Inveraray and Auchindrain

Loch Fyne at Inverary
Loch Fyne at Inverary

Inveraray is an 18th century planned town which housed the Duke of Argyll’s estate workers. On a cold, July “summer” day, we had a quick stroll around before lunch, but it wasn’t our ultimate destination. By Loch Fyne is the war memorial and the puffer Vital Spark, which brings back memories of the TV programme Para Handy based on Neil Munro’s stories.

The main street is extremely elegant. These are views from different sides of the central building. If you enlarge the pictures, you can see the bell here:

And the clock on the other side. The George Hotel on the left is where we had lunch – and very good it was too.

Our destination was Auchindrain (pronounced Aach-anDRYan) a few miles along the road. Now an outdoor museum, this is a survival of the old farming townships that mostly disappeared after the Highland Clearances. Unusually, this one was still occupied until 1967 so many of the original buildings are intact. You could view them outside –

– and inside. I would not like to have lived here!

At one point, we found ourselves followed by a cat who was quite persistent in tracking us down and demanding strokes. Then, she suddenly disappeared. Looking back, we spotted that she had attached herself to another group. Feline fickleness! There was one occupied house on site (much newer than the others) and when we passed behind it we noticed a cat-flap in the back door, so the mystery of where she came from was solved.

From the museum carpark, a six-mile circular trail led off down one side of the River Leacainn to the village of Furnace on Loch Fyne and back up the other side. We hadn’t known this existed, but decided to go for it. Here are some highlights.

The High Bridge and Miller’s Falls.

More bridges and nice views.

The village of Furnace which, unsurprisingly, has an old iron furnace dating from 1755.

Uphill from there is Bridge Terrace, built at the beginning of the 20th century to house workers in the nearby quarry, and towards the end of the walk is the Wolf Stone. Some say that the last wolf in Argyll – or maybe even Scotland – was shot here as it stood baying at the moon.

We’d packed a lot into the day and still had an hour and a half’s drive home, but this is one of the beauties of the Scottish summer. We might complain about the weather, but it does stay light very late and allows you to walk well into the evening.

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walks.


59 thoughts on “Inveraray and Auchindrain

  1. Suzanne et Pierre September 19, 2016 / 14:38

    Thanks for the tour…this is very interesting and nice pics. (Suzanne)


  2. lilyandardbeg September 19, 2016 / 15:09

    Added to my list. I miss Scotland, cold or not. The photos are stunning 🙂 And me being me: the cat makes all the difference, really: a place with no cat has no character 😉


  3. Pit September 19, 2016 / 15:45

    Great tour: thanks for sharing!


  4. maristravels September 19, 2016 / 16:30

    The Auchindrain mouser was no fool. One of you might have had a titbit in your bag. Lovely photos and sounds like a great day out. Your light evenings is something I’d forgotten but yes, they are the icing on the winter cake.


    • Anabel Marsh September 19, 2016 / 16:49

      Exactly! That cat had to interrogate every group.


  5. ms6282 September 19, 2016 / 16:56

    I agree with you about not liking to have lived in one of those old cottages. But that is how many ordinary people like us used to have to live not that many generations ago


    • Anabel Marsh September 19, 2016 / 17:33

      Oh, thank you for that! My book group read that last year and we all absolutely loved it. An amazing debut novel – and I see from the links at the bottom she has a new book out next year.


      • ms6282 September 19, 2016 / 18:59

        I enjoyed the book too. And I found it interesting to see the pictures of the type of dwellings in which much of the story took place

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Birgit September 19, 2016 / 17:28

    Those tiny bridges and the waterfalls looks enchanting. I would not have liked to live in that place either. It probably was an old person who finally died that stayed in that small place. The pussy cat is cute and Michael would have taken quite a few pics just of the cat! I am happy the heat is finally starting to let up a bit but i do miss the sun out at 6am


    • Anabel Marsh September 19, 2016 / 17:54

      We did have a few more of the cat but not very clear – it was hard to catch her keeping still!


  7. philosophermouseofthehedge September 19, 2016 / 17:55

    Looks like a lovely trip. Old structures make you appreciate modern construction. Cats, though, always the same no matter the era.


    • Anabel Marsh September 19, 2016 / 18:05

      How very true! Once a goddess, always a goddess.


  8. restlessjo September 19, 2016 / 19:01

    It’s many years since I was in Inverary, Anabel, but I doubt that a lot has changed. I think that I might do it differently these days. Back then we mostly toured around by car. Nowadays I’d have been off admiring that furnace. 🙂 🙂 Thanks a lot for the link up.


    • Anabel Marsh September 19, 2016 / 19:17

      Thanks Jo, it’s years since we went too and it just looks the same! The bar where we used to have lunch is now a private house, but other than that I didn’t spot any changes.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Liesbet September 19, 2016 / 19:02

    Those little houses are pretty cute and easy to heat up in the winter (if someone else cuts the wood). If it wasn’t for the damp and cold weather, I think I would like living in simplicity like this. At least for a little while. 🙂 Those bridges look very similar to the ones we drove over on the carriage roads in Acadia NP. I’ll post some photos of them later this week, so you can compare. Thanks for sharing this interesting walk, Anabel!


