Things to Do
There is so much to see and do within easy reach of Traighuaine Ard, whether you're looking for an active or a leisurely holiday. The following is a sample of things you can see and do during your stay at Traighuaine Ard so that you can book some activities before your arrival, if you wish. If you click on Links you will be able to find the relevant websites and access them directly. You will also find lots more information in the folder in the apartment and, if I’m around, I’d be happy to talk through your options with you at the beginning of your stay.
This area is a walker’s paradise. The choice of walks really is endless. A steep climb of less than 10 minutes from Traighuaine Ard (depending how fit you are!) brings you to this stunning view and the views get better and better the higher you go – at the top, the old Trig Point, you will find a surprise!
A little further afield there’s a network of forestry walks of varying distances, and, for the less energetic, a gentle stroll along the Crinan Canal is a must.
A five minute ferry ride from Oban takes you to the Island of Kerrera where there is a wonderful coastal walk.
In 2009 beavers were released into the wild in Knapdale Forest as a trial. A special pontoon has been constructed from where you can view the intricate dam constructed by the beavers. Guided tours take place every Saturday and Tuesday at 6 p.m. from 30th March to 13th April and from 25th May to 27th August. Booking essential Tel: 01546 603346 Website: www.scottishbeavers.org.uk
The Forestry Commission provide excellent booklets which you will find in the apartment along with other information on local walks.
The famous National Trust of Scotland Arduaine Garden Tel: 01852 200366 is just one mile from Traighuaine Ard. Renowned for its rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias, this is a must for garden lovers. The gardens are at their very best in spring, sometimes even as early as the end of March, but they are a pleasure at any time of year. Other gardens within driving distance are Ardmaddy Tel: 01852 300353, Kilmory and Crarae. Smaller gardens are open in the spring and summer under the Scotland's Gardens Scheme. To find out more about the gardens of Argyll, visit www.gardens-of-argyll.co.uk
A choice of boat trips is available leaving from nearby Craobh Haven, and from Ardfern and Easdale. All of the operators offer the chance to “sail” through the Gulf of Corrievreckan (the third largest whirlpool in the world) which can vary from the dramatic to relatively calm. There is an abundance of wildlife and birdlife in the area, some more rare than others. Look out for seals, otters, red deer, wild goats, porpoises, dolphins, basking sharks, golden eagles, sea eagles (white tailed eagles) and other raptors, and minke whales. Booking is essential.
FARSAIN CRUISES, CRAOBH HAVEN MARINA. Farsain is a small launch carrying a maximum of 12 passengers. Her skipper, Duncan Phillips, has a wealth of knowledge about the seascape and where to spot wildlife and birdlife. On my last trip on Farsain we were lucky enough to see the rare White Tailed Eagle perched in a tree. By arrangement, Duncan will drop you off and collect you from one of the nearby islands so that you can spend the day hiking or just enjoying a picnic in peace and quiet.
Tel: 07880 714165
CRAIGNISH CRUISES, ARDFERN. Sea Leopard II is a purpose built catamaran carrying up to 60 passengers. This is a larger, less personal boat trip.
www.craignishcruises.co.uk Tel: 0845 397 9824 Mobile: 07747 023038 E-mail: email@example.com
SEAFARI ADVENTURES, EASDALE. These trips are in high speed ribs for the more adventurous who are seeking a thrill rather than the opportunity to view the seascape at a leisurely pace.
www.seafari.co.uk Tel: 01852 300003 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Oban (The Gateway to the Isles) is the starting point for exploring many of the islands of Argyll. A 45 minute crossing takes you from Oban to Mull , from where you can explore the historic island of Iona and show the kids where the popular TV series, Balamory, was filmed. Ferries also leave from the Mull of Kintyre and the beautiful little island of Ghia is well worth a visit.
Timetables and bookings through Caledonian MacBrayne www.calmac.co.uk Tel: 0800 066 5000
The nearest riding stables, Lunga Riding Stables, are just 4 miles away based on the Lunga Estate overlooking Craobh Haven Marina. They specialise in both Western and English riding on Appaloosa horses. They cater for all standards from 4 year olds upwards and provide lessons, trekking and Pub and Picnic rides.
www.lungaridingstables.co.uk E-mail: email@example.com Tel: 01852 500632
These informal "ceilidh" style evenings take place throughout the year. They are not rehearsed performances aimed at tourists. Everybody is welcome to join in whether a musician or not. Every evening is different, but you can be sure of an eclectic mix of music ranging from traditional Scottish music played on the bagpipes to a bit of "pop". The music evenings are an ideal opportunity, particularly for overseas visitors, to meet people who live here and to experience a bit of Argyll living.
