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.
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!
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:
Here is Luss village, seen from the pier:
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:
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?
The tartan stoneware is by Anta – I do love nice pottery. Here’s the two of us:
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:
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 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.
There isn’t a lot to it, but it is very pretty to walk around. At 4:00, we set off again for home.
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.