Appin provides an excellent base to explore the West Highlands of Scotland. Within an hour or two you can experience and visit some of the best scenery and attractions Scotland has to offer.
Your first view of Oban is one you are unlikely to forget. From the north, you glimpse this bustling port from the top of the 'Bealach-an-Righ'. As you sweep down the hill towards the expanse of the bay, the view opens up before you and one begins to appreciate why Oban has developed into Scotland's most popular west-coast holiday town. It is the Calmac major ferry port to the islands. Ferries leaving at regular intervals to Mull, Colonsay, Coll, Tiree, Barra and South Uist. Oban Distillery is located in the heart of the town.
Originally one of the Jacobite Forts built to subdue the Highlanders, Fort William lies on the shore of Loch Linnhe in the shadow of Ben Nevis. The town has a good range of shops, restaurants, pubs and leisure facilities.
The Nevis Range Mountain Resort is only a 45 minute drive from Appin and offers year round access to the Aonach Mor and Nevis Range mountains by gondola and chair lift. During the winter months skiing and snowboarding are on offer while in the Summer mountain biking and walking can be enjoyed.
Probably the most famous glen in Scotland, it is only a 30 minute drive away and provides an awe inspiring trip through its central valley, everything here is on a huge scale from the dramatic mountains to the plunging waterfalls it is without doubt one of the most beautiful places in Europe. Whilst there take a trip down Glen Etive where we have spent many a summers day jumping in the rock pools with our kids. Visit the information centre to learn more about the infamous 'massacre of Glencoe' where in 1692 the Campbells turned on the MacDonalds whilst they slept.
Glencoe Mountain resort provides chairlift access for mountain biking, climbing and walking in the summer and skiing in the winter months, there is also a cafe at the base station.
GLENFINNAN MONUMENT AND ROAD TO THE ISLES
Known as 'The Road to the Isles' the journey from Fort William to Mallaig passes through beautiful mountain and coastal scenery. Glenfinnan Monument sits at the head of Loch Shiel and is dedicated to Bonnie Prince Charlie.It was here that the Jacobite standard was raised in 1745. You can also view the Glenfinnan Railway viaduct made famous in the Harry Potter films. During summer a Jacobite steam train runs from Fort William to Mallaig.
If you like beaches there are some stunning ones including the 'silver sands of Morar' or the smaller beaches at Arisaig. Mallaig itself is a busy fishing port, from here you can catch the ferry to The Isle of Skye or boat trips to Knoydart.
Home of the Duke of Argyll, Inveraray enjoys a picturesque setting on the shores of Loch Fyne, where it meets Loch Shira. It was built on the site of an earlier fishing village in the mid 1700s by the 3rd Duke of Argyll, Chief of the powerful Clan Campbell. He demolished the original village to give his rebuilt castle more space and rehoused the population in a new town that is one of the most attractive in Scotland . There are numerous shops including an Old Style Pharmacy, Woollen Mill, Whisky Shop and Inveraray Jail. Try the George Hotel on the main street for a nice meal. The Inveraray Highland Games take place in July.
THE ISLE OF SKYE
Reached either by the ferries from Mallaig and Glenelg (summer only) or the road bridge at Kyle, Skye has some of the most varied scenery of all the Islands - from the jagged peaks of the Cuillins to the 'Gardens of Skye' on Sleat to the mystical volcanic rock formations of the Trotternish Ridge. Situated off the West coast of Mainland Scotland, it is the largest and best known of the Inner Hebrides.
It is an area that has long been a favourite with climbers and walkers. If you don't fancy the high places, the deeply indented coastline means you are never far from the sea.
Ardnamurchan is one of the least populated areas of Europe, whole communities were evicted during the highland clearances of the late 18th and 19th centuries. It is also the most westerly point on the British mainland. Today less than 2000 people live on the 50 sq mile peninsula. It can be reached via corran ferry a 30 minute drive away. One of our favourite places is Sanna Bay it takes a little effort to get there about 60 minutes along narrow single track roads from the ferry but is is so worthwhile. The bay itself has superb views of the small isles – Rhum, Eigg, Canna and Muck. From here (if you ever want to leave!) you can visit Ardnamurchan Lighthouse and its 152 steps.
KILMARTIN GLEN & MUSEUM
Kilmartin Glen is one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe, having seen human occupation since the earliest times, when hunter gatherer groups moved into the area after the last Ice Age. More than 350 prehistoric and historic sites lie within 6 miles of the quiet village of Kilmartin. These range from ancient burial cairns and rock-carvings to early Christian crosses & medieval castles. Kilmartin House Museum is an award winning world-class centre for archaeology and landscape interpretation established to protect, investigate and interpret this internationally important area.
INVERNESS & LOCH NESS
Travel north on the A82 on the 'Nessie Trail' passing Fort Augustus, Urquhart Castle and Drumnadrochit. Loch Ness is Twenty-four miles long and a mile wide in places, it reaches a depth of some 700 feet. Loch Ness is of course famous for its legendary monster Nessie which may have been seen by Saint Columba way back when. Continuing on you will reach the city of Inverness which boasts a host of historic buildings in the Old Town to appreciate while you shop. And don't forget to enjoy the views from the castle, you'll see it as you stroll along the riverside.