Inveraray, Scotland July 2011

I took a visit to Inveraray which is a quaint little town and the gateway to Argyll and the Islands, and is home of the Duke of Argyll, who founded the town in 1745.

The best part of Inveraray is it’s quay side and black and white style buildings, with an addition of a castle and jail.

In 1744 the third Duke of Argyll decided to demolish the existing castle and start from scratch with a new building. The castle was 40 years in construction, and the work was largely supervised by the Adam family, still renowned to this day as gifted architects and designers. The end product was not a castle in the traditional sense, but a classic Georgian mansion house on a grand scale.

Rest and be Thankful, Scotland July 2011

Rest and Be Thankful is a place high up on the A83 between Argyll and Bute in Scotland running from Tarbet (Loch Lomond) to Campbeltown at the southern end of Kintyre peninsula and onto Inverary.

From Loch Lomond / Tarbet you have to travel west through the Arrochar Alps beyond Loch Long to Loch Fyne.

The section of the A83 called Rest and be Thankful is named as the climb out of Glen Croe (not to be confused with Glencoe) is so long and steep at the end that it was traditional for travellers to rest at the top, and be thankful for having reached the highest point.

Castle Stalker, Scotland July 2011

After being a fan of the Monty Python films and more so Monty Python and the Holy Grail, I’ve wanted to go and visit Castle Stalker that featured in the film. Unfortunately for the most part you can’t really get as close as you would like, especially when the tide is in. However there is a cafe nearby on the landscape called Castle Stalker View which gets you as close as you can probably get.

Castle Stalker is pretty small and is in a place called Appin in Argyll. The cafe nearby does some really good pastries and also Irn Bru floats (if you don’t know what this is, Irn Bru is the soda drink of Scotland that outsells Coke and has a dollop of ice cream in it).

The Castle is situated on the A828 between Ballachulish and Connel, and accessed by way of the old railway track. Using the Castle Stalker View Café as your starting point, travel southwards (right turn on leaving the café) down the steep hill. At the foot of the hill, follow the road round the sharp lefthand bend and approximately 150 metres further on turn right by a small red postbox mounted on a pole. Follow this small lane to the end where it meets the new cycle track and turn right again along the old railway track parallel to the cycle track. Continue along the railway track between the platforms of the old station and approximately 75 metres on you will see the boathouse on your left. Park on the track, making sure that access for other vehicles is not blocked or impeded, and proceed on foot through the gate to the boathouse and shore.