Music evenings take place on the first and third Friday of every month from about 9.30 p.m. at the Loch Melfort Hotel Tel: 01852 200233 and every Monday evening from about 8 p.m. at the Shower of Herring Restaurant Tel: 01852 200345 www.showerofherring.co.uk There is no entry fee, you don't have to have a meal in the restaurant, just enjoy the music and a drink at the bar.
The nearest distillery is in Oban where you can enjoy a guided tour and a wee sample of “the water of life”. Tel: 01631 563644
Kilmartin Glen “the Ancient Kingdom of the Scots” (12 miles from Traighuaine Ard) is full of historical interest from the ancient standing stones and stone circles to the little church and graveyard with one of the best collections of early Christian crosses and grave slabs dating from the early 9th Century. An award winning museum tells the fascinating story of this ancient area and its place in the history of the Scots. Guided Glen Walks take place throughout the season on Wednesdays starting from reception at 1.30 p.m. These are free but donations are welcome. Tel: 01546 510278 www.kilmartin.org
Carnasserie Castle, near Kilmartin, is a well preserved 16th Century castle.
Inverary Castle which is still occupied by the Duke of Argyll. Tel: 01499 302203
A living museum where real people portray life in a 19th Century jail. Tel: 01499 302381
SAILING AND CANOEING
Craobh Haven Watersports provides moorings (if you want to bring your own boat), hire of boats/kayaks/canoes and equipment, and tuition.
www.craobhhavenwatersports.co.uk Tel: 01852 500753 Mobile: 07818 0811
EASDALE ISLAND FOLK MUSEUM AND HERITAGE CENTRE
Visit the fascinating slate island of Easdale (only a five minute ferry crossing), and learn about the history of the slate industry at the tiny museum. En route you will cross the "Bridge over the Atlantic". Tel: 01852 300370
Kilmelford Village Hall (only 5 miles away) boasts both a squash and a badminton court. Some equipment is available but bring rackets and balls/shuttlecocks with you. Bookings and keys are available from Kilmelford Village Store Tel: 01852 200271
This is a popular area for fishing. Local advice is available from:
Fyne Tackle, Lochgilphead Tel: 01546 606878
Oban and Lorn Angling Club Tel: 01631 710649 www.obanandlorn-anglingclub.co.uk
Permits for fishing the hill lochs behind Kilmelford are available from Kilmelford Post Office and Store.
Atlantis Leisure, Oban. This sport’s centre has a 25 meter swimming pool, flumes, a smaller kids pool and slide.
Tel: 01631 566800
Alternatively, you could always brave the sea, virtually on your doorstep, or one of the many hill lochs.
Mountain bikes can be hired from the Melfort Club Tel: 01852 200257
The clarity of the water makes the West Coast a very popular area for diving. You can arrange for Duncan (Farsain Cruises) to drop you off and collect you from offshore dive sites. Tanks can be filled in Oban at the Puffin Dive Centre Tel: 0800 428181 where a variety of diving activities is also available.
SEALIFE CENTRE, Barcaldine www.sealsanctuary.co.uk Tel: 01631 720386
This is a great day out for the kids. On a wet day there is plenty to see inside with tanks of octopus, sharks, rays, an underwater seal observatory, a unique shoaling ring and a coffee and gift shop. Outside there's a play area and nature trails. The full price tickets are quite expensive but there are usually offers and I sometimes have cut price vouchers available.
Book a one day wildlife and digital photography experience with award winning local wildlife photographer Philip Price of Loch Visions. All equipment and lunch provided. Booking and information from Tel: 01866 833123 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.lochvisions.co.uk
To add to the relaxation of your holiday, why not book a massage with Gabby. Gabby is an experienced masseuse who has been practising therapeutic massage since 1989. She incorporates remedial massage and elements of manual lymphatic drainage, acupressure, reflexology, Reiki and the use of essential oils in her treatments. She also practices as a Counsellor and holds a COSCA validated Diploma in Counselling. Gabby practices on Tuesdays at nearby Melfort Club (Tel: 01852 200257 to make a booking) and at her home on Fridays (3 miles away) Tel: 01852 500223 E-mail: email@example.com