Scotland. March 2010.

Sarah and I booked ourselves up on a coaching holiday to Scotland, staying in a hotel on the shores of Loch Lomond. We hadn't done a holiday of this kind before but were taken back by how much we enjoyed ourselves. The trips out got you to see more of the area and there was no hassle about transport.... other than the coach meeting another vehicle on a single lane road.... 'oh here we go', as Bill the driver would say on numerous occasions.

In the above image the Inversnaid Hotel, our place of stay, can be seen on the shoreline, with stunning vistas all around.

This is the view (above) from outside the hotel, and even though not a birding holiday we were graced with Goosanders, Kingfisher and the much appreciated new bird for Sarah, the Dipper. We were to see many more Dippers on the trips but none so special as outside your own hotel.

On route to the hotel on the first night we were in awe of the spectacular sunset and vibrant colours it gave off. But unfortunately it was not to be repeated and so I had to make do with more muted colours and cloud, but who's complaining...not me.

The Arklet Falls (above) were literally next to the hotel, the backdrop of cascading water is most relaxing.

There were plenty of Highland cattle around and these lovely beasts were definitely not be missed for a portrait or two.

During the stay we used the ferry to take us back and forth from the hotel to the coach, waiting across the loch. A place on the upper deck was in order on all rides, the blackness of the water when hit by the sun gives it an almost oil slick look to it, and the reflections were too mesmerizing not to capture on the camera.

Everywhere we travelled we were stunned by the beauty of the place, and with quite a lot of snow still around gave the places a more magical feel. Whilst on the coach journeys all eyes were looking out of the window, you could not take your eyes off those mountains...except for Sarah as she found it most easy to sleep for most of the trips out...

On the day we visited Glencoe the weather did not want to lift, it gave the place a cold eerie feeling, not seeing the highest peaks left you wondering just how enormous they really were. A stunning mountain range none the less. The Whispering Falls below looked icy cold with many streams and indeed whole lochs still completely frozen over, the sight of a totally frozen loch was amazing, to think of a huge expanse of water like that just solid ice was hard to believe yet still wondrous.

Above is a view of Loch Lomond as seen from the tiny village of Luss. The church below is at one end of the street tucked away and surrounded by clumps of snowdrops, the place was like something from a movie set, it almost didn't feel real, the cottages lining the street were like postcard images. But a lovely little, tucked away gem it is none the less.

On the last day trip we ventured to the Falkirk Wheel. What a marvelous piece of work that is, and with a ride booked up to go on the lift and along the canal made the day even more enjoyable. The boat captain had everyone in fits of laughter, her sense of humour was most relaxing to anyone who was afraid of heights. "Only 35metres in height" she declared to anyone nervous, "but 115 feet to all the rest of you"...

And so the holiday came to an end all too soon. The company of fellow guests, the hotel staff, food and trips were all excellent and a trip to the butchers on the way home for haggis and white pudding finished it off a treat. Would I go again.. most definitely.