Posted by: christinelaennec | January 7, 2015

A visit to Luss at Christmas-time

On the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s, Michael and I had the chance to take a little trip out to the countryside.  We opted for a run up to Loch Lomond, which is a quick drive from Glasgow.  Last winter, we went on an excursion to Balmaha, on the east side of the Loch.  This year we decided to visit the village of Luss, on the west side, more or less across from Balmaha.

We arrived about 3:00, as the sun was making its slow descent.  It was a cold and clear winter’s afternoon, with the half moon hanging in the sky.  We parked (the car park is enormous, but doesn’t charge during the winter months) and walked over to the shores of the loch.

View of the pier at Luss, on the shores of Loch Lomond.  3 pm, 29 December 2014.

View of the pier at Luss, on the shores of Loch Lomond. 3 pm, 29 December 2014.

In Scotland, the sun rises in the southeast and sets in the southwest in the winter, making a low arc in the sky around the Winter Solstice.  In the photo below, you can see the last golden rays on the hills behind me.  It was cold!

Freezing and glad for my hat!

Freezing and glad for my hat!

The building behind me in the photo above is the Lodge on Loch Lomond, which is to the north of the village.  We walked along to the pier, by which time the light was much more pink.  Ben Lomond had a dusting of snow:

Ben Lomond, seen from the pier at Luss.  29 December, 2014.

Ben Lomond, seen from the pier at Luss. 29 December, 2014.

Here is Luss village, seen from the pier:

Luss village, seen from the pier.  The sun had set by 3:20 pm.  29 December, 2014.

Luss village from the pier. 3:20 pm, 29 December, 2014.

I think the official sunset time was about 4 pm, but at 3:20 the sun was very low.

Luss became well-known in Britain when a long-running tv show, the High Road, was filmed there in the 1980s and 90s.  The village is very small, and very attractive.  Next to the car park, there is a visitor centre and other amenities.  The day we visited, there were loads of (other) tourists everywhere we walked.

Even though by this time we could hardly feel our fingers and toes, we walked out along the pier.  In the summer there is a boat that sails across from Balmaha.  That would be fun!  We were so cold that we didn’t go into the Gift Shop and Art Gallery – perhaps next time.  You can see the frost on the rooftops:

Art Gallery by the pier at Luss.

Art Gallery by the pier at Luss.

We went to a lovely place, the Coach House Coffee Shop.  We had a short wait, as it was full.  We could see why – the service was friendly, there were two open fires, and it was just such a relaxed place to be, with lots of families.  Michael had a hot chocolate.  Isn’t the mug pretty?

Hot chocolate at the Coach House Coffee Shop, Luss.

Hot chocolate at the Coach House Coffee Shop, Luss.

The tartan stoneware is by Anta – I do love nice pottery.  Here’s the two of us:

Michael is warming up...

Michael is warming up…

... even though he let me sit by the fire.  The Coach House Coffee Shop, Luss.  December 2014.

… even though he let me sit by the fire. The Coach House Coffee Shop, Luss. December 2014.

The (decaf) coffee was just the ticket, especially with a drive home in front of me.  Here is a view of the Coach House Coffee Shop as we left.  I thought the candle lamps were so pretty and inviting.  As you see, the roof was covered by frost, but inside was as cosy as it looks:

The Coach House Coffee Shop, Luss. 4 pm, 29th December 2014.

The Coach House Coffee Shop, Luss. Just before 4 pm, 29th December 2014.

From outside the coffee shop, you look down to the church.  The moon was still very clear and bright in the sky.  Luss church is known for being one of the first in Scotland to put its services live online.  You can watch here.

The moon is over the church.  Luss, 29 December 2014.

The moon is over the church. Luss, 29 December 2014.

The houses in the village were built in the 19th century to house quarry workers, and were restored in the 1990s.  It is now a conservation village.

Luss village.  29 December, 2014.

Luss village. 29 December, 2014.

There isn’t a lot to it, but it is very pretty to walk around.  At 4:00, we set off again for home.

Heading back, with some light in the Northwest sky.  Luss village, 29 December 2014.

