Wednesday, August 11, 1847.
We proceeded from the Osborne Pier on board the
yacht. Our two eldest children, my brother Charles, the Duke and
Duchess of Norfolk, Lord Grey (Secretary of State), Lady Jocelyn,
General Wemyss, Sir James Clark, and Miss Hildyard, accompanied us.
We have with us the following steamers: — The “Black
Eagle,” “Garland,” “Undine,” “Fairy,” and “Scourge” (war-steamers).
The two equerries are on board the “Black Eagle.”
We were soon under weigh, and as Osborne vanished
from our sight, I thought of our poor children left behind.
On Board the Victoria and Albert,
in Dartmouth Harbour,
Thursday, August 12.
I have not much to relate. Our voyage has not been
what we intended, mais Vhomme propose et Dieu dispose; for instead
of being at Falmouth we are only at Dartmouth We started at five
o’clock, and soon after felt the vessel stop, and on inquiring,
heard that the fog was so thick it was impossible to proceed. At
last Captain Smithett was sent out in the “Garland” to report on the
state of the weather; and he soon returned, saying that all was
clear enough to proceed outside The Needles (we were in Alum
Bay). So we started again, and, after breakfast, we came on deck,
where I remained working and talking; feeling quite well; but
towards one o’clock the ground swell had increased, and we decided
to run into the harbour we now are in.
On Board the Victoria and Albert,
Milford Haven, South J Vales,
Saturday, August r4.
Arrived here this afternoon at five. I will give an
account of what has passed since leaving Dartmouth. Thursday
evening, after dining with Charles, we went on deck, and found the
whole town illuminated, and the effect of its curious high houses
running down quite into the still sea, which reflected the
illumination, was lovely, —the night being so fine and calm.
Friday, August 13. We started at four and reached
the Stilly Islands at three in the afternoon; it had been very
rough. The numerous little rocky islands, in the midst of which we
are lying, are very curious.
St. Mary's, the principal island, has a little town,
a church, and a small harbour. Exactly opposite, on the isle of Tresco, is
"Mr. Smith’s house; he has the lease of all the islands from the
Duchy of Cornwall. Farther to the left is St. Agnes, with a
lighthouse and innumerable rocks.
Albert (who, as well as Charles, has not been unwell,
while I suffered very much) went with Charles and Bertie to see one
of the islands. The children recover from their sea-sickness
directly. When Albert and the others returned, soon after five, we
went with our ladies and gentlemen in the barge across the harbour,—where,
blue as the sea was, it was still rather rough,—and landed at a
little pier at St. Mary's. The harbour, surmounted by the old fort
of the Star Castle, reminded me of the harbour of St. Haliers. We
got into a pony carriage belonging to Mr. Smith, with Charles and
Lady Jocelyn, and drove through the place, which looks like a small
fishing town, and then round the fortifications of the castle, where
there is a very pretty walk overhanging the sea; the rock being
covered with fern, and heath, and furze. The extensive view of the
islands and rocks around is very beautiful. The town is built upon a
very narrow strip of land, with a small bay on either side. We got
out at the old castle, which bears the date of one of the Edwards.
The view from the battlements is very fine. We returned the same way
we went, a little before seven.
Saturday, August 14.
We started at five o'clock, and the yacht then began
to roll and pitch dreadfully, and I felt again very unwell; but I
came on deck at three in the afternoon, the sea then was like glass,
and we were close to the Welsh coast.
This harbour, Miferd Haven, is magnificent; the
largest we have; a fleet might lie here. We are anchored just
off Milford. Pembroke in front, in the distance.
The cliffs, which are reddish brown, are not very
and Charles went in the Fairy ” to Pembroke, and I sketched. Numbers
of boats came out, with Welshwomen in their curious high-crowned
men’s hats; and Bertie was much cheered, for the people seemed
greatly pleased to see the “Prince of Wales.” Albert returned at a
quarter to eight.
A very pretty daily maid, in complete Welsh costume,
was brought on board for me to see. We found Milford illuminated
when we went on deck, and bonfires burning everywhere.
Sunday, August 13:
We started again at four o’clock, but this time had a
beautiful day, with the sea smooth the whole way. About eleven we
saw the mountainous coast of Caernarvonshire; the hills, which are
in fact high mountains, are bold and finely shaped, and, Albert
said, reminded him much of Ischia, with the beautiful deep blue sea
and bright sky.
