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" On holiday on The Mull of Kintyre "
Date & start time: Friday 14th to Wednesday 19th September 2018.
Location of Start : By the red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk.
Holiday location: Argyll Hotel, Bellochantuy, near Campbeltown, Argyll. Scotland. ( NR 663 324)
Places visited : Glasgow, Arrochar, "Rest and be Thankful", Inverary, Crinnan Canal, Tarbet.
Walk details : A five hour drive to our hotel with a lunch stop (time not included).
With : Ann and our dog Dylan.
Weather : Overcast, low cloud on the hills but sunshine and a nice sunset to finish.
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We've planned a few days away at a dog friendly, good food hotel by the sea on the west coast of the Mull of Kintyre.
We've not been to the area for fifteen or so years and so it is time to re-discover the landscape
and check out some of the memories we recall from our previous visit.
They're packing their bags . . . I hope they've done mine as well !
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A mid-morning start and a five hour journey north means we can relax and take our time.
We pass Glasgow and cross the Clyde, high up on the Erskin Bridge.
As we enter the hills around Loch Lomond the cloud is down on the higher hills.
The top of Ben Lomond is missing but looking up the Cobbler is just about visible.
Next stop . . . due to the traffic lights over the narrow bridge . . . is Inveraray.
The bridge crosses the River Aray giving a fleeting glimpse of the Inveraray Castle from the narrow roadway.
We stop in town to stretch the legs and think about some lunch.
A Clyde Puffer, the Vital Spark, rests alongside the jetty in the town. These famous flat bottom boats were powered by steam
and designed for the west coast trade. These were immortalised in the Para Handy Stories on TV many years ago.
The town is full of grand buildings, from the churches and shops of the main street to the Jail House at the top of town.
Also amongst the fine buildings . . . the George Inn . . . recommended for lunches and it's dog-friendly too.
Suitably relaxed and replenished we start driving south once more, down the other side of the Clyde Estuary.
Just past Lochgilphead is the southern end of the Crinnan Canal
The canal was a pre-Victorian venture designed to shortcut the 120 mile sea passage round the Mull of Kintyre
for boats travelling north from Glasgow and the Clyde. It is now popular with all types of leisure craft.
Further south again, down onto the Mull of Kintyre . . . starting here with the picturesque town of Tarbet.
Calm water on this eastern side offers a safe haven from the Atlantic weather.
One of the Macbraynes ferries offers sailings to the Inner Hebridean islands from Kennacraig on West Loch Tarbet.
Tarbet Castle ruins stand on the hill at the back of town
so we drive round as far as the road allows, turning by the B&B that we stayed in many years ago.
A service boat from a local fish farm glides into harbour as we make our way back to the Campbeltown road.
The sea on the west coast of the peninsular is a little more choppy
but the sun is out as we arrive at Bellochantuy Bay and our hotel for the next few days.
Welcome to the Argyll Hotel.
We have a room booked . . . with a sea view looking out from the back of the building.
Unpacked and out for a stroll along the beach.
We can see the dark outline of Cara Island and Gigha Island further up the coast and Islay and Jura are just visible across the sound.
The sun makes a welcome late afternoon appearance . . .
. . . and Dylan can take advantage of the open spaces for a good run around.
Even excited dogs stop for a moment when a treat is on offer.
We walk up the beach to the rocks on the tide line
and return with the thought that we might sample a pre-dinner beverage.
The heavy cloud from earlier in the day has departed
and we have a more interesting bank of high cloud that might give us a nice west coast sunset.
Supper in the conservatory overlooking the beach.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix Tz60 Compact, or my Panasonic Gx8 mid-range System Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a thirty year old map of the area saved from last time.
Click the links for the full set of pictures:
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Previous event - 7th September - Loweswater's Tour of Britain Race
A previous time in the area - May 15th to 23rd 2004 Early Summer in Scotland 2004
Next event - 26th September - Dougal of Loweswater