26-May-2004 -- We are on our annual holiday (vacation) and this is my second CP of the week, two days ago I did a visit to 56N 5W this time I am going a little bit further....
It is mid-week in our vacation and the girls (my wife Lynn and daughter Rachel) are having a rest day. I have decided to bypass 57N - all the points here look they will need more time than I have to spare on this trip, additionally it seems like it would result in a lot of clothes needing washed, facilities we don't have in our holiday lodge.
I have decided to go and do the NE corner of the UK - giving me SW, SE and NE corners, leaving just 58N 5W for the set.
Golspie is the nearest town, so let's head for there. Leave our tiny village and take the A83 towards Tarbet, from there left on the A82 and along the banks of Loch Lomond - the largest body of water in the UK, it is 23 miles long and at it's widest is 5 miles wide, for more info see here.
On reaching Crianlarich, stay on the A82 heading for Ballachulish, this route tkes you through some breathtaking scenery and takes you through Glen Coe, the site of the massacre in 1692. This gives you information on the area in general.
On through Fort William - where you can take a cable car up to Ben Nevis for skiiing in the winter or just to enjoy the walks in the summer - past the distillery and onwards to the Commando Memorial. It is in this region that the original command forces were trained during the second World War.
From here the road winds it's way along the East coast, crossing several large sea bays known as a Firth - in Scandinavia they are known as Fjord. Over the Moray Firth, Cromarty Firth (average width 2 miles, average depth 1 mile) and the Dornoch Firth. You will then see a curious road sign, wonder how anybody gets there?, before approaching Golspie.
The drive up took just over 4 hours and is 200 miles.
Drive through Golspie past the hotel on the left and take the single track road on the left, under the railway bridge that is posted "Backies". If you are on the right road you will go past the Dunrobin saw mill and the parking place on the left to visit Golspie Falls. Simply follow the road and the GPS.
The road crosses 56N exactly but is 2000 feet too far East, continue on a few hundred yards and there is a parking place which is exactly 4W but 2000 feet too far North!. From this point I took the panorama picture. On with my walking boots and off towards the point. It was dry underfoot, but in the winter it gets very wet here, the ground cover is moss and peat.
This is a typical ice-age valley. It was hot, dry and a cloudless sky. Having take the photo documentation (North - Pic 1, East - Pic 2, South - Pic 3, West - Pic 4) I simply sat down and enjoyed the scenery for 30 minutes before reluctantly leaving and heading back to our holiday accomodation - another 200 mile four hour drive. It could have been worse though, the GPS montage shows that to get "home" was 415 miles.