As the longest freshwater loch in Scotland, Loch Awe was named one of the “10 beautiful Scottish lochs you must visit in your lifetime”. Loch Awe has much more to offer than its famous trout fishing, though, with enchanting wee villages and some of the West Highlands’ most impressive architecture, spanning over six centuries, along its banks.
Kilchurn Castle on Loch Awe. Image courtesy of VisitScotland
Mighty Ben Cruachan, the highest peak in Argyll, towers above the loch, but it’s not only the majestic scenery that makes this mountain awesome. It houses the world's first high head reversible pumped storage hydro scheme in a gigantic man-made cavern built deep into its heart between 1959 and 1965. The only visible evidence of its existence is the high storage dam on the slopes of the mountain and the administration office block beside Loch Awe. But a tour inside reveals the massive inner workings of the dam, one of Scotland’s greatest engineering achievements. An interactive exhibition, kids area, wildlife watching, gift shop and café make Ben Cruachan a fun and educational day out.
Ben Cruachan. Image courtesy of Imagine Alba Day Tours and Fly Scenic Scotland
The eponymous village of Lochawe is home to the unconventional Scottish baronial-style St Conan’s Chapel, one of Scotland’s most unique architectural attractions. Voted one of the top 10 Scottish buildings of the last 100 years, its fantastic design and rich history are fascinating for all ages.
Speaking of historical architecture, the charming Awe View Railway Cottage is a perfect base for exploring Oban & Lorn, and with 15% off all bookings made and taken through April 2019, this new property is a fantastic deal for a winter or spring holiday.
Whether you fancy fishing or are keen on wildlife watching, the villages of Lochawe, Dalmally, Kilchrenan and Dalavich are the perfect places to get back to nature. At Inverawe Smokery and Country Park, you can enjoy the bountiful larder of Argyll at the café or to take home in an idyllic setting with walking trails and fishing.
After a day of landing trout and pike or spotting eagles and ospreys, you can retire to a pub for locally sourced fare or a fine malt whisky in front of the fire.
Be sure to stop by Ben Cruachan Inn, where you can get a coffee with a view, a hearty meal or listen to live music- with stylish accommodation for everyone from hill walkers to self-catering enthusiasts.
Visit romantic Kilchurn Castle, one of Argyll’s most photographed, or view the brooding ruin of Ardchonnel Castle. Pay homage to Duncan Ban MacIntyre, the famous eighteenth-century Gaelic bard, at the 44-foot granite monument for him, designed by John Thomas Rochead, the man behind the Wallace Monument.
With its excellent transportation connections to Oban and Glasgow, the communities of Loch Awe offer accommodation for all tastes and budgets, locally sourced cuisine and Highland hospitality.