Via: Inveraray and the gardens at Crarae
Distance: 131 miles
A home made fry up this morning (always start a touring day on a good breakfast) and on the bikes just before nine. The weather was overcast but mercifully dry as we set off.
The roads were a little bit busy as we left Glasgow towards the the end of rush hour traffic, but it soon disappeared to be replaced by fast roads towards and then alongside Loch Lomond. We skipped the fun twists that skirt the edge of the Loch (we'll catch these on the way home) and turned off onto the A83 over the 'rest and be thankful'. At this point the scenery began to change and the traffic almost disappears.
The weather began to improve and we had the first blue sky and sunshine, this would stay with us for for the rest of the day.
Our first rest stop was Inveraray, a quaint little fishing town on Loch Fyne. We had a little walk around the town and then sat enjoying the sunshine and chatting with a few other bikers on the harbour front.
From Inveraray it was only ten miles down the road to our second stop of the day, the National Trust For Scotland's Crarae Gardens, where we spent an hour or so having a peaceful walk around the grounds whilst taking photos.
After which it was on the bikes again for the run to Campbeltown on the A83, but to make the most of the journey we turned off the main road just after Tarbert onto the B8001 towards Skipness. From Skipness the road becomes the B842 which follows the east coast of the peninsula.
The entire stretch is single track with passing places, it hugs the coast with great views, and has barely any traffic at all. We stopped for photos a few times and pottered on at between 30 to 40 mph for the next hour or so, stopping at Grogport and then heading all the way to Campbeltown.
Arriving at the Royal Hotel, (which we heartily recommend), at 3pm we quickly checked in, cleaned up and walked into town.
Unfortunately we were too late in the day for a tour of the Springbank distillery, so made do with a visit to their whisky shop were we bought a bottle of the ten year old Springbank and a bottle of their Longrow. We'll keep the bottles sealed for now but once home can remember the trip by when we drink them over the years.
We walked around the lovely little town. We're both really glad that we made the effort to come here. As Campbeltown is very much off the beaten track, the roads we travelled must be some of the most remote in the UK and there is no real reason to visit (for as at least) other than out of curiosity. It would be a great place for a little holiday croft overlooking the sea.
We finally ended the day sitting with what the locals call a "half'n'half" or "Hawfnhaf" (A whisky alongside a pint of beer) while enjoying the northern sunshine of the early evening, perfect! Sunset is already an hour later than London and the sun will stay out even later as we get further north.