Saturday, 3 November 2012

ARDNAMURCHAN

Ardnamurchan is a peninsula jutting out of the west coast of Scotland, so far west in fact that it includes the most westerly point on the UK mainland. The peninsula offers legendary sunsets and views across to some of the islands of the Inner Hebrides and, on a clear day, the Outer hebrides. The peninsula has been the scene of fierce battles in the past, including a Viking battle. Last year an extraordinary discovery was made at Port an Eilean Mhoir on the peninsula's north coast: a Viking boat burial site believed to be over 1,000 years old. The Viking whose body was found inside the boat is believed to have been a high-ranking warrior given the artefacts surrounding him. Ardnamurchan is home to a wide variety of wildlife, from deer to pine partens, otters to seals, and golden and white-tailed eagles. Activities available to visitors include sea kayaking, fishing, cycling and sailing. During the summer months wildlife watching boat trips and charters are on offer. The village of Kilchoan, towards the western end of the peninsula, is the most westerly village in the UK mainland and, although tiny, it provides a ferry service to Tobermory on Mull, operating out of a cute little ferry terminal with the appearance of a converted cottage. Nearby Mingary Castle was built in the 13th century and has seen plenty of action over the years, including a role in the Jacobite uprising, when the castle was used as a government garrison. Geologists will find the Kilchoan area of particular interest, as it was here that the minerals kilchoanite, dellaite and rustumite were first found, and there are also good examples of a type of igneous rock called a "cone sheet" to be found in the locality. Glenborrodale, on the south coast of the peninsula, has a castle which was formerly owned by Jesse Boot of Boots the Chemists fame, and is now a luxury hotel. There is also an RSPB reserve here.

Map of the area.


Kilchoan © 2006 Stuart Wilding, via Wikimedia Commons


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