Day 22 – Scenic West Coast Tour at Dalmally Hotel (260km), Scotland (day01)

Backpacking to Stranraer, Scotland from 21 May to 26 June 2014 (37days)
Breakfast was garlic bread and mincemeat pie.
Day 22 (11.06.2014 Wed) – day 1 Scenic West Coast Tour at Dalmally Hotel (260km)

In the morning, a swan of bees came to build a hive in Alistair's rose garden. I supposed this is good luck for all of us and in particular, Alistair. Breakfast was garlic bread and mincemeat pie. We had an early lunch getting ready for the 260km journey to Dalmally Hotel.

We e-booked this 5days 4nights Scenic West Coast Tour (GBP220 per pax) under Highland Heritage Coach Tours from their web site: It was a lovely tour of some of the finest scenic areas of the West Highlands. There were three excursions (one optional) which took us across the whole extent of Argyll into Lochaber and over to the Isle of Bute.

Jessie and Alistair dropped us at Stena Line bus stand at 1.30pm. It was a long travelling day as the coach picked us up at 1.45pm and drove through the following towns on road A77 – Ballantrae, Girvan, Maybole and Glasgow.

Sleeping: Dalmally Hotel, Dalmally, Argyll and Bute PA33 1AY, UK.
Temp: min.11 – max.18°C
A swan of bees came to build a hive in Alistair's rose garden.

Jessie and Jimmy's beautiful cottage and garden.

The long travelling day as the coach picked us up at 1.45pm and drove through the following towns on road A77 – Ballantrae, Girvan, Maybole and Glasgow. The coach is very comfortable.

Along the road we had the breathtaking view of the Scottish country side.

The country side villages of Scotland.

The scenic west coast of Scotland.

After 2 hours we stopped here for toilet and tea. Just south of Turnberry, this Dowhill Farm House offers an excellent restaurant/coffee shop with really good fresh produce. Plus, there is a farm shop and a separate gift shop which are both worth looking through. (Best not to let the ladies linger too long in the gift shop though).

This well stocked farm shop and restaurant offers traditional farmhouse cooking, utilizing a wide range of their own produce. Freshly made scones, cakes, soups, light snacks and meals.

Then on road M8 onto road A898 for crossing the Kingston Bridge on River Clyde. The 470ft Kingston Bridge is a balanced cantilever dual-span ten lane road bridge made of triple-cell segmented prestressed concrete box girders crossing the River Clyde in Glasgow. The largest urban bridge in the United Kingdom, it carries the M8 motorway through the city centre. The Kingston Bridge is also one of the busiest road bridges in Europe, carrying around 150,000 vehicles every day.

Rabbie's Bar at Ayr.

On this Great Western Road A82 to a toilet stop in Balloch at Café on the shops on Loch Lomond Shore.

Loch Lomond Aquarium - Loch Lomond is the largest loch in Scotland and also the largest fresh water lake on the island of Great Britain and probably the most famous after Loch Ness.

The Maid of the Loch by the world famous Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, at Balloch Pier, is the last paddle steamer built in Britain and the last in a long line of paddle steamers on the loch, dating back to 1818. The Maid is open to the public as an Historic Visitor Attraction and has a 2 Star Visitor Attraction award from VisitScotland under their quality assurance scheme. She is a totally unique venue for events and functions.

It is part of the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, Scotland's first national park.

We then continued north on road A82 along the western shore of Loch Lomond passing through The Carrick Golf Club & Spa and Loch Lomond Golf Club.

The southern end of the loch is quite flat, but the scenery soon becomes more mountainous and distinctly wild by the time you reach the north end.

The breathtaking view of the long and winding road up Scottish highlands.

At the town of Tarbet we turned left on road A83 towards Arrochar on Loch Long, passing through Argyll Forest Park then Loch Restil, crossing Kinglas Water, crossing Loch Fyne on Old Military Road till we reached Inveraray.

Inveraray Castle is a country house near Inveraray in the county of Argyll, in western Scotland, on the shore of Loch Fyne, Scotland’s longest sea loch. It has been the seat of the Duke of Argyll, chief of Clan Campbell since the 17th century.

Here at Inveraray we turned onto road A819 through Balantyre Wood till we reached Loch Awe.

At Dalmally Golf Club we turned left on road A85 till we finally arrived at Dalmally Hotel, Dalmally, Argyll and Bute PA33 1AY, UK at about 8pm and dinner at 8.15pm followed by entertainment by The Highlanders till 10.30pm.

The hotel is sited in the village of Dalmally in Strathorchy, with spectacular mountain views all round and three acres of beautiful landscaped gardens.

