Tag Archives: Healy

2 men, 2 Jensen’s & 2000 miles – What could go wrong?!

The Alternative Spring Break Tour (From The Navigator’s Perspective)

Credit – Jenny, Richard and Adam Fischer

As the original Spring Break Weekend was unfortunately cancelled due to the virus, Richard, Adam and I decided to go ahead with our Scottish holiday once the hotels opened up again in our 1973 Jensen’s.  Adam drives the red Healey whilst my husband and I are the proud owners of a Jensen SP in green.

We set off early on Friday 30 April up the A1, stopping off at Ferrybridge Services to drop off some Jensen Healey parts as Richard had recently sold his Healey. We enjoyed breakfast in the car park and then headed for Scotch Corner via the A66 to Penrith. We had wonderful views of the foothills of the Lake District, as we drove closer to Scotland. There were daffodils growing by the side of the road and sheep and lambs in the fields; we were definitely in the countryside!  We stopped for fuel and lunch then continued our journey to Pitlochry and the gorgeous Atholl Palace Hotel. They have been welcoming guests for over 135 years; I enjoyed a well-deserved cup of tea, while the boys had a beer outside. The hotel is set in beautiful grounds, with a waterfall, large car park, tennis courts and plenty of opportunity to walk around. Pitlochry is a popular holiday resort in a beautiful setting of lochs, rivers, mountains and woods.

We went exploring in the rain on our first route to Cally Bridge, passing desolate moorland in the sleet and snow. Passers-by must have been surprised to see two classic cars out in this weather; little did they know of their journeys ahead. The Bridge of Cally is an attractive village on the River Ardle, but we could not park at there so kept moving and stopped off for fuel at Blairgowrie’s Tesco. Shortly after, on route to the Cairngorms National Park, Richard spotted a sign for the Reekie Linn Falls, and thankfully with fantastic timing, the sun had appeared and the water glistened in the rays.

We carried on, the roads became steeper and the induction roar grew louder from under the bonnet.  We began to experience how quickly the weather conditions can change in the mountains as the windscreen wipers were busy clearing the snow off. A spot of retail therapy in Braemar was very enjoyable, while the boys were having a rest from the day’s driving. We headed further north to see the scenery around Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s summer residence. Time was flying by so we decided to head back to the hotel via the same route.

Taking The Lead

Adam decided to take the lead here and blast up the winding roads just as the Healey was designed to do. We found him waiting with a huge smile at the base of the Glenshee ski area to take some photos of the incredible scenery as the weather had cleared up.

We returned back to Blairgowrie’s Tesco to fill up both cars ready for the next day’s adventures. The SP has a very thirsty engine, Adam’s Healey less so, but in open desolate countryside it was wise to keep the tanks topped up!

More exploring followed on the Sunday; off to Tummel Bridge, passing through Drummond Hill Forest. Adam was concerned about his suspension, as you can see from one of the photos, but fortunately everything was okay. It was easy staring out of the window seeing all the different shades of green pass us by. The views of the surrounding mountains were stunning, seeing the strongly defined mountain tops covered in snow, lower slopes and the lochs below in the valley.  We were in Perth and Kinross country.  We visited Deil’s Cauldron Waterfall which was quite a sight with all the rain, sleet and snow we had encountered!  It was a long walk to the waterfall, but a chance to enjoy some fresh Scottish air.

We left luxury behind on Monday and made our way to John O’Groats via Inverness on the A9, for a couple of days in the very far north. I had the map open on my knees to follow the route, just in case the sat nav had other ideas in mind. We soon arrived at the Welcome to Sutherland sign, about 83 miles from John O’Groats. The sea was appearing with plenty of white horses and the wind was howling, but it was dry, much more pleasant for driving long distances. We arrived safely at the Seaview Hotel in time for a cup of tea and exploring the touristy bit down the road. Adam found a shop selling local beer so he stocked up well following a long day’s drive.

On Tuesday we took it easy, starting off with another re-fuelling session in the nearby town of Wick, which we discovered is an ancient place with a large harbour. We saw an array of rugged cliffs south of the town where wreckages from storms at sea can be found. However, a short heavy downpour sent us scurrying for the cars.

On Tuesday we took it easy, starting off with another re-fuelling session in the nearby town of Wick, which we discovered is an ancient place with a large harbour. We saw an array of rugged cliffs south of the town where wreckages from storms at sea can be found. However, a short heavy downpour sent us scurrying for the cars.

It cleared up and we visited Castle Sinclair Girnigoe, which was set right on the edge of the sea in a desolate area. Goodness knows what it would have been like to live there 200-300 years ago. We went for a long drive in the afternoon along the A897 which Adam nicknamed the ‘rally stage’ as he was playing catch up having missed the left turn; his Lotus engine certainly got a workout. We ended our afternoon at Dunnet Head which is the most northerly point on the mainland.

On Wednesday it was time to leave a very windy John O’Groats and travel to Gairloch on the West Coast. I lost count of how many times we went around corners to find a breathtaking view before our eyes.

A Twisty Drive

We visited Corrieshalloch Gorge en route. We were lucky with the weather as it was sunny and warm while we followed the footpath down to the bridge and across it. I am not a huge fan of heights so I got across it as quickly as I could. The boys, however, took their time, in awe of how deep the gorge was. There was viewpoint at the end of the trail, giving the full perspective of this force of nature. We reached the Gairloch Hotel at 5pm after a fantastic, twisty drive of 220 miles, with the SP certainly living up to its reputation of being a comfortable grand tourer, taking all the twists and turns throughout the day in her stride.

We enjoyed a restful day in Gairloch, exploring the village and seeing the harbour. Adam drove the SP to Torridon in the afternoon along single track roads where we went for a walk around a nature reserve and the far end of Loch Torridon, seeing deer in the field and houses precariously backing onto rocks and mountains.

On Friday we were on the last leg of the journey to Stranraer. It was a longer run of 320 miles but the route went through a number of mountain ranges which were again mesmerising, but it was a long day behind the wheel for the boys.

We had reached the end of the holiday and considering there was a seven-hour drive back home, Adam decided to leave on Saturday as he had to go back to work on the Monday.  Richard and I explored Stranraer on the Saturday morning in the drizzle, the weather had finally caught up with us. When Richard was working he spent a considerable amount of time here, so it was a trip down memory lane for him.

We packed up the car and set off for Harrow after breakfast on the Sunday, and had an excellent journey home. We both travelled more than 2000 miles and I daren’t contemplate how many times we filled up the SP (our petrol bill for it was £900.00).

Before this trip, I had not been to Scotland but we were very lucky to have been able to do so and I would strongly recommend anyone thinking about it to go ahead and visit this beautiful country. Just do it in the right car!

Thanks to our friends at the Jensen Owners’ Club for providing the article, for more information about this club please visit https://www.joc.org.uk