Scotland – Day 1 – Leicester to Loch Lomond

7th July 2021 – Day 1

The start to our trip was not as expected. Day 1 was supposed to be a leisurely jaunt up to the Lake District, which lead on to Day 2 and a stopover at Gretna Green before the push to Scotland proper. The NHS saw to it that this leg of the trip was scuppered and Ashley had to go in for a vital oncology appointment on what would have been Day 3. The NHS did not move very quickly and it took them around 2 hours to have a chat and do a blood test. We eventually managed to set sail for Scotland properly sometime after 12 noon.

Sandbach Services

To say it was a long drive was an understatement. The run up the M1 and across to the M6 was okay. The M6 was its usual jolly self, and was rammed with traffic almost right up to the border. We made 2 pit stops on the way, one at Sandbach services on the M6 and the other was at a service station just before Carlisle. Erin was now happy. Seeing the massive ‘Welcome To Scotland’ sign as we crossed the border meant the holiday was on! Once we had cleared Glasgow the traffic dissipated to a trickle, and the rest of the journey was more pleasurable. The scenery also began to change, and everything seemed greener.

We arrived at our first hotel at 8.15 pm – The Inn Keepers Lodge at Loch Lomond. Poorly signed, and not helped by the Sat Nav actually taking us away from the hotel, it was a pub with rooms, right along side a canal that feeds into the Loch. All of us were tired and weary, so we grabbed a quick snack in the bar and had a stroll down to the Bonny Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond (as I hummed ‘Margaret’ by Marillion silently in my brain). Sleep came quickly to all of us, as we geared up for the deep dive into the heart of Scotland.

Welcome To Scotland

355.6 miles, and over 7 hours of driving – this was the longest leg of the trip, and in terms of driving was possibly the dullest! The mountainous drive that lay ahead was what I was looking forward to!