For our summer holiday this year, we booked a wee mini break to the West Coast of Scotland. We basically booked a week off of work to just relax as we’ve had a pretty hectic year so far. We’ve just put a deposit down on a flat in Edinburgh which will be built next year so as we’ve been saving pretty much every penny possible for that dreaded mortgage deposit, we weren’t able to go for a nice fancy holiday abroad. We decided to actually take advantage of living in one of the most beautiful countries on this planet and booked a few nights at Gleddoch House Hotel, situated just a short drive away on the West Coast.
We pulled up to the grounds of the hotel and couldn’t believe our luck, its such a dreamy location in the countryside over looking the Clyde. It was perfect. We booked Gleddoch because we’d read amazing reviews online, saw it had a spa, a golf course, a gym (for Steve because I’m too lazy), a few restaurants, a few cute little bars to snuggle up in with a wee dram and it was right on the coast (aka my dream location). We actually completely forgot to bring swimming gear and had to nip to a supermarket to grab some just so that we could take advantage of the pool and hot tubs. We spent so much time in the outdoor hot tub just relaxing, and spending some quality time together. We kept going out to the hot tub right before bed, watching the sunset over the mountains in the distance was the most beautiful thing ever.
I couldn’t fault the customer service we received. When we arrived, we were in the hottest room in the place (probably), mainly because of the heatwave but there were also some generators just next to our room too. It was so hot that it was actually uncomfortable and we couldn’t open the curtains to let the breeze in because the window could be directly looked into by our hotel room neighbours… sooo I asked if we could be moved. The hotel had a wedding on, so there were no rooms of the same price/type available. A very grumpy me went upstairs, got ready for dinner and headed to the bar to get my drink on. About twenty minutes later, the customer relations manager appeared and offered us a free upgrade to the a suite with Clyde View (genuinely couldn’t have been happier/more shocked). The room was bloody beautiful, and we got to watch the sunrise and set over the Clyde from the comfort of our bed if we wanted to.
We’re currently trying to arrange a wee anniversary trip with our family we loved it that much!
As we were driving towards the hotel, we spotted this beautiful building on a rock on the other side of the coast and went investigating to see what it was. Naturally, we failed to get a photo of the castle from the front of the building, but the views of the coast from the castle were just unreal and we got distracted by them okay?!
Dumbarton Castle is a Historic Scotland site, so if you’re a member, you’ll get free entry! If you’re not a member, it’s £5 entry per adult. The castle sits on Dumbarton Rock, which is 240 feet high. You can walk all the way to the top, stopping off at various parts of the castle grounds along the way including the Governors House, the viewpoint/sundial, flag point, the Prison and the magazine.
We took a wee picnic and had lunch looking over the coast, and it was perfect (mainly because by the time we got the top I was bloody starving).
Newark Castle, Port Glasgow
Newark Castle was next on the list, and was only about a 15 minute drive from our hotel which meant that it was a nice and quick trip for us. Again, Newark Castle is a Historic Scotland site, so if you’re a member you can get free entry but it was £5 each for us to get in and have a look around.
The castle wasn’t as impressive as Dumbarton, but it had a cool and creepy history as it’s most famous owner was a violent criminal and I love a bit of true crime.
The castle is right on the coast, and is surrounded by picnic benches so you can grab some lunch while you stare at the Clyde (and pray it doesn’t get stolen by some seagulls). It’s a quick trip around the castle, so it’s great if you have little ones that may lose interest roaming around for too long.
We finished off our wee break on the West Coast by visiting Loch Lomond. I’ve only ever been once before, which seems ridiculous as it’s so close now, and it’s one of my favourite places in Scotland. You could spend a whole week roaming around Loch Lomond if you had the time, but we just stopped off for a quick visit before heading back to Edinburgh.
We had originally booked a hotel and planned to stay an extra night in Loch Lomond, but ended up changing our minds (now I kind of wish we did stay). Loch Lomond has something for everyone, pubs, parks, long walks in the beautiful grounds and even boat trips if you’re feeling brave and don’t get seasick (or loch-sick?!). We just went for a quick trip, so ended up just having a wee dander by the shore before heading to the co-op to get lunch and getting back on the road.
We like looking off into the distance apparently, and always to the left. It’s both of our good sides… hahaha.
As much as I love living on the East Coast, I can’t help but love a little trip over to the West of Scotland.