Monday, May 01, 2006

A Long Weekend In Argyll - Tarbert, Loch Fyne, Isle of Gigha and Crarae Garden

The last day of this break saw us leave Lochgilphead and head south with the intention of going over to the Isle of Gigha for the day before heading home in the evening.

Tarbert, Loch Fyne

Tarbert Harbour and CastleStopping off at Tarbert for some food, we fancied a short stroll so headed off from the town, down the side of East Loch Tarbert, for Port Ban - the White Shore. It's a very short walk through a wooded path at the side of the loch and there are some nice views across the harbour to the castle and the hills.

The White Shore is a little secluded bay with a white shingle beach - nothing much to see in itself but the views are quite nice and it's a decent short walk around the loch edge.

Isle Of Gigha

After lunch we headed south for Tayinloan, which is where the ferry departs for Gigha, but the weather had closed in again and we could only just see the island through the rain and mist. We had really fancied seeing Achamore Gardens and walking out to one of the reputedly white sandy beaches but the weather simply wasn't with us. We parked in Tayinloan and walked down to the ferry terminal but the rain was a constant drizzle and we could barely see the island through it so perhaps another time.

Gigha is the southermost of the Inner Hebrides and because it is low lying and influenced by the North Atlantic Drift the climate is normally drier and warmer (but not today) than you'd expect for the west coast. The name originally comes from the Norse, Gudey, which translates as Good Isle or God's Isle and it was bought by the resident community in 2002 so they have a vested interest in keeping it pristine.

As for Tayinloan, it's not much more than a ferry terminal but it does have a decent caravan and camping site. We camped for a couple of days here a few years ago and it has a nice-ish sand and shingle beach. If the weather's nice it's good enough for sunbathing on.

Crarae Garden

RhododendronGiven that the Gigha trip was a bit of a washout, we headed back for home, stopping off at Crarae Garden again as Lorna wanted to buy some plants from their garden stall. Of course by now the weather had lightened up and it was quite nice so we had another wander round before heading back towards Glasgow.

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