Saturday, 30 July 2016

Camping holiday 2016 - Part One: Achindarroch Touring Park

As some of you may or may not know, I love my summer camping holidays to the West Coast of Scotland which I've been having since I was born. I'm lucky to have been brought up in a family with a strong passion for the scenery of Scotland, the history and a love of the outdoors.  It's also the reason for my name!

This year we headed to Achindarroch Touring Park with the tent on an incredibly warm July day. Achindarroch comes from the Gaelic, 'Achadh nan Darrach', which means 'Field of Oaks'. It is a small village in Duror, not far from Ballachulish and Glencoe Village. From here you can easily visit wonderful sights, such as the aforementioned Glencoe, or you could head along to Fort William to see Ben Nevis.  You could also travel to Oban from here as we did and work your way along the coast.  It's an excellent location to be based at for travelling and also has a cycle path running alongside it which is not only great for cyclists but also for dog walking and exploring the area on foot.

The touring park itself was excellent. We got a very friendly welcome to the site which has spacious open grounds for camping as well as areas for caravans and motorhomes, all with the wonderful view of the mountains and forests surrounding you. The facilities were always clean and tidy and there was also a kitchen area for washing dishes which included a washing machine, tumble dryer and microwave too. The site has a peacefulness about it and we all enjoyed sitting taking in the scenery. We got the tent up in good weather which is always a bonus and I watched the dog as she always gets a bit bored while all that is happening. To be honest she was mainly trying to find someplace sheltered to lie down since it was so hot. I managed to get sunburnt on the very first day!

The campsite welcomes dogs which of course was good news for our dog Keira.  She may not be a fan of travelling in the car, but she loves being in the tent. The cycle path and local walks were perfect for her and getting to sit at the tent door and watch the world go by seemed to be her idea of heaven.

 Along the cycle path there were lots of signs of wildlife.  We noticed marks at the side of the ditch which we thought may have been left by otters which have been seen in the area. There were lots of wild flowers and the air gently buzzed with bees and hoverflies. It was nice to get some fresh air and my knees hardly complained at all.  I think they enjoyed a bit of proper walking.

We were really lucky with the weather, but even on the rainy days it was nice to sit huddled up in the tent with a book listening to the rain hit the tent. We were also out and about during the rain too, as the weather no matter rain or shine, never fails to add an atmosphere to the landscape.

I loved spotting the different mushrooms around the campsite. I've no clue about mushrooms but I love their shapes and colours. Some were spread out in what looked like 'fairy rings', dotted about under bushes here and there.

We were only a short walk away from some fields of sheep and it was nice hearing them bleating away in the background as we relaxed in the tent. At night you could also hear owls hooting and I'm sure I heard foxes barking too. 

I found this wee moth who had drowned in a splash of water at the toilet sinks and tried to save him but alas he looked too soaked. A friend of mine who is doing the Angus Moth Project said that it may well be an Antler Moth. I popped him in the grass, hoping that he'd maybe come round at some point.  To my surprise he vanished so hopefully he felt a bit better and wandered off.

There were two beautiful ponies belonging to the campsite owners who were just a short walk away to say hello to. It was quite fun to watch them galloping around the field together and when they'd finished having a run about, they'd come to the fence to say hello. They had the best hairdos! 

Here's Keira's face again, just because she's great.

Here's a photo below of our Outwell tent in the sun. As you can see we had a perfect view of the mountains. We kept staring at them, trying to spot any caves. This area is home to the 'Cave of the Skulls' as well as many others.

Camping is pretty good for relaxing and apart from going walks and drives, I really just enjoyed having the time to sit and read, have cups of tea and draw. We had wifi at the campsite but I just used that for uploading some of the photos I'd been taking during the day. Other than that it was nice being cut off from regular responsibilities for a while and having time to just enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

 On heading back to the campsite on our last night I was overjoyed to see this stunning stag standing staring at us from the field next door. I didn't manage to get a good picture as it was getting dark and my camera zoom isn't too good but you can still see him a bit in this photo.  It was a lovely send off for the end of the holiday.

So that's a wee post about the campsite and I want to say a big thank you to Achindarroch Touring Site for our lovely stay.  It really was one of the best holidays we've had in a long time. If you want to find out more about the campsite, head over to their website which is  I highly recommend staying here if you're looking for a campsite to stay at in Scotland. It's in an excellent location and is a welcoming and peaceful spot to stay. 

As you can see from the title of this post this is part one of my holiday posts and I'll continue popping them up during the coming week. Do stay tuned to find out more about the rest of my holiday. 

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