Heading back, with some light still in the northwest sky. Luss village, 29 December 2014.

We had to be careful walking, as the streets were icing up already.  We said goodbye to Luss, happy and warm from our walk and hot chocolate.  I would love to go back again.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. A lovely introduction to Loch Lomond. I’ve never been there. It looks like a beautiful afternoon, even though it obviously was cold.

  2. Lovely,lovely photos of the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond and Luss, such a nice little village. I have been there a lot….makes me homesick..
    Hugs
    Erna

  3. I love Loch Lomond, it is so pretty

  4. a lovely post. I was grateful to you for posting the link to the pottery. I loved it as soon as I saw it and am glad to have some more information. brrrr … I can feel the cold in your pictures.

  5. Luss is such a picturesque little village!! How fun that you took a little trip there! I’ve had tea at the Coach House before and it was there that I had the largest scones I’ve ever eaten in my life! I sliced it into three slices!!!! Such a wonderful experience. 🙂 They also had the same plaid crockery then too. I went with a dear friend over from the states. Such a happy memory.

  6. That hot chocolate looks amazing, love Anta, what a wonderful afternoon you had. I remember stopping at Luss for a break on a family holiday, we were driving from New Lanark to Glencoe, it’s very pretty there.

  7. What a fun trip out! And I agree with Katherine about the hot chocolate.

  8. What a lovely way to spend the afternoon. It’s must have been freezing with the frost still on the roofs. I vaguely remember the cold weather where I grew up in eastern Washington. It must have been so nice to sit by the warm fire and sip your hot drinks and warm up a bit. Really lovely photos!

    • Oh yes eastern Washington is a cold place! Our family lived for a couple of years when I was very young in Ellensburg, on the eastern slopes of Mount Rainier. I remember my mother saying that she waited until the first week of June to plant out her tomatoes, but they were still killed by frost!

  9. Beautiful photograph of Ben Lomond. It’s lovely to see in the 21st century these places that, as Erna reminded us, we’ve known about from songs or some other distant cultural reference in our youth.

  10. Happy New Year. Luss looks lovely, a place for us to visit in the future, thank you. x

  11. Since childhood I’ve played and sung ‘Loch Lomond’ but with no idea what the area might be like. Thank you for the visit.

  12. Well, I want to go back too, and thanks to this lovely post, I virtually can! I am going to scroll up…and check out your link to the church, too, Christine xx

  13. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon, a truly beautiful setting. Lots of lovely memories to savour.

  14. What a wonderful looking coffee shop.

  15. So glad you’ve enjoyed sharing our visit to Luss. I hadn’t even thought of the song! Despite having written about the High Road tv series. For those who are interested, the refrain of this traditional Scottish song goes: “For you take the high road and I’ll take the low road / and I’ll be in Scotland before you / For me and my true love will never meet again / on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.” (I’ve written them in standard English rather than Scots here.)

    • The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond
      Album: The Flowers of Scotland
      Album: Rob Roy and the MacGregors

      Traditional
      This song was written by a MacGregor of Glen Endrick, who was jailed, along with a friend, in Carlisle England in 1746. The author had been comdemned to death for his support of Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 1745 uprising, while his friend was going to be set free. The song tells of the old Celtic myth that the soul of a Scot who dies outside his homeland will find it’s way back home by the spiritual road, or the low road. So he condemned man says to his friend: “You take the high road and I’ll take the low road, and I’ll be in Scotland afore ye…”

  16. Never been there. Looks lovely. Nice photos of you both relaxing.

  17. Lovely! A summer visit would be nice too, but busy, I imagine! xx

  18. Well, you have done it again! Worked your magic and transported me to a lovely place and made me feel that I was there……. well, you know, almost☺️. Thank you.

  19. We visited Luss last year in February and had much the same experience. No frost but an incredibly cold wind particularly on the pier. We too had coffee in the Coach House isn’t it lovely and we also wandered into the gift shop where the old gentleman who owns it offered us a bit of tablet to eat! It’s a lovely village and like you I would love to go back one day.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: