It’s all very well coming to stay in one of our elegant and traditional castle rooms, but rooms are just for sleeping in. That’s why we’re sharing our favourite local places to visit and things to do in Oban and Argyll to give you even more reason to book a stay in the breathtaking, picturesque areas surrounding Barcaldine Castle.
Argyll Pottery is a unique, local, high-quality craft, gift and specialty shop selling a range of pottery made by the owner in the workshop at the back. The shop’s handmade pottery is mainly for domestic use and comes in 3 different finishing styles. The pottery on sale is functional and decorative, all whilst being reasonably priced!
With all kinds of pots, cups, goblets, candle holders, plates and dishes, as well as woodwork trinkets and gifts, you’re unlikely to find anything like it anywhere else.
There is lots of room for parking and it is wheelchair accessible. It’s a 5-minute drive from us at Barcaldine Castle – or if you’re up for it, it’s a 2-mile walk!
It’s a must-see when visiting the West Coast of Scotland that’s open 10:00am until 5:30pm!
So why not visit Argyll Pottery and buy yourself a lovely hand-made piece of pottery as a reminder of your wonderful trip to Barcaldine?
Less than a ten-minute drive from Barcaldine Castle, Beinn Lora is only 308 metres high but guarantees a wonderful view. There are two trails that are most popular for strenuous workouts for local hill runners, however, they also provide access to the hill path leading to the steep grassy summit of Beinn Lora.
The two trails are:
Coastal Climb Trail – a short (yet steep) hillside climb that provides sea views across Tralee Bay and the Lynn or Lorn.
Online it is described as: “Wide, firm but uneven gravel and earth surface. Long steep slopes with some loose sections.” The trail is around 1 mile or 1.8km so allow at least 3/4 of an hour!
Eagle’s Eyrie Trail – which is a steep yet spectacular trail that provides a bird’s eye view of Mull, the Lynn of Lorne, Lismore, the Ardnamurchan peninsula and the hills north of Appin!
According to the website, the trail features “Long steep slopes for 500m. Wide, fire gravel and stone surface with some uneven and loose sections”. The trail is around 2 miles or 3.3km so allow at least an hour and a half for this trek!
The trails are suitable for fit and experienced walkers, and the routes are not signposted, so a map and compass will be necessary!
Castle Stalker is originally believed to have been the site of a Fortalice (a small fortified building) and dates back to the 14th century.
This four-storey tower house is set on a tidal islet on Loch Laich. The castle is privately owned; however, they do run a limited number of tours each year, which can be arranged by appointment. Tours are subject to weather conditions.
Opening dates for tours of the castle are to cover most of the season from April to October. There will be a maximum of one tour per day, which will include the trip over the water to the castle in their new boat and a personal guided tour of the castle provided by a member of the Stewart Allward family who are the present owners of the Castle.
Please note that the new boat has seating for up to 12 passengers and, therefore the size of each tour is limited to that number. You should allow up to two hours for the tour, including the boat trips.
Appin, off the A828, between Ballachulish and Connel.
Just north of Oban, and just a 15-minute drive from us at Barcaldine Castle!
“The greatest railway journey in the world.”
The Jacobite is a steam locomotive hauled tourist train service that operates over part of the West Highland Railway Line, Scotland.
This 84-mile round trip takes you past a list of impressive extremes. Starting near Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, it then visits Britain’s most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis!
A steam train journey from Fort William to Mallaig taking in some of the most breath-taking scenery in Scotland, the journey includes the Glenfinnan viaduct of “Harry Potter” fame and runs from May till late October.
Please note: Your ride on The Jacobite must be booked ahead especially during peak season!
The Dunollie Castle, Grounds and Museum is open from 1st April – 28th October 2018. There you can enjoy a 1745 House Museum, Castle Ruin, Drapers Shop, Kettle Garden Café, Weaving Shed and Woodlands.
For the months April and October, they are open Monday – Saturday 10:00am till 4:00pm and Sunday 12:00pm till 4:00pm, with the last entry being at 3:30pm. During the remaining months from May to September, they are open Monday – Saturday 10:00am till 5:00pm and Sunday 12:00pm till 5:00pm, with the last entry being at 4:30pm.
With it only being a 20-minute drive from us at Barcaldine Castle, why not go for a visit?
Dunollie Museum, Castle & Grounds,
Battles, Chapels & Royals
Built in the 13th century, at the height of the battle between Scotland and Norway for the control of the Hebrides, Dunstaffnage Castle is one of the oldest stone castles in Scotland and was in royal hands until 1469.
