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On a sunny day the views across to Mull and Lismore are spectacular, but on a bad day I find this anchorage more than usually bleak, a view that has been heightened by the arrival of an incredibly dull house where once there was nothing. No doubt ‘architect designed’ as they say.
But the walk to the north end of Kerrera is nice, with great vistas out to sea. At the very tip, above the shingle beach in the NW corner of Charlotte Bay, is a rather subtle historical site — Cladh a’Bhearnaig, called Cashel on the OS map. Apparently there was once a monastery here, now there is a just a grassed-over 60 metre diameter broken circle of old stones which to the untutored eye could have been a big sheep enclosure. These archaeological sites are profoundly unphotogenic, so there is no photograph here.
Continue the walk to a much more in-your-face sight, and that is the view of Oban Bay from the granite obelisk on the hilltop, raised as a monument to David Hutcheson who died in 1880. With his brother Alexander and David MacBrayne he pioneered the first steamship services to the Western Isles, the precursor of CalMac ferries. The inscription proclaims “by whose energy and enterprise the benefits of greatly improved steam communication were conferred on the west highlands and islands of Scotland”. Sit up here on a sunny afternoon taking in the scene, with a slim volume of poetry perhaps.
Of course you can get just as easily to the Hutcheson monument and the archaeology from Ardantrive Bay.
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View over to Mull from above Charlotte Bay
View north across the entrance to Oban Bay