Scotland, Day 5: Loch Coruisk and Armadale Castle

Armadale Gardens

The day I took a boat and had a pretty bad time… But to make up for it, we visited a beautiful garden in the afternoon.

On our first day in the Isle of Skye we decided to go to Loch Coruisk. To get there, you can either hike for a pretty long time and through a dangerous area or take a boat from Elgol. Of course, the hiking option was out of the question, and so the only option left was the boat. I was afraid of being seasick but the owner of the B&B told me not to worry about it. If I had known what awaited me, I don’t think I would have willingly gone there…

Morning

There are two companies that run boat trips from Elgol to Loch Coruisk: Bella Jane Boat Trips and Misty Isle Boat Trips. We made a reservation with Bella Jane (£26.00 per adult, £14.00 children 4-14 yrs, dogs allowed), mainly because their boat has a weather canopy and there is seating in the wheelhouse. Having said that, the impression I got was that both companies offer very good service.

I don’t remember much from our drive to Elgol, only that it was further away than it seemed and that there were no big towns on the way there. I guess it took us about 40-45 minutes to get there.

The trip to Loch Coruisk wasn’t traumatic, or at least not much, because I don’t remember details from it. I do know (and have pictures!) that on our way to the Loch we stopped to see the seal colonies that live on the small islands (if they can be called that!) around the Loch. There were many seals and I took lots of pictures.

However, by the time we got to the Loch the weather was starting to get worse. We had about one hour and half before we had to take the boat back. We walked around and took a few pictures, but at one point it started to rain and we decided to head back to the boarding area earlier than we would have had to. Unfortunately, and mainly due to the bad weather, it was not an enjoyable experience.

 

But the worse (at least in my memory) was yet to come. The ride back on the boat was very bumpy. I was nervous thinking I’d eventually get seasick, while one of the ladies was actually sick all the way back. Fortunately, I was fine and I decided to pretend I was on some kind of rollercoaster. It helped me calm down a little bit and not dread as much the sort of bumps/jumps that the boat did every time it hit a wave.

I have to say though that both the captain and the guide/assistant that travelled with him were very professional and very nice. On the trip back they offered us some snacks and hot drinks. I took the snack and kept it for later, and refused to drink anything until I was with my feet back on the ground.

When we finally got back to Elgol, it was past lunchtime. We looked for somewhere to eat there (the choice was either non-existent or very limited) but in the end decided to drive back. If I remember correctly, we stopped in Broadfoard for lunch and we met a Valencian waiter who was very nice.

Afternoon

In the afternoon we stopped at the B&B to change clothes and then we drove to Armadale Castle, Gardens and Museum (£8.50 adults, £6.95 children 5-15 yrs). We spent a very enjoyable afternoon there; by then the weather had cleared and the sun had deigned to appear. The castle is in ruins but the gardens are huge and lovely so we spent most of the time exploring them. I don’t remember anything about the museum, so I’m not sure whether we visited it or not. We probably did. In any case, I clearly preferred the gardens.

After our trip to Armadale, we ate dinner somewhere close to our B&B, and off to bed.

Summary & Recommendations

The best:

  • Armadale Castle and Gardens

Not so good:

  • Loch Coruisk, but I guess this could have been great if the weather had been nicer.

Awful:

  • The boat ride back to Elgol, because of the rough sea. Not the fault of Bella Jane.

I enjoy reading, watching TV, playing board games, photography, learning and languages. I also enjoy traveling and exploring new places at my leisure. I like writing about life and sharing it through this blog. And in case you didn't know, I love dogs ;)

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