|South of Tarbert
||[Aug. 12th, 2016|10:40 pm]
On our second day in Tarbert, we headed south, to Skipness: back into the top of the Kintyre peninsula. We seemed to have come a long way since our stay at Saddell, but we weren't really so very far away.
We wanted to see Skipness Castle, and although it was a damp and misty day, we thought we might get away with it, and I think we did. We parked where the signs told us to. If you follow the signs to the Seafood Cabin, you can get quite a bit closer, and you'll probably want to eat at the Seafood Cabin anyway - but it's a pleasant walk past what was once a lodge at the gates, and through forest to the castle. Because it's woodland, you don't see the castle until you're quite close:
That first view is misleading. The wall is so solid that you can't see it's an empty shell, but you can't see how massive the tower house is, either:
You can climb up to the top, and walk tound the roof. There's a fine perspective of the walled enclosure, and beyond to the ruined chapel, and to Arran across the water:
Back out of the castle and down the track to the shore, and it's an easy walk to the chapel. It's still in use as a burial ground, despite being a ruin, as is the Scottish habit: there's a well-maintained rectangle of new graves, and a meadow of long grass and interesting memorials, including some more of the local carved stones. This outburst of classicism was a surprise, though:
We retraced our steps past the castle. A flock of sheep on the castle mound looked as damp and woolly as the clouds:
But the Seafood Cabin had a wide awning, and the view was wonderful, so we decided to sit outside to eat our scallops:
We weren't planning to order wine. But durham_rambler was reading me the list of what was available in half bottles, and I said "What, no muscadet?", thinking that he would say no, and that would be that. Only he said yes, as it happened they did have half bottles of muscadet... They also had fearless chickens, and semi-tame deer, who wandered among the picnic tables while we ate our lunch.
And that was Skipness.