Swimming with Beavers!

We have experienced stunningly sunny weather for over a week at Powdermills Bed and Breakfast, near Inveraray. Our guests have been able to see Argyll in all its glory. We too, have been able to enjoy the sunshine. Sue and Izzy have now been ‘wild swimming’ on four occasions and the water has been so warm that the wet suits have not been required on occasions.

Argyll has some wonderful spots for sandy beaches albeit usually remote and off the beaten track. Like our guests, we are still discovering Argyll ourselves. Recently, we have visited the beach at Kilmory, the Knapdale Forest and the twin beaches on the Island of Ghia, which should be on everyone’s ‘bucket list’.

Kilmory

To get to Kilmory, turn left on to the A83 from Powdermills Bed and Breakfast to Lochgilphead. Take the A816 towards Oban and veer left onto the B841 towards Crinan. Just before Crinan, take the B8025 signposted to Tayvallich. After several miles take a left towards Kilmory. Kilmory beach is at the end of a single track road with views over to Islay and Jura. It was our intention to go on to the beach and have a swim but as the photo shows the beach was packed with cattle – and no social distancing! Regardless, this beautiful and secluded spot is well worth a visit.

Knapdale Forest

Returning from Kilmory, we visited the Knapdale Forest and the Beaver centre at Barnlusagan. Previously extinct for 400 years, four Beavers were reintroduced in May 2009. This trial is being monitored scientifically so that widespread release of Beavers can be started. Beavers can fell trees, construct lodges, build dams and create ponds. The Beavers are based at Loch Collie Bharr and the smaller Loch Barnluasgan. So we strolled through the forest in the hope that we might catch a view of the shy rodents. Alas, we did not see anything. I am sure you have heard of people who go swimming with dolphins – not Sue and Izzy, they decided that wanted to take a dip with Beavers! Before long, they wadded into the Loch and went wild swimming with our dogs Boo and Mabel. I am told that it proved to be warmer than the sea and just as invigorating but I was happy to take their word for it!

Ghia

We always recommend a trip to the Isle of Ghia to our guests. It is a great day trip. It is an hour down the A83 from Powdermills Bed and Breakfast. Then only a twenty minute ferry ride – no booking required. There are several good places to eat. It’s quiet and relaxing and Achamore Gardens is a must see. I was introduced to Ghia by my late father five years ago and we have returned regularly. However, we have never visited the north of the island and the twin beaches but thanks to Sue and Izzy’s obsession with ‘wild swimming’, we visited the beach last week. There was not a cloud in the sky – and the temperature was 25 degrees – a heatwave for Scotland. We had the beaches to ourselves and I can honestly say it was idyllic and spiritually uplifting. The water was warm and crystal clear. However, our peace was shattered when a yacht sailed up – dropped anchor and the captain and crew rowed to shore to have a picnic! I have never fancied sailing until that moment. This trip should be on everybody’s bucket list.

Scotland has so much to offer visitors. Only last week, a video was posted on the Facebook page of Shiskine Golf Club, Arran. The famous 12-hole course faces to the east side of the Mull of Kintyre and there was a pod of dolphins swimming close to shore next to the fifth hole. So, on the one side of the Mull, it is possible to go swimming with Dolphins and on the other with Beavers! The west of Scotland is some place!.