North and Mid-Argyll
Argyll is a geographically huge county, stretching from the outskirts of Glasgow up to the start of the Highlands in Glencoe and containing a huge number of islands, big and small. MacPhee & Partners’ Oban office serves the north and central areas of the county.
The principal town of North and Mid Argyll is Oban, the main shopping and residential centre with its ferry terminals providing the principal accesses to both the Outer Hebrides and the nearer islands of Mull, Jura, Coll and Tiree. The main administrative centre is Lochgilphead, and further south at the tip of the Kintyre peninsula, is the busy town of Campbeltown. Each of these main towns has its own High School and hospitals.
Outwith the main centres, it is Argyll’s villages, islands and more rural areas that make it one of the most attractive parts of the UK to live.
Form the north, the villages of Appin with its majestic Stalker Castle, Benderloch and Connel – with the dramatic eddying tidal currents of Loch Etive passing under its bridge twice daily – lead towards Oban itself. Connel Airport provides private air links, with a major upgrade underway and scheduled links to the islands shortly to be available. The A84 trunk road gives the main connection for north Argyll to Glasgow and the Central Belt and joins up the pretty villages of Taynuilt, Lochawe and Dalmally – Loch Awe being one of the finest fishing lochs in the UK. To the south of Oban, you pass through or close to Kilmelford, Crinan and Tayvallich on the way to Lochgilphead. Ardrishaig is the eastern end of the Crinan Canal, joining the open waters of the West Coast with Loch Fyne and giving sailors a much-welcomed alternative to the long trek round the Mull of Kintyre, the long peninsula that stretches down to Campbeltown. The loop of mid-Argyll from Lochgilphead takes in the historic town of Inveraray, the seat of the Duke of Argyll before the Rest and be Thankful summit takes you down into southern Argyll & Bute and the Clyde conurbations.
Argyll’s uniqueness is defined by her many islands, with Caledonian MacBrayne, the “Highland Navy”, serving all of the larger inhabited islands. The major islands of Islay and Mull have relatively large populations and all the usual High School and hospital services. Mull’s main town of Tobermory is a major sailing destination as well as being the backdrop to Balamory! The separate holy island of Iona is a major pilgrimage destination.
The smaller islands of Coll, Tiree, Gigha, Lismore and Jura all have good ferry connections from Oban or the mainland and offer peaceful lifestyles – true getaways.
A list of Argyll’s islands is incomplete without a mention of Seil – connected to the mainland by the “Bridge over the Atlantic” – no need for a ferry!