Exploring the UK: Devils Pulpit, Finnich Glen, Glasgow, Scotland


We had one last morning in Scotland before having to catch our ferry over to Ireland. Needing to fill the time, I did a google and realised we wasn't too far from Finnich Glen aka Devil's Pulpit. Thanks to the underlying red sandstone, the water flowing through this gorge looks red, giving it the sinister name. 




I'd recommend arriving early morning as parking is very difficult. There isn't a carpark and you'll have to fight it out over a few spaces on the side of the road. It can get pretty chaotic! Tucked away in a forest, the gorge is a short walk from the car parking spaces. Wear sensible shoes and ones you don't mind getting muddy. Keep an eye on where you're walking as the gorge is pretty steep so it could be easy to lose your footing and fall over the edge. It's not a place I'd recommend taking children or visiting with people with mobility issues. Keep walking around the gorge until you get to a pair of stone stairs with a rope handrail attached to the side.


The steps will be very slippery thanks to the traffic up and down. Don't let go of the rope and tread extremely carefully. The stairs are narrow and only really allow for one-way traffic so always make sure to look down to see if anyone is coming. Keep in mind your feet probably will get a little damp. Despite all these warnings it's absolutely fab. It really does feel like an adventure! It was one of my favourite sights we visited during our trip. 


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Exploring the UK: Loch Katrine, Trossachs, Scottish Highlands


Back in September we decided to stop for a few days in Scotland to help break up our gigantic road trip to Ireland. We wanted some fresh air but didn't want to drive too far north. So the most logical answer was to venture just past Glasgow and arrive at Loch Katrine. Pretty close to the border but far enough in the countryside to feel like you were a million miles away from home. It was absolutely glorious and one of the most beautiful places I've visited in the UK. 



Loch Katrine is situated in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The freshwater loch has served the city of Glasgow for the past 150 years. If you're a fan of Outlander (something we're not!) then you'll recognise the scenery from season two as it's where Brianna and Roger have a picnic together. Following in the footsteps of Queen Victoria, its home to an historic steamship you can board for a trip up and down the loch. We chose to veto this option and decided to do our sightseeing by foot.

We were so incredibly lucky with the weather. It was pretty cold but such beautiful blue skies and sunshine. It made walking around the loch a dream. We parked the car in the main carpark, picked up a drink from the kiosk and took to our feet. The rangers are pretty helpful and pointed us in the right direction to find a map. There are numerous suggestion of walks in the leaflet depending on how much time you want to spend in the area. We still had other sights we wanted to squeeze in so we chose the two hour walk. We didn't end up completing it but still had a leisurely stroll for just over an hour. It was pretty empty so seemed even more magical because we had it to ourselves. I'd recommend scheduling in at least half a day to really enjoy the scenery. 



It was nearing lunchtime and we were getting hungry so we stopped for a bite to eat in the cafe over looking the loch. It was pretty pricy for a bog-standard fizzy drink, soup and sandwich but it was worth it for the view as we sat on the balcony wrapped up in a scarf and hat. Sometimes you've just got to pay up eh?


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Three of the best beaches to visit on the Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland

I've mentioned the Causeway Coast many times on this blog so you'll have to deal with yet another post waxing lyrical about it's beauty. This time I'm going to talk about the beaches. Even in the pouring rain the beaches are gorgeous, but if you manage to catch them on a sunny day then they are absolutely stunning. You could be almost anywhere in the world with the bright, blue sea and beautiful white sand. It'll be hard to comprehend that you're only across the water in Ireland. 



White Park Bay

This one is my ultimate favourite and I make sure I visit every time we head over to Ireland, even if it's just to stand at the view point and gaze out across the Atlantic Ocean. This year we managed to time it perfectly so we went beach hopping on a truly gloriously sunny day. Despite the car park being pretty full the beach was almost empty. We just had to contend with a few dog walkers and families playing. it is also so spotless and the sand is pure white. Located not too far from Ballycastle, be sure to stop for a bite to eat at Bothy for some pizza. They also do a takeaway if you fancy eating it with the sand between your toes. It is quite a trek down to the beach so this may not be one to attempt if you have mobility issues. Keep in mind there isn't any toilet facilities. 





Portrush

Out of all the Causeway seaside towns Portrush is my favourite. It has a typically seaside town feel but still seems to retain its charm. There's some great coffee shops and the town centre is nice to wander. If you love amusements then you'll enjoy the nostalgia of Barry's. The beach isn't that spectacular but it's a fun place to chill and watch the world go by. We like grabbing a treat and a sweet treat from Babushka before sitting on a beach to people watch. Take a stroll up Ramore Head for stunning views across Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. On a clear day you'll be able to see for miles. 




Whiterocks Beach

Within walking distance from Portrush is Whiterocks. Famous for it's impressive limestone rocks, this beach is a bit more rugged-looking than the rest. You'll still be greeted with the gorgeous white sand and crystal blue sea though! It's well-known amongst surfers so you may be lucky to have some entertainment for the day. The proud owner of a Blue Flag Award, Whiterocks is very popular so it'll probably be the busiest beach you'll come across. 

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