Blog Category: Scottish Tourism

10 Things to Do in Argyll

It’s all very well coming to stay in one of our elegant and traditional castle rooms, but rooms are just for sleeping in. That’s why we’re sharing our favourite local places to visit and things to do in Oban and Argyll to give you even more reason to book a stay in the breathtaking, picturesque areas surrounding Barcaldine Castle.

1. Argyll Pottery

Argyll Pottery is a unique, local, high-quality craft, gift and specialty shop selling a range of pottery made by the owner in the workshop at the back. The shop’s handmade pottery is mainly for domestic use and comes in 3 different finishing styles. The pottery on sale is functional and decorative, all whilst being reasonably priced!

With all kinds of pots, cups, goblets, candle holders, plates and dishes, as well as woodwork trinkets and gifts, you’re unlikely to find anything like it anywhere else.

There is lots of room for parking and it is wheelchair accessible. It’s a 5-minute drive from us at Barcaldine Castle – or if you’re up for it, it’s a 2-mile walk!

It’s a must-see when visiting the West Coast of Scotland that’s open 10:00am until 5:30pm!

So why not visit Argyll Pottery and buy yourself a lovely hand-made piece of pottery as a reminder of your wonderful trip to Barcaldine?


Argyll Pottery,
Dallachullish Farm,
PA37 1SQ

2. Beinn Lora

Less than a ten-minute drive from Barcaldine Castle, Beinn Lora is only 308 metres high but guarantees a wonderful view. There are two trails that are most popular for strenuous workouts for local hill runners, however, they also provide access to the hill path leading to the steep grassy summit of Beinn Lora.

The two trails are:

Coastal Climb Trail – a short (yet steep) hillside climb that provides sea views across Tralee Bay and the Lynn or Lorn.

Online it is described as: “Wide, firm but uneven gravel and earth surface. Long steep slopes with some loose sections.” The trail is around 1 mile or 1.8km so allow at least 3/4 of an hour!

Eagle’s Eyrie Trail – which is a steep yet spectacular trail that provides a bird’s eye view of Mull, the Lynn of Lorne, Lismore, the Ardnamurchan peninsula and the hills north of Appin!

According to the website, the trail features “Long steep slopes for 500m. Wide, fire gravel and stone surface with some uneven and loose sections”. The trail is around 2 miles or 3.3km so allow at least an hour and a half for this trek!

The trails are suitable for fit and experienced walkers, and the routes are not signposted, so a map and compass will be necessary!


Beinn Lora,
PA37 1SY

3. Castle Stalker

Castle Stalker is originally believed to have been the site of a Fortalice (a small fortified building) and dates back to the 14th century.

This four-storey tower house is set on a tidal islet on Loch Laich. The castle is privately owned; however, they do run a limited number of tours each year, which can be arranged by appointment. Tours are subject to weather conditions.

Opening dates for tours of the castle are to cover most of the season from April to October. There will be a maximum of one tour per day, which will include the trip over the water to the castle in their new boat and a personal guided tour of the castle provided by a member of the Stewart Allward family who are the present owners of the Castle.

Please note that the new boat has seating for up to 12 passengers and, therefore the size of each tour is limited to that number. You should allow up to two hours for the tour, including the boat trips.


Appin, off the A828, between Ballachulish and Connel.
Just north of Oban, and just a 15-minute drive from us at Barcaldine Castle!

4. The Jacobite

“The greatest railway journey in the world.”

The Jacobite is a steam locomotive hauled tourist train service that operates over part of the West Highland Railway Line, Scotland.

This 84-mile round trip takes you past a list of impressive extremes. Starting near Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, it then visits Britain’s most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis!

A steam train journey from Fort William to Mallaig taking in some of the most breath-taking scenery in Scotland, the journey includes the Glenfinnan viaduct of “Harry Potter” fame and runs from May till late October.

Please note: Your ride on The Jacobite must be booked ahead especially during peak season!


Station Square,
Fort William,
PH33 6EN

5. Dunollie Castle

The Dunollie Castle, Grounds and Museum is open from 1st April – 28th October 2018. There you can enjoy a 1745 House Museum, Castle Ruin, Drapers Shop, Kettle Garden Café, Weaving Shed and Woodlands.

For the months April and October, they are open Monday – Saturday 10:00am till 4:00pm and Sunday 12:00pm till 4:00pm, with the last entry being at 3:30pm. During the remaining months from May to September, they are open Monday – Saturday 10:00am till 5:00pm and Sunday 12:00pm till 5:00pm, with the last entry being at 4:30pm.

With it only being a 20-minute drive from us at Barcaldine Castle, why not go for a visit?


Dunollie Museum, Castle & Grounds,
PA34 5TT

6. Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel

Battles, Chapels & Royals

Built in the 13th century, at the height of the battle between Scotland and Norway for the control of the Hebrides, Dunstaffnage Castle is one of the oldest stone castles in Scotland and was in royal hands until 1469.

