Friday, November 11, 2011


We visited this pretty town, the "Gateway to the Kintyre Peninsula", on our way down to Campbeltown in May. It has a beautiful natural harbour with picturesque buildings curving around the edge.

Above: one of the information boards beside the harbour

 Another information board (click to enlarge) 

 Our car outside the Tourist Information Centre!

One of several large logging lorries I saw travelling through the town

Please see the Wikipedia page here

Monday, September 12, 2011

Crinan Lighthouse

This attractive small, hexagonal, lighthouse, built in 1851, is located at the westernmost lock of the canal in Crinan. It’s 6 metres high and the llight is 8 metres above sea level. The light flashes every 3 seconds and is white or green depending on the direction.
There’s a ladder attached to the outside wall and a door but no admission to the general public. Apparently the interior is used as a storeroom by British Waterways.
We visited Crinan several times in May when we were staying in the area. I enjoyed sitting on the seat beside the lighthouse to look out at the beautiful views across the Sound of Jura to the islands on the horizon – really a wonderful place to visit!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Crinan Canal

Wonderful and beautiful, a perfect place to sail, or to stroll along the towpath, this has to be my favourite canal in the UK! It’s 9 miles long cutting straight across Knapdale in Argyll from side to side, through fantastic remote countryside, from Ardrishaig near Lochgilphead in the west to the village of Crinan (which gives it its name) in the east.

The canal was designed by John Rennie in the 18th century and finished in 1801 – although Thomas Telford altered some of the locks in 1816.

Above: the first lock on the Canal at Ardrishaig

All photos above were taken at, or very near, Ardrishaig

Geoffrey at Cairnbaan a few miles along

Above: more views at Cairnbaan and below, a boat entering the last lock at Crinan itself

Boats moored at Crinan

I loved walking along here in May this year taking in the gorgeous scenery all around and watching the yachts negotiating some of the 15 locks.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Loch Sween

We visited this beautiful and remote sea loch in Knapdale last month, driving down from Crinan. Tayvallich is the larger of the two villages found along the west bank (Carsaig being the other), wrapped around a sheltered bay.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dumfries: Friars' Vennel

This medieval thoroughfare - one of the oldest streets in Scotland - was the route travellers used to reach the ford to cross the River Nith into Galloway. At one time a monastery stood at the top of the Vennel looking down to the river.

Since we last visited the town there are many fascinating murals and wall plaques which were commissioned by Dumfries and Galloway Council in partnership with DG Arts and the road seems to have been repaved as well.

There are also some interesting shops in the vennel and especially the excellent Pumpernickel Cafe (not to be missed - it's highly recommended by us!)

In fact, you can read my review on Qype by clicking here

Loch Gilp

Loch Gilp lies between two headlands, north west of Loch Fyne in Argyll. The town of Lochgilphead lies on the northern shore and the village of Ardrishaig on the west (where the Crinan Canal begins its route north to Crinan - lock number one opens up here).

We had some lovely walks around this wonderful area recently!

Views from a rainy Lochgilphead...

...and from further down the loch looking back at the town:
Some views of Loch Gilp from Ardrishaig:

Lock #1 of the famous Crinan Canal:
The Timberlink service operation below - Ardrishaig is one of four ports
where the timber is transported by boat to Troon for processing, thereby removing
8000 lorry journeys each year from the roads - so much better for the environment!

The lighthouse at Ardrishaig at the 'entrance' to Loch Fyne:
We walked to the end but it wasn't really possible to go round the lighthouse
as the walkway there became extremely narrow
Click here for a map showing the position of Loch Gilp on a map

Friday, June 3, 2011


I took hardly any photos of Campbeltown itself because the weather was very poor when we were wandering about...

The tourist information centre at the harbour isn't much to look at, but on the inside it's lovely and well worth a visit!

Two views looking back at the town from the tourist information centre

and the cafe where we had lunch!

My Qype review of Cafe Bluebell can be found here

The Undiscovered Scotland website has a great page about Campbeltown with lovely photos - click here

Mull of Kintyre

It was really amazing to be in Kintyre at last two weeks ago, especially as far down as the famous Mull! We explored Campbeltown, then onto Carskey Bay, followed by the drive down the several miles long precarious minor road to see the lighthouse.

Beautiful and remote Carskey Bay

I was excited to see this seal on a rock though I couldn't get very close to take better photos. Whenever I tried he looked very wary and seemed ready to get back into the water! So I stayed a fair distance away on the beach and just took a few snaps.

The road we followed

Geoffrey opening a gate for our car along the way!

The road down to the lighthouse is very dangerous so we parked at the top of the 1100ft cliff and walked down the hair-pin bends towards the bottom. However, it was very steep and much further than we'd expected. In the end, after this one photo below, we turned back. It was exhausting climbing back up the steep slopes! However, what a great experience to have been in that wonderfully remote area!

Click here for a great link (with maps) about Kintyre and the Mull