Loch, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Hettie Harvey Revisits Her Childhood Haunt of Argyll, and Finds That Highland Life Is Even More Fun as a Grownup

The Evening Standard (London, England), May 20, 2005 | Go to article overview

Loch, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Hettie Harvey Revisits Her Childhood Haunt of Argyll, and Finds That Highland Life Is Even More Fun as a Grownup


Byline: HETTIE HARVEY

There's a part of my childhood that I'd happily revisit permanently if I could. Every summer for years, my parents wedged my brothers and me, along with every fishing rod, wellington boot, waterproof and bottle of midge repellent that fitted, into the car and we made the pilgrimage to Argyll.

With the anticipation of landing prize-winning salmon (or, in my case, a tiddler of a brown trout), barbecues on distant lochside beaches and swimming in freezing cold river pools, it was simultaneously the best and worst journey imaginable. To this day, I can't think of a journey that holds a greater sense of anticipation and excitement for me, and the frustration at the interminable miles crawling past never lessens.

Luckily, there's an alternative for the impatient traveller. The Caledonian Sleeper is no quicker than driving but at least you can sleep properly and don't have the endless hanging around of flying. And despite a lifetime of experiencing the grim reality of our rail system, I continue to live in hope that one day I will climb on board something romantic and old-fashioned, and I really thought that the Sleeper might be it. But it wasn't. We did have running water and clean cotton sheets, but the fundamental British Rail-ness of it all was inescapable; breakfast from a plastic bag is more Midnight Express than Orient Express.

Inverlochy Castle, on the other hand, lacks nothing in terms of luxury and comfort. Built by the Abinger family in 1863 and converted into a hotel in 1969, the castle has welcomed many a crowned head over the years, including Queen Victoria, who wrote in her diary, 'I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot.' The position of the castle is indeed lovely. Set in 500 acres of landscaped gardens at the foot of Ben Nevis, with views of the surrounding hills, a more picture-postcard Scottish hideaway is hard to imagine. We were lucky enough to arrive on a rare day of uninterrupted sunshine and so were able to take it all in without the low-sitting cloud that usually half-obscures the hills.

With the weather on our side, there was no time to waste lounging around the hotel, tempting as that prospect was. Within an hour of arriving, we were climbing into a worryingly well-equipped Land Rover (snow chains, saws, ropes, winches) for an off-road 4x4 driving experience, the Mud Factor. Keen to educate us in the skill of Land Rover driving, our guide Dave found us an especially muddy spot where he handed control over to me and my intrepid travelling companion Emma (who doesn't have a licence, incidentally) and had us driving up and down near-vertical inclines in no time.

Amazingly, we didn't end up upside down - in fact, Dave seemed to think that we were rather good. Maybe he was just being polite.

While we were keen to enjoy the great outdoors, we were equally eager for the great indoors. My personal favourites were the blazing fire in the Great Hall where we dried out with tea and biscuits; and our enormous bathtub where we took it in turns to wallow like hippos, just eyes and nostrils breaking the surface - what better way to relax after a hard day playing in the mud?

Then there was the very serious business of dinner. Guests are encouraged to 'enjoy the occasion of dressing for dinner', an extremely grownup, delicious affair. With five courses on offer, we began to regret all those teatime biscuits and wished we'd left more room for the petits fours. Thankfully, although clearly used to dealing with guests who actually know one end of a wine list from the other and who don't regard anything over [pounds sterling]10 as a bit pricey (there was nothing under [pounds sterling]35 on the list), the sommelier was unfazed by our ignorance. After a dinner like that, climbing the stairs to bed is no mean feat, I can tell you.

The next morning was devoted to fishing. I hadn't cast a fly in years and Emma had never

picked up a rod in her life, so we opted for a casting lesson on the hotel's loch. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Loch, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Hettie Harvey Revisits Her Childhood Haunt of Argyll, and Finds That Highland Life Is Even More Fun as a Grownup
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.