My July has bucked the trend. I’ve had no big travel adventures at a time when so many people head off on holidays.
I’m not complaining. I’ve had two wonderful short trips recently – Rīga in May and Mull/Iona in June. I’ve also had a week this month in the “2nd home” in Bavaria.
August will be holiday month. So July is really for planning.
The 10 day break in August will be a stay at home one, as in staying in the UK. The question is “where”?
Northumberland, Durham and the Scottish Borders is a strong candidate. Lindisfarne, the castles at Alnwick, Bamburgh and Warkworth, Durham itself, Hadrian’s Wall.
Floors Castle on the Scottish side. Plenty there for a 2 night/3 day escape.
Gigha is another strong contender.
It’s a 20 minute ferry trip from Taylinloan on the west coast of the Mull of Kintyre. It’s a 3.5 hour drive to get there. Only 175 miles (280 km), mind you. Yes, exactly.
The other option to get there means taking 2 ferries before even the Gigha one. Gourock to Dunoon and then Portavadie to Tarbert.
Then it’s only 130 miles (208 km) to drive in 3 hours. £24.95 altogether for the two fares and 45 minutes sailing time. You have to add on waiting time, of course, plus loading and unloading time. Neither ferry can be pre-booked, so you can’t be sure of getting on the one you hope to catch.
A no brainer if travel time and cost are the only factors.
But then holidays are about taking your time, and enjoying the experience. I caught the island/ferry hopping bug a while back, so… I’ll keep you posted.
As a wee postscript, the Calmac timetable for the Portavadie/Tarbert ferry informs us that from 12 September onwards the 18:15 sailing “…operates only if requested no later than 16:00 on the day of travel…”. You just phone Calmac to request it.
ⓒ iain taylor 2016