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Great day on Kerrera
by KatTai » Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:06 pm
Route description: Gylen Castle circuit, Isle of Kerrera
Date walked: 29/07/2015
Distance: 11 km
Ascent: 275m3 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Before reaching the tearoom we turned off to head to the castle. We were too early for the tearoom anyway. Following the trail and avoiding a particularly boggy section the castle was soon in sight. We followed the path split and we went to the left heading up to the castle on a more gentle slope. The views were amazing and I could see several islands in the distance. There isn't much to explore in the castle, but the views had most of the attention anyway! We then headed back down and this time followed the other track which led around the base of the castle to a sea arch - this whole section is raised seabed. It was about time for the tearoom to open, and having set off at 5am I was ready for a cuppa!
The tearoom was quiet when we arrived and I ordered my food (scone and a cake) and was entertained by watching the sparrows and chaffinches come hopping along hoping for some crumbs. The stop gave the dogs plenty of time to rest and as I was in no hurry I stayed there for a while watching the birds until it started to get busy and I decided it was time to move on. This was the first decision point as Fly was with us - to head back the way we came or to continue on round. She was doing fine though and so we decided to continue on the circular route with views across to Mull and the Calmac ferries crossing between Oban and various destinations.
We had a quick look in the craft stall (mostly soap and cards) and continued following the path (signposted "ferry"). This section seemed to take forever, coming close to bays and then moving away...a cyclist stopped and asked if I knew where we were on the map, which I didn't but he was heading for the tearoom so I was able to point him in the right direction! Then it was back inland through more boggy bits and then back onto a good track before another bay came in sight, which turned out to be Slatrach Bay meaning we were now on the last leg of the walk. We were stopped again to ask for directions (we must look like we know were we are going!), another guy heading to the tearoom. He had got the ferry across to the marina (I didn't even know about that ferry). I showed him where I thought we were on the map and pointed out where the castle and tearoom was. Continuing on, we reached the final set off crossroads. My initial plan had been to go to Hutcheson's Monument as well, but retired doggy was getting tired at this point and so extending the walk was out of the question. In all honesty it shouldn't have been anything to consider at all and I was only fooling myself by thinking it was a possibility. However, it is something to look forward to visiting another time.
The last stretch was all downhill to the ferry point. We were back early and so there was time for the dogs to have a swim while we were waiting (amazingly Fly discovered she had loads of energy when her water toy was brought out!). Play was abandoned though when a lab came and stole the toy, the toy was returned and the lab was dragged away but when we started playing again oh look, lab came running back...fortunately the ferry was coming back at this point otherwise I'd have ended up with two cross doggies not happy that they can't play in the water any more!
The little ferry
To the tearoom!
Dogs under the sea arch
by Gordie12 » Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:55 pm
I remember we did it clockwise and my favourite part was near the end at the west side of the island with the views over to the islands and the CalMac ferries heading in and out of Oban.
You seem to have captured a lot more wildlife than me, I just remember cows and sheep but it was a brilliant day and really special views.
Thanks for posting.
by DonnyW » Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:49 pm
Quote KaTtai “The views were amazing and I could see several islands in the distance.”
The islands you saw from the castle are very interesting too.. unfortunately .. you need a boat to visit most of them... they are uninhabited.
The two islands furthest out and just to the left of the castle in your photo..are the Garvellachs. St Columba’s mother is believed to be buried there. There are also the remains of beehive prayer rooms on the outer island. The ancient monks crossed from the mainland in tiny coracles. Many didn’t survive the crossing as its treacherous waters. The Corryvrechan Whirpool is not too far from them..between Scarba and Jura.. its the third largest whirlpool in the world.
The closer of the islands are the Slate Islands. Easdale is still populated..but Belnahua was abandoned at the time of WW1. Its my favourite island in the area. Its like a museum of the past. The old cottages where 200 people lived are still standing..although the roofs have long gone. The iron pumps and boilers..although rusting ..are still there too. Thats the beauty of the remote islands..the tinks can't collect the iron and sell it for scrap..so everything is still there
Just some useless info for you KaiTai.. glad you enjoyed your day on Kerrera
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by KatTai » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:11 am
It was a lovely trip out, I'm looking forward to going back again and reaching the north of the island as well.
by ancancha » Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:33 pm
They had an interesting way of launching them. Once the hull was built, they sealed it and got all the village down to roll them off the pier into the water
I must look out the photo....