As predicted, the early morning was sunny at Milarrochy Bay and we were able to take some photos of a bluish Loch Lomond with the hills clearly seen in the distance.
It’s cold though and campers are walking about in cagoules and wellington boots. However, there are signs that boats are being sailed today.
I did some painting with my watercolour pencils – it’s going to be something I’ll have to get used to, particularly on the small pads of paper I have brought with me. Practice will hopefully make better at least if definitely not perfect.
We left the campsite just before the chucking out time of midday and headed off to Helensburgh on the banks of the Clyde. Not a particularly charming town, but in the drizzling rain nowhere looks its best. We were heading for The Hill House, owned by Walter Blackie, the Glasgow publisher, and designed by Charles Mackintosh, including the furniture and furnishings, with the assistance of his artist wife, Margaret.
It’s in the posher part of Helensburgh away from the town centre and is looked after by the National Trust for Scotland. As we are National Trust members in England we also get free entry to the Scottish properties. Just as well as the tickets were £10 each!
It was bitterly cold as we, along with a gaggle of elderly ladies on a coach tour, waited briefly outside the door to the house to be allowed in. The rooms were guarded by the usual elderly ladies in smart suits but they were very pleasant. I had assumed that I could take photographs as it is now allowed in English NT properties, but no, I was politely told by the room warden that I could not, after she saw me snapping away. I asked why and she waffled on about people up to no good photographing burgular alarms. Very strange. I wanted to tell her that you were positively encouraged to take photographs in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and they had Monets and Van Goghs! But I didn’t of course – not much point.
Anyway, the rooms were beautifully decorated in the very recognisable Mackintosh style, although I am sure that some items had been re-created. There were quite a few rooms that had not retained their original furnishings but they had display boards explaining the history of the house.
The lamps in the hallway were fantastic.
Even the street lamps had been designed by Mackintosh, together with the gates of course.
It was now time to make tracks for Glencoe, the A82 following the left bank of Loch Lomond for many miles as we headed north. For an A road it wasn’t very wide and at one point there was a set of traffic lights because of a sharp bend in a particularly narrow part.
It was a very picturesque road, or would have been if the rain had only have stopped for one minute.
Leaving Loch Lomond behind, we eventually saw Rannoch Moor on our right and looming mountains on our left, the tops still covered in snow. This was serious scenery, even in the driving rain.
Glencoe campsite was easy to find and we were very impressed from the start. The camping area is arranged in a horseshoe shape and wherever you park you have a virtually uninterrupted view of the magnificent mountains. The lady in charge was very pleasant and let us choose our own spot. I think we’re going to like it here and there is a chance that tomorrow might even be partly dry!
I’m sure Hill House has been on Restoration Home (Caroline Quentin) becuase the house that was being renovated was an earlier home of Blackie’s or was designed by his architect, can’t quite remember.
The scenery is absolutey stunning!! Don’t forget to show examples of your watercolour pencil work.
I love the interior of Hill House. Luckily you were able to capture some photos before they told you to stop. I saw the weather forecast for Scotland a couple of days ago and thought of you as the temperature was quite low and the area was covered in blue! Hopefully it will brighten up.
Those lamps look very impressive, as does the photography which also looks professional!
Yes, it’s a very interesting place and we love the designs. 🙂