Aspire Magazine Issue 2 - Page 40

ROAD TRIP Traverse the long and winding 140-mile route to Machrihanish Dunes and discover a storied land that inspired a Sir Paul McCartney song. BY CLIVE AGRAN < INSPIRED The seaside village of Machrihanish, Scotland, is a stunningly beautiful locale nestled along the foot of a long peninsula that juts into the Irish Sea like a giant’s lower jaw. While its wild remoteness anchors its irresistible charm, visitors face a tough choice on how to arrive—by air, sea, or land? Though Machrihanish is only 65 miles as the crow flies southwest of Glasgow, the intervening Firth of Clyde complicates matters. Flying from Glasgow into nearby Campbeltown is the quickest and easiest option. Ferry service from Ardrossan in Ayrshire across to Campbeltown is another possibility. Yet the best way to go? By car. Even considering the unfamiliar British tradition of driving on the left, the 140-mile route winds through an indelible landscape. If a lead foot is behind 38 ISSUE TWO | ASPIRE the wheel, the drive can take less than three hours, but prepare to take it slow. Not due to traffic, but because slowing down, stopping, and stepping outside to take in both the crisp Scottish air and stunning views is mandatory. Begin your journey by heading west from Glasgow on the M8. After 30 minutes, cross the Erskine Bridge that spans the mighty River Clyde. Shortly thereafter, bomb along the “bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.” Twenty-four miles long, Loch Lomond is the largest inland lake in Great Britain. It’s also a popular tourist destination and part of the Trossachs National Park. Be forewarned: You may inadvertently find yourself singing, “Oh, ye’ll tak the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road,” as you wend your way along the western shore. As we head north the loch narrows. Look out the window on the right-hand side to spy the 3,164-foot Ben Lomond looming on the opposite bonnie bank. Tarbet signals the unofficial start of the equally- S C EN E + HEA R D