You can climb up to the battlements to take in the strategic positioning of the stronghold, stand in awe of the curtain walls, search for the 13th-century chapel in the trees or snoop around the three-storey gatehouse!
Dunstaffnage Castle is a 15-minute drive from Barcaldine Castle, perfect for visiting when you come and stay.
Tickets start from £3.60pp for Dunstaffnage Castle. The castle is open 10:00am-4:00pm every day except Thursday and Friday.
Dunbeg, by Oban,
Strolls, Cycles & Horse Rides
Ideal for short walks, cycling and horse-riding, Fearnoch Forest is less than a 20-minute drive from us, so why not visit here when you stay at Barcaldine Castle?
You can take a wander around the scenic woodland and its fantastic network of peaceful forest roads?
There are two walking trails to choose from:
1) Ceum Nan Seagan:
Described on the website as: “wide, firm gravel surface throughout. Long moderate slopes with some short, fairly steep sections.” The trail is around 1.75 miles/2km, so allow at least 45 minutes!
2) Tri Drochaidean:
Described on the website as: “Wide, firm gravel surface throughout. Includes some steep slopes and a wide bridge.” The trail is around 2.25 miles/3.8km, so allow at least an hour and a half to complete it!
PA35 1JB is the nearest postcode if you’re using a sat-nav.
The car park is at grid reference NM 968 321.
History, Stories & Magic
Hidden on the banks of Loch Awe you’ll find St. Conan’s Kirk. The Kirk is a 35-minute drive from Barcaldine Castle and it’s one of Argyll’s most popular tourist destinations providing an enchanting experience to both the local community and visitors of all ages.
During the summer the Kirk is open from 9:00am until 6:00pm, and during the winter from 9:00am until 5:00pm. However, it can also be closed for events, so always check before visiting! From April until September, the Tearoom is open from 10:30 until 5:00pm. Entrance to the Kirk is by donation which goes towards its restoration and upkeep.
The Friends of Saint Conan’s Kirk are always happy to give tours to people or interested parties who wish to learn more about the Kirk’s rich and intriguing history. Please call 01838 200210 to book a tour, if you are planning to visit Loch Awe or Saint Conan’s Kirk.
St. Conan’s Kirk,
Waterfalls, Bridges & Trolls
Sutherland’s Grove is just a short 10-minute drive from us, so why not take a stroll when you stay at Barcaldine Castle! Its forest walks cover trails and waterfalls to bridges and streams– there’s something for everyone!
Why not enjoy a riverside stroll through Sutherland’s Grove?
There are 5 walking trails to choose from:
1) Giant Fir Trail:
An easy trail, described on the website as: “A wide, firm surface. Generally flat with short gentle gradients.” This trail is around 0.25 miles/0.3km, so allow at least 15-minutes.
2) Gorge Trail:
A strenuous trail, described on the website as: “A varied route with, some steep, rough and rocky sections. Can be narrow in places. Often wet and muddy after rain.” The trail is around 0.75 miles/1.3km, so allow around 45-minutes to complete.
3) The Grove Trail:
A challenging trail, described on the website as: “A varied route with, some steep, rough and rocky sections. Can be narrow in places. Often wet and muddy after rain.” Allow at least 45-minutes to complete it, with it being around 0.75 miles/1.3km long.
4) Troll Trail:
Not for the faint-hearted, the trail is described on the website as “Varied with some fairly steep, rough and rocky sections. Can be narrow in places. Often wet and muddy after rain. One bridge with a steep narrow flight of steps.” Allow 1 hour and 25-minutes to complete this trail as it’s at least 1.75 miles/3km long.
5) Lochan Trail:
A demanding yet rewarding trail, described on the website as “Generally firm, smooth and wide forest road, with moderate to fairly steep gradients. The start and finish to the route is narrow and steep, with rocky uneven sections, often wet.” It’s around 2.5 miles/4.2km long, so allow at least 1 hour and 45-minutes.
The nearest postcode is: PA37 1SQ
Sand, Sea & Possible Sun
Quiet beach in Oban with lots of surrounding greenery and just a 5-minute drive from us, perfect for when you stay at Barcaldine Castle!
Tralee Beach has sand dunes at one end and shingles at the other. There is a signposted footbath Benderlock and is just a short walk from the town where there’s a car park amongst cafes and shops.
Take a look at our other blog posts to find great places to go, and things to do, when you stay at Barcaldine Castle!