|Inverlochy Castle. With Rolls Royce.|
Day Four: There is no direct train line between Inverness and Fort William, your next destination. So waiting for you at Culloden House is your driver, Mary, and her trusty black car. The drive through Inverness and down the banks of Loch Ness takes about two hours. Mary stops at Urquhart castle, a ruined pile on the shore of the Loch, so that you can take some pictures (in the light rain). Loch Ness is one of the deepest in the world, and very long. It is a windy day, and the surface of the Loch is pitted with white caps. Naturally, you spend a lot of time peering closely at the water, just in case Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, should choose just that moment to appear. She doesn’t.
|Urquhart Castle & Loch Ness: no sign of the monster.|
|The sitting room.|
|The Queen's Bathroom.|
|The Queen's Bedroom|
In the morning, you may follow a large breakfast with a tramp about the Castle grounds, if you judge the timing right between rain showers. The clouds part now and then, and random shaft of sun shows up the town in the folds of the meadows, and the mountains with a fresh dusting of snow.
|The distant hills.|
|Ben Nevis Distillery|
|Ben Nevis looms over the Distillery|
|Distilling single malt whisky.|
John (who, bizarrely, is a theatre fanatic who has seen ‘Phantom of the Opera’ 126 times and knows Sir Cameron Mackintosh: “he lives just down the road”) hands you on to a taxi driver with instructions to take you to a fish restaurant on the loch in Fort William, where you enjoy a delicious haddock lunch. A short stroll in the rain reveals all there is to see of Fort William, after which you return to Inverlochy Castle to spend a few more hours in front of the sitting room fire.
Then it is time to transfer yourself and your luggage to the train station.
...to be continued.