West Highlands

Eating Around Appin

by Keith Savage

The view across Loch Linnhe from Port Appin

Last spring I spent a week in Appin along the shores of Loch Linnhe at the Ecopods. This beautiful part of the west highlands lies wedged between Fort William and Oban, straddling Argyll and Lochaber, and makes an excellent base from which to hike, explore, and relax. One of the great things about this trip was that I had companions! Sarah joined me, as did our friends from Melbourne, Michael and Katherine, and this was particularly nice because this part of Scotland can feel pretty out there. Whenever I travel with others, inevitably I wind up eating out at restaurants more often. Since there aren’t that many options in this region I thought it would be useful to provide an overview so you know what to expect when you visit Appin. Because you should — it’s gorgeous and a little off the tourist path. Read more...

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The view over Loch Leven, Lochaber, Scotland

A couple of years ago I rolled out a series of Itinerary Ideas articles that highlighted different areas of Scotland. When I’d written as many as I could, I couldn’t help but notice there were still some glaring holes on the map, little wastelands of knowledge here on my site. It was this process that kickstarted the planning of my subsequent trips – I needed to dig into and explore these areas in more depth, and so I hit the road this past spring to ferret out some of the great visitor experiences in Lochaber and the west highlands. Read more...

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Steall Falls and the Nevis Gorge, Lochaber, Scotland

The area of Lochaber and northern Argyll is overflowing with beautiful highland hikes. Places like An Torr and the Signal Rock in Glencoe and the Fairy Bridge of Glen Creran will remain clear in your memory long after you’ve returned home from Scotland.

Today I’m detailing one of the most popular hikes in the west highlands, and, according to some, one of the best short hikes in all of Scotland: Steall Falls and the Nevis Gorge. Fort William is the primary town in this region, and, while it isn’t very compelling, magnificent Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest mountain, looms over town. The small C1162 leaves the A82 and delves southeast into Glen Nevis… Read more...

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Dunstaffnage Castle, near Oban, Argyll and Bute, Scotland

Hardly a ten-minute drive north of Oban stands one of the oldest castles in all of Scotland. Dunstaffnage Castle looms from a rocky promontory and glowers across a key junction of western Scotland’s sea lanes, guarding the entrance to Loch Etive and protecting the Pass of Brander from Scotland’s enemies. A fortification has stood here for a very long time — some posit it may have been a Dál Riatan stronghold as far back as the 7th century — and the impressive structure visible today was largely constructed in the 1200s.

Old castles like Dunstaffnage are my favorite kind because they were functional, defensive fortifications… Read more...

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Here at last, in the shadows of Glencoe where the Three Sisters and Aonach Dubh shoulder into the thundering heavens, mankind’s scrabble for dominion falters. The four of us are dying as we stand along the margins of Loch Achtriochtan, our selves sliding from the flesh into the embrace of the glen. The weather, as we call it, becomes a colossal Kundalini serpent twisting and writhing between the mountains. Rain pinwheels down on the skirling winds, and I huddle and shiver in my jacket. Each of us sifts through memories stranded here when youth more brightly tingled our bones.

Sheep stand around a small cottage…

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