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Ardfern has been our boat's winter home for many years so I cannot escape a personal bias for such a nice place. The marina is sheltered (ph 01852 500 247), the chandlery is the best in the area, the staff are exceptionally friendly and will fix all the broken bits, this is a good place to leave a boat for a bit, and the countryside around is Argyll at its knobbly best. Of course it is quite a way up Loch Craignish and not a place to escape from people in the height of summer, but there are compensations as well as the marina facilities: the pub, hopefully the resurrected Crafty Kitchen soon, the shop, and the walks.
Out of the marina to the left you get to an extremely well-stocked shop in a couple of minutes (under new ownership in 2016). You can preorder your provisions if you give them a bit of warning (ph 01852 500298). In another few minutes you get to the Crafty Kitchen (hopefully), and across the road the Galley of Lorne hotel and pub.
Lucy's café, opposite the pub, opened in the middle of the 2020 pandemic and is now getting going, with very good reports. Wholesome food, delicious cakes, closed in the evenings (ph 01852 500 781).
The Galley of Lorne has a cosy bar with open fires, and does meals (by no means cheap). You can choose from the same menu in the rather large and wide-open restaurant (the view is good if you get a table by the window). A big plus is that they pride themselves in always having several real ales, and they really do, as well as the stuff that froths and bubbles out of taps (ph 01852 500 284).
Just past the Galley you will find the early 19th century parish church, a bit dilapidated on the outside with a couple of curious painted walls to give the impression of windows, the inside is plain and serene. The painted woodwork gives a charming sense of airiness.
If you turn right out of the marina you get to the village hall in about 10 minutes, opened in 2005 after years of fund-raising. It hosts many activities so check their website to see what is on when you are around.
A nice easy walk is to turn right just after the primary school and keep going up the hill and on until eventually you go down a hill and get to Craobh Haven. Then walk back again.
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Inside the church
The pontoons in winter