A trip down memory lane

We decided to take the Friday afternoon off an take a drive down to Wemyss Bay and Skelmorlie to our old stomping ground.

After a lovely drive round the coast we stopped for a coffee at McCaskie’s cafe and restaurant. We’re not sure when McCaskie’s took over the Seaview Cafe, but the coffee and especially the chocolate cake went down a treat.

Before heading back, we had a wander round Morland House where we use to live some 17 years ago which brought back fond memories.

We drove back round the coast via Gourock where we spotted the Waverley coming up the Clyde to on it’s way back to Glasgow. It is always so impressive to see the last sea going paddle steamer gliding through the water.

In tradition with 5 years of driving through Gourock to catch the Western Ferries to go to our cottage at High Auchoirk in Argyle, we had to pick up a carry out from the Shish Mahal. The butter masala was as scrumptious as we remembered.

The Grand Master’s palace

Exploring the Campsie fault line

Campsie Glen has become even more of a hot spot for walkers due to Covid lockdown with parked cars backed up all the way to the main road at Haughead. But on an early morning or a late afternoon, it can still, at times, be reasonably quiet.

Our late Sunday afternoon wander along the Kirk Burn and some scrambling along the rocks along the burn allowed us to explore the Campsie fault line. This is one os several very interesting geological features dating from the Glacial and Post-Glacial period in the area.

The Campsie fault line or scarp is the effect of a normal fault crossing the gorge that displaces lava intersecting with another plane of movement. Landslips and the torrent of the Kirk Burn over time have exposed large sections of the fault line along the burn.

Buchanan Castle ruins

A wander around Buchanan Castle on a cold, crisp Sunday afternoon.

Balquhidder’s Old Kirk

Exploring Blaquhidder’s Old Kirk and graveyard.

It’s not just Rob Roy’s grave that’s interesting.

High Kirk of Campsie

A wander round the High Kirk of Campsie and graveyard in Lennoxtown.

St. Machan’s kirkyard

Another wander through St Machan’s graveyard.

The SS Sir Walter Scott

The SS Sir Walter Scott is a small steamship that was built in 1899 at Dumbarton that has provided pleasure cruises and ferry services on Loch Katrine for well over a century. The steamer is the only surviving screw steamer in regular passenger service in Scotland and is named after the writer Sir Walter Scott, who set his 1810 poem Lady of the Lake, and his 1818 novel Rob Roy around Loch Katrine.

I wholeheartedly agree with David Ritchie, who took the below photograph of the SS Sir Walter Scott back in 2006, that recent restorations have unfortunately ruined the steamer’s looks.

The SS Sir Walter Scott in 2006, courtesy of David Ritchie

Castle Campbell sunset

A browse through some of our 19th century books made us decide to take a drive to Airth to explore Airth Old Parish Church that stands in the grounds of Airth Castle. Disappointingly, our trip was in vain as the ruined church is entirely cordoned off with Heras fencing.

With no plan B, we decided on the spot to drive on, crossing the River Forth over the Clackmannanshire Bridge heading for Dollar with the intention to have another wander around Dollar Glen and one of our favourite castles, Castle Campbell.

The castle, also known as Castle Gloom, is managed by the National Trust for Scotland and stands imposingly at the top of Dollar Glen where the Burn of Sorrow and the Burn of Care join to form the Dollar Burn. Simply a stunning medieval castle in a stunning location.

After exploring the waterfalls on the Burn of Sorrow and admiring the views from above the castle, we headed back down when the sun started to set. A slight detour onto the hillside above the Born of Care rewarded us with a stunning sunset.

Tappoch Broch

Tappoch Broch, also known as Torwood Broch lies in the woods above Torwood.

Torwood Castle

Torwood castle…

The crannog on Loch Tay

An afternoon walk from Killin to the shore of Loch Tay…