munroe baggers'; otherwise they perhaps have less appeal than they should because of their proximity to the higher Nevis range to the north and the wonderful mountains above Glencoe to the South.
However they are wonderfully scenic with high but fairly simple ridges and high corries.

Read more

Muck [island]

Smallest of the Small Isles by quite a way, Muck has a surprising amount of accomodation for visitors and would make for a very relaxing break.

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Mull of Galloway

No songs from Sir Paul about this Mull but it's a fine headland and the view on a fine day is as good as its position on the map suggests.

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Polloch

At Polloch on Loch Shiel, reached by an unclassified road from Strontian, there are plentiful remains from lead mining, which enjoyed its most prosperous period in the 18th century.

The similarity between the words Strontian and strontium is not accidental as the mineral was first discovered in the area.

Only the second photo is worth seeing if you 'read more' - but be glad of that!

Read more

Rum

The largest of the Small Isles, the others being Canna, Eigg and Muck.

Sea eagles [formerly extinct in Scotland] were re-introduced from Norway. There are now several pairs but my three visits were devoid of sightings.

See separate marker for Kinloch Castle.

Read more

Schiehallion

A mountain that towers over its area but is relatively easy to ascend because you can start from a high car park.

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Sma' Glen

Yes; that's what they call it. Don't blame me; I'm a Sassenach!

It's really attractive scenery anyway.

Read more

Tiree

I've heard of it often enough but only on the weather forecast - and I've landed there - but only for 10 minutes on a day cruise. Therefore 'read more!'

Read more

Towns

Aberfeldy

Attractive town with interesting shops and a fine bridge over the River Tay.

Read more

Callander

A fine town for a break on the way to the Highlands or a longer stay in its own right.

Some wonderful haggis if you look around!

Read more

Crieff

A very pleasant little town with 'real' shops.

Read more

Helensburgh

Situated on Gare Loch where it meets the Firth of Clyde, Helensburgh is a very pleasant waterfront town on an alternative route north.

Read more

Innerleithen

The restored Victorian Print Shop of Robert Small is immensely interesting.

Read more

Inveraray

This town was built in the 18th century to display the power and wealth of the Duke of Argyll, the head of the Clan Campbell.

With its splendid castle, its gaol and its elegant Georgian houses it still does!

Read more

Jedburgh

One of the border abbey towns. Not only are the abbey ruins terrific ['read more'] but there's a wonderful Tudor House. It's named after Mary, Queen of Scots but she only stayed there.

The castle gaol and museum above the town is also worth a visit.

Read more

Kelso

A border town with lovely abbey ruins and fine bridges over the Tweed.

Read more

Melrose

Perhaps the prettiest of the three 'Border Abbey' towns with two National Trust for Scotland gardens, the Eildon Hills picturesquely situated above the town, and of course the fine abbey remains.

Read more

North Berwick

Berwick [upon Tweed] is in England. Berwickshire is a Scottish County. North Berwick is a Scottish town in the County of East Lothian!

It's beautifully situated with islands off-shore and the Scottish Seabird Centre near the coast.

Read more

Oban

A substantial sized town, almost a resort.
There are ferries to numerous islands and a well known 'Sealife Sanctuary.'

Read more

Perth

Where most visitors to the north join the A9 until after Inverness.

Pitlochry

A pleasant town with a spectacular salmon leap.

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Tobermory

Capital of Mull with very brightly painted houses in various colours along the waterfront.

There is a sea eagle nest viewable by the public in season not far away to the west.

Read more

Transportation

Ardrossan-Brodick ferry

Ardrossan can be reached by train from Glasgow and there is a bus from Brodick - usually in each direction.

Read more

Cairnryan-Larne ferry

Link to County Antrim

Read more

Erskine Bridge

If you don't want to go into Glasgow, this provides an alternative to Stirling/Callander as a route to or from the west or northwest from England or south Scotland.

Fishnish/Lochaline Ferry

Short crossing to Mull - but you have to get to Lochaline first. Fine for a touring route.

