What d’you know? This year, we’ve actually had a holiday!

We didn’t go that far away, just an hour or so by car to a Forest Holidays site at Ardgartan. It’s set in a forest (of course!) by Loch Long and it is a beautiful place.

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The Forest Retreat

We went with our good friend, Ally, who’s been on a few holidays with us in the past, and we stayed in one of the cabins there. It was VERY nice…

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Our cabin for 5 days, with enclosed deck…

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…and its own hot tub

The views from the site were lovely. Right by the loch, of course, and set in the Arrochar Alps, a quirky set of knarly hills. One of them is called The Cobbler, because it looks like a cobbler at his last.

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Evening walk with The Cobbler in view

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… and right beside the loch

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It’s fur friendly and I was even allowed in the cafe when it was their Quiz Night. It wasn’t just a place for people and dogs to stay, though. They had a hotel for bugs too!

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Even the bugs have a place to stay πŸ™‚

There was a forest-and-river walk right from the site, and that’s my very very favourite kind of walk, so that’s where me and @HeatherAlex went every day for our morning walk.

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at the river

Time for a refreshing slurp…

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It wasn’t just river and trees and bluebells though. We found some unexpected things there too…

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Someone’s built a shelter (so of course I went in it)

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…but this one was too tiny for me!

There were several ways to go in the woods, some paths went by the river, some were proper roads (with cars sometimes) and one went by the loch. I really liked the walk by the loch, but I did NOT like the bridge we had to cross at the end. It had gaps in it and was high up above the river and I could see through it under my paws! I lay down and even had to be carried a couple of times.

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The very scary bridge…

But I’m happy to say that I crossed it all by myself at a proper walking speed by the end of the week πŸ™‚

The weather was pretty good (dare I say, a bit TOO hot for a black dog like me at times), and we went off on walks every day.

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One day, we were going up The Cobbler path, but the plan was to cut across at a dam, with me paddling in the water if I wanted to, and then come back along the Cowal Way through the trees. But that was a VERY hot day. The path was hot. My paws were hot. I was hot. So I sat on my bottom (that was hot too) and refused to move.

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Sorry, I’m not walking today…

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…so we headed home to the cabin

Did I mention that the cabin had a hot tub? The people LOVED that (especially Ally, who was very sensible and did not come on that hot hot walk).

I wasn’t allowed in it. Which I didn’t mind (it would have been too hot!). What I minded was that the people had nibbles and fizz while lying in the tub, and I only got thrown an odd crumb or two.

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Dozing while waiting…

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…it was very boring once the nibbles were finished

The next day we went on a longer drive to visit two different forest walks. It was still quite warm but we were in the woods most of the time so it was not nearly as bad and I enjoyed that day a lot.

On the way, we went over a road pass called the “Rest and Be Thankful”.

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@HeatherAlex and her family visited here a long LONG time ago.

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A visit in the 1960s…

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…and in 2018

Our first walk was at Glenbranter. We were hoping to see the falls, but the path was closed as the bridge had been damaged, so we had to shorten this walk a bit.

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A walk in the trees…

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….and by the river

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…with an owl sitting patiently for us

On the way to our next walk, she couldn’t resist a photo of Loch Eck – well, it IS quite beautiful, so I don’t blame her.

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Our last walk of the holiday was at Puck’s Glen. We’d heard that this was a special place from a friend of @HeatherAlex, and he wasn’t wrong – it is very special. And cool – in every sense of the word!

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Another of those bridges…!

ItΒ  had waterfalls around every corner, as far as I could see.

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Lots of places for me to explore…

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This rock had trees growing all over it…

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It was a lovely walk to end our holiday. I think we will probably visit again!

 

 

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