Spring is definitely on its way now in Scotland. The snowdrops have been out for about 2 weeks and the crocus are getting confident enough to risk sticking their heads above ground. All this means that it's about time for us to start venturing out onto the road again. However, any enthusiasm to venture north into the Highlands was curbed by uncommonly heavy snow and some of the coldest weather that Scotland has known for many years.
Even Ayr saw snow and it stayed on the ground for about 4 days. Quite amazing as I can only remember this happening twice before in the last 40 years. In Ayr you usually don't have the time to get your scarf and gloves on before the snow has melted. No fun!
Despite the snow, we decided to take advantage of a great bit of sunny weather to head off to Argyll to visit a new B&B and to get some photography done in the great light conditions that blue sky and snow can provide.
To play it safe, we picked a mainly coastal route that meant we only had one high level section to drive when going over the "Rest And Be Thankful" from Arrochar to Inveraray. If you are wondering why this pass is given this name you should look at the picture of the "gravestone" below. It isn't actually a gravestone, but a waymarker to commemorate the military engineers who constructed the original mountain pass back in 1768. If you look carefully you can see the phrase "Rest & Be Thankful" carved across the top arch of the stone.
Along the way to our B&B visit we decided to stop and take a wander out to Kilchurn Castle. Obviously the castle is closed in mid-February, but the sunlight bouncing off the castle walls with a back drop of snow clad mountains was too good to miss. It is also a much more pleasant path to Kilchurn Castle now that Historic Scotland has laid a bed of gravel chips. Puddle jumping is no longer required!