Travel Tidbit: Loch Awe, Scotland

Bridge at Loch Awe, Scotland

Travel tidbits is a series that will share small experiences from a longer trip. By focusing on one or two “tidbits” at a time, I can highlight some less famous, but worthwhile, attractions we’ve come across while traveling. I also hope that breaking it down this way will prove useful for other travelers who don’t need a full itinerary, but are looking for things to see and do in a specific place.

What to do at Loch Awe, Scotland

This first travel tidbit focuses on a place we stayed on our last international trip: Loch Awe, Scotland. Loch Awe is in Argyll and Bute, on the western side of Scotland, about 80 miles northwest of Glasgow. My husband, my parents and I stayed at Ardbrecknish House on the south shore for a few nights while exploring western Scotland. The Loch itself isn’t home to any major tourist attractions, but there are a couple historical buildings that are worth a stop if you’re traveling through the area or staying nearby.

Kilchurn Castle sits at the easternmost point of the lake. It’s a ruin dating from the 1400s that was built by Clan Campbell. The castle doesn’t have open/closed hours; in fact, when we were there, a group of people was setting up camp on the beach right next to it. You just park off the main road (there’s a small parking lot) and take a path probably a little under a mile to the castle. You also get some nice views of the surrounding mountains on the walk. You can’t get inside the castle – or rather, you probably could but clearly aren’t supposed to, don’t be an obnoxious tourist – but can go anywhere around the outside. History and pretty views aside, if you want to get castle pictures that aren’t spoiled by all the tourists milling about, this is a good place to stop.

Kilchurn Castle at Loch Awe, Scotland
Kilchurn Castle

Saint Conan’s Kirk is on the north shore of the Loch Awe. Though the kirk has a sort of gothic/medieval look, it was actually built in the early 1900s. There are a lot of ornate or whimsical details, so it’s a fun place to look around. When we were there you could look throughout the inside of the church and around the grounds; there was no one there to give information or tours, though according to the website there’s a teahouse in the church gatehouse that will be reopening in June 2016.

St. Conan's Kirk, Loch Awe, Scotland
St. Conan’s Kirk
Saint Conan's Kirk, Loch Awe, Scotland
Denizens of St. Conan’s: an effigy of Robert the Bruce and some woodland creatures

If you travel to Scotland and are near Loch Awe, I recommend a stop at one or both of these places!

3 Comment

  1. I’ve never been to Scotland but it’s definitely on my list! I love all of those old castles

    1. hannah says: Reply

      Scotland is the place to go for old castles in gorgeous landscapes!

  2. […] with the Scottish theme, this time we’re traveling to Kilmartin Glen. Travel tidbits is a series that shares […]

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