Katrina’s Top Five Favourite Spots at Kingairloch
3 November 2017
When guests arrive at Kingairloch, we are often asked what our favourite spots are on the estate. There are so many beautiful places to explore; narrowing it down to just five is nearly impossible! Hopefully you will like these suggestions and perhaps you have your own “top five”, drop us a line and let us know yours!
A hidden bay that I’ve renamed Proposal Bay
It’s not really called this, but over the years a lot of marriage proposals have taken place at this beautiful bay. It’s a bit of a walk, but it’s worth it! Head past Seaview Cottage towards the coastal route towards Glensanda Quarry. The path is very boggy in places, so wellies are a must.
As you head over the little hill called Ceanna Mor, you will see a delightful bay down to your left. It’s a bit of a scramble down to the shoreline, but it is such a romantic bay, you can see why there have been many special moments there. If you are romantically inclined, why not head there earlier, hide a bottle of fizz in the cold water of Loch Linnhe and then surprise your loved one with Loch Chilled Bubbles?
The Old Glengalmadale Dam and Fish Pass
Looking into one of the pools off the fish pass
The dam was built in the early 1900’s when George Herbert Strutt owned Kingairloch; it really is a feat of engineering and vision. Following the end of War, when men returned to the Highlands, there was very little work for them. With a huge love for fishing and the employment requirement in the area; GH Strutt, masterminded this project to artificially improve the salmon fishing on the River Galma.
For a number of years the scheme was a success. However, taming a river is ultimately an impossible task and in time Mother Nature had other ideas. There were several breaches and when the Resevoirs Act came into place, the dam was burst which significantly reduced the size of the lochan behind the dam.
Today it is such a peaceful place to visit and contemplate what it must have been like for the men to build the dam.
The Walled Garden at Kingairloch House
A walk around the garden always amazes me as to what can grow on the West Coast
An interesting fact is that the soil in the garden originated from Ireland. The steam yachts that the Strutt family used to get to Kingairloch required ballast and at the time it was soil from Ireland that was used. Today the garden is a productive kitchen garden that provides a lot of fruit and vegetables for the bistro and also our bed and breakfast. A poly-tunnel was added five years ago and has made a huge difference to the growing season. Guests are welcome at all times of the year to walk around the garden; we always like to hear hints and tips from our green-fingered guests.
The Old Mill
A walk up to the Old Mill with the dogs along the river is always a highlight
This is such a delightful ruin, when you are in the vicinity of it; you can almost feel the activity that once took place.
The island of Lismore used to grown a great deal of milling crops for the area, due to the rich limestone soils it was a very fertile land. However as the island was relatively flat, there was not enough head of water to sufficiently turn a water wheel.
The mill at Kingairloch was built in the perfect location to harness the strength of water to turn a wheel, which meant the crops grown on the island could be milled into flour and animal food.
It really is a picturesque location, probably the finest location for a mill in the whole of The British Isles.
This was where the water would go through the middle of the Mill
If you do visit the mill, be aware that it is a ruin and the structure is not safe.
The Camas na Crois Beach
On this journey of my five favourtie spots; we have visited two important historic sites and one scenic one. To weigh this piece up, I wanted to add this delightful beach into the mix as it has personal significance.
Low tide at Camas na Crose Beach
Quite often you can be sat on the beach listening to the Oystercatchers calling and the waves lapping on the shore when a ship heading for the neighbouring Glensanda Quarry comes into view. It really is quite a sight to see!
My family came to the area in order to quarry the granite at Glensanda, starting with an utterly blank hillside in the early 1980s. Today the quarry produces 10,000,000 annually and visitors to Kingairloch would hardly know that such a large quarry is just down the coastline. The quarrying business was sold in 2006 to Aggregate Industries, but once in a while it is important to take time to reflect on my family’s history to the area and I choose to do that on this beautiful beach.
The Yeoman Bontrup sailing down Loch Linnhe into Glensanda Quarry
As I said at the beginning of this post, there are many places to explore and enjoy at Kingairloch. I hope that by sharing a few of mine, you have another insight into the estate and will too visit these spots.