Having arrived at the entrance of the Mtnai
Straits, we all left the “Victoria and Albert," and went on board
the “Fairy.” The “Victoria and Albert” with the “Black Eagle” (the
two equerries having joined us), the “Undine” and “Scourge,”
proceeded round the Isle of Amjksea by Holyhead, and, in the
“Fairy,” accompanied by the “Garland,” we went into the Straits. As
we entered, the view of the fine mountains with their rich verdure—Snowdon rising
splendidly in the midst—and of the fields and woods below, was
really glorious. To the left the country is extremely flat.
Then Caernarvon came in sight, with its grand old Castle so finely
situated. We stopped for a few moments off here, hut did not land.
The mountains disappeared for a while, and then re-appeared more
beautiful than ever. We passed dose to Paas Newydd, where we had
spent six weeks fifteen years ago. I felt as if I remembered it all
very well; but admired the scenery even more than I had expected
from my previous recollection.
We passed the famous Swilly Pocks, and saw the works
they are making for the Lube for the railroad, and then went under
the Menai Bridge and stopped immediately on the other side. There
were crowds of loyal people in steamers and boats, playing “God save
the Queen,” and cheering tremendously. Albert and Charles landed and
walked over the bridge. When they returned we went on again, and
stopped in a most beautiful spot, with almost Swiss scenery,
opposite Penrhyn Castle, Colonel Douglas Pennant’s (which I saw in
the late possessor’s time unfinished), and near Bangor, with its
wooded banks, through which one can see the high-road to Beaumaris. The
purple hills, with the verdure below, and the blue sea, were
Albert and Charles went to see Penrhyn. As soon as
they returned we dined below in the “Fairy,” and at eight we
returned, with the children and all our people, to the “ Victoria
and Albert.” The evening was beautiful and the day very successful.
Monday, August 16.
We woke soon after four o’clock, when getting under
weigh, and were surprised to feel the yacht stop not an hour after.
Something had gone wrong with the paddle-wheel—just as happened last
year—and it took full two hours to set it right. Then at seven we
A beautiful morning with a very smooth sea. By half
past ten we were in sight of the Isle of Alan, which is a line
island with bold hills and cliffs. A little before twelve we reached
the point of the bay, on which is the town of Douglas, very prettily
situated, with a picturesque castle near the lighthouse, on the
extreme point of the bay. We stopped off here for ten minutes or a
quarter of an hour,—the rocks were covered with people.
From Douglas to Ramsay Bay the hills and cliffs are high and bold;
though Ramsay itself is low.
For about two hours we were out of sight of land, and
I was below writing. When I came on deck at three o’clock the Scotch
coast was quite close; the Mull of Galloway, and
then Wigtownshire. Albert declared he saw the Irish coast, but I
could not descry it. At five we came in sight of Loch Ryan, and saw,
to the left, Ailsa Craig rising more than 1,000 feet perpendicularly
from the sea. Loch Ryan i; very fine, and the hills and glens are
lovely, particularly little Glen Finnart. The loch is very large,
and the hills here are very high and wooded. The little town is
Tuesday, August 17.
At six o’clock we began to move. A beautiful morning.
At about eight we were close to the Ailsa Rock or Craig, the
formation of which is very curious. There were thousands and
thousands of birds,—gannets,—on the rock, and we fired a gun off
three times in order to bring them in reach of a shot—Albert and
Charles tried, but in vain. We next came in sight of the
beautiful isle of Arran. The finest point is when you are before
the Holy Island, and in sight of the Goatfell range of mountains.
