I concluded my recent trip to the Loch Lomond area, by visiting the charming, drive-through village of Balloch, that comes complete with both good car and train connections, and is frequented by many day-trippers from the Glasgow area.
It was a short drive from Cameron House and we decided to go for a walk through Balloch and onwards to the Lomond Shores shopping complex / Sea Life aquarium. We actually became lost and so got back in the car and drove to this area.
Considering it was a day bathed in sunshine, we had a very quick walk around, and noticed the tourists, and also the very many people taking part in some sort of water sports on the loch.
We also noticed a great deal of young families here, not only for the sights, aquarium and loch, but also for the tree village / birds of prey area, something I will definitely visit in the coming months.
Luss is one of those places that you like (it’s beautiful, has walks, is next to Loch Lomond, has a multitude of pubs / restaurants – and even has a scene or church from the film Four Weddings and a Funeral, if that’s your thing, at Luss Parish church – maybe it does, as the number of weddings in its diary is amazing!) or don’t like; it has too many tourists, there’s too many people from Glasgow (they simply DON’T travel any further north than here!), and has a packed carpark; though they do have a new, purpose built one on the south of the town since the last year.
I cycled to here from my Cameron House stay, and had a lunch among the midges that consisted of a wonderfully textured veggie burger (one of the best I’ve had) and chips, at The Village Rest cafe.
Interesting for those of you who have not had to survive the midges during a Scottish “summer”, it’s only later in the day, where one discovers that they’ve been bitten dozens of times by these things. The local “known” cure is Avon’s “Skin so Soft” and I would have to vouch that it does, indeed work, though I had forgotten to use it on this particular day!
For a laugh, please see this link, where a debate ensues! OTOH, there is also a product called Smidge, which I also use (and forgot to bring as well!), which has it’s own “forecast” as to the midge situation. Check it out!
After the lunch, we had a wander to the quay, and had an ice cream whilst watch the numerous queueing for the boat or trying their hands at canoeing, etc.
The coming week will see a continuation of my last trip to Loch Lomond. Will also look at various things in Glasgow, churches, buildings and a look at alcohol, TV and the Arts.
Loch Lomond – Part 2 – Golf(The Carrick Golf Club)
Whilst at Loch Lomond, decided to try my hand at golf; this nightmare taking place at a superb club, The Carrick, complete with views and a stunning spa.
Amongst the hiking and biking, the course has an excellent clubhouse and restaurant, that I had lunch in. Everything seemed to never be a problem for the ever so helpful staff and if this is your thing, please do try it.
With having to stay as close to Glasgow as possible, come on 19 July(!), had to contend with the lovely surroundings of Loch Lomond and the various places nearby a few weeks ago
Decided to rent a cabin (Hardly! More of a flat.) situated very close to Balloch, a delightful village, that can be reached by train (direct) from Glasgow. It was on the grounds of Cameron House, by Loch Lomond. It’s impressive and comes with a Boat House, 2 golf courses and water activities, if you dare.
The apartment was just fine. Forgive the fotos, but I simply could not fault either the facilities or the placement in the grounds.
After Nottingham, decided on the way back to Glasgow, to stop at the lovely little village of Reeth, in the Dales.
This was merely half way or thereabouts, between the two cities, but apparently many others do, as the place was packed and we barely manage to grab the last room there.
The first night in Reeth, Yorkshire
Once there, had several meanders around the place; the night of arrival and the lovely Sunday morning that came later.
On the way back, we stopped for some delicious chocolate cake / tea, at another unheard town, that was delightful as well, Barnard Castle. That appeared to me, to be more of a “culture” capital of this area, if that can exist; with an abundance of cafes, shops and pubs.
Hey, this week will do a review of certain cafes here in Glasgow, particularly in the West End, look at some alcohol, and start to talk about my last trip during these horrible COVID days to the Dales in Yorkshire (but only for one day), after a stop off in Nottingham, to enjoy some tennis (in those pre-Wimbledon days)
After the trip to Shropshire, I thought, hey, what about a pre-Wimbledon tennis trip. Lo and behold, there’s a warm-up in Nottingham, where we witnessed both Johanna Konta and Francis Tiafoe (who ended up defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas, French Open finalist, at Wimbledon).
Wonderful! Small, only one food truck(!), but in scorching weather, we’ll be back.
Final day, and we finally had a proper walk around Ludlow, and was amazed at the number of older buildings here; many of the timber frame type.
After this, we had a delightful visit to the main church in central Ludlow, at the very top of the hill, St Laurences C of E, where I met a VERY well informed lady in the gift shop. She told me that Ludlow has over 500 listed buildings! Yes, like a living museum, but that’s fine by me. Also interestingly, on the way out, I noticed a novel way of giving!
In addition, I enquired as to why Ludlow, at least to me, is a secret Shangra La. She stated that the nearest motorway was 45 minutes away, and there were no direct London connections by train (This proved COMPLETELY true on our Day 5, as it did indeed take me 50 minutes to find the nearest motorway.). Fine by me as well, though she did say that there was a “Ludlow Bounce” in the house prices, that explained the slightly higher, though still reasonable, house prices in this area of England.
We finished the day, by going for a partial hike up the nearest hill we could find, Titterstone Clee Hill, that had stunning, 360 degree views of the surrounding area.
I’ll be coming back in September, for their annual food festival, can’t wait.
For this third day, we decided to do one of the many walks that exist here, particularly one that is low level and does not consist of a hill walk.
We started in central Ludlow, and went via Whitbatch, then to the racetrack near the golf club, and finally to the local farm shop, the Ludlow Farm Shop, that had literally everything that a foodie would ever want. On the way back, we had a quick check out of the ancient church, St Mary the Virgin’s, on the other side of the A49, at Bromfield.
Ludlow Golf Club, speaking of which, is designed by none other than James Braid (who would have known!) and is an 18 hole stretch, located entirely inside the race track!
Finally with some more time on our hands, will be saying what will do this week, and will continue with our recent Shropshire trip.
Will try to do some more cafe / restaurant things here in Glasgow, Scotland, as well as bringing back our “First Hit, Last Hit” series! In addition, more fotos from Glasgow, what fun!
Ludlow, Shropshire – Part 2:
We continued walking and discovering this part of England, that unbeknownst to me, is just SO close to Wales!
We decided to go for a walk, up the hill to the centre, and were entranced (pretentious!) with the charm and number of ancient buildings that we saw! Amazing whilst at the same time, it was packed with shopper, and came with a delightful area by the castle, complete with a market.
What I did notice, were the ages of most of the people. Yes it was mid-week, during the day, but the average age seemed well into the 60s range – which is fine by me. And while this and the buildings could lead you into thinking that this is not a place for you? Think again, as we passed by numerous pubs, cafes, shops and breweries!
With us being still stuck in Glasgow, but with (finally) the opportunity to go south to England – Why not!
This was my first time in Ludlow and it won’t be the last (they have an annual food festival which I shall be attending later in the year).
What I found on my initial walk, as I arrived late on a Tuesday evening, was that the city itself, is reminiscent of either Carcassonne in France or even LaGuardia (A delight! Please go there if you can!) in La Rioja, in northern Spain.
Equally, I was struck on just how many old, listed buildings that there were, whilst walking uphill, to the town centre, for a pint, at the Old Bull Ring tavern.