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Scottish anchorages

Craobh Haven

I'm afraid I find this place a sad and bleak 1980s pastiche of a Scottish fishing village. Just to embellish the awful architectural mishmash, the houses are set too far back from the sea from which they are separated by a car park which makes matters even worse. Even sadder when one reads Cowper who in the late 19th century described the pre-marina anchorage as "a perfect little port". And in 1923 the first Clyde Cruising Club directions called it a 'snug anchorage'. Alas no more. There seems nothing to commend Craobh as a place, although the marina itself is fine I am told, well used too, and very prettily situated if you keep your back to the car park and admire the view (ph 01852 500 222).

 

The Lord of the Isles pub is large and open plan, so not particularly cosy, but  the views are nice. The food is definitely good pub grub, the ale is real, and the staff friendly (ph 01852 500 658). And in 2019 it won the Catering Scotland Pub Excellence award. It has now opened a shop which sounds good. There was a general store in the village itself until it closed down in 2010 (unsurprising as hardly anyone actually lives there, although I am told that those that do are really trying to make the place work). There is a small craft shop - The Giving Tree.

 

Riding stables are close by for those that way inclined (ph 01852 500 632).

 

Betjeman's "Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough to get it ready for the plough" comes to mind. However, I really must go back on a warm summer's day and try again to like this place, I know it does have its fans. Indeed one emailed me in 2018 "What an appalling and trite review of Croabh!....Your review drips with profound discourtesy and rudeness and I think you should be ashamed of yourself". And Shane Spall in 'The Princess Martilda Comes Home' thought it "has to be the loveliest marina in the country". So I must try again. In the meantime be aware there are strong views on either side of the argument.

 

If you want to park yourself in a marina rather than anchor, then Ardfern has more on offer ashore although it is further in from the open sea if you are just passing by - both Ardfern and Kilmelford Yacht Haven have boatyard facilities.

Craobh 1 Craobh - dreary space

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The "village"

The car park