You can climb up to the battlements to take in the strategic positioning of the stronghold, stand in awe of the curtain walls, search for the 13th-century chapel in the trees or snoop around the three-storey gatehouse!

Dunstaffnage Castle is a 15-minute drive from Barcaldine Castle, perfect for visiting when you come and stay.

Tickets start from £3.60pp for Dunstaffnage Castle. The castle is open 10:00am-4:00pm every day except Thursday and Friday.


Dunbeg, by Oban,
PA37 1PZ

7. Fearnoch Forest

Strolls, Cycles & Horse Rides

Ideal for short walks, cycling and horse-riding, Fearnoch Forest is less than a 20-minute drive from us, so why not visit here when you stay at Barcaldine Castle?

You can take a wander around the scenic woodland and its fantastic network of peaceful forest roads?

There are two walking trails to choose from:

1) Ceum Nan Seagan:
Described on the website as: “wide, firm gravel surface throughout. Long moderate slopes with some short, fairly steep sections.” The trail is around 1.75 miles/2km, so allow at least 45 minutes!

2) Tri Drochaidean:
Described on the website as: “Wide, firm gravel surface throughout. Includes some steep slopes and a wide bridge.” The trail is around 2.25 miles/3.8km, so allow at least an hour and a half to complete it!


PA35 1JB is the nearest postcode if you’re using a sat-nav.
The car park is at grid reference NM 968 321.

8. Saint Conan’s Kirk

History, Stories & Magic

Hidden on the banks of Loch Awe you’ll find St. Conan’s Kirk. The Kirk is a 35-minute drive from Barcaldine Castle and it’s one of Argyll’s most popular tourist destinations providing an enchanting experience to both the local community and visitors of all ages.

During the summer the Kirk is open from 9:00am until 6:00pm, and during the winter from 9:00am until 5:00pm. However, it can also be closed for events, so always check before visiting! From April until September, the Tearoom is open from 10:30 until 5:00pm. Entrance to the Kirk is by donation which goes towards its restoration and upkeep.

The Friends of Saint Conan’s Kirk are always happy to give tours to people or interested parties who wish to learn more about the Kirk’s rich and intriguing history. Please call 01838 200210 to book a tour, if you are planning to visit Loch Awe or Saint Conan’s Kirk.


St. Conan’s Kirk,
PA33 1AQ

9. Sutherland’s Grove Forest Walks

Waterfalls, Bridges & Trolls

Sutherland’s Grove is just a short 10-minute drive from us, so why not take a stroll when you stay at Barcaldine Castle! Its forest walks cover trails and waterfalls to bridges and streams– there’s something for everyone!

Why not enjoy a riverside stroll through Sutherland’s Grove?

There are 5 walking trails to choose from:

1) Giant Fir Trail:
An easy trail, described on the website as: “A wide, firm surface. Generally flat with short gentle gradients.” This trail is around 0.25 miles/0.3km, so allow at least 15-minutes.

2) Gorge Trail:
A strenuous trail, described on the website as: “A varied route with, some steep, rough and rocky sections. Can be narrow in places. Often wet and muddy after rain.” The trail is around 0.75 miles/1.3km, so allow around 45-minutes to complete.

3) The Grove Trail:
A challenging trail, described on the website as: “A varied route with, some steep, rough and rocky sections. Can be narrow in places. Often wet and muddy after rain.” Allow at least 45-minutes to complete it, with it being around 0.75 miles/1.3km long.

4) Troll Trail:
Not for the faint-hearted, the trail is described on the website as “Varied with some fairly steep, rough and rocky sections. Can be narrow in places. Often wet and muddy after rain. One bridge with a steep narrow flight of steps.” Allow 1 hour and 25-minutes to complete this trail as it’s at least 1.75 miles/3km long.

5) Lochan Trail:
A demanding yet rewarding trail, described on the website as “Generally firm, smooth and wide forest road, with moderate to fairly steep gradients. The start and finish to the route is narrow and steep, with rocky uneven sections, often wet.” It’s around 2.5 miles/4.2km long, so allow at least 1 hour and 45-minutes.


The nearest postcode is: PA37 1SQ

10. Tralee Beach

Sand, Sea & Possible Sun

Quiet beach in Oban with lots of surrounding greenery and just a 5-minute drive from us, perfect for when you stay at Barcaldine Castle!

Tralee Beach has sand dunes at one end and shingles at the other. There is a signposted footbath Benderlock and is just a short walk from the town where there’s a car park amongst cafes and shops.

Take a look at our other blog posts to find great places to go, and things to do, when you stay at Barcaldine Castle!

When you come to stay in Scotland, you come for our historic sites and breath-taking scenery. Although our view of Loch Creran and the Glen Coe mountains is reason enough to come and stay, we know a few more things you should see when you come to Oban.

McCaig’s Tower

McCaig's Tower
Image credit:

Or, as we also know it, McCaig’s Folly. This century-old structure on Battery Hill is a great place to look out over Oban Bay and take it all in at once. A little bit of a climb, but it’s worth it!

