Ardnamurchan

Ardnamurchan is one of the hidden delights of Scotland. Far too many people go to nearby Mull, there’s actually a ferry connecting the two, and ignore this staggeringly beautiful part of the country.  Fresh seafood, excellent walking and birdwatching plus some of the best holiday accommodation around makes this a place you will remember for a very long time. Seals, eagles, dolphins, whales, otters, wildcats and magnificent red deer can all be seen here.

 

I would suggest you start your visit to Ardnamurchan by calling in at the Nadurra Visitors’ centre which is basically natural history of the peninsula. They have truly outstanding displays and walk through exhibition of the wildlife to give you an excellent start. Twite, Storm and Leaches Petrel, Hen Harrier and both Eagles are seen here with pine martin and long eared bats nesting inside the centre.

 

Boat trips are available on Loch Shiel one of the longest fresh water lochs where you can watch sea eagles wafting by.  You can follow this up by a visit to a different kind of bird, the Blue Parrot. This excellent little cafe is in the community building in Archaracle. The walking here is superb. We climbed Ben Hiant and got staggering views overlooking Mull, Skye and the other islands of the Inner Hebrides. On clear day you can look eastwards to see Ben Nevis.

 

There is also a tremendous range of accommodation on the peninsula from top calls hotels to self catering cottages and B&BS. However this would be Ardnamurchan if there wasn’t something extra special in the wind. Some self catering cottages are ecologically special having been built of recycled materials with a grass roof so they blend in with the scenery whilst you can even stay on your own private 600 acre island with your own small boat to explore the nooks and crannies of Loch Sunart.

 

Whatever you do you have to go to the lighthouse which stands on the UK mainland’s most westerly point. Be careful here though as roads are nearly all single track on the peninsula and there are passing places almost every hundred yards. It is the law that you should pull over into one of these passing places if a local is behind you as they know the roads and travel a bit faster than us visitors.  It nice though when you’re sitting in the pub at night and a total stranger  comes up to you and  says “ Thanks for pulling over and letting me pass this morning.” It just adds to the charm of the place.

Kentra Bay 2 RSPB Glen Borrodale www.ardnamurchan.com