-> 2008 -> Ardkinglas - Underrated Jewel on the Way to Islay

Thursday, 09/Oct/2008

Ardkinglas - Underrated Jewel on the Way to Islay

Picture of a very large and wide tree

Yesterday Ron wrote Inveraray - A must between Glasgow and Islay. While I don't disagree with him (Walking up Dùn na Cuaiche on a sunny day and enjoying the excellent view over Inveraray from near the folly I can highly recommend) I must admit over the last few years more often than not I've just driven through Inveraray. In a way it is fairly touristy and has lost some of its appeal for me personally (YMMV). So I'd like to add what I consider to be an underrated jewel on the way to Islay:

The place I'm talking about is Ardkinglas near Cairndow at the top of Loch Fyne (Map), mainly for its gardens. My first and so far longest visit to Ardkinglas Woodland Garden was in July 2002. The garden was established by the Callander family around 1875 and later purchased together with the Ardkinglas Estate by the Noble family. The Ardkinglas site benefits from combination of high annual rainfall and Gulfstream mildness. You will find several so-called Champion Trees, meaning they are the tallest or broadest of their species in Britain. A well laid out walk leads through the garden with very good explanations given in the brochure I picked up in 2002 (hopefully it is still available).

Picture of river running through woods, the ruins of an old water mill on the right

Film buffs will also be interested in Ardkinglas: Ardkinglas Estate is a popular film location. The BBC adaptation of The Crow Road (one of my favourite books by Iain Banks) was partly filmed at Ardkinglas House:

Picture of Ardkinglas House, an old large house

So far I've only been to Ardkinglas in spring or summer, time and weather permitting I'm hoping to see it in autumn colours during my upcoming journey to Islay in just over a week. Fingers crossed it will work out!

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