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  1. We had a long day of driving ahead of us today so we made a fairly early start, setting out straight after breakfast in the hotel. We were due to catch a ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull in the early evening and the journey from Whitehaven to Oban was around 227 miles. The first part of the journey was not very exciting as we drove across Cumbria towards Carlisle, then onto the motorway which would take us across southern Scotland towards Glasgow. We navigated the outskirts of Glasgow, before driving on a bridge across the river Clyde towards Dumbarton, where we wanted to visit the Asda superstore This is where we stopped to stock up on food when we were on our way to the Isle of Islay earlier this year and, while I hadn't seen any specific advice this time about it being difficult to buy food on the Isle of Mull, a bit of googling had identified that the biggest supermarket on the island seems to be a rather small Co-op on the high street in Tobermory. It seemed to make sense to stock up in advance! Once we'd bought a reasonable amount of non-perishable food and wine, we got back in the car and began the more scenic part of the journey, which took us along the shores of Loch Lomond. The weather forecast today had been sunshine and showers. The further we got into Scotland, the more we seemed to have showers rather than sunshine! We parked at the small village of Luss to stretch our legs near the lake. It's a pretty little place, but as you can see it was rather damp today. And Loch Lomond itself was looking rather misty! When the shower turned into heavy rain we got back in the car and continued northwards towards Oban. The rain was torrential for a while, but the sky began to clear up a bit as we got closer to our destination. We stopped about 25 miles outside Oban for a short walk. The path took us alongside Loch Awe; not as well known as Loch Lomond, but this is the third largest freshwater lake in Scotland. Behind us we could see a mountain with a large waterfall running down it... ...while in front of us we had a view towards Kilchurn Castle. The castle is a ruin but it still looks quite impressive And it's definitely in a really pretty location. As you can probably tell, the weather was still a bit windy even though the rain had eased off We walked around to the opposite side of the castle to get a better view of the loch. The rain was starting to pick up again by this point, so it was time to head back to the car. It took slightly longer to drive the remaining miles to Oban than I'd expected; the roads were quite slow and winding. In the end we arrived around 16.50, which gave us just an hour until the final check in time for our ferry. We'd been hoping to get a nice meal in the town, but given the time constraints all we were able to do was park the car and rush to the local Wetherspoons where we at least knew we'd be served quickly. Oban looks like a pleasant little town. Slightly bizarrely, there's what looks like a replica Colosseum on a hill behind the town We made it through our meal with plenty of time to check in for the ferry and soon we were on board for the short ferry journey to Mull. The trip only takes around 45 minutes from Oban, so it wasn't long before we got our first views of the island on the horizon. We sailed past what looked like a castle on our way into the port of Craignure. Before long we had arrived on a brand new island It's difficult to find accommodation on the Isle of Mull; at least, it's difficult in August and at short notice. So I'd struggled a bit with making bookings for this holiday. I managed to find what looked like a nice cottage to stay in, but unfortunately it was only available from Saturday night, and all the Saturday ferries to the island were completely booked up. I could get a slot on a ferry for this evening, so in the end I decided to go for it and spend the first night in a rather overpriced hotel just outside Craignure. As it was the only place on the island with availability when we needed it, we ended up paying a rather extortionate £200 for one night. This is what £200 gets you on the Isle of Mull Not exactly worth what we've paid, but we intend to try and get our money's worth out of breakfast in the morning!
  2. We had another long day of travelling ahead of us today, involving two ferries and a drive of around three hours in between. We woke up in the hotel on the Isle of Arran, where it was still lovely and sunny. After making the most of the hotel breakfast, we just had time for a quick stroll to enjoy the views for a final time before setting off across the island to Brodick. We were booked on a ferry from Brodick back to Ardrossan at 11am. As the ferry pulled out of Brodick, we had some great views back towards the Isle of Arran. We arrived in Ardrossan around midday. From there, we had a drive of 120 miles towards the ferry terminal of Kennacraig on the Kintyre peninsula. Our first stop was not a very exciting one - an Asda superstore on the outskirts of Dumbarton. When I booked the cottage on the Isle of Islay, I got a message from the owner telling me that it would be advisable to stock up on food on the mainland, because there were reports of queues for groceries in the island's shops Dumbarton was more or less on our way anyway, so it made sense to stop off there and stock up on some essentials for the next few days. After we'd done the shopping the journey became a bit more scenic, with the route initially taking us along the shore of Loch Lomond. We stopped at a small village called Luss, where there is a good car park and beautiful views of the loch. We had a short stroll by the waterside. Loch Lomond was a wonderful shade of blue today. It wasn't completely peaceful though, as there were some people out on speedboats It was still a lovely place to visit though And the village of Luss itself is really pretty too. We could have stayed for longer, but we had to press on because we needed to be in Kennacraig for our second ferry by 17.30. We still had around 75 miles to cover, so we got back in the car and began driving towards the small town of Inveraray. We stayed here during our very first Scotland roadtrip in 2010. Today it was just a convenient place for us to stop and get some lunch After lunch we were back in the car to cover the final 40 miles to Kennacraig. We arrived just on time to check in for the ferry and soon we were on our way to the Isle of Islay. There were some great views of the Kintyre peninsula as the ferry pulled out. The journey to the Isle of Islay took 2 hours 20 minutes. The sea was still pretty calm, so it was a pleasant crossing. Eventually we saw the town of Port Ellen appearing on the horizon. It's quite a big town by Islay standards, although it doesn't look huge. We're staying in a cottage I booked via Airbnb, around a 45-minute drive from Port Ellen. We've got a conservatory with amazing sea views! There's also a good-sized kitchen... ...and a cozy living room It's in a fantastic location. And as we were unloading the car, I caught sight of a seal in the water just outside the house I think this is going to be a fun place to stay, even if the weather isn't quite as good as it was on Arran
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