Well, that’s the first half of our Scottish break over – and it passed really quickly! After a relaxing and VERY enjoyable few days with Richard and Lynn in Gartly, we’re off to our next (and final) ‘home’ for the final four-days – the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness.
In some respects, our leaving was perfect timing, as just before we went to bed last night, we learned that the revised – and much tougher – lockdown rules up here (officially from Friday, but being encouraged immediately) would now have made our stay with Richard and Lynn impossible AND illegal – and so we’re glad we did it when we did! 😮
10.05am: After a full-on-fry-up, we said our rather tearful farewells to our hosts, loaded our bags and hit the road…
12.15pm: Although it was only about a 70-mile trip, most of the journey (west, along the A96) is just single-carriageway, with only the occasional double-lane for overtaking. As a result, our journey took just over an hour-and-a-half, eventually arriving at Inverness’s Eastgate Shopping Mall just after midday.
We parked the car in the very spacious (and spotlessly clean) underground car-park and headed for a quick mooch around the shops. We also wanted to soak up a few of the local sights prior to lunch. 😁
12.30pm: The Castle looked inviting but unfortunately, it was closed for renovation. 😮
12.45pm: Although it was a colder day, the blueness of the sky and water made for a very attractive view down the River Ness (no Photoshopping required!!) 🎨
1.05pm: We carried on mooching and although there were quite a few shops closed because of you-know-what, the 19th century Victorian Market Arcade looked splendid! 👍
1.15pm: We stopped for lunch at the rather under-stated restaurant ‘Prime Steakhouse‘, just over the bridge. Ann had the Venison Casserole whilst I chose the Cajun Chicken Burger (spicier than I thought it would be!). Both were excellent and we just (just!) managed to resist the temptation of dessert (as good as they looked) to leave enough room for our meal tonight in the Hotel.
2.15pm: Truth-be-told, even though we’d not been nearly as ‘busy’ as our previous days here in Scotland, we could have easily just gone to sleep after the meal! Instead, we decided to walk alongside the Ness to walk off – at least part of – lunch! Again, the views were superb!
…and again, no Photoshopping required to ‘bring out the blue’ of the water. We walked all the way down to the next bridge and along the opposite side taking notes of any restaurants we saw that might be suitable for my Birthday celebration on Saturday (and there were plenty to choose from!) 😃
3.45pm: Fifteen minutes ahead of official check-in time, we blagged our way into the hotel early – The Kingsmills Hotel – and we were soon checked-in.
Room 300 is a generously-sized room! If Lynn’s cats were here, we could have swung BOTH of them, with room to spare! 😃
6.00pm: Just time to get depressed by the news before heading down to the hotel’s restaurant for our evening meal
6.35pm: Well that’s a first! No paper menus here. Simply point your phone camera at the QR code and up pops the latest menu on the screen. Naturally, I was in heaven, Ann, meanwhile was in confusion! 🙄. After one of the shortest coaching sessions I’ve ever done, our choices were sorted, and I chose the Grilled Chicken whilst Ann opted for the Salmon Fillet.
9.00pm: For whatever reason, we’re both shattered! We had just enough energy to think about options for tomorrow before crashing. We’re either going to take a trip in search of Nessie or exploring the Black Isle.