Inveraray is a picturesque little town nestling on the shores of Loch Fyne. It is ideally located at the head of the Mull of Kintyre 60 miles west of Glasgow an ideal base for a weekend break or a touring holiday. Dunoon lies 40 miles south, Oban 40 miles north, Tarbert Lochgilphead and Campbeltown lie to the west and not forgetting Loch Lomond only 25 miles east. This also makes it an ideal spot for a day trip by car or bus that runs daily from Glasgow. What has Inveraray got to offer apart from breathtaking scenery which you may recognise from the many films and tv programmes that have been filmed locally. They are for e.g. Bullseye with Michael Caine and Rodger Moore The Seven Lives of Thomasina, Para Handy , the High Road , Wish you where Here, Top Gear, numerous adverts, even a pop video and the latest was the Gregor Fisher comedy Brotherly Love. It also has a spectacular Castle built in 1741 of blue stone it has four turrets and looks like it wouldn’t be out of place in a fairy tale. The Castle the family home of the Clan Campbell is home to the Duke and Duchess of Argyll. It is open to the public from the first Saturday in April till the second Saturday in October and is well worth a visit. Inveraray is in the news this week with the sudden death of the 12th Duke and his son Torquille takes over the reins as 13th Duke and will carry on running the estate. There is a ramp for wheelchair access to the ground floor but unless it has changed the upper floors are off limits to the disabled. As children we were invited to parties and that was where I was first introduced to peanut butter sandwiches! Such a delicacy. The town itself is unique as all the houses have to be painted black and white and the windows remain unchanged with small panes of glass, it makes the town look really attractive. Overlooking the town is Duniquaich with it’s stone built watchtower on the summit. There are 3 woodland walks signposted and va
ry in degree of difficulty. At the pier is berthed the Artic Penguin a 3 masted schooner one of the worlds last iron sailing ships which is fitted out as a maritime museum open to the public this again is not suitable for the disabled the deck is bevelled and the stair below decks are very steep and narrow. Admission is £3 for adults £2.50 for senior citizens and £1.50 for children I am not sure of the family ticket price it is open all year. The shop on board is well worth a visit for some unusual nautical souvenirs. Inveraray Jail is a 19th century prison brought to life. Guides dress as prisoners and guards and court cases are re-enacted bringing the past very much to life.The jail has won lots of awards including European Museum of the Year and a Scottish tourism Oscar to name but two and they were well deserved. It is open all year and a family ticket costs £12.50 Adults £4 .75 I am not sure of the childrens price Disabled have to enter through a side door and only have limited access. The shop is well worth a visit too. The Bell Tower of All Saints Episcopal Church houses Scotlands finest bells, the 2nd heaviest ring of 10 in the world it is a Mecca for bell ringers from all over Britain. The tower is open from mid May To the end of September. The exhibition at the base is free and for a small fee you can climb the winding narrow stairway to the bell room then on to the top which offers spectacular views of the town and the loch. Don’t forget your camera. The Argyll Wildlife Park is about 2 miles south of Inveraray and is a haven to all manor of ducks, geese, black swans, owls as well as monkeys wallabies, deer, badgers and foxes. Admission is approx. £10 per family ticket plus you can buy food to feed the animals. There is also a tea-room most paths are bark or grass so wheelchairs are able to get round the park with a strong armed helper. Other places of interest are Auchindrain Township an open ai
r museum 5 miles south open from April -September Crarae Gardens A beautiful garden of flowering shrubs and rare trees Open all year. Argyll Riding & Activity Centre for horse riding, mountain bikes, archery Shooting and Fishing Loch Awe Boats Ardbrecknish all types of boats for hire also tackle for excellent salmon trout and pike fishing. Inveraray Golf Course is only 9 holes and you pay on the course. Inveraray Church Arts and Crafts Exhibition open 6 days a week admission 20p Inveraray Highland Games are held annually on the third Tuesday in July. The Loch Fyne Oyster Bar is a must if you like seafood and is a favourite with Zoe Ball and Fat Boy Slim who pop down specially when ever they are in Glasgow. Where to stay ---there is a great choice of hotels guest houses B&B and also the caravan park so all tastes are catered for. I feel I am starting to ramble now I didn’t realise now much this one street town had to offer, and I haven’t even mentioned the pubs (4) or restaurants I highly recommend The George Hotel. When Rabbie Burns visited the town he wrote There’s nothing here but heiland pride Heiland scab and hunger If it was providence that sent me here Twas surely in it’s anger. Why don’t you come and see for yourself and incase you wonder I don’t work for the tourist board I grew up there many moons ago.