Coll/Tiree boats from Oban used to call here - and a fine day out it made but i don't know whether they still do - not in winter certainly. Keep your eye on Calmac.

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Ft William-Mallaig line

The magical line that we have seen from Glasgow at Loch Long and Rannoch Moor completes its journey to Mallaig without losing an atom of its scenic appeal.

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Oban - Craignure ferry

The main car ferry from the mainland to Mull.

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Oban Rail Line

One part of the line shown on the way from Glasgow to Crianlarich continues, equally scenically to Oban.

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Oban to Mull/Tiree

A fine trip through the straits of Mull and along the north to the two islands.

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Rannoch Station

The rail line from Tyndrum across Rannoch Moor has a rare meeting with a road here!

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Scenic railway

Trains from Glasgow to both Oban and Fort William/Mallaig use the line as far as Crianlarich via Gare Loch, Loch Long and Loch Lomond

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Small Isles Ferry

Calmac runs different routes on the various days of the week. I have twice been on a return trip from Mallaig at about 11.00 that covered all the four islands.
There is no such route offered in their current winter timetable but I think there's hope for the summer.
It's a phenomenally scenic trip. If you have to choose, Rum is the most scenic but I should be pushed to choose the second!

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Stranraer-Belfast ferry

Quick link with Northern Ireland

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Villages

Brodick

Island capital with a good museum.

Read more

Bunessan

Excellent base for the Ross of Mull - preferably off the main road to avoid the tour buses to Iona.

Really outstanding beaches to the south.

The Argyle Arms pub does good meals and you can look out at herons on the coast while you eat.

Read more

Crianlarich

Important road junction where the A85 from Stirling and Callander meets the A82 from Glasgow en route for the north west.

It is also where the Oban rail line and that to Fort William part company.

Read more

Culross

Unbelievably attractive and interesting village.

Very warmly recommended.

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East Fortune

A small enough village but with a Sunday Market that wouldn't disgrace Glasgow! - and a flight museum too!

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Fionnphort

Fionnphort is the port for the Iona ferry from Mull. There is a good St Columba exhibition centre, where parking is free - as opposed to the road near the ferry. There is also a good beach.

Read more

Glencoe

What are you most likely to know about Glencoe? Probably that it was the scene of a massacre in 1692. That's true and the circumstances were bloodcurdling but that's a long while back and now Glencoe is a small, though much visited, village among some of the best scenery in Scotland [certainly on this map.]

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Iona

I guess this is a must-see for visitors to Mull - its history is vital to early Christianity in the UK.

Take a tip though. Either stay overnight or, if you can't, go really early in the day - before all the myriad tour buses arrive from Craignure. Otherwise the legendary spirituality of the island wil be lost in crowds.

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Isle of Whithorn

If you want everybody's idea of a lovely, perfectly shaped seaside village, look no further.

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Kinlochleven

Now a quiet and peaceful village, kinlochleven was the home of a bustling aluminium works until 2000.

Not that many years back it had been thronged with traffic as masses of cars between Glencoe and Fort William used to go right round Loch Leven to avoid the long ferry queues at Balachulish [now replaced by a bridge.]

Ideal base for the southern Mamores.

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Kirk Yetholm

The northern end of the Pennine Way that leads to Edale in England's Derbyshire.

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Lochbuie

A delightful coastal village with the smallest post office in the UK [fully equipped of course.]

Great walk to Carsaig Arches west along the coast past numerous sandy beaches.

If you click on 'read more' you will get a report of my own. Click on the final photo to see the view to Lochbuie House and the remains of the Castle of Moy.

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Port William

Fine old harbour area in a fine vicinity with fine beaches - - fine in fact!

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Strontian

Beautifully situated village on sealoch Sunart. Otters are sometimes seen on the Strontian river and there's a delightful drive up a minor road over a pass to Polloch on Loch Shiel.

The bright white pub was one of the early ones in Scotland to sell real ale.

Read more

Tyndrum

After running in tandem the short distance from Crianlarich, the A82 to Fort William and the A85 to Oban part company again.

This tiny village has two stations on the railway lines to Oban and Fort William respectively.

Read more

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