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NC500/Kally1000 Day 8 & 9

Updated on August 30, 2020
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Kally is an amalgamation of both my partner and myself, and we document all of our adventures no matter how big or small.

Day 8 - Lochcarron > Fort William 25/08/2020

After a week of camping, we were glad to be packing up the tent and accessories for the last time this trip before setting off to Fort William.

We took our time, taking in the phenomenal scenery and getting used to having more than one lane again! We knew we would grab a bite to eat before going on the train and getting to stay at an Air B&B we know we could take our time, not worrying about getting a spot or getting eaten alive by the midges!

When we got to Fort William we headed towards the train station, as memory served there was a Morrisons there and we thought we would grab some lunch. Instead, we spotted McDonald's! It had felt so long since we had anything like that, and to be honest having another storm on the way and our holiday coming to an end we wanted some comfort food.

When we parked up, we decided we would sit in for a change and they had QR codes on the windows so you could fill in your track and trace details online (everywhere else tended to be pen and paper, the first time in years we had learned our numbers to be honest). As an added bonus McDonald's was also taking part in the Government Eat Out to Help Out Scheme so we had lunch near enough half price too *BONUS*.

We parked down the road in the long stay car park for £4 (up to 10 hours, more than enough for us). From there we walked over to the train station where we were in the queue for around 20 minutes.

Steam Train

We embarked on the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig.

***The trip runs from Wednesday 15th July to Friday 25th September 2020 (Monday to Friday). Saturday and Sunday from Saturday 18th July to Sunday 27th September 2020. New Dates Added! Afternoon service now running daily until Sunday 27th September.***

Prices:

1st Class/Standard

Adult Day Return £65/£43

Adult Single N.A/£36

Child Day Return (16 or under) £45/£26

Child Single (16 or under) N.A/£22

Private Table For 2 Return £146/N.A

****Prices above are per passenger, except for the Private Table For 2, which is the price for two passengers.****

Fares are subject to a minimum £3.75 booking fee.

Please note that there is a £15 Admin Fee when an amendment is made to a booking.


The train ride itself was decent, we had to wear masks throughout the journey and we actually spotted some deer on the hillside!!!!

As big Harry Potter fans, we were super excited to be going over the Glenfinnan Viaduct! Needless to say, we went back the next day and took a video for a different perspective!

Mallaig

Is small, you could walk around it in 30 mins including popping into the shops.

We popped into a Harry Potter Wizarding World type shop, it was small with not a lot of stock and many of which wasn't feasible for us to carry around or we thought was a little overpriced.

In the 2 hour stopover, there were small boat tours that said they guaranteed to have you back in time for the train and you could potentially see some seals but we weren't dressed for the occasion and opted to have a walkabout then stop for dinner.

We went to The Fishmarket for dinner, we were lucky to get a seat, so if you're thinking of stopping in Mallaig for food most of the places are doing take away, book a table for sit-ins so not to disappoint!

Day 9 - Fort William > Glasgow 26/08/2020

The next morning we got up and headed to the Glenfinnan Viaduct at least an hour and a half before the train was due to arrive as we heard the car park filled up quickly. Within 10 mins of us arriving it was starting to fill up.

We decided not to walk up the 120m walk to the viewpoint, instead, we walked down the road to the next turn off and took the path to go up the side of the hill on the other side of the viaduct to watch the Jacobite Steam Train go by again.


When we got back to the car park the gift shop was open so we could pay for parking (£3 for the day, or free for National Trust for Scotland Members) as the machine wasn't working. We also bought a new stuffie and called him Bó (Gaelic for cow). As we knew we had a bit of drive ahead we bought some coffee from the cafe too which thankfully had Oat and Soya alternatives for the boy too!

Fort William > Oban

As we had driven these roads many times, we fancied going to Glasgow via Oban for some more seafood as we heard of an incredible place from friends and family.

Originally we contemplated going to Inverness to go on the Dolphin boat trip but thought we were going to be doing that anyway at some point we may as well fill up our bellies with some seafood before going home, dreading going back to work the following day.

Oban > Glasgow

After the long drive, we were definitely ready for some grub, Oban was heaving (Busy)!

We parked up and walked to the North Pier towards the Ferry and found the renowned Seafood Hut. They only accept cash so pull out some money from the bank en route! The queue was long even for AFTER lunchtime, we waited a good 15/20 mins!

We got the Grand Platter for £34.95 for 2 people. It had a whole lobster, crab claws, seafood sticks, scallops, muscles, squid and other things I can't even remember it was so filling. It was so delicious and fresh! We even ordered an extra portion of muscles cooked in garlic and white wine for £3.95. WORTH EVERY PENNY! Oysters were 95p each too! The staff were so lovely and were even giving out freebies (small tubs of cooked muscles) to people who were in the queue.

With big food baby bellies, we were ready to head home. We drove towards Crianlarich, Loch Lomand (where we originally had thought about stopping at the Drovers Inn for food as we've been several times before and love.

We also thought about booking tickets to Sea Life but after a week of driving, walking and having seafood baby bellies we were just ready to be home on our couch and catching up on the Rugby!

So if you've been reading through our itinerary and it's got you itching for a staycation in Scotland, we would highly recommend doing the NC500. Recently people have run it, cycled it and of course driven it.

You don't have to camp like us but it certainly added to the adventure, plus it was hard to get bookings for the week we had off and the prices were just getting ridiculous at some points.

Go on, it's once in a lifetime road trip. Scotland's answer to Route 66. It did not disappoint! We loved it that much, like many others, we plan to do it again! Focussing on finding spots for the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)!!

Alba gu bràth!

Whether you chose to do the NC500 like we did or have a staycation elsewhere, have fun on your adventure and stay safe!

© 2020 Kally

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    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      12 months ago from UK

      This has been a very interesting and well-illustrated series to follow. It has highlighted the benefits of a trip to explore Scotland.

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