The highest is about 2,800 feet; they are peculiarly fine from their
bold pointed outlines. Before them is Lamlash. After passing Holy
Island we came to Brodick Bay, which is beautiful, with high hills
and a glen ; in front of which, and surrounded by wood, is the
castle which Lord Douglas is building. Not long after this we came
in sight of the Isle of Bute, and entered the Clyde, the view of
which from Mr. Stuart’s and Lord Bute’s property is beautiful: high
wooded banks, the river opening out and widening, surrounded by the
distant mountains. A small place to the right called Largs is very
At half past twelve we reached Greenock, the port
of Glasgow. The shore and the ships were crowded with people, there
being no less (as I since learnt) than thirty-nine steamers,
over-filled with people, which almost all followed us! Such a thing
never was seen. Add to these steamers boats and ships of all
descriptions, moving in all directions; but not getting out of the
way! We, however, got safe on board the “Fairy,” and steamed up
the Clyde; it was hazy, and we could not see the distance well. We
passed the small town of Port Glasgow, and about one o’clock were
at Dumbarton Castle. Its situation is very fine, the rock rising
straight out of the river, the mountains all round, and the town
of Dumbarton behind it, making it very picturesque. We landed just
below the Castle, and went with Charles and the children in a
carriage to the fort. There was a great crowd, but excellent order
kept. We went to the battery, but had to mount many steps to get to
it. Wallace was confined here; and it was one of the last castles
which held out for Mary Queen of Scots. From the battery there is a
very extensive view of the Clyde and Dumbarton, and we ought to have
been able to see Ben Lomond; but it was in mist.
We got back to the “Fairy” by half-past two, and
returned to Greenock, escorted by nineteen steamers. Steamed
past Greenock, and went on towards Loch Long, passing Roseneath to
the right, where the present Duke and Duchess of Argyll live. Loch
Longis indeed splendid, 15 miles in length, surrounded by grand
hills, with such beautiful outlines, and very green—all so different
from the eastern part of Scotland—the loch winding along most
beautifully, so as to seem closed at times. Charles said it reminded
him of Switzerland and the Tyrol. The finest point of Loch Long is
looking towards Loch Goil. We had a very good sight of the mountain
called The Cobbler; the top of which resembles a man sitting and
mending his shoe! At the end of the loch we got a glimpse of Ben
Lomond, and were, in fact, very near Loch Lomond.
We returned as we came. There was no sun, and once or
twice a little mist; but still it was beautiful. We went on to Rothsay, which
we reached at eight o’clock, and immediately went on board the
“Victoria and Albert,” greatly tired but much amused and interested.
The children enjoy everything extremely, and bear the
novelty and excitement wonderfully. The people cheered the “Duke of
Rothsay” very much, and also called for a cheer for the “Princess of
Great Britain.” Everywhere the good Highlanders are very
enthusiastic. Rothsay is a pretty little town, built round a fine
bay, with hills in the distance, and a fine harbour. When we went on
deck after dinner, we found the whole town brilliantly illuminated,
with every window lit up, which had a very pretty effect.
Wednesday, August 18.
A bright fresh morning, the hills slightly tipped
with clouds. At eight o’clock we all went on board the “Fairy,’’ and
went up the Kyles of Bute, which, as you advance, become very fine,
the hills lying so curiously one behind the other, sometimes
apparently closing up all outlet.
We saw Arran to the left, looking very grand in the
distance. We have been turning about a good deal since yesterday,
for we went by Arran and Holy Island, and then left Little and Great
Cumbray to our left, and went up to Dumbarton and back, and on
to Loch Long, and then to Rothsay, leaving Arran to our left; then,
after passing Arran, we entered Loch Fyne. I, however, had a
headache, and was obliged to lie down below, and only came on deck
again when we were within an hour of Inverary; where the lake
widens, and the hills on either side are very green and undulating,
but not very high.
The approach to Inverary is splendid; the loch is
very wide; straight before you a fine range of mountains splendidly
lit up,—green, pink, and lilac; to the left the little town
of Itinerary; and above it, surrounded by pine woods, stands the
Castle of Inverary, square, with turrets at the comers.
Our reception was in the true Highland fashion. The
Duke and Duchess of Argyll (dear Lady Elizabeth Leveson (lower), the
Duchess of Sutherland, Lord Stafford, Lady Caroline Leveson Gower,
and the Blantyres received us at the landing-place, which was all
ornamented with heather. The Celtic Society, including Campbell of
Islay, his two sons (one grown up and the other a very pretty little
boy), with a number of his men, and several other Campbells, were
all drawn up near to the carriage. We got into a carriage with the
two Duchesses, Charles and the Duke being on the box (we had left
the children on board the “Fairy”), and took a beautiful drive
amongst magnificent trees, and along a glen where we saw Ben Sheerar, &c.
The weather was particularly fine, and we were much struck by the
extreme beauty of Inverary—presenting as it does such a combination
of magnificent timber, with high mountains, and a noble lake.
