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A trip to Moidart and Morvern

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 24 June 2009

Wednesday 24 June, a trip to Moidart and Morvern

Corran ferry Corran ferryAnd again the sun shines brightly when we get up and soon we are on our way, First to Corran where we take the ferry that takes us to the other side in 5 minutes, in the southern part of the Highlands. You can also drive around by car but that is more than 100 kilometers extra. This peninsula has been for a while Viking territory until it once again became part of Scotland in the 11th century.
Landing spot of the Corran ferry in Ardgour Corran Lighthouse LodgeOn the other side, in Ardgour, we first drink coffee in the sun and we are clearly not the only ones to go out. From the ferry we also see the Corran lighthouse which (of course) is for rent. 10 people can sleep and for a week you have pay about 2,000 pounds, but with a group of ten that's allright of course.
The building is actually still in use as a lighthouse and also has its own fog horn.
View on Loch Doilean Loch DoileanLike many islands and peninsulas on the west coast of Scotland, the landscape is rugged and green. First we drive towards Strontian along Loch Sunart, a 30-kilometer long sea arm that separates the Ardnamurchan peninsula in the north from Morvern in the south. The road is becoming narrower, but it is new with clear passing places.
Beyond Strontian we head north along Loch Doilean to Loch Shiel.
Shiel river Loch ShielThis is a deserted area and as many people as we saw at the ferry, so little we see now. These are exactly the roads I like to drive, hilly with lots of forest and occasionally a lake or river and vistas. I could endlessly drive on!
Nearby are lead mines and there are some prehistoric sites here and there but there are no signs and we do not have detailed maps of the area so we do not even bother to look for rhem.
A lonely house A break at Loch ShielMost people will see Loch Shiel first from Glenfinnan where you have a beautiful view of Glen Shiel but we will go there tomorrow. We sit on the south side of the lake and make an extensive walk after which we take a half hour break. We always have camping chairs in the car and at the water it is great to sit until we are chased away by a flock of hornets, and we would rather not be stung by them.
Boat at Lochaline View on MullThen we head south again and take the road to Morvern, the southernmost part of the peninsula. Also on this part of the map are a few roads where we have not been before so I have to go there. Here we are at Lochaline, a small village from where a ferry goes to Mull, but we do not make that crossing this time, we will be going there in a couple of years.
Ferry at Lochaline Loch AlineYou can go to Mull from several places, for example from Oban, but this is the shortest crossing. We drive north along the banks of Loch Aline. It seems that here there is a whole deposit of fossil oysters along the bank but we do not find anything.
Ruined wallWe do see now and then a ruin or a mysterious something like this dilapidated wall with small stones in front of it, as if there was once a kind of dolmen or stone circle. There is no sign, so we have no idea what the wall was and what all those stones do there.
Kinlochaline Castle Ardtornish houseAround Loch Aline lies Ardtornish Estate, a large estate with, among others, the castle ruins of Ardtornish Castle and the still inhabited Kinlochaline Castle. This is originally a 12th century castle and is also called Caisteail an Ime (butter castle) because the story goes that the client paid the builder with butter, with as much volume as the castle was large. It burned down in 1644 but was restored in the 1990s.
Loch Linnhe Loch LinnheWe drive back to the north on the east side. It is a beautiful area and occasionally we step out for a short walk. On the pictures you see Loch Linnhe which we cross again when we are back in Ardgour. With all the detours we make it takes us a few hours. We can immediately board the boat and the ferryman recognizes us and we do not have to pay anything. Sssshhh, do not tell, he says. Later we hear that you only have to pay a oneway crossing if you go back and forth on the same day.
Loch LinnheIt is a pity that we do not have the exact route we have driven today, because we went through the peninsula in a very disoriented way, letting the unvisited roads on my map lead us. But what a beautiful landscape and with such wonderful weather!
By 8 o'clock we are back at home in the log cabin and since it stays light and warm for a long time, we sit outside for a long time.


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