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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > UK Off-Topic Discussions > Touring: Loch Rannoch and The Sma Glen



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      08-19-2012, 12:56 PM   #1
st4
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Touring: Loch Rannoch and The Sma Glen

I do these threads on the MB forums

I'd thought I'd give you fellas the same

So this was the official first shake down of "The Skip". Her first of many tours around Scotland.

Intitally I wasn't planning on a tour, I like to leave early in the morning but a dental appointment (I need a wisdom tooth filled apparently) and a late lunch planned with Greig (some of you know him) meant a tour, despite the resurgence of sunshine for the weekend was off the cards....

Or was it. After late lunch of fish and chips with mushy peas I decided I just about had enough time to do a mini tour. I met Greig in Perth as he lives in Aberdeen so its a half way point. The day was too good.

I left Perth around 530pm and headed up Glenalmond to the Sma Glen.

Here is the new motor, god its a good looking thing


DSC_0376 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Perthshire is full of old shooting lodges and estates


DSC_0378 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

There is one. 14 bedrooms, acres (or hectares) galore in which to fish, deer stalk etc. Deer is something you really need to be careful of whilst driving in this part of the world.

The road up the Sma Glen has some lovely twists, dips, turns and in this car you can swing from Apex to Apex no problem. She has a very controlled front end, very tight, no slack there. Bit looser at the rear as I discovered mid bump but not terribly so, just well set up and fun.

Back to the deer. The roads can open up


DSC_0379 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

But you'd really be mad to as sheep, deer etc can just leap out.

Just as well, gives you the chance to take in views like this


DSC_0381 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

And this, which you really can see from the roadside


DSC_0382 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Here, I am nearer Tummel bridge, and you can see the scenery look more like the majestic west coast highlands, rather than the bleaker appearance of Perthshire.

God its a good looking motor


DSC_0385 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Problem thought, its very bright and I treated the windscreen with rain ex, its given a slight smear to it, and the sun pouring in, made it harder to see out of, so very slowly I went, and deer were actually out on the road.

At Tummel Bridge, there is a massive hydro electric power station. This is now operated by SSE but all this used to be independent of there and Scottish hydro electric provided most of the areas electricity. Its stunning building and further down there is more hydro electric plants making sustainable electricity.


DSC_0388 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr


DSC_0390 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Further down towards Kinloch Rannoch (quite far west, as the Rannoch station on the west Highland line is only 18 miles further west) you can see Schiehallion


DSC_0392 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

And again Schielhallion dominates the scenery as you head down Loch Rannoch....


DSC_0398 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Its a nice little road this that runs more or less along the Loch, and its very popular with wild campers, despite its relatively isolated positioning. I wish they'd cut the trees and bushes from the road side, so you can fully appreciate the outstanding beauty and uniqueness of the area.

This is the view I want from the road


DSC_0404 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

As you can see, evening was drawing in, but what a marvellous place.


DSC_0406 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

I can see the fascination with the wild campers, this is worth an 80 mile round trip from Perth. Bet you wish you were me yesterday evening, rather than down the pub. Why go down the pub when you can go see this?

Even down the Loch, you can still see Shiehallion, her peak is cheekily standing proud


DSC_0412 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Can you see something else standing proud. Look again, there is a small tower in the middle of the Loch. Rumour has it, this was built as a prison way back, but it looks too small to incarcerate anyone.

Yep, thats one good looking car


DSC_0413 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr


DSC_0421 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Loch Rannoch has two roads round it, so you can do a lap. I didn't head all the way to the Rannoch station, too late in the day, but its worth doing and sadly, despite plans being made, the road stops there. At one stage there was talk about connecting the road to take it to Kinclochleven and that would given another West/East connection. As it is, if you need to go to the west coast (say ft William) rather than have a 20mile hop from Rannoch station, you need to drive round to Tummel Bridge, down to Killin and upto ft William, well over 100 miles.

One way to look at it is I suppose it converves the Rannoch Moor and keeps the mystery and intrigue about what lies between the A82 that crosses further west on the Rannoch moor, and the west highland line.

Looking back East to Kinloch Rannoch


DSC_0422 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Look closely, another hydro station


DSC_0425 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

I suppose I should really comment on the car.

The bad stuff


DSC_0435 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

I reckon the shed would use about the same amount of fuel, its not terrible economical. That said, I had it at 44.1mpg just NSL cruising but I'd have hoped for it to be more economical.

Headlights, well, they are good on full beam, but only ok on dipped. I am used to Xenons remember, but these are not as good, but still ok


DSC_0430 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

The good stuff.

Its very well damped. Its comfortable but poised and doesn't bottom out.

Steering. Some of that W204 shake that has been complained about has been oberserved, but its really very slight. Its precise, accurate and has a level of feedback thats to be expected in this sort of car. You know it goes where you turn it, and lets you know about the surface.

Seating. Brilliant, not offset like a 211 and the cloth seats are much better and supportive for enthusiastic cornering.

Engine, its rather punchy and traffic really can be dispatched into the rear view mirror if needbe.

Transmission, it doesn't get better.

In short, its a proper quality car this and I love it.
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      08-19-2012, 03:14 PM   #2
peterg1965
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Some awesome pictures there Steve, shame it is weather like that in Scotland every day in the summer, I would be first in the queue to move up to the West coast permanently !

The C wagon looks great, it pips the E91 for looks by a mile.
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      08-20-2012, 12:16 PM   #3
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Fab photos, cannot blame you for not focusing on the car when the scenery is that pretty... We're off to Loch Lomond soon cannot wait
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      08-20-2012, 12:43 PM   #4
st4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterg1965 View Post
Some awesome pictures there Steve, shame it is weather like that in Scotland every day in the summer, I would be first in the queue to move up to the West coast permanently !

The C wagon looks great, it pips the E91 for looks by a mile.
Its almost as good to drive too mate, for my needs and way of driving anyway.

Comes alive on little A/B roads. Fantastic little thing.

Thus has been the only good weekend in four weeks, honestly, the weather is vile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gangzoom View Post
Fab photos, cannot blame you for not focusing on the car when the scenery is that pretty... We're off to Loch Lomond soon cannot wait
Loch Lomond is great, head down to Rowardennen on the east side of the Loch, nice views and quieter.
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      08-20-2012, 02:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st4 View Post
Its almost as good to drive too mate, for my needs and way of driving anyway.

Comes alive on little A/B roads. Fantastic little thing.

Thus has been the only good weekend in four weeks, honestly, the weather is vile.



Loch Lomond is great, head down to Rowardennen on the east side of the Loch, nice views and quieter.
We are spending a few days around the area, the camera is definatly going to get a lot of use Some of roads look very nice, but will be taking the Civic, going to be doing over 800 miles in 3 days so 50mpg+ comes in handy
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