The hot sunny summer may have left with our guests but we enjoyed our afternoon off visiting Maolachy’s garden in the glen above Kilmelford.
It’s a lovely spot with winding paths, steps, and a burn. The young at heart can enjoy a game of Pooh Sticks at one of the bridges, with a bucket of twigs waiting for their players. The actual young can enjoy a treasure trail around the garden, I spotted some of the treasure but was pretty sure I was too old to claim it.
It’s not garden full of showy specimen plants, but as the owner says “…By not struggling to grow tender or late species we take much pleasure from those that are happy to grow here”.
Isn’t that a great philosophy?
If you’re in the area there’s also Arduaine garden , and for food and drink Room at the Top above Kilmelford store and the Bistro at Loch Melfort hotel , both dog friendly.
We’ve had a pretty busy start to the 2019 season but it hasn’t been all work and no play. A couple of weeks ago we were lucky to join a trip out to Eileach an Naoimh one of the Garvellachs an archipelago in the firth of Lorne to the south west of Seil.
The weather has been kind to us this month and we had a glorious day for our trip, just as well as we had to make what is known as a “hard landing” from our Seafari RIB ! Everyone made it onto the island even though there was a bit of scrambling over the rocks before we could walk to the first of the ancient sites on the island.
I develop walking pole envy in this type of situation
Eileach an Naoimh is the site of the oldest monastery buildings in Scotland, built in about 542. There are also very well preserved beehive cells, thought to have been occupied by the monks.
inside a beehive cell
The island is linked to St Brendon, St Columba and a grave high above the monastery is said to be that of Eithne, mother of Columba.
looking down at the monastery site from Eithne’s grave
We climbed to the trig point and up to the light beacon, I had a paddle in the inlet which the monks used as a harbour, and we enjoyed a picnic looking out over the sea. We tried to walk around the coast to view the natural arches but even the most intrepid of our group (not me) failed to quite reach them.
Luckily for us all our skipper took us past them on our return journey
A beautiful day out, if you get the chance to visit you should.
Sorry, can’t guarantee the sunshine. X
Once again we had blue skies and sunshine on Monday. This time our day out was not entirely leisure related, we were heading down to Cardross to pick up our bathroom supplies from the lovely Lomond Soap Company, but more of that later.
Enroute we had a coffee at our regular haunt Brambles, Inveraray. The loch was looking particularly beautiful and we had a quick walk around the shops too.
Refreshed we continued on to Cardross to pick up shower gel, hand wash and lotion from Corrie at Lomond Soap. I’d been searching for a supplier for a while and researched the company after using their products in a cafe. All products are palm oil and animal fat free, they don’t dry out your skin and smell yummy too, I chose Citrus and Rosemary for the Sheiling bathrooms. They will be available in refillable large dispensers to avoid the plastic waste from lots of little bottles.
As well as her range of soaps, gels and lotions Corrie has some lovely home and gift products in her shop. It’s on the main street in Cardross and well worth a stop if you’re in the area.
Before heading home we called in to the larger town of Helensburgh, home to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House, as well as a good range of shops and cafes. We had a late lunch at Sugar Boat where I’d first been impressed by Lomond Soap. It’s a stylish , friendly cafe/bistro which is also dog friendly in the bar area.
Today it’s raining, but that doesn’t matter as I’ve got some work to do…….
Two weeks ago we had our trip down to Kintyre, today and last Monday we stayed a little closer to home and enjoyed what our beautiful neighbouring islands have to offer.
Seil has ferry links to two of the other Slate islands, last week we took the “big” ferry (it takes cars) over to Luing. We weren’t lucky enough to see the dolphins* we’d spotted on our last visit but the view is beautiful even without cetaceans.
We drove up to Cullipool for a walk along the shore and lunch at The Atlantic Islands Centre. Bramble loves it there, not only is she welcome at the centre but there are sooooooo many stones to chase on the beach.
Today we took the little ferry (passengers only) to Easdale our nearer neighbour. It’s a great place for dog walking as there aren’t any cars. We took the paths around the old quarries and climbed to its highest point (not that high, around 38 metres). After that it was back to the friendly Puffer Bar and Restaurant for coffee and a scone. Dogs aren’t allowed in the tearoom but are welcome in the bar, there’s also plenty of seating outside, which is where we enjoyed our drinks today.
So will we get another “Blue Monday” next week? Fingers crossed.
*when I didn’t have my camera
Even though we escaped the worst of the recent storms and wintry weather we haven’t really travelled very far from home recently. So it was nice to have a little day out yesterday.
We headed south down Loch Fyne to the beautiful Kintyre peninsula. We had a quick stop in Tarbert to stretch our (and Bramble’s) legs and then on along the coast towards Campbeltown.
We stopped short of Campbeltown at Glenbarr where Glenbarr Stores has a cafe serving delicious locally sourced food, garden centre and farmshop (as well as the Post Office)
We even got a look at their lovely B&B rooms, it’s nice to see what other B&Bs are like. It would be a great spot to explore what Kintyre has to offer.
We continued south to Campbeltown where you can find the newly restored Picture House , one of the oldest surviving cinemas in the country, next to Campbeltown museum which we’d visited on another trip. We decide not to indulge our inner Paul Mccartney by continuing down to the Mull of Kintyre but headed over to the east side taking the sometimes switchback B road to Saddell with its ancient stones and beautiful beach*
We all enjoyed a walk there, but Bramble most of all.
Kintyre is a fairly long day out from Sheiling BnB but well worth it; or maybe spend more of your time exploring beautiful Argyll and take a few days there too. A road trip to rival the North Coast 500?
*park in the village and walk down past Saddell Castle.
It’s only the 4th of February and some recent sunny days may have turned my head but I think there are signs of Spring in the air. I’m definitely noticing longer days, it’s so nice when it stops being dark by 5pm. On my walk this morning I spotted these pushing their way through the roadside verge.
Soon there’ll be daffodils brightening my way. The view down to the bay was extra beautiful too.
We decided to drive down to Arduaine gardens to see how Spring was looking there.
And I think beautiful is the word?
Then stopped off for a bite of lunch at The Lord of the Isles at Craobh Haven and enjoyed more gorgeous views. It’s dog friendly too.
Back home I was pleased to see these signs of Spring in our garden
and hopefully there’ll be more ready to welcome guests soon.