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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


England/Scotland - 17 May, 2004



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Coventry (Ashleigh House B&B) N5224.486' W00130.415' 58 meters .
Coventry . . . .
Kennacraig, Scotland . . . .
Finish Tarbert (Moorings B&B) N5551.907' W00524.463' 17 meters 680 km

Total (BMW 330CiC)

3,300 km

Total (other):

925 km


4,225 km


Weather: Partly cloudy, sunny and cool/warm (16-22C).



We have a long driving day ahead of us - we want to get all the way up into Scotland before the day is over.  But first we want to take advantage of being in Coventry and go and visit the old cathedral.  It is a short walk from our B&B into the old part of the city.  It takes us only about 10 minutes to get there.


It certainly is an interesting place to visit.  During the Second World War during the Battle of Britain, Germany launched a major aerial assault on the city.  During this bombardment, the cathedral sustained major damage.  The roof was totally destroyed and the interior was gone.  Just the outer walls and the tower were left standing.


The next morning, a priest came and surveyed the damage.  He took two pieces of badly charred wood that had fallen from the roof and formed a crude cross out of them.  After the war it was decided that the cathedral should not be restored, but rather should stand as a monument to the futility of war and the hope for peace.  A new cathedral was built right next door.  The cross so crudely formed from the burned wood still stands today.


After we had finished looking around, we make our way back to the B&B to collect our bags and check out.  Then it is time to start our long journey up to Scotland.  We spend the next eight or so hours on the road, with only a brief stop for lunch, driving north.  Our goal is the small port of Kennacraig, where we want to catch the 6 PM ferry to Islay.  Once we reach the outskirts of Glasgow, we really need to pick up the pace on the small, winding roads that seem to crisscross Scotland.  We are running late.  We do our best to get there on time, racing along the straights and around the curves.  It is a wonderful and scenic road that we are taking, but we are focused on the road.


In the end, however, we get there too late.  We arrive just before 6 PM, as the ramp is being removed and they are preparing to pull away from the dock.  We can only look on with regret and then go into the ticket office to buy our boarding passes for the return trip, leaving early tomorrow morning.  We turn around and decide to head back to the last town we had passed through - Tarbert.  It is a charming, little village nestled at the end of a fjord jutting into the coast.


We drive around and check out a few B&Bs, ending up a nice small place called the Moorings run by a friendly gentleman.  It has a charming garden overlooking the sea.  We drop our stuff off in our room and then it is time to head off for a quick wander around the village before dinner.


There is not too much to see in this small village, other than the harbor that curves around the bay with the many colorful boats at anchor.  We also take the short walk up to the relatively large stone church that sits high up on the hill overlooking the village.


It is now time for dinner - our host had recommended a hotel a short way down the road, so we decide to head there.  And it is a great recommendation - we have a delightful meal at the Columba Hotel, in their dining room with the large bay windows overlooking the sea.  We have good food, good beer and a great view.  It is then time to retire to our B&B.


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