    • Anabel Marsh September 19, 2016 / 19:18

      Thanks Liesbet! We were in Acadia a few years ago so I’m looking forward to your post.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sauntering Scot September 19, 2016 / 21:38

    The old cottages look really interesting – I must head up that way at some point!


    • Anabel Marsh September 19, 2016 / 22:07

      It’s a fascinating place. Thanks for commenting!


  11. Blue Sky Scotland September 20, 2016 / 01:40

    Had a visit around the old farming township years ago and enjoyed it. There’s a least a dozen places where the ‘last wolf in Scotland’ supposedly met its end but I can believe the last wolf killed in Argyll. Just read tonight that they are culling the wild population in Norway by well over 50 percent. 47 marked to go out of 68 remaining animals.


    • Anabel Marsh September 20, 2016 / 07:38

      Really – that’s appalling! Wasn’t there some talk of reintroducing wolves here?


  12. Hilary Melton-Butcher September 20, 2016 / 09:53

    Hi Anabel – I hadn’t realised Inverary was like that – but I’d now love to visit and see the area and then the village style that remains from the Highland Clearances. All these places weren’t that long ago … so much change – but it’s good we allow things to live or show how places might have been … the cats won’t have changed much either …

    Thanks for taking us with you on your journey … and those long evenings are wonderful … cheers Hilary


    • Anabel Marsh September 20, 2016 / 10:16

      Thanks Hilary – it’s a very interesting place to visit.


  13. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor September 20, 2016 / 11:03

    Cats are like that – as long as you give them what you want, they’re your best friend. That is until someone else comes along 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh September 20, 2016 / 11:38

      Exactly! This particular cat seemed intent on interrogating every visitor.


  14. corinnevail September 20, 2016 / 15:28

    It looks like my kind of place! Maybe I need to head back to Scotland sometime soon.


  15. BeckyB September 20, 2016 / 16:45

    Cats, a walk in the Scottish Highlands and a good lunch . . absolutely perfect day out I’d say 🙂


  16. Ann Coleman September 20, 2016 / 18:47

    The thatched cottage was charming, but like you, I don’t think I would have wanted to live there!


  17. claudiabookwright September 20, 2016 / 23:03

    Again you sent me to do some research. I’d never heard of the Highlands Clearance. Sadly, it seems we Americans do not have a monopoly on racism and forced removal of populations for financial gain.


    • Anabel Marsh September 20, 2016 / 23:13

      No – and of course many of the people cleared off the land for sheep ended up in America. I think we keep meeting their descendants – the number of people we meet who tell us their family came from Scotland suggests that.


  18. Ranthambore Tour Packages September 21, 2016 / 07:14

    This is extremely fascinating and decent pics…Those little houses are entirely charming and simple to warm up. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing this fascinating walk, Anabel!..


  19. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) September 21, 2016 / 15:55

    Auchindrain looks similar to the Highland Folk Museum I visited in Newtonmore. I have to agree that though the cottages look quite quaint from the outside, there is no way I would want to live in one! Dark and cold and cramped!


    • Anabel Marsh September 21, 2016 / 17:29

      It is very similar except that Newtonmore was created as a museum whereas this is exactly as it was when people lived there. So glad for 21st century comforts!


    • Anabel Marsh September 22, 2016 / 20:25

      Dogs are definitely more loyal, that’s for sure!


  20. cassam101 September 23, 2016 / 17:22

    Lovely photos. I wouldn’t like to live in that cottage either.


  21. clicksclan September 23, 2016 / 21:24

    We often visit Inveraray (usually on our way to and from Oban). We’ve been to The George a few times, but our favourite place to eat is Mr Pia’s across the road (amazing chips).

    I’ve never really explored the surrounding area though, definitely one to add to the list for when the weather improves (we’ve got gale force winds and disrupted ferries right now).


    • Anabel Marsh September 24, 2016 / 00:03

      Oh dear, that doesn’t sound good! Will remember about the amazing chips for next time…..


  22. Cardinal Guzman September 26, 2016 / 14:13

    Lovely, little houses, btu probably damp & cold… I’m more of a comfort creature.


  23. Laia September 26, 2016 / 17:00

    It seems that lush green places are very rainy! The weather might not be good in Scotland but Inveraray looks beautiful. And so interesting to see how the old farms looked like in Auchindrain!


  24. jazzfeathers October 8, 2016 / 20:49

    Loved all the photos. This is a very surprising place. I loved the old town. Visiting palces that are still like in the past is a wonderful experience. Well, it is for me 😉

    You know? I experienced the long summer days once I was in Dublin in June. I didn’t expect to be light until past 23:00. I was very very surprised. Here in Italy, light never lingers past 22:00 nor even in June.


    • Anabel Marsh October 8, 2016 / 22:58

      Thanks. It was a bit shocking to come home after 3 weeks in the states to find it was back to getting dark from around 7pm!

      Liked by 1 person

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