The pipers walked before the carriage, and the
Highlanders on either side, as we approached the house. Outside
stood the Marquis of Lorn, just two years old, a dear, white, fat,
fair little fellow with reddish hair, but very delicate features,
like both his father and mother: he is such a merry, independent
little child. He had a black velvet dress and jacket, with a
“sporran,” scarf, and Highland bonnet. We lunched at two with our
hosts; the Highland gentlemen standing with halberds in the room. We
sent for our children, who arrived during luncheon time. We left Inverary before
three, and took the children with us in the carriage. The Argylls,
the Duchess of Sutherland, and the others, accompanied us on board
the “Fairy,” where we took leave of them.
The light on the hills was beautiful as we steamed
down Loch Fyne. At five we reached I.ochgilp, and all landed at Lochgilphead, a
small village where there were numbers of people, and, amongst
others, Sir John P. Orde, who lent his carriage and was extremely
civil. We and our people drove through the little village to the Crinan
Canal, where we entered a most magnificently decorated barge, drawn
by three horses, ridden by postilions in scarlet. We glided along
very smoothly, and the views of the hills—the range of Cmachan—were
very fine indeed; but the eleven locks we had to go through—(a very
curious process, first passing several by rising, and then others by
going down)—were tedious, and instead of the passage lasting one
hour and a half, it lasted upwards of two hours and a half,
therefore it was nearly eight o’clock before we reached Loch Crinan. We
instantly went on board the “Victoria and Albert,” but it was too
late to proceed to Oban; we had, therefore, to lengthen our voyage
by a day, and spent the night at Crinan. It is a very fine spot,
hills all round, and, in the distance, those of the island
of Jura. The yacht had had a good passage round the Midi of Cantire. We
dined with Charles, and went on deck; and the blaze of the numerous
bonfires—the half moon, the stars, and the extreme stillness of the
night— had a charming effect.
Thursday, August 19.
A beautiful day. At nine o’clock we left Crinan, proceeding
to the right, up splendid passes, with myriads of islands, and such
enchanting views, that I cannot enumerate them. We passed first up
the Sound op Jura, where numbers of people met us in small boats,
decorated with little flags; then up the Pass of Kerrera to Oban, one
of the finest spots we have seen, with the ruins of the old Castle
of Dunolly and a range of high mountains in the distance. To the
left, after leaving Oban, we saw the Isle of Kerrera, and to the
right Diinstafnage Castle, whence came the famous stone which
supports the “Coronation Chair,” in which the sovereigns are crowned
at Westminster Abbey. Alexander II. is said to be buried here. We
passed close by the flat rock, called The Lady's Rock, on which a
McLean left his wife, hoping she would be washed away—she was saved
We then came into the Sound of Mulley Tobermory, a
small place prettily situated, and from thence the views continued
beautiful. At one o’clock we were in sight of the Isles of Rum, Eig and Muck (rather
large islands, which Lord Salisbury bought a few years ago). Next we
passed the long, flat, curious islands of Coll and Tiree. The
inhabitants of these islands have, unhappily, been terrible
sufferers daring the last winter from fumine. A little farther on we
saw, to our right, the Treshinish Isles, very curiously-shaped
rocks: one is called The Dutchmans Cap, and has the most strange
At three we anchored close before Slaffa, and
immediately got into the barge with Charles, the children, and the
rest of our people, and rowed towards the cave. As we rounded the
point, the wonderful basaltic formation came in sight. The
appearance it presents is most extraordinary; and when we turned the
corner to go into the renowned Nilgai's Cave, the effect was
splendid, like a great entrance into a vaulted hall: it looked
almost awful as we entered, and the barge heaved up and down on the
swell of the sea. It is very high, but not longer than 227 feet, and
narrower than I expected, being only 40 feet wide. The sea is
immensely deep in the cave. The rocks, under water, were all colours—
pink, blue, and green—which had a most beautiful and varied effect.
It was the first time the British standard with a Queen of Great
Britain, and her husband and children, had ever entered Fingal's
Cave, and the men gave three cheers, which sounded very impressive
there. We backed out, and then went on a little further to look at
the other cave, not of basaltic formation, and at the point
called The Herdsman. The swell was beginning to get up, and perhaps
an hour later we could not have gone in.
