Sunday 7 April 2013

Oban and Argyll - Easter 2013

West of Scotland Exploratory 

29th March - 1st April 2013

This years Fishing in Scotland Easter trip was to be centred in Argyll, mainly around the Oban and Loch Awe area. The trip was a fact finding mission for accommodation and possible fishing locations as Oban is only 2 hrs from our home in Cumbernauld and approx 1 3/4 hrs from Glasgow.

We left Cumbernauld at about 4p.m on a cold but sunny 29th March with snow still on the ground from a couple of days ago. Travelling up we headed through Callander in the Trossachs, Lix Toll, Crianlarich and Tyndrum before branching off onto the A85 Oban road.

The scenery through this part of Scotland especially with snow on the tops is breathtaking particularly the journey down through Glen Lochy to Loch Awe where you capture your first view of Ben Cruachan. For some reason I have always been blessed with sunshine on this route but make no mistake it can be Dreich if you hit the wrong weather.

Around 6p.m. we arrived at our base for the weekend which was the Loch Awe Holiday park where we had booked a 2 bed residential caravan. The site is nice and tidy, with a petrol station at the entrance and a wee Spar convenience store that caters for most of your needs. The caravans are all pristine and the site is approximately 12 miles from Oban but the Brander Lodge Hotel is only 5 mins walk up the road if you want to get out at night. The staff at the Brander Lodge are all very friendly and helpful and although we didn't eat there the menu seemed very nice. After we got our things organised in the caravan, we headed down to Oban for a Chinese takeaway then back as a quite evening in had been planned.

For folk who have their own touring van or enjoy camping, there is also the Oban Caravan and Camping site which I have only just found out about but will hopefully stay there in the future as it has fantastic sea views over the sound of kererra.

Saturday was spent around the shops in Oban and it is quite a busy wee centre because the ferries leave here for most of the western isles meaning there is a lot of tourist and commercial traffic passing through on it's way to the Hebrides. After a snack in Oban, we headed down to Lerags Glen for a wee bit of exploration and had a nice bowl of soup at The Barn on the Cologin Chalets Park . Headed further down to the end of the glen but unfortunately couldn't access the shoreline.

Saw this unusual gate stone at one of the houses though.

After this we headed back to Oban for a meal at the harbour side Italian restaurant which was a wee bit disappointing but we're sure this wasn't the norm as we have previously had good experiences here and will be e-mailing our concerns to the owners to make sure any glitches get sorted for future visits. After this it was back to the Brander Lodge for a couple of drinks and a game of " shut the box " which was new to me but we all found it quite fun as it is a favourite of fishermen and sailors. Then it was back to the van for some games of battleships with the kids before bedtime.

Easter Sunday was exploration day and our target was Seil Island and Easdale for a picnic and so's the kid's could roll their eggs. Again the weather was brilliant if a bit cold but we had some lunch at the " Bridge over the Atlantic " before heading up to Ellenabeich where we got a ferry over to Easdale one of the " Slate Islands " which is a fantastic and unusual place.

You can get boat trips to the Corryvreckan whirlpool from here which is definitely something to put on the to do list as it's something I've always wanted to see. Anyway, after a walk round Easdale, where they hold the " world stone skimming championships ", we headed back to Ellenabeich on the ferry ( a couple of brilliant guys crew this vessel ) where I had a chat with 3 young English lads called Sam, Toby and Callum

who were spinning off of the breakwater. I also had a good chat with Steve, the boatman who was running the Seafari Adventure Boat to the Corryvreckan  

who was a very decent guy with loads of information to share.  We didn't do any fishing here but the potential looked pretty good for pollack and the like.

So, adventure over we headed back to Oban which is about a twenty minute drive but it took us a bit longer as we went via loch Nell for a bit of a nosey. In Oban, we picked up another takeaway for tea which was a curry this time then headed back to the caravan for some munchies and a kiddie battering for me at connect four.

Monday was home day but not till we had visited the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary which is just over The Connel Bridge and the Falls of Lora.

The kids had a great time here checking out the seals, otters and other interesting marine life. Loads to do with talks and demonstrations and there was even an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids because it was easter Monday.

Headed home after this via InverAwe Smokery and Fishery for a bit look but unfortunately there wasn't time to wet a line, my eldest had some great fun on the rope swing .

Had a chat with a guy from Nottingham who was a bit of a regular at Rutland but he was having a bit of a hard time in the bright sunshine. He was happy though as a bad days fishing is better than a day in the office any time.

Looked into the smokehouse exhibition which was interesting the headed onto Loch Awe for some fishing and accommodation fact finding.

Then back home via Callander for the customary fish supper at the wee chippy as you come into the main street.

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