First Day in Scotland: Waltons Traditional Sweet Shop

I’m turning 30 years old in a few months. I’m not sure why, but this impending milestone has coincided with a new interest in my  ancestry. My father was born and raised in Australia, and I have always known that the McRae’s came to Australia via Scotland. And, no, they weren’t convicts… at least that we know about! Lucky for me, one of my dad’s cousin had a passion for genealogy and traced the family tree back over centuries.

K knew that I was itching to visit my ancestral homeland, and he graciously suggested that we visit this summer (even though the weather wouldn’t be warm). So a couple weeks ago, we packed our bags and grabbed our raincoats for a quick visit to Scotland.

We began the trip with a one-night layover in Dublin. It was both of our first times to Ireland, and I have to say that I loved what I saw! We spent the evening walking around downtown and popped into a couple little pubs before having dinner at a trendy restaurant recommended to us by the concierge.

IMG_8337The next morning,  we headed to the airport to catch a flight to Glasgow, Scotland. Based on some friends’ recommendations, we didn’t spend any time in downtown Glasgow. Instead, we prioritized our time on the Isle of Skye and Edinburgh. It was a 5-hour drive to Isle of Skye from Glasgow, though, so I made arrangements for us to spend the night in Fort William, the second-largest establishment in the Highlands of Scotland.

Fort William sits near the head of Loch Linnhe, one of the longest sea lochs in the country. In retrospect, it was an extra-brilliant idea to stay overnight here because A) it’s conveniently located halfway between Glasgow and Isle of Skye and thus broke up K’s first experience driving on the left-hand side of the road, and B) we both enjoyed spending time in Fort William. Neither of us had anticipated how tiring (and trying) driving in a different country can be. K ended up doing really well, but my adrenaline sure was pumping! The roads can be quite narrow in Scotland, and we had to dodge plenty of big campers and tourist buses since it was still vacation season. The views of green hills, waterfalls, and plentiful lochs (i.e. lakes) kept our spirits high, though.

When we finally made it safely to Fort William, we immediately checked in at The Grange, a beautiful bed and breakfast run by a sweet and accommodating proprietor named Joan. We briefly rested in our room before venturing on a short walk to the “downtown” area… which ended up being far from cosmopolitan! I couldn’t get over how quaint and welcoming the main pedestrian street, High Street, was. It felt like we had been transported into one of the BBC shows my mom adores (i.e. Doc Martin).

High_Street_Fort_William_-_geograph.org.uk_-_943438Source: Wikipedia

We had a 8pm dinner reservation at the iconic seafood restaurant on Loch Linnhe, The Crannog.  Exploring downtown took much less time than we’d planned (it’s so small!), and we had a couple hours to fill. We enjoyed some cider and beer at a lively pub. Afterwards, I convinced K to indulge in a small “ice cream appetizer” at a sweets shop I’d spotted earlier.

IMG_8515Waltons Traditional Sweet Shop is located right on High Street and sells both candy and ice cream. The inside of the store reminded me of an old-fashioned general store, with big glass jars lining the entire walls, filled with candies, mints, and chocolates. I couldn’t help but grab a bag of homemade ginger candies. Before I could be further tempted by the beautiful candy selection, I headed over to the ice cream counter.

IMG_8523IMG_8520The neat tubs and corporate-looking signage made me think that Waltons was a chain, but a subsequent internet search proved my theory wrong. Either way, there were plenty of options to consider. There were a couple fruit sorbets (normal types of flavors), a traditional vanilla and berry flavor,  but most of the flavors that stood out to me involved chocolate — Toffee Fudge, Ferrero Rocher,  and Bounty. But I wasn’t craving chocolate, and I embraced that opportunity to try something different. It’s rare that I don’t make a beeline to the chocolate!

K liked the look of the colorful Millions ice cream. Millions are chewy little U.K. candies that come in many fruity flavors. I was drawn to the Honeycomb, which didn’t exactly sound complementary but delicious nonetheless. We forked over about three euros for a two-scoop cup.

