Continuing my story about our travels on Friday 13th March…
Having wandered around Keills Bay to our hearts’ content, we decided to head back up the peninsula to Tayvallich and then turn around on ourselves and go down another of Knapdale’s long arms – or should it be fingers? This one was more familiar to us, hugging the long shore of Loch Sween, leading past Achnamara and Castle Sween and culminating at the beautiful Kilmory Bay. As no-through-roads go, this one has to be one of the most picturesque in the whole of Scotland!
Looking across the water to where we had come from… with some rather fat and lazy seals on the rocks (far right)
Kilmory… the chapel, a path to the beach, and a lonely post box.
When we last visited Kilmory Bay, it was almost midsummer and the weather, the sand and the sea conjured a kind of paradise that I still remember with disbelief. This time, the storms of the night before had wrought a different kind of magic, and there was a thick layer of seaweed left high and dry on the beach, with big stones thrown up above the high water line and chunks eaten out of the grassy turf. A fast-flowing stream had carved a miniature canyon through the sand.
We walked back through the field, as the track down to the beach had turned into a little river, and a very sheepy-muddy one at that.
On the drive back, I got some nice long-distance shots of Castle Sween – picturesque on any day – possibly my favourite castle of all time.
If Scotland has a ‘remotest phone box’ competition, this one is surely in for a prize!
The afternoon was wearing on by this time, and we were driving back towards Lochgilphead when I noticed the slanting sunlight picking up some ridge and furrow markings in a field. Not the best photo, snapped through the car window as we were going along, but it does show the parallel lines, traces of medieval cultivation (or perhaps later, even until the 1800s).
Not a bad end to the day – plus, I have got an intriguing ‘new’ site (or rather a very old one) to investigate, close to Tayvallich. Is it a stone circle? An enclosure? I wandered all over it, and I’m still not sure. Here’s a glimpse… I’ll write something on The Hazel Tree, when I’ve found out!
Part one of our day out, in case you missed it, is here.
Photos copyright © Colin & Jo Woolf
Footnote: I had originally named this post and its predecessor ‘A Day in Kintyre’, but as one reader has rightly pointed out, Kintyre does not strictly begin until further down this peninsula, and the region that we were exploring was actually Knapdale. I have therefore amended the titles of the posts accordingly.