Joyce Hilton, a valued HF Holidays’ member, shares her views on Glen Coe with tales from the boot room.
“Have you thought about having a fresh look at Alltshellach, a wonderful house on the shores of Loch Leven in the Scottish Highlands? Not only is it surrounded by some of Britain’s highest and most magnificent mountains but there are enchanting walks by the lochs and through the glens which involve hardly any climbing.
Don’t be put off by the journey! It is easier to get to Alltshellach than you might think. Glasgow can be reached by train, plane or long distance coach from all parts of the UK. For the onward journey HF Holidays provides a coach direct from Buchanan bus station in Glasgow every Saturday at 4.15 pm to Alltshellach (this coach will also call at the airport). There are also Scottish City Link coaches from Buchanan Street that run eight times a day and they drop you off at the end of the road, a short walk from Alltshellach.
Alltshellach aka the Burn of the Willows is one of the original properties bought by HF Holidays in 1930 and was the former home of the Bishop of Argyll and the Isles. My little tip is to try and book early and request the Bishop’s bedroom (Room 23) so that you can enjoy the glorious views and sit on the little carved seats on either side of his fireplace.
There’s a famous saying from the Bishop: “The grouping of the big mountains and the sunsets over the loch are memories that will live on in the minds of all who are fortunate enough to stay here”.
Come in May and hear the cuckoo singing late into the night. Come in June where daytime stretches right until 11.30pm, walk down to the edge of the loch and a baby deer might cross your path. Nothing beats the feeling of breathing in the fresh, pure air of the mighty Highlands but just in case the weather turns a bit wet, Alltshellach also has a wonderful indoor swimming pool and a jacuzzi to relax in.
Glencoe provides the full range of Cultural, Heritage and Leisure holidays and a Guided Discovery tour to all the atmospheric glens with magnificent scenery and a small daily walk. There really is something for everybody including glorious Scottish Gardens, Art, Photography and Railway holidays. There’s also the popular option to join HF Holidays for Christmas or New Year as well.
If you want to explore on your own, you can catch a bus to Oban at the end of the road from Alltshellach. Oban with its two cathedrals and a distillery also has a nice little spot to watch the ferries coming and going to the outer islands. There are buses to Ballachulish village and Fort William. In Fort William you can also get the steam train to Mallaig, enjoying the scenery as it winds across the Glenfinnan viaduct.
As with all HF Holidays’ breaks the last day will come, but at Alltshellach it will be a truly memorable experience. You will hear the bagpiper play his melodies as you arrive for dinner. There will be a Scottish themed menu and the celebrated sound of Robbie Burns’ “Address to the Haggis”. You may even have a wee dram of whisky. The evening will conclude with a Ceilidh (Gaelic for a gathering) and all these memories will stay with you as you travel home through the glorious scenery of Glencoe and Loch Lomond.
Thank you Joyce for sharing your enthusiasm for Glen Coe. We’re glad it’s not just us who are big fans!