Scotland’s West Highlands are one of the most magical places on the planet.
In summer they are umpteen shades of green, pink and purple (heather in flower is so beautiful). As the days grow shorter and the cold sets in, the Highlands become a picture of contrast; brown, orange, grey, green, black (and white!).
One of the benefits to departing from (or arriving on) Islay by the sea/land route, is the drive along the A83 to/from Glasgow.
The A83 goes right through the West Highlands. It winds about the various lochs, including through the ‘town’ of Auchindrain (pronounced “Achan-DRYan”).
Auchindrain is so tiny that calling it a town seems wrong, however, it is the most complete surviving example of a rural Highlands township.
Auchindrain has a “modern” (1970s) visitor centre, and the site itself covers 22 acres. The museum town comprises more than 20 well-preserved buildings and structures typical of Scottish farming towns from the last few hundred years.
First records of Auchindrain are from 1553, and the last resident departed in 1967 (1) . The town has long been considered an antiquity – Queen Victoria visited in 1875 to witness the primitive village. (2).
Unfortunately they’re only open from April to October, but we did have a bit of a wander about the car park, taking in the spectacular view, while fresh snow crunched under our feet.
The beautiful West Highlands under a light blanket of snow
I definitely need to explore more of this area when I get back to Scotland next year. I haven’t seen anywhere near enough of it and I desperately want to hike the West Highland Way. I’m hoping for a window between snow/sleet and return of the midges around the end of May/start of June. However, the only thing reliable about the Scottish weather, is that it’s bloody unreliable!