The pouring rain of Glasgow Airport was a wet but distant memory now as we pulled up to our lochside holiday cottage which was to be our home for the next week. Station Cottage overlooking the sea at Creagan Station near Appin on the West Coast of Scotland was everything we wanted and a great location to explore the West Coast of Scotland. Blue skies and blazing sunshine welcomed us as two enthusiastic eagles soared high above the old renovated station enjoying the mid afternoon thermals. A week booked via Waterside Breaks awaited us and there was a lot for us and our two teenage boys, there was so much to explore.
The drive across the mountains from Loch Lomond, Loch Fyne, Inveraray and Oban was a joy itself and the weather improved as we drew closer to the West Coast. We had stopped by to visit friends at Balmaha on Loch Lomond which gave us a chance to see their new luxury log cabins with enticing hot tubs overlooking the Loch – these were stunning and very tempting and definitely somewhere to stay for another day.
The journey across to Loch Awe with the spectacular ruins of Kilchurn Castle commanding the Northern shores and the Cruachan Mountains across the lovely ‘Rest and be Thankful’ route via the pretty waterside town of Inveraray was an adventure itself and memorable as wonderful views were everywhere. Every corner and hilltop opened up a new vista to feast your eyes on.
Oban, the ‘Gateway to the Isles’ was a joy too though this was supposed to be short deviation just to get all our required provisions. A short walk around showed us that the bustling harbour town had much to offer and the very tasty and very freshly caught fish and chips from the harbour were a indulgent pleasure! Our trip later from Oban later in the week across to Duart Castle the ancestral home of the Clan Maclean on the Isle of Mull was great fun – we even got to meet the descendent laird himself.
Our holiday cottage was in a great location and shared the site with a number of holiday lodges all overlooking the Loch Creran and with our very own ensuite pub, the popular Creagan Inn a very short walk away. Spectacular sea and mountain views were all around. Port Appin was a few miles drive away too via the very photogenic Castle Stalker and an excellent seafood restaurant sat overlooking the old chain ferry to the Isle of Lismore. We were very much looking forward to get exploring.
Our week flew by in a flurry of outward bound activities, adventurous drives, trips out and far too many recommendations to list. Our highlights included a trip to Fort William ‘The Outdoor Capital of the UK’. The cable car up Ben Nevis to 650m, gave us spectacular panoramic views down across the sea lochs and the Caledonian canal. I chose the mountain bike ride down the World Cup Downhill Course which was a serious challenge and certainly got the adrenaline flowing, the others wisely chose the cable car back down and raced me to the bottom. The walk up Glen Nevis in the shadow of the great mountain itself was a flurry of tumbling streams and pretty waterfalls, abundant wildlife and the ‘home’ of the famous Scottish midges whom were ravenous, this was the only ‘midge’ experience we had all week, hardly living up to the reputation they were given.
Glencoe and Loch Leven was a joy, such stunning views and a very enjoyable drive up the glen itself, many viewpoints to stop and soak in the majestic surroundings. There was so much to see that you needed at be able to turn your head like an owl to catch them all. A swim in the stream and jumping off the rocks was a great way to work off our hearty lunch at the popular Clachaig Inn. We returned later in the week to take the canoes out with a guide at Lochaber to explore the coastline, sadly the white water rafting was not available, next time perhaps.
The marine wildlife tour from Easdale which is south of Oban was very enjoyable and included a visit to the Gulf of Corryvreckan, home of the World’s third largest whirlpool. It was quite a sight but with it being absolutely mirror flat calm that day the whirlpool did not hold the deep water terrors we had been led to believe. We were also chased by the friendly dolphins and saw many curious seals and an incredible variety of seabirds.
The only really rainy day saw us disappear inside, deep into the Cruachan mountain side to visit the Cruachan Power Station. It opened out into a massive cavern apparently high enough to house the Tower of London and looked like a film set from a James Bond movie. Here enormous turbines convert the power of water into electricity, available to all in their homes at the flick of a switch.
Our week was not complete without experiencing the dune buggies near Oban, catching cray fish in the stream near our cottage, beautiful Highland forest walks and attempting to fly fish in the river running down from Loch Awe, we could actually see the salmon but never caught a thing. At least we felt as though we had experienced a little of the many joys that Scotland has to offer.
What a wonderful time we had and one I would definitely recommend. An active holiday for sure, well fed, well watered and certainly enjoying to the utmost so much of what was available on the Scottish West Coast.
After such a busy week it was time for a holiday so off we went to Loch Tay Highland Lodges for a few days rest and relaxation. However, that is another tale and adventure for another day.
Our self catering holiday at Station Cottage in Appin was booked through Waterside Breaks who offer a wide range of holiday cottages & lodges by the water and fishing holidays throughout the UK.
Waterside Breaks – Holiday Cottage & Lodge Holidays by the Water – For more information regarding Waterside Breaks Holiday Cottages & Lodges do call anytime on 01252 339020 or visit our main website at www.watersidebreaks.com