Saturday, 30 March 2013


The area around Skipness Castle is redolent with legend and mystery. There is the long-haired spirit known as the Green Lady, who is reputed to have protected the inhabitants of Skipness Castle from danger by bewitching their enemies. In the woods near Skipness there were huntsmen who were terrorised by silent horsemen, along with reports of the sound of hooves warning of impending death. Finally, and most bizarrely, there is the manifestation of a holly tree that dances in the road, blocking the way for homeward-bound travellers.

Skipness is in the northern part of the Kintyre Peninsula, by the entrance to the Sound Of Bute, and is one of the points of interest on the Kintyre Way. The 13th century Skipness Castle is a ruin and as such there is free entry to it; there are information boards to help visitors make sense of the ruins. The castle has extensive views of the water towards Arran and beyond, which would have enabled it to defend the area from enemy ships in the past. The nearby St Brendan's Chapel is roughly the same vintage as the castle and its "graveyard with a view" has some interesting headstones and ancient burial stones. All this ancient heritage is fringed by an unspoilt beach perfect for walking along or peering into rockpools.

Map of the area.

Skipness Chapel, Kintyre. Photo by Johnny Durnan, via Wikimedia Commons

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