Fort Augustus

While I had of course heard of Loch Ness, I had never heard of Fort Augustus. It’s simply the other end of Loch Ness to Inverness. And yes I know we were just at the lakes but we decided to come back to Scotland lol

View of Loch Ness from Fort Augustus
View of Loch Ness from Fort Augustus

Fort Augustus is a small village but has most of what you need including a Roman museum explaining the history of the Romans who lived here, and a zoo of rare breed animals. Oh and of course a boat on which you can sail onto Loch Ness and hunt for the monster. 

In addition there is a cafe here called the Cafe Neuk Bar. It does the most amazing full English breakfast, with haggis as well as black pudding if you want it. Which I did. It’s not especially expensive either and you can sit at the window wall, or outside at tables right by the flight of locks that lead down to the loch.

There is an amazing theatre where one man takes you into a traditional Scottish dwelling, dons traditional kit and explains a few things about Scots and their wars with the English. 

There’s a surprising amount to do in Fort Augustus and the night life can be lively too, but don’t come in the midgy season. I saw the beer garden of one of the pubs clear in 30 seconds flat when the midgies came. They are brutal. 

Take the boat tour though if you do nothing else. It’s informative but also amusing and it’s good to say you have actually sailed on Loch Ness. 

A few poor photos.

Loch Quoich

After leaving Fort Augustus we drove west and found a beautiful loch called Loch Quoich. We had no idea how to pronounce it deciding that Koysh was probably the safest bet. Some of the scenery here was different to where we’d been. It was more green and forested like England, rather than the purple hues of heather and moorland.

Again we were lucky enough to get a lochside place to park and there was hardly anyone around so we stayed the night here as well. 

The photos of the deer say it all for me. They walked past the camper in a long line, which was what woke us, and then headed down to the loch to drink. 

We were still in bed but staring out of the window in awe. They were so dignified and cautious and it was all I could do to pull myself away to pick the camera up. 

if I needed another reason to decide that this was the life for me then this was it. Imagine waking to this morning after morning?

A handful of photos. 

Ullswater, lake district

A canoe on the lake
A canoe on the lake

Ullswater is fast becoming our favourite lake, and Glenridding our favourite village. Everything you need is in the village including the grumpiest shopkeeper in the world! He owns the village store and a grumpier man I’ve never met, however it’s funny rather than upsetting. He’s just a character.

Glenridding has several paths up to Striding Edge and Helvellyn. It’s also got a garage and several restaurants attached to hotels. One of the main features is the so called steamers. They’re not steamers at all now, and I don’t know if they ever were. but it is very much fun to take one to Howtown, then walk back to Patterdale and then into Glenridding.

It’s also nice to take the longer route to Pooley bridge. There’s 3 pubs in Pooley Bridge. The Crown Inn which is lovely for families and serves lovely food. The Pooley Bridge Inn which has rooms as well, and serves many ales from micro breweries in the region. The food there is also nice but we go for the beer. 🙂

There’s also the Sun Inn which is the more rowdy of them all but I say that in a fun way, not in a disturbing peace way. It seems to be full of locals usually but it has live music on, karaoke and quiz night. They do meals too but much more restricted menu than the other two. We go to the Sun Inn for fun not eating. 

Climbing around Glenridding is great as there is something for everyone. If we park in the steamers car park overnight it’s £4, added to the £4 during the day it makes for a steep stopover. Campsites can be had for about a tenner but I dislike campsites and love camping wherever we can out of the way.

Sadly due to National Park gestapo who want to run the park as if it is private property and only allow us on reluctantly, there are few places to stop over. 

A few photos here.

More Crummock water

Well we certainly did have a fabulous nights sleep in Crummock water. We woke up early to some cows lowing over the water, but that wasn’t a bad thing. We made some breakfast to eat outside as the sun was up and washed our faces. I’ve never felt so connected to my life for a long time. 

If we want to sit down we sit on the ground. We can drink out of the streams as the water is fairly clean. We can swim in the lake although not for long as it’s bloody cold lol. We share our space with the animals and sometimes they scratch themselves on the van so we feel them as well as hear them. The only sound overnight is a bit of wind maybe, and a far off hiss as it blows over the water. 

This truly is living, rather than being cooped up in a square concrete block with the windows closed.

I live now for this lifestyle!

Photos…

Crummock water

Crummock water is another lake I had never visited. It’s slightly off the beaten track and is not developed at all, so we hardly ever saw anyone there except a few walkers. I think we saw 3 cars the whole day so it was easy to park just off the road for the night and not get disturbed. 

It was fabulous hearing nothing much except a bit of wind and a few sheep and cows. This is a very peaceful way to live and I feel more relaxed than I have in a long time. 

I’m sure in years to come it will become more developed here and end up like Windermere, which would be a sad thing. But I guess everyone else is entitled to visit and enjoy the same way as we do.

I didn’t take many photos as we were busy walking but here’s a few.

Grasmere, Lake District

I’d never been to Grasmere but Jo had many times and liked it. So we came in the camper to check it out. I was not disappointed. 

It’s a beautiful old lakeland village, well kept and quaint, with a lovely lake beside it and mountains all around. It’s also bloody expensive! We sat in a little cafe on a terrace overlooking the river. Across from us was a church graveyard where William Wordsworth and members of his family are buried. 

We only had a scone and a cup of tea and it cost us £4! We did have a look in a few of the shops out of curiosity but all of them were way out of our price range. 

Nevertheless we spent a nice day there and had a lovely walk around the lake, which included an attack by a horse of geese who were heading for the water. 

I only took a few photos, here they are.