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We had a great time at Urquhart Castle, but we still had to charge up our electric car at the Drumnadrochit Visitor’s Center and we wanted to get the most out of the daylight! Besides getting to our Airbnb, we had nothing else to do for the day.
After getting a bite to eat, we headed out on a fairly rigorous trek to get some fantastic views! At this point in time we’d already walked ALL OVER GOD’S GREEN EARTH, but we were not to be thwarted by exhaustion 🙂
At the very start of the trail there was a tree that rivaled all those we saw at Diana’s Grove — seriously! It wasn’t as tall, but it was at least 50% fatter than all the ones we saw in Killiecrankie.
Loch Ness Hike
The route started off along the main road, turned off onto a side road which transitioned into a dirt path, and then led us past this tree into the woods. You can easily do this trail without hiking boots (I did it in my not-made-for-hiking fashion boots), but it is steep all the way to the top. It probably would have been way easier if we hadn’t already walked all day.
At the top of the hill we not only got amazing views, Casey got to stand atop an Iron-Age fortress, which was basically an extra large mound, but he was excited. I was mesmerized by how the sun came out on our way down the hills and lit up the beautiful Scottish countryside dotted with grazing sheep. Breathtaking!
Airbnb Night’s Sleep
We left Loch Ness and wound our way through some very dark, very windy, and very rainy roads until we landed in Gairlochy, which sits at the very bottom of Loch Lochy (yes, that’s a thing, haha). It was a long drive and we weren’t great with directions, so it was a little stressful. (Casey even stopped at a payphone to try and call our hostess because we had NO cell service, but the payphone had been disconnected because of underuse!)
Nonetheless, we were in for a treat at the end of the journey: An absolutely wonderful Airbnb!
Margaret, our host, not only had a very clean and inviting home, she was warm and friendly. We had a great chat with her before she showed us our quiet room and we tucked in for the night.
I had to laugh being from a nautical town (Plymouth, MA) that this room in the Highlands looked like it belonged on Cape Cod. Although a part of me would have loved a tartan bedspread, Margaret’s place was perfect. (The towels are hung on the shower because we put them there — Margaret had them rolled very nicely in a basket!)
She cooked us a splendid Scottish breakfast and I completely recommend you book a stay.
A Double Rainbow
Perhaps the best part of Margaret’s place is the location. We arrived in the pitch-black (seriously, there is absolutely NO light pollution here), so we had no idea what an idyllic spot she lived in.
That was, until we drove out. Her place is tucked into beautiful Highland hills and the Commando Memorial stands at the end of her (unnamed) road. We stopped to take pictures with the monument (which wasn’t on our itinerary!) and wow, was I glad we took that detour.
Just as we were about to leave, we spotted an amazing double rainbow! We started our third day with one of those little reminders from God that he’s right here with us and keeps His promises. I tried to catch it 🙂
So should you go? So many “yeses.” The hike was lovely, the Airbnb was restful, and the morning views near the Commando Memorial were just breathtaking.
So what do you think? Will you go?
Interested in the rest of our trip?
- Part One: The Itinerary
- Part Two: Renting an Electric Car
- Part Three: Killiecrankie and Blair Castle
- Part Four: Inverness
- Part Five: Clava Cairns and Culloden Battlefield
- Part Six: Fort George Military Fortress
- Part Seven: Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle