Oban To Inverness – Adventures With My Mom
Fresh off our early morning flight from Iceland, we’re picked up by the driver we hired who brings us to Oban. We have a brief scenic lunch stop and then check in at our hotel. The room is lovely, and a shout out to Emily and her team at The Tartan Road who helped us with our amazing itinerary and making sure mom got treated very well!
We rented a car in Oban, and my “driving-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-road” experience in New Zealand served me well. Among our adventures, we went to the Kilmartin Glen where there are burial cairns and even some rock art! As we visit the various cairns, a rainbow lights up the sky.
We take a ferry one day out to the Isle of Mull which I hadn’t been to previously. We enjoy a nice walk and have a quick tasting at the Tobermory distillery. It’s not my favorite Scotch, but it goes down nicely. One of the things I really like about Isle of Mull is the colorful houses. To get there, we took a ferry to Craignure, and then grabbed a bus to Tobermory. They run about once an hour, so you have to make sure to time your ride for the return ferry you want!
Glencoe And Other Surrounding Areas
I drive us out to Glencoe on another day and we have a visit to Fort William and McCaig’s Tower in Oban. We were told there’s a hike up a hill where you can see Hagrid’s house from Harry Potter – the area where they filmed it and the house. Sadly, we can’t find it. In fact, I leave my mom for a few minutes and hike higher up to follow a family looking for the same landmark, and they, too can’t find it. Oh, well!
We decide to have afternoon tea at our hotel, and, you can let mom show you our thoughts on it…
I’m disappointed to find that the day we thought we’d do the Oban distillery, the tours are all booked, and we can’t even do a little tasting, but we have a quick look around.
Up next is Inverness! The road there is very windy, and our driver is very fast. Not the best of combinations for us two ladies. We stop off at Urquhart Castle and thankfully have some respite from our car queasiness. Miraculously, the grey rainy day suddenly clears for our visit, and the instant we leave, it gets cloudy again.
We rent another car in Inverness and I have a wee bit of trouble on a roundabout so eventually pull off into a supermarket parking to calm down and get my driving mojo back. I take us all the way to Ullapool because, years ago, on my first trip to Scotland as a full time traveler, I met an immigration agent who, after verifying I wasn’t a threat to her country, just a little nuts to have quit my job to travel (back then it wasn’t so normal) told me I must go to Ullapool. She mentioned I’d see seals and it’s beautiful, and I had all these ideas in my head. Unfortunately, we didn’t see much of that, and after a quick lunch, take our leave. I snapped this photo just outside the town center.
As luck and fate would have it, I am about to see a couple of highland cows. Years ago, I had a Scottish boss, Elaine. Her sister owns a small farm in Beauly! Mom and I stop off there and I have a moment with the lovely cows, and meet Elaine’s sister. Our visit is quick because they’re closing and mom needs a loo. Another stroke of luck is there’s a distillery not too far away! We make it to Singleton in time for a flight and I take some of it in a driver’s pack to sample later. This is a very cool concept and a great way to keep your pockets lined with Scotch!
I drive us to the Culloden battlefields the next day. We take a tour with a sprightly guide who makes it interesting and fun. We head outside with the group but it’s a bit nippy and mom doesn’t want to walk around the entire field. If you’ve read the Outlander series then this is a definite must-see location. The last time I went I got a photo of the grave of the Fraser clan. This time, we head back inside and get a bite of lunch, and then spend our afternoon exploring Inverness. Tomorrow, we’re off to The Orkneys!
Our fun guide at Culloden