1. St Conan’s Kirk
The village of Lochawe lies at the north end of Loch Awe. It’s home to Saint Conan’s Kirk, which is a fabulous place to visit. The original St Conan's Kirk was built between 1881 and 1886 by Walter Campbell. In 1907 he began work on a much more ambitious church. The new St Conan's Kirk was first used for worship in 1930. Campbell took ideas and designs from different places and periods and produced something remarkable. The unconventional approach to architecture has resulted in a fascinating building. From the cloister you can pass through an arch to the north aisle of the kirk, and from there to the nave and the chancel. Take a walk in the gardens for stunning views of Loch Awe. St Conan’s Kirk is open throughout the year.
2. The Hollow Mountain
Cruachan Power Station lies at the heart of Ben Cruachan on the shore of Loch Awe. It’s buried one kilometre underground! A guided tour of the 'Hollow Mountain' takes you on a journey deep into the mountain. You're taken up the visitor's walkway, past sub-tropical plants that grow well thanks to the warm, humid conditions inside the mountain, and then onto the visitors’ viewing gallery. Once there, you can see the generating hall that houses the four generators that are used to produce electricity from water power. Discover the wonders of an underground world on a spectacular scale.
3. Kilchurn Castle
Kilchurn Castle is one of the most photographed castles in Scotland. And you can see why. This striking tower house, built in the mid-15th century, sits at the head of the loch with the peak of Ben Cruachan visible behind it. Kilchurn was one of many castles built by the Campbells of Glenorchy, who exercised control of much of western Scotland in the late medieval period. Stand on the tower house’s battlements and gaze out over Loch Awe, the original powerbase of Clan Campbell. The castle is free to visit and open from April to September. It’s a short walk from a small car park just after the bridge over the River Orchy. Loch Awe’s islands are also home to a number of ruined castles which can be visited by boat.
4. Fishing on Loch Awe
Loch Awe is a world-famous fishing destination. Anglers come in search of the legendary Ferox Brown Trout, as well as pike and sea trout. Salmon pass through the loch, coming past the barrage in the River Awe and continuing into the River Orchy. The largest Brown Trout caught in the Great Britain was landed here in 2002! You can hire boats and fishing tackle, as well as buy fishing permits. The wider area also offers great fly fishing, with the rivers Avich, Orchy and Awe and the many hill lochans.
5. Ben Cruachan and Stob Daimh
The rugged mountain mass of Cruachan has two Munros: Ben Cruachan and Stob Diamh. It makes for a spectacular day’s walking, with the ridge walk to Stob Daimh providing a great circuit around the Cruachan reservoir. Given the near sea-level start, the 1,100m climb puts Ben Cruachan in the top ten of highest climbs to a Munro. This is a demanding walk and should only be undertaken by experienced hill walkers.