We returned to the yacht, but Albert and Charles
landed again at Staffa. They returned in three-quarters of an hour,
and we then went on to Iona; here Albert and Charles landed, and
were absent an hour. I and the ladies sketched. We saw from the
yacht the ruins of the old cathedral of St. Oran. When Albert and
Charles returned, they said the ruins were very curious, there had
been two monasteries there, and fine old crosses and tombs of
ancient kings were still to be seen. I must see it some other time.
On Albert’s return we went on again, and reached Tobermory at nine.
The place was all illuminated.
Friday, August 20.
A wet morning when we rose at half-past seven, and it
was pouring with rain when we left Tobermory at halfpast eight. I
went down, and drew and painted. It cleared up about half-past ten,
and I came on deck. The scenery in Loch Linnhe was magnificent —
such beautiful mountains. From Loch Linnhe we entered Loch Eil, and
passed the entrance of Loch Leven to the right, at the end of which
is Glencoe, so famous for its beautiful scenery and for the horrible
massacre of the Macdonalds, in William III.’s time.
A little before one we arrived at Fort William, a
very small place. The afternoon was very bright, and the scenery
fine. After luncheon Albert and Charles set off in the “Fairy” to
see Glencoe. They returned at twenty minutes past seven, and Albert
thought Glencoe was very-fine, though not quite as much so as he had
expected. They had driven in an extraordinary carriage, with seats
for thirty. The people, who recognized Albert, were so loyal that
they took the horses out and insisted on drawing the carriage.
The evening was excessively cold and showery.
I am quite sorry we shall have to leave our yacht
to-morrow, in which we have been so comfortably-housed, and that
this delightful voyage and tour among the Western Lochs and Isles is
at an end—they are so beautiful, — and so full of poetry and
romance, traditions, and historical associations.
Ardverikie, Loch Laggan,
Saturday, August 21.
Alas! a very wet morning. We were ready long before
nine o’clock, but had to wait, as our carriages were not ready. At
last we all landed at Fort William, where there was a great
gathering of Highlanders, in their different tartans, with Lord
Lovat and Mr. Stuart Mackenzie at their head. We got into our
carriage with Charles and the two children; there was a great crowd
to see us off. We went by a very wild and lonely road, the latter
part extremely fine, with mountains and streams that reminded us
of Glen Tilt. We changed horses only once, and came at length in
sight of Loch Laggan. It is a beautiful lake (small in comparison to
what we have seen) surrounded by very fine mountains: the road by
its side is extremely pretty. We saw Lord Abercorn’s house of Wverikie long
before we came to it. At Laggan there is only a small inn, and at
the end of the lake, a ferry. Here, in spite of the pouring rain,
were assembled a number of Highlanders, with Macpherson of Cluny
(always called Cluny Macpherson) and three dear little boys of his,
Davidson of Tulloch, and others, with Lord Abercorn, in full
Highland dress. We stepped out of our carriage and stood upon the
floating bridge, and so crossed over in two or three minutes. We
then drove on, in our pony carriages, to Ardverikie, and arrived
there in about twenty minutes. It is quite close to the lake, and
the view from the windows, as I now write, though obscured by rain,
is very beautiful, and extremely wild. There is not a village,
house, or cottage within four or five miles: one can only get to it
by the ferry, or by rowing across the lake. The house is a
comfortable shooting lodge, built of stone, with many nice rooms in
it. Stags’ horns are placed along the outside and in the passages;
and the walls of the drawing-room and ante-room are ornamented with
beautiful drawings of stags, by Landseer.
There is little to say of our stay at Ardverikie; the
country is very fine, but the weather was most dreadful.
On the 28th, about five o’clock, Albert drove me out
across the ferry, along the Kingussie road, and from here the
scenery was splendid: high bold hills, with a good deal of wood;
glens, with the Pattock, and a small waterfall; the meadows here and
there, with people making hay, and cottages sprinkled sparingly
about, reminded us much of Thuringen. We drove to the small farm,
where Colonel Macpherson now lives, called Strathmashie, and back
again, 10 miles in all. We were delighted with the scenery, which is
singularly beautiful, wild and romantic, —with so much fine wood
about it, which greatly enhances the beauty of a landscape.
Thursday, September 16.
Albert left at six this morning to go
to Inverness and see the Caledonian Canal.
Friday, September 17.
