A Visit to Oban, Kilmartin Glen, and Inveraray Castle in Scotland

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The Oban to Mull ferry.
The Oban to Mull ferry.

Oban

As we sailed into the port on the ferry from Mull, we passed all of the old manor houses lining the waterfront along the edge of the harbor. In the photo below, you can see the Barriemore (under the red arrow), which would be our home for the night.

The quay at Oban. Arrow is where the Barriemore is located.
The quay at Oban. Arrow is where the Barriemore is located.

Exiting the ferry in the car was less problematic than I’d read and we were at the house in about 20 minutes. Along the waterfront, just about every “house” is a B&B and the Barriemore is at the far end, yet still walking distance from the center of town.

The Barriemore in Oban.
The Barriemore in Oban.

We had a beautiful harbor view room with a huge bathroom. There was complimentary sherry in the room and a wee dram of whisky available in the downstairs hall. The house has a nice breakfast room with cooked to order food and a small buffet. There’s free parking available off the street in front of the house. We booked our stay at the Barriemore through booking.com.

Our huge room with an amazing view at the Barriemore.
Our huge room with an amazing view at the Barriemore.

Our room was on the corner and had lots of windows, with a spectacular view over the harbor, two comfortable chairs, table, and fireplace.

We didn’t have any plans and it was late in the afternoon, so we walked into the center of town hoping to be able to take a tour of the Oban Distillery. Unfortunately, they were fully booked for the rest of the day. Instead, we wandered about town a bit, stopping to look at restaurant menus and spent some time in a local whisky shop.

Cuan Mor restaurant in Oban.
Cuan Mor restaurant in Oban.

Places were starting to get crowded for dinner and we didn’t have reservations, so we went where we could get a seat and that was at Cuan Mor, right on the waterfront road, George Street. We lucked out to get a table for two right in the front window.

Our dinner at Cuan Mor in Oban.
Our dinner at Cuan Mor in Oban.

It’s a lively bar and restaurant offering drinks and decent food. We started with a bit of rustic pate and then David followed with steak and scallops while I had my craving for a burger and fries fulfilled. After dinner, we walked back to our room and enjoyed the sunset view over the water with a dram (or two) of whisky.

Note: the proper spelling for “whisky” in Scotland (what many people call “Scotch”) is without the “e”. In Ireland and the US, it’s spelled with the “e” at the end, “whiskey”.

Kilmartin Glen and Standing Stones

Kilmartin Standing Stones
Kilmartin Standing Stones

I’ve always been fascinated by pre-history and especially standing stones like Stonehenge. Of course, this obsession was enhanced by books like Outlander and when I discovered that on our drive from Oban to Galway, we’d be passing right by some stones that you could just walk out and touch (unlike Stonehenge), I was determined to make that stop.

We arrived at the hamlet of Kilmartin Glen in the late morning and made our first stop at their little museum gift shop where we bought tickets to the museum and picked up a map of the area sites. The museum is small but thorough and also offers a lovely view over the valley where the prehistoric sights can be found.
Note: I think the museum is now undergoing a larger expansion. Visiting info can be found here.

Kilmartin Museum
Kilmartin Museum
Kilmartin Museum and View
Kilmartin Museum and view from it to the Cairns

From the museum we drove over to the field where the Ballymeanoch standing stones are. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to be able to walk among them, even in the rain!

Kilmartin Standing Stones
Kilmartin Standing Stones

We were also able to walk to check out the Nether Largie South chamber tomb and the Temple Wood Circle.

Kilmartin Nether Largie
Kilmartin Nether Largie burial site.
Kilmartin Temple Wood Circle
Kilmartin Temple Wood Circle

Inveraray Castle

Inveraray Castle
Inveraray Castle

Along the way to Glasgow, we made one last stop, to see Inveraray Castle on the edge of Loch Fyne. The castle as it looks today, was mostly built in the mid-1700s with more construction in the 1800s after a fire. It is the seat of the Campbell Clan and home to the Duke of Argyle. There are parts of it which are still lived in and you do get the sense of a family home while walking though some of the rooms.

Inveraray Castle Swords and Robes
Inveraray Castle Swords and Robes
Inveraray Castle Dining Room
Inveraray Castle State Dining Room
Inveraray Castle Sitting Rooms
Inveraray Castle Tapestry Drawing Room and Victorian Room.
Inveraray Castle Views to Grounds
Inveraray Castle Views to Grounds
Inveraray Castle Bedroom
Inveraray Castle MacArthur Bedroom. There are stories about this room being haunted.
Inveraray Castle Kitchen
Inveraray Castle Kitchen

One of my favorite things to see in old homes or castles is the kitchen and Inveraray did not disappoint. The old kitchen space is enormous. There were dozens of copper pots, several different types of stoves and ovens, and one very cool chest of drawers that functioned as a pantry (see below). The kitchen was used and working up into the 1950s.

Inveraray Castle Kitchen
Inveraray Castle Kitchen
Inveraray Castle Kitchen
Inveraray Castle Kitchen
Inveraray Castle
Inveraray Castle

If you are a Downton Abbey fan, you might recognize Inveraray Castle and the area in the photo above from the 2012 season Christmas episode. More on that here.

Lunch at Inveraray Castle
Lunch at Inveraray Castle

After touring the castle, we had lunch in their tearoom which is located in the basement near the old kitchen. They have a decent selection of sandwiches and baked goods. We had tasty egg salad sandwiches and tomato soup as well as a fun local beer called Pig’s Paradise Blonde.

Inveraray Castle is about 40 miles from Oban and 60 miles from Glasgow. They are open daily April through October. Visitor information can be found here.

Have you been to this part of Scotland? Thinking of going?
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Oban Scotland, Kilmartin Glen Standing Stones and Inveraray Castle on wired2theworld.com

Please note, this post was not sponsored in any way. We always pay for everything out of our own pockets and all opinions are truly our own.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Jess says:

    So beautiful trip! I love Scotland ❤️❤️

    1. Thank you!

  2. whereivebeentravel says:

    Looks like a lovely trip! I hope to get to Scotland soon!

    1. Thank you! I loved Scotland so much I went back less than a year later. 🙂

  3. Lesley says:

    I’m so excited that I’m going to Scotland in September! Have bookmarked your post for reference – it’s so beautiful there!

    1. Yay! It’s one of my favorite places. We loved it so much we returned less than a year later to see more. Let me know if you have any questions.

  4. Kelly says:

    Would love to go! Even though those jackets look very cold and windy, but I assume that’s what the extra whisky is for 🙂

    1. Yeah, it was surprisingly cold, even in August! But there are plenty of ways to warm up! 🙂 Totally worth it (and I hate being cold).

  5. Amy says:

    Such an interesting post! I hadn’t read anything about this area before. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Teja says:

    The standing stones and mounds all over the British Isles is one of the reasons I prefer its countryside over its cities 🙂 BTW, if you know where to look, Malaysia has relic standing stones too!

    1. Really? I had no idea! Must investigate that for a future trip!

  7. Scotland is awesome! So much history and stunning nature. Thanks for detailed information and beautiful pictures!

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