If you haven’t yet visited Scotland, you really need to.
Jake and I decided (or should I say Jake had no choice) to take a trip up to Scotland the other weekend. I’d found a camp site online, Glen Nevis Caravan and Camping Park which looked amazing and only cost us £50 for two nights camping so I decided a few weeks ago just to book it and organise the rest of the details later. After doing more research on the surrounding area I realised we’d actually be based at the foot of Ben Nevis (the biggest mountain in the UK) and I decided I wanted to challenge myself to climb it and obviously drag Jake in to my crazy plan. The weekend came, we packed the car full of every piece of camping and walking equipment under the sun and started our 6 hour drive up to the Highlands.
I’ve never driven a route so incredibly beautiful before (once you get past Preston and Blackpool, no offence). The M6 leading on to the M74 and onwards is completely stunning and a route that I would recommend when travelling up North. We made a few stops on the way up to Glen Nevis, the most memorable being Loch Lomond, which took around 4 hours to get to but totally worth the drive. If you’re coming along the A82, look for a place called Luss which will take you right down to the Loch and offers parking and facilities, so a good stopping point before heading further North.
We had another 2 hours to drive from Loch Lomond, and from this point on the drive just becomes more and more impressive leading you through the Highlands, through Glencoe then on the road to Glen Nevis (keep an eye out for parking points because the views are completely Insta-worthy!) We had two full days to spend in Glen Nevis so when we arrived we put the tent up, had a walk to find our surroundings and settled in for the night with a few beers, beef stew and card games. Due to the time of year the sky only went dark at about 10pm, which made camping even better!
Saturday morning, we woke up after a FREEZING night’s sleep, ate our scrambled eggs and got ourselves ready to take on the challenge of Ben Nevis; starting at the visitor centre you begin to realise straight away that the climb is steep and you walk step after step after step. To be honest, initially Jake and I set off too quick so when we reached a quarter of the way we were already knackered! We took a break, ate some cereal bars and decided to change our walking tactic and slow our heart rates down by taking our time. The first half is tough then all of a sudden you reach a plateau with stunning views of the Halfway Lake (which believe me, is a relief and an amazing sight to see!) The final half only gets trickier, as steps turn in to gravel and you have to use every inch of strength in your legs to get you up without face planting the ground; add snow in to the mix and it’s all fun and games!
Even though I sound like I’ve been complaining for the past 5 minutes I promise the feeling of achievement once you reach the summit is something you only experience every so often and we were incredibly lucky to have a crystal clear day to take a moment and admire the views below us. Our walking time to the summit was around 4 hours which differed on the way down as when you start building momentum you don’t stop! Another 3 hours down and we had done it, we had climbed Ben Nevis without one of us being sick or passing out (mission accomplished). The first thing on our minds once we’d finally reached flat ground was how quickly we could shower and get our first beer (which was the most well-deserved beer I’ve ever had!)
After a good night’s sleep, we woke up on Sunday morning with no feeling in our legs but an aim to pack the tent and head to another location. If any of you are Harry Potter geeks like me and Jake you’ll really appreciate Glenfinnan Viaduct, around 30 minutes from Glen Nevis. The viaduct is where the train rides over in the HP films and we were lucky enough to arrive just in time to catch the Jacobite stream train crossing the viaduct, it was one of them goosebumps moments (I’m a proper geek, sorry not sorry!). The surrounding area in Glenfinnan is equally as impressive and completely worth a visit.
With a 6 hour drive ahead of us back home we decided to set off before lunchtime and do a few stops along the way, with one aim for each stop; drone footage. The drone footage Jake has collected over our weekend away is mind blowing and I can’t wait to see his video. With our weekend coming to an end so does my blog. Scotland has completely exceeded my expectations and I will be back very soon to explore some more.