autumn colours

We have had some perfect winter days this year. Clear, blue skies; crisp, clean air; nothing but the slightest whiff of a breeze. One such Sunday, we put Cooper’s top down and took her for a spin along our favourite coast road.

1.Old Coast Road

Preservation Bay looked particularly stunning.

2.Preservation Bay

We joined the highway at Ulverstone and continued east. There is a park, just before the first exit at Devonport, that we have been meaning to investigate for years. The trees are beautiful any time of year but especially when showing their autumn colours.

3.Forth Road

This was the day for a closer look.

4.autumn colours5.autumn trees

Fallen leaves, still damp from the morning dew, confirmed nature’s artistic talent.

11.autumn leaves

Straggly Eucalypts portrayed an elegant appeal in the morning sunlight,

12.swamp gums

some fascinating fungi camouflaged in the shadows.

13.fungus

Our day out didn’t end there, but that’s another story.

Inverness

We were hoping to find accommodation on the banks of Loch Ness but it seemed there was none to be had. We were very happy with the compromise of a lovely hotel overlooking the River Ness, only a short walk into town.

1.River Ness2.River Ness

A succession of castles has stood guard over the river since 1057. Built in 1836, the magnificent red sandstone of Inverness Castle shone in the afternoon sunshine. It is now the Court house and not open to the public.

3.Inverness Castle

We had planned on a Loch Ness cruise for the next day but the weather was threatening inclemency so we decided to explore the Black Isle instead. Not far from Inverness, it is not actually an island, but a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water. As well as gorgeous villages and towns, the highland scenery was spectacular.

4.Black Isle

We had many issues with our satnav throughout our trip, we named her Holly (if you have ever seen Red Dwarf, you will understand why). She was adamant that this was a major road!

5.Black Isle

We had our sights set on snow-capped Ben Wyvis.

6.Black Isle7.Ben Wyvis

Unfortunately, Holly was not in the mood to co-operate and after negotiating a multitude of narrow mountain roads, we returned to Inverness.

We awoke the following morning to a beautiful winter wonderland, an early snowfall.

11.Inverness

After breakfast, we wandered through the Ness Islands.

12.Ness Islands

The two wooded islands are connected by footbridges

13.Ness Islands

and have been used as a public park since the 1840s.

14.Ness Islands

The walk in the crisp, fresh air amidst the stunning autumn foliage was a perfect start to the day.

15.Ness Islands16.Ness Islands17.Ness Islands18.Ness Islands

Reluctantly leaving Inverness, we continued our southward journey.

19.River Ness