A walk round Kerrera
Remember this view from last time? Our window in Oban looked out on the island of Kerrera which we were determined to explore. A small passenger ferry runs from Gallanach, a couple of miles along the coast from Oban. Unless you live on Kerrera (current population about 35) no vehicles are allowed.
There are two possible walks suggested, the southern loop taking in Gylen Castle (and nearby tea garden – vital!) or a linear walk to the northern tip where there is a monument to David Hutcheson, one of the founders of the Caledonian MacBrayne Ferry service. We chose the 11km loop to castle and tea garden / bunk house.
From the ferry, we turned left along Horseshoe Bay and Little Horseshoe Bay. We hadn’t gone far when we discovered the tea garden owners were enterprising in a quirky sort of way. The slates read Hello! Is it tea you’re looking for? Lionel Rich Tea.
From here on our walk was punctuated by teapots – and cattle. At one time, Kerrera was a stepping stone for transporting cattle from Mull (the much larger island behind it) to the mainland.
Sometimes the teapot messages were really helpful. Cake!
The path to the castle was just before the tea garden but we chose to go for a cup of tea first, then explore the castle and return for lunch. Might as well make full use of the place! It was a lovely sunny day, but even if it hadn’t been there was comfortable indoor seating in the old barn.
The quirkiness continued in the bike park (an old tree trunk, click to enlarge to make it clearer).
And the toilet which is twinned with a toilet in Pakistan.
The ruined Gylen Castle, dramatically perched on a rocky outcrop, was built in 1587 by Duncan MacDougall of Dunollie, the 16th chief, on the site of an earlier fortification.
From the castle and tea garden, the path followed the more rugged western edge of the island before crossing back to the ferry point. And, of course, just in case anyone was walking the loop in the other direction, there were more teapots.
This was an absolutely beautiful day and I’d love to go back to Kerrera. The next day, we were heading back home from Oban and the weather was not so kind to us. We still made some interesting stops, though – next time!
I’m linking this post to Jo’s Monday Walks. Pop over for some Portuguese sunshine, I could certainly do with that today!