At two o’clock I left Ardverikie with the children,
and reached Fort William at half-past six, where I had the happiness
of finding Albert on board the yacht. All had gone off well; but the
weather had been very bad. Albert said Dochfour was beautiful; the
house new and very elegant, with a fine garden, and Mr. and Lady
Georgiana Laillie very pleasant people.
Albert had to go to Inverness, and to stay for a ball
that was held there; and he was everywhere extremely well received.
This morning he saw the Falls of Foyers, which, he tells me, are
very grand indeed; and of a great height; and he says that
the Caledonian Canal is a most remarkable work.
Loch Ryan, Saturday, September 18.
At five o’clock we left Fort William. Rather a fine
morning; but very squally, and the sea rough, even where we were.
When we came on deck, we were close to the Isle of Fura, which has
such a fine, bold outline. We went on to Loch Crinan, where we got
into the barge: here it was very rough and pouring with rain, so
unlike the beautiful evening when we were here a month ago. We
landed at Crinan. Mr Malcolm, whose castle is just opposite,
received us there, and we entered the canal boat at ten. We
proceeded more quickly than the last time; the people kept running
along as before, and there was a piper at each lock. It rained
almost the whole time. We reached Lochgilphead at twelve, in pouring
rain, and embarked on board the “Black Eagle.” The yacht had again
to go round the Mull of Cantire and meet us at Campbeltown. What a
contrast to the weather we had when we came!
We got under weigh, and proceeded by Kilbrannan
Sound and Arran. We went on deck for a little while, but were driven
below by the rain; later, however, it was possible to keep on deck.
We reached Campbeltown, a small and not pretty place, at the foot
of Cantire, at twenty minutes to five. About half an hour after we
arrived the yacht came in, with the “Garland,” “Fairy,” and
“Scourge,” and we immediately went on board. They had had a very bad
passage, and Captain Crispin said he was very glad that we had not
been on board the “Victoria and Albert.” This rather alarmed us for
the next day’s voyage, the more so as the evening was squally and
the sky very unpromising. There was a long consultation as to what
was to he done, and at last it was decided that we should start at
four in the morning, and if it were very rough, we should either run
into Loch Ryan, the Mull of Galloway, the Ray of Ramsay, or
into Douglas in the Isle of Alan.
Loch Ryan, Sunday, September 19.
We set off at four o’clock, the yacht rolling
considerably; but it was quite bearable; however, at seven they came
to shut down the port-holes, expecting a heavy sea, and Lord
Adolphus saw Albert, who had just got up, and said it would be very
rough; upon which it was decided to put back a little way, and to go
into Loch Ryan; we accordingly did so, and anchored there at
half-past eight;-—such a dreary rainy day—one could hardly recognize
what was so fine when we were last in here.
Both now, and the time before when we were in Loch
Ryan, Lord Orkney very civilly sent us game and all sorts of things.
At twelve o’clock Lord Adolphus read the short
sea-service. We then talked over our voyage, and what could be
done;—the day was very wretched,—pouring with rain and blowing hard.
It was at last decided to start again at three, and get this evening
to the Mull of Galloway, which would only take us three hours,
though it would probably be rough. As soon as we were out of the
loch the yacht began to pitch, and the sea was dreadfully rough. I
was very ill. Albert, however, stood it perfectly, and the children
very tolerably. Presently we came in sight of the Mull of
Galloway, a great rock with a lighthouse on it; —and this was our
last glimpse of dear Scotland.
Monday, September 20.
At six o’clock we got under weigh, and after
considerable “rockings,” which lasted for nearly two hours, we were
near the Isle of Man, in smooth water, and at halfpast eight
anchored in Ramsay Bay.
Albert went on shore, and meantime the Bishop of
Sodor and Man, with others, came on board. Albert returned at
twelve. At one o’clock we started again. We had to go slowly at
first, as our paddle-wheel again got wrong, and because we should
otherwise have arrived before we were expected.
We anchored at seven in Fleetwood Harbour; the
entrance was extremely narrow and difficult. We were lashed close to
the pier, to prevent our being turned by the tide; and when I went
on deck there was a great commotion, such running and calling, and
pulling of ropes, &c. It was a cheerless evening, blowing hard.
Tuesday, September 21.
At ten o’clock we landed, and proceeded by rail