Virginia, who has written on this website about her quest to climb 60 UK summits in her 60th year, finished her challenge with a joint 60th birthday celebration at Inveraray Hostel.
Inveraray Hostel was perfect for the occasion. It’s 10 private rooms sleeping 21 were just what was needed for the mix of friends and family making up the guest list. The large, open plan kitchen, dining and snug area was plenty big enough for the evening party and the price was much cheaper than any hotel. There was enough off-road parking for everyone and the location was inspirational, surrounded as it is by stunning Scottish mountains and lochs with a local castle thrown in. Far flung guests flew into Glasgow (1h 15m drive away). The drive from Glasgow along the length of Loch Lomand through the Loch Lomand and Trossachs National Park across the top of Loch Long is itself spectacular.
The celebrations began on the Saturday with a visit to Fyne Ales farm brewery for those that arrived early. A party organised by Virginia inevitably involves climbing a summit or two. So the afternoon’s activity involved walking through the grounds of Inveraray Castle, the iconic ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell and up the hill behind it to the Dun Na Cuaiche watchtower. The views from the tower over Loch Fyne were very impressive and well worth the short but steepish climb. Incidentally, Inverary Castle is open to visitors April to Oct and boasts an impressive collection of 1,300 pikes, muskets, swords and other weapons, for anybody that doesn’t fancy the walk.
Tea, birthday cake and a lovely warm hostel were waiting on our return and guests had time to relax, shower and chat before the caterers arrived to sort our evening meal. The lovely chefs coped fine in the kitchen and we sat down to delicious food, lovely speeches and a wonderful evening. After breakfast the next morning we packed up and the celebrations continued with most guests stopping off at Arrochar on the A83 and the route back to Glasgow and the south to climb Ben Arthur. This iconic mountain is perhaps better known as The Cobbler down to its unusual and most distinctive shape.
So a great time was had by all, Virginia & Patrick celebrated their big birthdays in style. Happy Birthday to you both.