Friday, September 22, 2006

Duart Castle Duo

Our camp site at Craignure, on the east coast of the Hebredian Isle of Mull, afforded magnificent views of the mainland across the sound of Mull and of Duart Point across the bay to the southeast (above, left). While niether of us are 'stately homes & castle type' people we got back in from a busy day's sea eagle watching and fancied a quick cycle-an'-a-pint TCA style before dinner.

We set off out of Craignure on the 'main' single-track road, pulling into the passing places to allow bewildered local motorists pass our machine. We passed the entrance to Torosay Castle and thought about a two-castle ride, but it seems apparent from the local guide books this is more 'stately home' than 'castle' and not really a suitable target of our mission. We therefore pressed on up the main road taking the third left turn out of the villiage

Turning off the main road onto a tarmaced track it soon became clear that we were definitely in Scotland, with Highland cattle roaming the ground of the estate (right). The road undulated pleasantly with twists and turns that made the it feel like a roller-coaster ride. We covered the 2-3 mile route to the castle in just a few minutes, arriving just as the castle itself was closing to visitors for the day.

However, this was perfect timing as we managed to bump into Lady McClean, the current resident and ex-lady in waiting to the Queen Mum! She seem to take quite a shine to us and our bike and invited us to wander the grounds desipte it being out-of-hours. We politely declined but hung around a while to enjoy the magnificent views afforded from the ramparts.

Having taken in the views we set off back up the road and out of the castle grounds (nearly scaring the Lady of the manor half to death as we rattled over the cattle grid). As you can see we couldn't resist posing with some of the residents on the way back to Craignure.

Fortunately the village is blessed with a cracking boozer (right), where we sought refuge from our dehydrated camping diet and 'hurricane Gordon' a couple of times earlier in the week, and wherw we would enjoy a live local band on the following Saturday night. This evening though the Craignure Inn doubled as the TCA watering hole; Tee opting for her tipple of choice when north of the border - 'heavy' (Tennant's 'Ember' 70 shilling on this occasion) - while Al had a pint of the locally brewed Tobermory Galleon Gold.

Trudy trying to spot a B&B on the way back to our sodden tent

Route Map (showing our camp site in the NE and Duart Castle in the SE):

(Posted by: Al)

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At 2:55 pm, August 28, 2007, Blogger TCA said...


For the record: The first picture 'Sunrise over Duart Castle, Mull' won 2nd prize in the 2007 Hambledon Horticultural Society Annual Summer Show on Saturday 25th August 2007.


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