The main draw at Loch Gruinart is the RSPB Reserve, which in winter sees huge numbers of geese, such as barnacle geese. In Spring it is waders who take centre stage, including Redshanks. The elusive corncrake can also be found here. The loch has in the past been voted one of the best places for wildlife in the United Kingdom. The name Gruinart derives from the Old Norse meaning "shallow fjord". The ruined Kilnave Chapel lies on the shore of Loch Gruinart, and is believed to have been built around the late 1300s or early 1400s. Its tranquil location belies the fact that it was the scene of a particularly bloody battle between Clan MacDonald and the MacLeans of Duart (Mull). As was so often the case, the battle was fought over land rights. The MacLeans came off worse since, although a number of survivors were able to return to their boats, around 30 retreated to the chapel, where they were burned alive when the MacDonalds set fire to the thatched roof.
Map of the area.