Begin your journey along The West Highland Line. Tall buildings become suburbs become open stretches of water and land. Watch out the window as the River Clyde spreads into the firth. The skeletons of dismantled cranes and piers haunt the river bank, fishing boats sit high out the water, ghosts of the city’s industrial past.
The rail track starts to climb and lowland becomes highland. Mountain peaks flash between gaps in the trees then vanish behind a blur of green. Loch Long stretches below then tapers into the Loin waters; the train continues to rise till Loch Lomond appears and the might of mountain and water combines. Less than an hour into the journey and Scotland has transformed.
The train splits at Crianlarich – the rear section disappears into moorland and heather, your carriage instead moves westward towards the coast. Catch a glimpse of Kilchurn Castle through the window – a 15th century ruin on the banks of Loch Awe – then watch as waterfalls drop over rock faces in threads of white and black.
Follow the waters of Loch Etive as they pass under the grey ribs of Connel Bridge and out to sea. Loch banks become coastline, heather and grasses become brown kelp and beach. The train slows as Oban Bay comes into view – fishing boats and ferries pass in and out of this pretty seaside town.
Alight here from the train then continue by minibus into Kilmartin Glen. Standing stones stick out from farmers’ fields like broken teeth; chambered cairns fill the landscape. There are over 350 ancient monuments within a six mile radius of Kilmartin village. We’ll take you on a walking tour into Prehistory in the company of an expert local guide. Learn how thousands of years of the human story are immortalised in this special place.
End the day with a visit to a hillfort of importance. Your guide will be on hand to point out Pictish carvings and tell the story of the Kingdom of Dalriada. The view alone is moving.
Your accommodation in Kilmelford
Watch the sunset over Asknish Bay as you dine in the hotel’s cosy restaurant. Enjoy Scottish fare created with fresh local ingredients – your meal’s provenance part of the experience. Comfortable rooms in this loch side hotel look out to sea and the Slate Islands. The owners’ attention to detail makes this a special stop on your journey through the West Coast.