Argyll, Part 1


As I've discovered many times over the years, visiting Argyll at this time of year can be very 'hit or miss' as far as the weather, and the midges, are concerned.

This trip started with my 50th night of living in my caravan. I chose the Oban C&CC Site which is about 10 miles north of Oban, just outside the village of Barcaldine.

I have been on this site many times over the years, and I had a part-seasonal pitch (60 nights) back in 2019. It's a great location for exploring the surrounding area and the wider Argyll region. I was put on Pitch No.5, just a couple of pitches from another Eriba, a more modern Triton than mine. A nice couple who were towing with an EV and had plans to tour a good bit of Scotland.

One huge advantage for dog owners is the fantastic forest next door. Miles of way tracked routes.

Immediately after entering the forest from the site, there are a very impressive set of waterfalls and gorges as the paths climb.

The site itself is built in an old walled garden with most of the brickwork well kept and maintained. The soil for the garden apparently came here from Ireland, as it was used as ballast on ships arriving in the area.

A short walk from the site leads to Loch Creran. It has a short shingle beach and has some nice views to Appin and the Isle of Mull.

The Scottish Sea Farms hatchery is adjacent to the beach, a very modern facility built a few years back.

The beach was used up until recently as a construction area for floating fish pens, massive black plastic assemblies. They have moved the operation a short distance south from here to the site previously occupied by the Scottish Sealife Sanctuary, long closed.

Loch Creran is itself a fine west coast loch with some fine views.

One of my reasons for visiting this area is its connection with the ancient means of moving cattle across Scotland to the markets. This Droving included the moving of large numbers of cattle from the Hebrides and this part of Argyll across rough hill country to Crieff or Falkirk. This involved crossing river and lochs and crossing the country by old tracks.

To get a feel for the terrain, I took a bit of a road trip from here, to Taynuilt, along Glen Nant to Kilchrenan, and following the remote road along the north shore of Loch Awe to Ford, and returning via Oban, a distance of around 70 miles.

The first stop was a walk around the Caledonian Forest Reserve in Glen Nant. A fantastic native woodland with a waymarked trail taking in some really fine specimens of native trees.

Ben Cruachan to the north on the other side of Loch Awe.

An aerial shot to demonstrate the dense woodland.

This was the kind of country I was hoping to see as this probably had a number of routes the drovers used from the west to cross Loch Awe.

A great place for a stop, with spectacular views over Ben Cruachan.

On one of the information boards, I discovered this fungus ik known as 'Old Man's Beard'!

A zoomed shot of a herd of cattle to the west, probably in an area once used for droving.

The woods here were used for the production of charcoal. Harvested were the oaks of this wood and the charcoal was used to fuel the Bonawe Iron Furnace at Taynuilt. This metal ring was probably used for making charcoal?

We continued south to Kilchrenan, and along the side of Loch Awe. Stopped just outside Dalavich to walk anorther fine forest. Dalavich was an important point for the ferry across Loch Awe and many droves headed here.

Another fantastic wood of mainly native species.

We passed what appeared to be a very old 'Fank' used for holding livestock. Possibly used by the drovers?

A number of the tracks we used, or crossed, continued up the hillside, overgrown as if now disused. Probably ancient drove roads.

Stopping at Kilmaha, I used the drone to get a picture showing how the Loch narrows, and why it appealed as a crossing for the drovers.

The lonely road we took, a distant Ben Cruachan and the absolutely massive forestry in this area.

This was a very rewarding road trip through country I had never been. The weather was lovely and we got some great walking. I will definitely return to this very lonely part of Argyll. 

The following day, I wanted to stay local, so I picked a walk I had attempted last year. It is at the head of Glen Creran, starting near a place called Elleric. When attempting this before, I had to turn back as a footbridge had been swept away in a spate.

The walk itself is managed by the FC, and forms part of a group of trails for those interested in the Killing of the Red Fox. The 'Red Fox' was a Campbell who was murdered near Ballachulish in a dispute over land. This walk overlooks Glenure which was where the Red Fox lived.

The new bridge which replaces the one washed away last year.

It crosses a lovely gorge.

The spate must have been incredibly fierce to have destroyed such as substantial structure.

I should mention this fine Collie. A typical Highland Collie, he joined us at Elleris and walked with us for almost 2 hrs, when he then disappeared. We met him on the return to the car sharing a 'piece' with a bricklayer working on a house in the Glen!

The walk continues through some really old woodland, reaching the Fairy Bridge deep in the wood.

A magical structure. With its coating of moss and liched, it completely blends into the surroundings. 

The rocks which form the spikes along the arch of the bridge.

The trail continues, and we passed a derelict Bothy.

The roof had partially collapsed, and there was evidence that it has been used recently as a howf.

Towards the end of the wooded section, we came across the 'Fas na Cloiche', translated as 'the growth from the rock'. It's in the garden of a cottage.


It is a large Pine tree growing from a massive boulder.

The walk then continued down the gravel track to the cottage, onto the road, and returned to the car passed some quite interesting houses along the way.

On the road back, stopped to take a photo along Loch Creran showing the Caravan Club CL of Dalachulish in the distance.

And across to the Appin peninsula and the distant hills of Morvern.



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