Self Catering Scotland - Activities around the Ardnamurchan Peninsula
Shoreline Cottages, luxury self catering in Scotland, provides the perfect setting to explore the Scottish Highlands with many local activities - wildlife and walking, mountain and coastal scenery to enjoy.
Even before you get here, there are portents of the delights awaiting you in Ardnamurchan. Most people approach the peninsula from the South, which means a trip across Loch Linnhe on the Corran Ferry.
If there is one thing that stays in the memory, it is that of the sunsets over Ardnamurchan. Untroubled by any form of atmospheric pollution, nature's wonderful evening show can be enjoyed to the full.
Everywhere you go in Ardnamurchan, there are reminders of the past, bygone industries (such as lead mining and illicit distilling), clan strongholds (like Castle Tioram pictured right, and Mingary Castle at Kilchoan) - and traces of the 1745 "Bonnie Prince Charlie" rebellion.
The peninsula can claim some wild and bleak countryside, but also boasts more lush and picturesque beauty spots, which come into view unannounced.
You just have to stop and admire............... Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter.
Head West to Ardnamurchan Point, round a bend and stop to experience the sheer peace of this tranquil scenry. Just down a slope spy the deserted cottages. Who had lived there? What did they do? Fishers?, Farmers? Why did they leave? Now only the birds populate the place, the only sounds being their calls, carried on the breeze above the gentle lapping of the water below.
For most of the time, of course, the sea around our coast is lit by sunlight unfiltered by pollution, but it can have a hypnotic fascination when the skies are darkened at dawn or twilight, storm or sea mist.
When you stand beside the lighthouse at Ardnamurchan Point and look West, there's nothing but thousands of miles of sea between you and the Americas. Idyllic on a sunny day, exciting on a stormy one, the lighthouse has a small refreshment room (with seats outside) and a visitor centre.
A "must-see" during your stay.
On the Ardnamurchan peninsula, it doesn't really matter how energetic or laid-back you want to be - it caters for all levels of energy and a wide range of interests. You must come and see the varied sights of this beautiful and remote corner of Scotland for yourself.
Many charted walks are available - ask for a copy of the leaflet "Forty beautiful, varied walks in unspoilt Ardnamurchan". This outlines walks varying from an hour to a long half-day trip. Hills, glens, castles, woods, lochs, the "singing sands" of Kentra, lead mines, deserted villages, coastal paths and magnificent views . . . all can be reached and explored by casual and serious walkers.
Cyclists can chose the roads or, with mountain bikes, the many paths and tracks across the peninsula.
Driving is quite a different experience on the peninsula. The roads tend to be narrow and winding. The outlook may be loch-side or mountain vista, lush foliage or bleak rocks. Each bend reveals something unexpected and beautiful.
You will find driving relatively leisurely, with high standards of care and courtesy. One-track roads are well-provided with passing places, both to allow oncoming traffic to pass and to allow others to pass you. (You are not allowed to "hog" the road in Ardnamurchan. It is obligatory to let faster traffic through . . . not that you would have any reason to hurry!)
The peninsula is a paradise for photographers and painters. The rugged Atlantic coastline; the serene beaches; the wildlife; the water, still in the inland lochs and lochans, rushing along streams and down waterfalls, pounding against rocks; sunsets to die for; castles and cottages; deserted villages; where does the rich source of images end? (Well, it doesn't, in Ardnamurchan.)
You can fish for salmon and trout on Loch Shiel and Loch Mudle and in numerous hill lochs and rivers across the peninsula. For the more adventurous, sea fishing can be arranged in Loch Sunart and at Lochaline. Boats are available from a number of sources and we shall be glad to help you make the arrangements for your trip and (if required) expert tuition.
Naturally, if you are not an angler, from the water you have access to stunning and varied views and experiences not available on land.
The unpolluted waters around Ardnamurchan are warmed by the Gulf Stream. The clear seawater can be enjoyed from many gently-sloping, spotlessly clean beaches such as those at Sanna, Kentra - the "singing sands" -, Ardtoe and Dorlin. If you haven't visited Highland beaches before, whether resting, viewing or bathing, you will be enchanted by the silver sands, subtly tinted by traces of colour from shoreline rocks.
There are dozens of places to visit. From the vitrified iron-age fort at Glen Gour in the east of the peninsula to the lighthouse at Ardnamurchan Point in the west, you will find interest and fascination.
Shopping is rather a different prospect here, the nearest commercial large(ish) settlement being at Fort William across the Corran Ferry. Nevertheless, the essentials (including petrol and some surprisingly good selections of wine) are catered for by village shops, while craft shops can be found here and there. We will happily share with you our knowledge of where really special things can be found, including locally smoked fish and other delicacies to take home with you.