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Scottish anchorages

Loch Moidart

Notorious for its tricky pilotage, rocks to the north and south of Eilean Shona guard the entrance, above water and below water. But once you are in it is great, except you do have to get out again.

 

The biggie attraction is the ruined and now dangerous Castle Tioram on the south shore. Built first in the 13th century, then modified, it fell into disrepair in the early 18th century. You can walk around it but not into it. Since 1997 it has been privately owned by the mysterious sounding Anta estates whose boss, Lex Brown, wanted to convert it into a private home.  After more than a decade he was and maybe still is for all I know in discussion with Historic Scotland who opposed the restoration, and with local landowners. How this will end we do not know, but in the meantime the castle crumbles. Personally I don't see why any restoration could not be as good as it was for Castle Duart and Iona Abbey, both had been wrecks and both are now iconic buildings.

 

In a different way, car-free Shona is just as good providing as it does a lovely woodland walk around the north and east sides with spectacular views up the loch. Past a ruined reservoir but above that a very well-preserved reservoir which looks as though it might be stocked with trout, past chopped-away rhododendrons, past the small pier with a couple of drift wood sculptures and a rather expensive looking marble sculpture, and past the big house surrounded by gardens, the very big house indeed which is available fully-catered, nine bedrooms, sleeps 16, a billiard table, a grannd piano, an aga, and a dining room which seats up to 20, £250 per person per day. I think only two people actually live on the island, the various cottages are holiday lets. So a bit odd to find a village hall, but that is probably for the people renting the cottages and the house. There is clearly a lot of outside money looking after this estate (Fiona Branson owns the place, a familiar surname). J M Barrie of Peter Pan fame once holidayed on the island, but long after he had dreamed up the well-known story, it was not I think his inspiration for 'Neverland'.

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The view of Eigg and Rum from the north entrance

Overlooking the Shona pier