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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. Their boss, Lex Brown, wants to convert it into a private home but after more than a decade he is still in discussion with Historic Scotland who opposed the restoration until 2011, 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, 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 as self catering for up to 16 at £8800 a week, bringing your own cook is recommended. I think only two people actually live on the island, the rest of the houses are holiday lets. So a bit odd to find a village hall. There is clearly a lot of outside money looking after this estate.

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The view of Eigg and Rum from the north entrance

Overlooking the Shona pier