A winter break on the west coast over Christmas and New Year was just what the doctor ordered. Having spent most of October, November and December suffering struggling with sickness and tiredness (I’m nearly 6 months pregnant with my second child), I was grateful for the chance to recharge my batteries in Argyll. Being wrapped in a winter palette of soft blues, pinks and greys and bathed in coastal, mountain and loch scenery did wonders for my spirit.
Some of my highlights from the trip were: the Oban Chocolate Company Cafe (I’d highly recommend it if you’re in the area, the hot chocolate was divine); the area around Loch Linnhe, particularly picturesque Port Appin and the wonderful Pierhouse Restaurant; the walk up Beinn Lora, with stunning views across to Mull (I kicked myself for leaving my camera card at home that day); and exploring the shores of Loch Etive from Taynuilt.
For two days frost refused to relinquish its icy grip on the land, turning the landscape into a sparkling Narnia state. It was absolutely beautiful, a glittering frozen world.
For truly outstanding landscapes, head to Glencoe. I was mesmerised during a drive from Oban to Glencoe and along the A82. Driving through this breathtaking mountain landscape in the late afternoon was just gorgeous, with the sun beginning to dip behind the mountains and throwing patterns of light across the peaks. Picture-perfect winter scenery that just radiated with beauty.
Of course, it wasn’t blue skies and snowy landscapes the whole time. We had a week of rain and high winds, and during the ‘weather bomb’ thunder and lightning and a snowstorm arrived hand in hand. While thunder bellowed and winds whistled around the house, I curled up in front of the fire. Thankfully the weather changed just in time for us to enjoy a spectacular journey home to the east coast.
Yes, winter means numb fingers, scraping ice off the car windscreen and bitterly cold winds, but a trip like this reminds me just how achingly beautiful Scotland is in the winter.