A military firing range, a new car and plot-hunti​ng in Glencoe

Buddon Ness High lighthouse
Buddon Ness High lighthouse

The weekend before last we had planned to take a RIB ride from Arbroath (using the same company who ran the trip to Bell Rock). This would take us south towards the River Tay and then just west into the river to, hopefully, get us a view of the two lighthouses within the military firing area at Barry Buddon. We’d previously looked into access to the lighthouses from the land, but with the military security and possible firing taking place we’d decided not to risk it.

Unfortunately, we were informed towards the end of the week by the owner of the RIB that the sea conditions weren’t looking good for the weekend and he added that the entrance to the river was likely to be treacherous. With this in mind we decided to postpone the trip and head down to Dundee anyway to see one of Bob’s friends.

Buddon Ness Low lighthouse
Buddon Ness Low lighthouse

We arrived and it was then that I discovered that plans had been afoot to get us even closer to the lighthouses than I thought possible. Through a very brilliant contact we were able to gain access to the military area! After some brief discussions which we were not involved in, we headed through to the first lighthouse, which is within a contained area. I think some activities may have been going on, but were put on hold for our visit! Not only were we able to see the lighthouse, but we could actually bag it too! While Bob was busy wondering why there was a radiation warning sign on the door of the lighthouse I was enjoying taking some photos.

After leaving this lighthouse we then made for the second. This one was derelict and a little sad-looking, but (as with the Point of Ayre lighthouse in north Wales) it’s often those that are a little weathered that have the most personality. I was pleased to find that these were actually the first two lighthouses bagged by our wonderful guide and I’m sure there will be plenty more to come for them!

After saying our goodbyes and thanks and heading separate ways, Bob and I drove north(ish) towards Perth for a quick stop on the motor mile. Living on the north coast can, for some, feel quite cut off and we’d decided that I’d need my own car in order to get about for work and personal use around the Highlands. We were planning on sticking to just looking at that stage, but when I saw the brilliant yellow Clio I fell in love, so we went down on the Saturday just gone to collect her!

On the Saturday evening we drove west towards Dalmally and Loch Awe. We’d booked a room at a B&B at the side of Loch Awe, but had forgotten to print out a map of the location. So, we headed for the village of Loch Awe, assuming the Loch Awe House B&B would be there. There was a long-winded series of events, including a visit to the Loch Awe Hotel to ask for directions (at the hotel the lady on the desk asked a young staff member who suggested asking the hotel manager who then phoned her neighbour, Rona,  who provided the useful information that we were on the wrong side of the loch). We eventually found the place and what a beautiful B&B it was! We had stunning views when we awoke and a really lovely big room and bathroom.

Bob with his parents and the Kemps
Bob with his parents and the Kemps

On the Sunday morning we drove north to Glencoe where we had arranged to meet Bob’s parents who were playing host to Bob’s sister-in-law, Maria’s parents. It was a complete surprise to them that we were there and it was really lovely to meet them (I look forward to meeting their daughter as well as Bob’s brother in a few weeks). We drove through Glencoe, stopping to take pictures every now and then. We then went to the forest where Lord and Lady Kerr (Andrew and Maria) have a plot of land, their wedding present from Bob. After a lovely walk through the forest we found ourselves hunched over as we pushed our way through the trees, following the GPS device Bob had brought to locate the land. It was a really enjoyable afternoon and the end to a very exciting weekend! 🙂

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