Exploring the western tip of scotland

Tripoto
9th Feb 2016
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 1/18 by Sangeetha
Path leading up to our cottage
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 2/18 by Sangeetha
'The Lodge', a wee cottage in Drimnin Estate
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 3/18 by Sangeetha
Abandoned boat near the pier
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 4/18 by Sangeetha
Waterfalls at the 'Glen Aros' Park
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 5/18 by Sangeetha
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 6/18 by Sangeetha
At the 'Tobermory' port on Isle of Mull
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 7/18 by Sangeetha
Tobermory Distillery
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 8/18 by Sangeetha
Enroute Salen via Ulva
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 9/18 by Sangeetha
Ardnamurchan Distillery - newest one in scotland
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 10/18 by Sangeetha
Volcano!
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Highland Cow
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Sanna Bay in the village of Sanna
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 13/18 by Sangeetha
Sunny 'Sanna Bay'
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Ardnamurchan Lighthouse
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 15/18 by Sangeetha
Setting sun over the Atlantic
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 16/18 by Sangeetha
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 17/18 by Sangeetha
Ardnamurchan Distillery
Photo of Exploring the western tip of scotland 18/18 by Sangeetha
Garden barn at cheese farm

Ardnamurchan and the Morvern peninsula are hidden gems. They are speckled with quaint little towns and ports, and huge estates some of which even house a castle on their grounds. The peninsula offers us a glimpse of unspoiled wilderness with plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife. The views are amazing no matter where you are driving in the peninsula; you are never away from a Loch or a Ben (Lake or a hill in Gaelic). We often found a beach all to ourselves but for the Sea gulls.

The landscape of the peninsula is rugged with jagged hills, serene lochs and ever so near Atlantic waters. Getting transported to a dreamy world is easy when you don't see another soul for miles and miles.

We enjoyed our drives on those narrow, winding single track roads but the thought of using those roads for daily commute in the peak winter with snow and sleet did scare us. The challenges faced by these isolated communities living at the far edge of the mainland is quite unimaginable to city dwellers like us.

The best drives on this trip were from Calgary to Salen via Lagganulva, Kilchoan to Sanna Beag and Lochaline to Drimnin.

We stayed in the Drimnin estate on the Morvern peninsula and used it as a base to travel around Isle of Mull and Ardnamurchan.

This was our itinerary

Day 1 : Drimnin Estate -> Strontian

Day 2 : Drimnin Estate -> Isle of Mull (Fishnish port), you can check the route map here here

Day 3 : Drimnin Estate -> Ardnamurchan, click here for the route guide.

We were not so lucky to taste the local cuisine offered as most of them had their shutters down for the winter. The 'Bothy Bar' at the Bothy Hotel and 'Cafe Sunart' both in the town of Strontian, were open and had a good choice of food and drinks.

We braved the scottish winter and mother nature pleasantly surprised us by providing 3 straight days of Sunshine and clear skies. This trip wouldn't have been the same without the Winter Sun treating us so generously.

Drimnin Estate is nestled at the end of a 11 mile single track road from Lochaline, on the Morvern Peninsula. The estate occupies around 7000 acres of land on the western tip of the peninsula with beautiful views of Tobermory across the 'Sound of Mull'. The night skies are spectacular(on a clear night) and we could locate most of the constellations with minimal effort. There are a number of walks around the estate with very good chances of spotting wildlife. The estate provides accommodations of varied sizes to suit groups of 2 to 20 people. 'The Lodge', a wee gatekeeper's cottage was where we stayed on the estate. It's a perfect getaway for anybody seeking solitude from the hustle bustle of the city life.

Photo of Drimnin Estate, Drimnin, United Kingdom by Sangeetha
Photo of Drimnin Estate, Drimnin, United Kingdom by Sangeetha

Standing outside our cottage, we could clearly see the Tobermory port, but to reach there we had to drive 11 miles down to Lochaline and take a 20 minute ferry ride to Fishnish. From here, we drove a further 11 miles and this time across the other side of the 'Sound of Mull' to reach our destination. Tobermory port is famous for its iconic 'Tobermory Distillery' and of course for the brightly colored buildings dotted along the length of the port as opposed to the monochrome buildings which are a common sight in most parts of mainland Scotland.

Photo of Tobermory, United Kingdom by Sangeetha
Photo of Tobermory, United Kingdom by Sangeetha
Photo of Tobermory, United Kingdom by Sangeetha

Aros is a beautiful park near Tobermory. It offers many walking trails ranging from easy to moderate. When we parked our car at the Aros car park, it was a crisp winter day and the temperature hovered around Zero degree Celsius. It was indeed chilly but we deluded ourselves by looking at the Sun(which seemed only to be a source of light minus the heat) and started our 1.5 mile walk to the waterfall. It is a moderate walk, a little boggy at places and there's a view point at the end of the trail, with fantastic views of the waterfall.

Photo of Aros Park, A848, Tobermory, United Kingdom by Sangeetha
Photo of Aros Park, A848, Tobermory, United Kingdom by Sangeetha
Photo of Aros Park, A848, Tobermory, United Kingdom by Sangeetha

Ardnamurchan Distillery is one of the newest in Scotland and was opened in July 2014. It sits on the shores of 'Loch Sunart', in the Glenbeag Estate. Their first Single Malt is going to hit the shelves in 2022 having been aged for 8 years. The distillery building itself is rather plain looking but the surroundings more than make up for its architecture. We went in for a Standard tour which lasted for 40 min with a dram from their Adelphi whisky selection at the end of it. I'd say if you are in the area and the weather is bad or if whisky is one of your interests, then go for it!

Photo of Ardnamurchan Distillery, United Kingdom by Sangeetha
Photo of Ardnamurchan Distillery, United Kingdom by Sangeetha

The Ardnamurchan Lighthouse, the most westerly point on the British Mainland is another tourist attraction. The tower itself and the visitor centre was closed until Easter but one could still access the viewing platform by the Foghorn which offers a good view of the Isles. During the summer months, when the tower is open, it is possible to climb till the top for more spectacular views. It's also a well known Whale and Dolphin spotting area, although we weren't lucky enough to spot any of them. And for Sunset lovers like me, it offers a dreamy landscape as the Sun slowly seems to dissolve into the Atlantic.

Photo of Ardnamurchan Lighthouse, Kilchoan, United Kingdom by Sangeetha
Photo of Ardnamurchan Lighthouse, Kilchoan, United Kingdom by Sangeetha
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