We awoke to a misty morning over ‘our’ Loch. Our dream holiday was at an end. We were meeting at 8.30am in the hotel dining room as usual, so it was now time to pack up and leave our magical ‘homes’. I took a last few photos of ‘my’ Loch, and sadly said good-bye to ‘my’ lodge, before setting off on our long journey home. All four car loads were going our separate ways. Some were going to stop at Ardkinglas Gardens, after we had told them how wonderful they were, some were going to stop at Loch Lomond, and some were going to drive through to Yorkshire and stop off there.
Driving along the north bank of Loch Fyne, we noticed how the bluebells were now in full flower. The week of sunshine had obviously done them as much good as it did us. We continued past the entrance to Ardkinglas Gardens, resisting the urge for a second look at them, and drove to Rest and Be Thankful, where I paused the car for a last look from the viewpoint. Then on to Loch Lomond. We stopped at one of the early signs for it that we came across, in a quiet area at that time of day, with plenty of room in the car park. We had a bit of a walk along the shore and back, used the facilities, and continued on to the next entrance for it – the main one at Loch Lomond Shores. The car park was heaving. We were not in the mood for the masses, being still in our ultra-chilled state, so I just drove on round the car park and out again. We would have lunch somewhere quieter, we hoped.
We had stopped at Teebay Services on the way, which are lovely services, but we hoped to find somewhere nearer for lunch. Eventually we came to some services, which were well off the highway – no idea where, but I can recommend them. Retracing my journey courtesy of Google Maps, I think it was Cairn Lodge just off the M74 on the way to Carlisle, the layout certainly looks familiar.
Refreshed and ready now for the long haul back home, we were back on route. I decided to go across the Pennines on the A66 from Penrith, to continue our pretty route home, and the plan was to join another car load of our holiday companions somewhere pretty, but I missed the turn, so our next stop was at Scotch Corner, not a pretty place. Then came our boring journey from there back home down the motorway. Our wonderful holiday was over. 🙁