Upon arrival at the Dalmally Hotel, we were greeted by the Manager, and speedily processed directly to our beautiful warm and spacious rooms, containing all the modern facilities. My main concern was that there is no mobile phone signal inside the hotel and one has to go outside the hotel to use the mobile phone. Wifi is only available in the snooker room and not in the rooms. One must also come to the Dalmally equipped with insect repellent because tiny insects they call "midges" eat one alive if you are not prepared when you go outside.

Room was comfortable and clean. In room tea / Coffee making facilities are provided.

Entertainment is provided every night in the lounge, with a good selection of entertainers, especially The Homelanders.

The meal package was Breakfast and Evening Meal, each consisting of three variable courses, all of which were well cooked, and presented with speed and efficiency. The staff is made up mainly of eastern Europeans who are all smiles and ready to help in any way they can.

The food is varied and well cooked.

Excellent food, varied, plentiful and delicious. The staff were cheerful, friendly, courteous and professional.

On the first day of our Scenic West Coast Tour under Highland Heritage Coach Tours the evening entertainment by "The Homelanders" at Dalmally hotel was brilliant. 

We all laughed at their dirty jokes until our tummy hurt.

Homelanders at Dalmally Hotel, Argyll, Scotland on 11.06.2014

Click below to view daily adventures:
Day 01 (21.05.2014 Wed) – MH16 KUL/AMS 2355hr – 0655hr on 22May
Day 02 (22.05.2014 Thr) – Amsterdam City, Holland
Day 03 (23.05.2014 Fri) – Amsterdam Zaanse Schans Village (21km)
Day 04 (24.05.2014 Sat) – KL.1477R AMS/GLA 1535hr - 1605hr Glasgow Airport
Day 05 (25.05.2014 Sun) – Stranraer, Scotland

Day 06 (26.05.2014 Mon) – Fishing station at Lady Bay (15km) Loch Ryan
Day 07 (27.05.2014 Tue) – Portpatrick and Mull of Galloway Lighthouse (58km)
Day 08 (28.05.2014 Wed) – Lide supermarket (2.8km) and Museum
Day 09 (29.05.2014 Thu) – Exploring Galloway Forest Park (56km)
Day 10 (30.05.2014 Fri) – Kirkland Fishery Farm in Leswalt (4.6km)

Day 11 (31.05.2014 Sat) – Exploring Galloway Forest Park (60km)
Day 12 (01.06.2014 Sun) – Trekking 20.8km Loch Ryan Coastal Path
Day 13 (02.06.2014 Mon) – A free and easy rest day
Day 14 (03.06.2014 Tue) – To Robert Burns Cottage at Alloway (78km)
Day 15 (04.06.2014 Wed) – Fishing station at Lady Bay (15km) Loch Ryan

Day 16 (05.06.2014 Thu) – A trip to the Giant Causeway (153km) by coach
Day 17 (06.06.2014 Fri) – Trekking 4km Ardwell Pond, Ardwell Bay (18km)
Day 18 (07.06.2014 Sat) – Our ladies went shopping in Ayr (72km)
Day 19 (08.06.2014 Sun) – Visiting Isabelle/Robert in Newton Steward (50km)
Day 20 (09.06.2014 Mon) – Overnight stay at Fishing Station, Lady Bay Loch Ryan

Day 21 (10.06.2014 Tue) – Visited a farm using automated milking
Day 22 (11.06.2014 Wed) – Day 1 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 23 (12.06.2014 Thu) – Day 2 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 24 (13.06.2014 Fri) – Day 3 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 25 (14.06.2014 Sat) – Day 4 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland

Day 26 (15.06.2014 Sun) – Day 5 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 27 (16.06.2014 Mon) – Allan and Pauline 50th wedding anniversary
Day 28 (17.06.2014 Tue) – Mysterious beach walk at Loch Larbrax, Scotland
Day 29 (18.06.2014 Wed) – Lake Loweswater, Lake District, UK (day1)

Day 30 (19.06.2014 Thu) – Outward Bound Ullswater, Lake Ullswater (day2)

Day 31 (20.06.2014 Fri) – Return from Lake District (day3)
Day 32 (21.06.2014 Sat) – Our last visit to the bothy at Lady Bay
Day 33 (22.06.2014 Sun) – A farewell dinner hosted by Margaret Modrate
Day 34 (23.06.2014 Mon) – A farewell tea hosted by Vera Little

Day 35 (24.06.2014 Tue) – To Glasgow for a night stay for next day flight

Day 36 (25.6.2014Wed) Glasgow 6am to Amsterdam 8.40//MH17 12noon to KLIA
Day 37 (26.06.2014 Thu) – MH17 touched down at KLIA at 6.20am.

1 comment:

  1. You might as well apply for permanent resident-ship there. By the time you finish your tour, you would have got it approved, and you continue your next leg of tour. Forget about My.