A82 is the main highway between Glasgow and Fort William, Scotland, and it’s busy. Seeking a quieter road, John pulled off and we discovered the conservation village of Luss. A conservation village is one of special architectural or historic interest, and Luss certainly qualifies.
Beginning around 1850 Clan Colquhoun (motto: “if I can”) built sandstone cottages for its slate quarry workers. Many remain. A lot of the slate roofs in Glasgow came from the now closed Luss slate quarries. The current cottage owners all seem to love flowers, especially roses, so a stroll down to lovely Loch Lomond, Great Britain’s largest lake and second only to Loch Ness in fame, is like being in a botanical garden. Lus is the Gaelic word for herb, but that may or may not be how this village got its name. It’s first was Clachan Dhu, meaning dark village. If you’re in Glasgow, about 33 miles southeast, and without a car you can take a train to Balloch and board a water taxi to Luss.
After you have a walk about the village on one or more of 5 paths that take from 15 minutes to an hour and enjoy the views of Loch Lomond, stop in at Coach House Coffee Shop for a treat. Then look for Totally Tartan, Kiltmakers.
Back on the road and before we got to the top of Loch Lomond, we turned left on A83 heading for Inveraray, 60 miles from Glasgow and one of Scotland’s main tourist draws. Many busses parked near village center awaited visitors to the Duke and Duchess of Argyll’s Inveraray Castle. TripAdvisor says, “If you had the time to visit only one castle in the Highlands, this would be it.” A bit turned off by the tourist crush, we didn’t take that advice. We didn’t even stroll the free gardens. Ruth, big Downton Abbey fan, was a bit disappointed since Inveraray was the Castle used for filming when the Granthams visited their highland relatives.
Inveraray village near the top of saltwater Loch Fyne is small, basically one block of businesses catering mostly to tourists on both side of a no-parking street. It’s pleasant enough, but I was ready to move on when I learned that everything, even using a public toilet, came with a price.