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Scottish anchorages

Ardmucknish Bay

I doubt if many people bother with anchoring in this wide open south facing bay. And I can't say I blame them. Although there is a splendid sandy beach it can be very crowded because there is a large caravan site as well as holiday lodges at the back of it (mid-week out of season should be good though). Mind you the site and lodges are quite discrete because they are set back from the dunes, indeed you hardly notice them from a distance because the lodges are painted green — Tralee Bay Holidays. This is in marked contrast to the huge eye sore on the east side of the bay which you can see from miles away; the white caravans look almost like tomb stones.


On the west side of the bay there is a prominent stately looking home — Lochnell House — where the Earl of Dundonald and his family live. Sailors should know that the 10th Earl was Thomas Cochrane, a famous naval commander in the Napoleonic wars and later founder of the Chilean Navy. Patrick O'Brian used him as the model for his wonderful Jack Aubrey historical novels, including his false imprisonment. As you sail closer the house begins to look a bit tatty, especially the battlemented Victorian add-on bit which is I think no longer lived in. There is also a 17th century bit and a Georgian bit. I don't think it is open in any shape or form to the public, except as a wedding venue. From the sea it looks rather run down but apparently it is being gradually restored which is nice to hear. Sadly there seems at first sight to be nothing in the large walled garden, but I am told there is a vegetable garden and fruit trees (it would be nice if the owners of wonderful enclosed spaces like these would rent them out for allotments if they were not using all of them, but maybe here in the country there is no call for veggie patches).


About a kilometre south west, on the hill, you can see Lady Margaret's Tower — 1754. It is accessible by foot with permission from the estate manager (ph 01631 720 413, I think).

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1 Ardmucknish Bay

Lochnell House

The beach looking south