The Hotel is ideally situated in the Highlands of Scotland between two Scottish coastal towns Oban (22 miles) and Fort William (14 miles). Nearer to hand the world famous village of Glencoe, made infamous by the highland massacre is only four miles away. Ben Nevis Britain's highest mountain is just the other side of Fort William and is walkable by most people taking the right precautions and preparations.
As well as walking or driving around enjoying the most breathtaking scenery in the world there are numerous interesting activities to pursue and attractions to visit.
The following are some examples of the hundreds of things to do and see in the Highlands of Scotland near the Hotel:-
A trip to the Island of Mull.
Either travel to Oban to catch the ferry or across the Corran Ferry and drive across unspoilt Ardnamurchan and cross on the short Fishnish to Lochaline ferry. In Mull you can tour about and even go across to the legendary Isle of Iona. This is the ancient burial place of the kings of Scotland. John Smith, the former leader of the Labour party, is also buried there. You can easily do a round trip to Mull in a day.
A short trip across the Corran Ferry finds Ardnamurchan and this is a great place to tour around. Entirely unspoilt and terrific for stress relief.
A trip to Oban - Gateway to the Isles
An interesting day out could be combining some shopping in Oban or even a visit to the distillery where the fine "Oban" whisky is made. Decide who's driving back before you go! Oban has an interesting monument called McCaig's tower which was built by the wealth philanthropic banker John Stuart McCaig who designed the tower as a monument to his own family, and wanted to provide work for the local stonemasons over the winter months. He fell out with the town council over the tower and then ran out of money before the tower had a roof on it. It is none the less an interesting landmark looking down onto Oban bay from the hill. It is an interesting site and the ferries arriving and leaving Oban are a wonderful sight from within the tower. Lovely spot to picnic and take in the hustle and bustle of Oban.
Oban itself is often described as the gateway to the Isles and Calmac ferries (Caledonian MacBrayne) run to many of the Scottish west coast Islands inlcuding Mull, Barra, Lismore, Tiree, Coll, Colonsay, and South and North Uist. The Hotel makes a good stopover on the way to getting a ferry and early breakfasts can be arranged.
Oban is a principal market town serving a number of outlying areas and Islands and as such had a very good selection of both local shops and many high street names, such as Tescos, Boots, Lidl, Aldi, New Look, Superdrug, Specsavers and Argos.
There are also a number of high street banks and building societies located in Oban.
A visit to Glencoe village and the Glencoe area
Glencoe village is located four miles from the Hotel and is a very pretty village located at the head of Loch Leven one of the most attractive sea lochs in Scotland. The village was the location for one of the most notorious massacres when in 1692 many of the clan Donald were murdered in their beds on the instructions of the King. Click here for more gruesome details and for further information on the Glencoe area.
The Appin Murder Sites
The tale of murder is told on a different page. The sites are local and make for an interesting visit.
A visit to a Film Location
There have been many films such as Braveheart and the Harry Potter fims which have been filmed in the areas of Glencoe, Loch Linnhe, Loch Leven and Glen Nevis. Click here for more details.
Cruachan Power Station
An appealing drive is to go to Oban and then to head for Tyndrum. On the way you could stop off on Loch Awe and visit the power station dubbed "the hollow mountain" since there is a large tunnel leading to the power station a couple of miles into the mountain. If you then keep going to Tyndrum and then back through the Glen back to the Holly Tree you will find this a fascinating drive. The drive through the Glen often sees, depending on the weather, the wild deer near the roadside and some of the most stunning scenery in Scotland.
Around ten miles on the Oban road lies Castle Stalker, or STALCAIR as it was originally, which was built in the 13th Century. Steeped in history it was lost in a game of cards by the local Stewart clan but later recovered after the battle of Killicrankie. In 1966 it was bought by the Allward family who open it on certain days, which usually coincide with the local Appin show. The castle, given its location and lowered elevation from the road, makes a wonderful photo opportunity.
Horse Riding or Boating at Lettershuna
The Zveginstov family at Lettershuna will look after you for a morning or afternoon with boating or horse riding. The site is only ten miles on the Oban road. After the exercise you can retreat to the Holly Tree for some pampering.
A day trip to Fort William Lochaber Outdoor Capital of the UK
Fort William is about 14 miles way and is a lovely drive. The town itself is situated beside the water in Loch Linnhe. It has a population of around 8,000 people which greatly increases in the summer months. There are a large number of interesting shops and a summer market.
A Walk Up Britain's Highest Mountain or Some Munro Bagging
Ben Nevis is located just the other side of Fort William about Twenty minutes drive from the Hotel. Munro Bagging is a popular hill walking practice of trying to walk up as many hills in Scotland over 3,000 feet in height. Lochaber the Outdoor Capital of the UK is blessed with a substantial number of these hills and of course is home to the Glencoe range of mountains and Ben Nevis range which is Britain's highest. Click for some more details.
The above are some of the hundreds of things to do and any of the team in the Hotel will be happy to advise on other trips and ideas.
Haste ye Back!