IMG_8517

IMG_8514The verdict? Sadly, this ice cream was nothing to write home about. It wasn’t bad, but it was not great. I can barely conjure up the taste sitting here writing this post. .. a surefire sign that it wasn’t memorable. Of the two flavors, Honeycomb was the winner by a landslide. K and I agreed that it reminded us of caramel ice cream, but with a honey twist. Most of the honeycomb flavor was concentrated in the thick swirl, while the base was mild and sweet. I couldn’t help wishing for some crunch, perhaps due to my love of the crunchiness of my beloved Violet Crumble candy bar. The Millions, however, was sugary sweet and reminded me of cotton candy. Neither of us wanted more than a couple bites before tossing it away and heading to dinner… which was fantastic by the way 🙂

The Stats:
Waltons Traditional Sweet Shop
55C High Street
Fort William, Inverness-Shrire PH33-6DH
Scotland

  • TheTrance69 .jason kirby

    sadly this is not Real Ice cream and made by pakistanis in Halifax,England .The shop is also woned by a pakistani and most of his Sweets are cheap and nasty like the Icecream and the shop set for ripping off Tourists.Sweetness on the High street however has amazing Sweets and Icecream and a local favourite

    • Angus Francis

      Hi Jason (manager/owner of sweetness) its Angus Francis manager of Waltons sweets in Fort, Dispite your continuing slating of my shops i can inform you that our sweets are of the highest brittish quality including brands such as haribo and kingsway while yours are of American imports. that’s pretty much artificial. . We both have different products and have friendly competitions whitch is a good thing.
      How dare you make remarks racist comments about my employers who have ethnic background but are brittish. At least they create jobs for the communitys.
      The icecream in question was tubzee brand. A powderd milk. The same type you used for over a year when I angus 1st open shop In 2014. Now you use porrelies and I use rizzas. Both milk icecream made from Italy.
      I can’t believe how much resentment you have towards my employer who only wants to strive in business. As I’m shore you do also.
      Please refrain from anymore remarks concerning our companys. Me and you always smile when I walk past and we have had friendly conversation.
      I understand your concerns but deliberately posting negative comments on fair reviews is uneceptable and can be considered slander. If you continue to act in such an unprofessional manner I will advise my employers to take legal action against you and your company.
      Best regards and wishes. Angus Francis,
      Waltons Traditional Sweet shop Manager.

      • TheTrance69 .jason kirby

        Hi Angus, I have deleted my post out of respect and you do have a point as it was rather unprofessional however the way we see things competition is a good thing but when it comes to copying another Business and when that doesn’t work sandwiching the Business i find that ruthless and I personally would not dream of doing that to another Business as I Know how hard it can be sometimes. Just to correct you btw Haribo are German and Kingsway are mass produced sweets made in England and low budget, Our sweets are Scottish made boilings made by family run scottish companies. The reason we changed out shop was because you started to sell everything we did (but not the quality) sadly tourists do not realise this but locals do. I am actually angry with Government bodies like trading standards and Enviromental Health as they never regulate your shops and if you don’t believe me check online to see any inspection reports which are open to the public. We have spent alot of money getting our shop to requirements and we find it unfair. I am not Racist and the fact i said Pakistanis does not make me racist in the same way Indian people come from India and Chinese from China, It’s crazy how many sweet shops appear now and its like Monopoly and the one with the most win and I don’t agree with these tactics so if i do have Resentment to your Employer it’s because they are Ruthless with no respect but saying that maybe these are qualities you need to be a successful Businessman like your Employer. I think if you were in my shoes and not just an employee you would be angry also but one thing I have learned is Business is ruthless and if I planted a shop the other side of you you would fear for your job,For us it’s not a job but a life. However wish you well and if your Employer ever wanted to talk to me i would be happy to speak with them.
        Best Regards
        jay

        • Angus Francis

          Jason your a good man and I agree with you on a lot of things.
          Are haribo really from Germany? Gosh I need to research the stock they send me more huh. Owell. Thanks for the information and support. I hope we both have a great summer.
          Kind regards Angus.