Thursday, October 18, 2012

Loch Melfort

16 miles south of Oban, this remote and beautiful sea loch is well worth a visit.

It’s a wonderful place for hill walking and cycling. There are peaceful beaches to stroll along too and a few restaurants, hotels and pubs not far away.

This is an area of stunning natural beauty, teeming with wildlife – sometimes you’ll see otters, seals and porpoises swimming in the loch. Perfect for birdwatching as well.

There are wonderful views from the top of the surrounding hills over the Sound of Jura and many small islands. I'm annoyed I didn't take any better photos than this one last May - hopefully I'll be back there sometime to take better ones!

From Oban you’ll need the A816 south to Kilmelford. Then turn right to Degnish for nearly 2 miles. There are signs for Melfort Pier and Harbour.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Loch Caolisport

A broad and lovely sea loch - about 5 miles long - in a very beautiful area - I drove along the banks last year in May and stopped several times to take in the views. It's a remote region and the road is seldom clogged with cars - there were very few cars at all the afternoon I was there. It's a wonderful area for walking and cycling and - on the water itself - sailing and sea kayaking. The countryside around the loch is very pretty with fields of sheep and cows, forest plantations and many wild flowers.

St Columba's Cave can be found on the north shore near Ellary (although I didn't have time to go there myself). It's said to have been used by the saint on his 6th Century crusade from Ireland.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Stranraer: Castle of St John

I don't know how I've missed this castle before on my visits to the town over the past few years because it's literally in the town centre!! Two days ago, my husband Geoffrey and I discovered it and decided to climb to the top up the steep winding stone staircases (it's free entry).


The castle was built around 1500 and, over the centuries, it has been used as a home, a prison, a court, and a military garrison.

A 'prisoner' looking forlornly out through the door of his cell! 

There are wonderful views from the top and an interesting 'soundscape', definitely well worth the climb. On the way down we went into most of the 'rooms' which are through doorways on either side of the stairs, on different levels. Inside one there was an interesting audio-visual presentation and a scale model of the castle behind glass. There is an activity room for families and children too. 
A model of the castle inside a glass case
Bell tower at the top
Geoffrey and some of the views of the town and surrounding area
The recently developed Castle Square
A must when you are in Stranraer - it's really fascinating!