Inveraray Castle, and Glencoe, Scotland

Our happy band at Inveraray Castle

The present Inveraray Castle, built between 1745 and 1790, is the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Argyll, Chiefs of the Campbell Clan, who have lived on this site since the early 15th century. Today, the castle is set in beautifully maintained gardens by Loch Fyne, surrounded by an area of rugged highland scenery. We visited the castle as part of our tour around Scotland, organised by our niece, Becca, after her graduation from Edinburgh University.

We began with a tour of the castle, starting with Armoury Hall, with its amazing display of some 1300 pieces, including Brown Bess muskets, Lochaber axes, and 18th century Scottish broadswords.

Brown Bess muskets, artistically displayed

Brown Bess muskets with Lochaber axes in between

Barbs, Mart, and Dale, admiring the Armoury

Becca looking at the family medals, with ancient spears behind her

The State Dining Room

This magnificent dining room was featured in the 2012 Christmas episode of Downton Abbey which was partly filmed here, as the fictional "Duneagle Castle".

After our tour of the house, we walked through the grounds, where Barbs fell in love with the beautiful old trees and felt like hugging one.

Barbs at one with nature…

…and framed by a natural tree arch

After visiting the castle, we were on our way to Fort William, to stay at the Myrtle Bank Guest House there. But Becca insisted we stop off at Glencoe to enjoy the view. We weren’t disappointed. This is Scotland’s most famous and most scenic glen, and a magnet for filmmakers looking for dramatic scenery. Braveheart, Rob Roy, Highlander, Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, and the Harry Potter series of movies were all filmed there.

The dramatic landscape that is Glencoe

David enjoyed taking photos there…

…especially of Mart, Becca, and Dale, framed by the stunning scenery

The lush greenery and the many streams are testament to the constant rainfall

We saw Glencoe in summer. In winter the mountains are covered in snow, and the area becomes 
a popular ski resort with the longest and steepest runs in Scotland

What a wonderful day in the highlands!

Elizabeth Coughlan

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