Tour – 2017 Spring Run

21st to 24th April

This year Bob Baillie decided to take our Spring Run down into Argyllshire, where we would be based at the new hotel at Portavadie. As you can see above this was a beautiful base for our headquarters for the weekend. The hotel was completely new and very well appointed. The entry consisted of 49 people in quite a variety of cars.

Due to comfort problems, at the last minute, Stuart Parker had swapped his MGB for his everyday Honda Sport. Below are just some of the people that Sandy Morrison managed to capture the weekend. He did provide a huge amount of images – only a fraction are included in this report along with a few others, courtesy of Margaret Smillie.

Friday 21st, Start – 

We started from Antartex Village by Balloch on late Friday morning.  Unusually, we were given a choice of two routes, one being about 20 miles longer.  The shorter of the two took us via Arrochar, Strachur, Tighnabruich and over the hill to Portavadie on the east side of Loch Fyne.

The longer route went via Arrochar then around the top of Loch Long to Inverary, and thence down the west side of Loch Fyne to Tarbert. From Tarbert, we had to cross the Loch by a short Ferry ride to Portavadie.  Both routes were interesting and had plenty of interesting places to visit and stop for refreshments!

Tarbert and the ferry to Portavadi

Most people arrived early in the afternoon, in time to enjoy the magnificent weather and the views.

It was time to get together and renew old acquaintances.  So following a Reception and Dinner in the Hotel’s Barclay Suite by the swimming pool.

Friday evening Buffet Dinner in the Hotel’s Barclay Suite

Saturday 22nd –

After an early breakfast in the Marina Restaurant, the Saturday run took us via Tinghnabruaich, Strachur to Inveraray. There we had the option of visiting the Castle at Inveraray or the famous Inveraray jail. Not quite sure how many, if any, took the opportunity to visit the jail.


We left at around 1.30 to make our way back to Portavadie via Benmore gardens, which was on the way to Dunoon. From there it was a short drive to the Hotel. Just under 100 miles for the day.

Saturday evening was again a Buffet Dinner in the Barclay Suite

Bob Baillie took the opportunity during dinner to explain Sunday’s route and the necessity of being on time at the ferries.  Later he entertained the company with his guitar, singing and anecdotes.

 Sunday 23rd – 

After early Breakfast, which was from 8.00am, we drove the 19 miles to Colintraive where we had to catch a ferry for the Isle of Bute.

Looking down the Kyes of Bute from the viewpoint north of Tighnabruaich.
Awaiting the ferry for Bute at Colontraive

On Bute, it was another 23 miles to Mount Stuart via Rothesay. Bob had arranged not only a tour of Mount Stuart but lunch was also provided.

Plan of Mount Stuart Estate


Our car parked outside the entrance to Mount Stuart

After we had all gathered together outside Mount Stuart House, we entered via the front door, where we were divided into two touring parties.

The interior of Mount Stuart showing only a few of its treasures and paintings.

After we had lunch in the Mount Stuart Courtyard Cafe. Some had a tour of the large gardens, then we had a Round the Island Trip to the Colintraive Ferry and hence back to the Hotel, a total of  66 miles for the day.

Our last evening was again held in the Barclay Suite.  Following Dinner, in the absence of any Scalextrix, Bob Baillie entertained using his extensive repertoire of songs. I few of which allowed the company to join in. Bob’s signing and guitar playing was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Leaving the question! Why had he not done this before?

Sunday Evening was a Barbecue Dinner in the Barclay Suite

Monday 24th –

Most people departed Portavadie early in the morning for home via Arrochar and Loch Lomond.  Some took the Dunoon Ferry.  All in all, it was a great weekend.  Thanks are due to Bob Baillie and Mid Bruce for laying on interesting routes, places to visit, marvellous weather, and of course a beautiful location for the headquarters.

Stuart Parker

Back to the Past Runs Index

 Some of the people who were there