naver-site-verification: naverbcf155d265007eefccb365c4d7685e63.html
top of page

Ardtoe Getaway ...

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

Thursday 2nd June was the day of the queen of England’s platinum jubilee. Street parties were planned and the bunting hung … I got in the van and drove just about as far from all that as I possibly could. I was due to be on a golf outing with friends but a bad back put paid to any hope of swinging a club … although our outings have minimal focus on one’s game and more performance on libation. Initially we thought we would pass though Arran for a night before heading to the far West and hop onto Gigha for some off-grid adventuring. However, the ferries from Ardrossan were fully booked on all sailings so it looked like Arran was going to be overrun.


Plan-B needed to be hatched and an evening of searching online threw up a couple of possibilities … the one eventually plumped for being simply to drive West and keep going until we ran out of road … in the direction of Ardtoe.


Our initial plan was to overnight in Corran near the ferry but when we arrived there we decided to push on and how glad we were that we did.


We eschewed the ferry crossing from McInroy’s point to Hunter’s Quay and headed up the M8 to cross the Clyde via the Erskine Bridge then head through Dumbarton and up the much-travelled shoreside road along the banks of Loch Lomond heading to Tyndrum for a eye-wateringly expensive essential-supply top up in The Green Welly. Onwards … lighter of funds. The Buchaille Etive Mor stood guard at our entrance to Glencoe and we popped down Glen Etive to pay homage to the big stony beauty. Polly and Moomin managed to find, of course, the biggest, oiliest, peatiest mud puddle in the glen then decided to have a wrassle in it warranting, on Polly’s part at least, a dooking in the pools of the waterfalls. We spent some lovely time here rock-hopping and looking for some good angles on the pools and the big lump of rock looming over them. A thoroughly enjoyable cavort. Onwards … lighter of countenance. The drive through the glen of glens … Glencoe. We encountered, as expected, a throng of cars, motorbikes, campers and motor-homes on the road and the car-parks bulging with enthralled folks soaking in the beauty of the surroundings. Once we departed the glen though the traffic dispersed a little and to Corran we headed, our initially planned overnight destination. The sat-nav tricked us and by a chance left turn we ended in the queuing lanes for the ferry, in for a penny. The ferry crossing is delightful ten minute sail from Corran to Ardgour on a strangely shaped craft designed to facilitate embarkation and disembarkation via an angled ramp which, when in motion, gives the impression that you are sailing sideways, crablike … most peculiar but great fun. Once we rolled off the ferry and headed West the convoy was further diluted until the point where we were the only vehicle on the road … a good sign but also a potentially iffy one … why was no-one else heading to where we were bound?


Now, Scotland is beautiful, on that we are agreed, but the drive to Ardtoe elicited many an ‘ooh’ and plenty of ‘aahs’ … we saw so many places in the middle distance that we hoped would be our destination but it wasn’t until we quite literally ran out of road that we came upon Ardtoe, it’s sheltered cove, crystal waters and white sandy beach. Across the track from the beach there is a car-park where for the princely sum of a fiver in the honesty box you can park up overnight and enjoy … everything. Now, if you are coming to Ardtoe for facilities, don’t, there are none … well, there’s a bin, a nicely hidden bin … very useful as bins go … but that’s it. What it lacks in facilities it more than makes up for in peace, quiet, lapping waves, gentle walks, skies and sunsets. The rascals bolted for the beach as soon as they were unleashed for a frolic and I cracked a cold beer after five hours of driving. As the afternoon turned to evening some more vans arrived and people set about doing their ‘thing’ … a couple of retired couples enjoying the fruits of their working lives in their VW Californias, a converted hi-top, a motor-home and us … and plenty of dogs, plenty … our favourites being Norman a rescued hairy Jack Russell who had spent the previous three years caged in a puppy farm and was utterly inexperienced in life … like a canine Kasper Hauser … the wee guy was in a great place now though and his human was lavishing him with the love and cuddles the poor wee guy didn’t know existed until now … and a lovely big bone. Then Lucy with the boundless energy of the puppy which even cowed the rascals a little … a little. As is tradition we then had toasties and the dogs their dinners … then, after a spot of relaxation, back to the beach. I brought my kit to a nice little raised hill which gave me a neat angle on the sunset and set up for time-lapse with one camera while messing around with lenses and compositions on the other. Always practicing. We were blessed with a huge rainbow … then shortly afterwards anointed with the rain that birthed it. I decided to persevere as the light was wonderful and covered the cameras with ad-hoc rainmates. Leaving the time-lapse running I popped over the rocky outcrop to see what was happening over-by and was rewarded with not the best composed shots of the Cuillins and the Old Man Of Stor but by this point I was just enjoying the light. Some time later I arrived back at the van, damp but merry, when the midges just got too enthusiastic … leaving the time-lapse running to be recovered at 2.30 am. We woke early to stunning weather (which continued through the day) and made a trip into nearby Strontian for supplies of bangers, bacon and morning rolls which we fried for a late breakfast then took the rascals swimming. We even snagged one of the beach view pitches, both of which had been occupied the previous evening so our barbecue in the evening was going to have a great outlook. The remainder of the day involved rock-scrambling, barbecuing, paddling, rascalling, snapping, napping and walking … pretty much as much of everything you’d want to be doing in a place like Ardmore … then off to kip, happy campers after a nice walk up the top of the outcrop with Mark II to watch the sun set behind Rum, Eigg and Muck. Tomorrow was time to head back into ‘civilisation’ and say good-bye to our new found friends Norman, Lucy, Roger, Mark I and Mark II … with a special mention to Mark II who got us running again after a self-inflicted flat battery scare. Ardmore rates 10* out of 10* rating and a 110% on the ‘will be back’ scale. Notes. Mental note: make sure all supplies are bought beforehand, the prices in The Green Welly would make Croesus weep. The radioactive element Strontium is named after the village of Strontian. There is zero mobile or data signal available in Ardtoe … perfect.

Time-lapse sunset ...

Sunset behind Rum, Eigg and Muck ...

Ardtoe inlet ...

Another angle on the inlet ...

Just some flowers which caught my eye ...

Pinhole lens shot across the bay ...

Roaming in the gloaming ...

The sunset before the soaking ...

A big bright rain-cloud ...

A tilt-shift experiment ...

And, another ...

Blue skies over Ardmore bay ...

Our home for a few days ...

The pools of Glen Etive ...

The much loved view of Buachaille Etive Mòr and the River Coupall as seen from Glen Etive ...

Rascal ...

I just liked this shot of the road ...

Phone home ...

Three waterfalls on River Coupall as seen from Glen Etive ...

Ardtoe sunset ...

More gloaming roaming ...

A boggin' hull ...

Sunset still ...

River Coupall waterfall as seen from Glen Etive ...

Rain heading West ...

203 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

Refugees At Home.

I applied for the Homes For Ukraine scheme and you can do too ... Here are some relevant links ...the first is to register for the government scheme ... The second is to be connected with a refugee

1 Comment


Damian Glancy
Damian Glancy
Jun 05, 2022

Some stunning shots Adrian, grand job! 🥃🥃

Like
bottom of page