Inspired by the Roman Colosseum, the tower was built in 1897 by John Stuart McCaig (using local stone from Loch Etive) as a monument to his family and to bring work for the local community, before his death in 1902.

Dunollie Museum, Castle and Grounds

Dunollie Museum, Castle and Grounds
Image credit:

Dating back to the 15th century, the ruins of Dunollie Castle lie on the outskirts of Oban, with plenty to offer. Besides delightful waterside views, the seat of Clan MacDougall also features the 1745 House Museum, with artefacts relating to the clan and the local community over the years.

Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel

Dunstaffnage Castle
Image credit:

Stood at the mouth of Loch Etive, just a few miles north of Oban, Dunstaffnage Castle dates back to the 13th century and once served as the formidable stronghold of Clan MacDougall.

With an impressive curtain wall, a strategic battle position, and its 13th-century chapel, Dunstaffnage offers a beautiful piece of history for you to see.

Ardchattan Priory Gardens

Ardchattan Priory Gardens
Image credit:

Just across Loch Etive, sitting on the northern bank, the Ardchattan Priory Gardens has over 200 varieties of shrubs, including several fine species of roses.

Sir Duncan MacDougall founded the priory in 1230 for the monks of the Valliscaulian order. Later, in the 16th century, it became the home of Clan Campbell and has remained so ever since.

We hope you get to see some incredible sights during your next trip to Oban. And don’t forget to check out our favourite places to eat while you’re here. When you’re done seeing the sights of Oban, find out what else you can do in Argyll.

Got any special occasions coming up? Any cool party themes in mind? If not, why not?! Nothing adds to the fun of a party like a gripping theme and an interesting venue. We’d love to hire out our castle for an evening and give you full and exclusive use of this historic building.

But what sort of party themes would really do a castle justice?

In case you need inspiration for your next event, here are some ideas to suit a variety of tastes.

Party Themes, Game of Thrones Night

A Game of Thrones

Of all the best and most popular party themes, this is one that we recently brought to life here at Barcaldine. Just last month we held the most fantastic feast in the Seven Kingdoms! Our guests celebrated a 50th nameday in style complete with excellent costumes and a delicious feast prepared by our new chef John Larkins, it was like stepping right into King’s Landing. Any excuse to host another clash of kings would be welcome!

Party Themes, Cauldron, Magic

A Spellbinding Night of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Jacobite train on Glenfinnan Viaduct

Did you know Hogwarts is in the Scottish Highlands? Although the Harry Potter books don’t mention it, J.K. Rowling has told us so herself. The films also use a number of Scottish locations for parts of the Hogwarts grounds. But the real Hogwarts cannot be plotted on a map. Maybe it’s next door to us!

Muggles can’t see Hogwarts, but they can still come to Barcaldine Castle for a night of witches, wizards and a magical feast — and maybe try to spot a giant squid in Loch Creran. Of all the party themes we’ve thought of, we’d perhaps like to try this one the most! For an even more magical time, while you’re here, you could even pop up to Glenfinnan Viaduct, where the films showed the Hogwarts Express transporting young students to the famous wizarding school.

If you visit during the summer, you can even take a steam train ride on the Jacobite, from Fort William to Mallaig, along the viaduct itself. Check it out and have your own Hogwarts Express journey! And that’s not all. Not far from the viaduct is also Loch Eilt, famous for a couple of Potter scenes of its own — including the breaking of Dumbledore’s grave on the island Eilean na Moine.

Party Themes, Fairy Tale, Forest

A Fairy Tale Ball

Another classic way to get that fantasy feel is with a fairy-tale theme and a party in the Great Hall. Dress to the nines and throw an enchanted ball with roaring fires and romantic candlelight. We can’t promise talking candlesticks and teacups, but we can guarantee you a memorable and magical night! We’re always up for hosting a wicked queen or a sleeping beauty, so be our guest and have your happily ever after.

Party Themes, Ghosts, haunted castle

A Night of a Few Frights

full moon

TripAdvisor has voted Barcaldine Castle the number one haunted B&B. Legend tells that the ghost of Donald Campbell, the Laird of Barcaldine, haunts the castle to this day. Donald was murdered during the Massacre of Glencoe, by Stewart of Appin. Stewart then escaped and went to stay with Donald’s brother Duncan, who hadn’t heard the news. Still, Donald haunted Duncan for housing his murderer, and it was only after Stewart had done a runner that Duncan found out his brother was dead. Frustrated by this, Donald’s ghost returned to Barcaldine Castle for good, where guests say they can still feel his presence…

We all love a good ghost story, and a nice gothic evening in the castle can add to the chilling legend surrounding it (especially the Caithness Room). If you’re a fan of all things gothic, you could even pretend you’re in Castle Dracula or the Castle of Otranto.

Party Themes, Back in Time, history, Shakespeare

A Trip to the Past

MacBeth, Shakespeare

The Black Castle was built between 1601 and 1609 by “Black” Duncan Campbell. During the Union of the Crowns, as it happens. In 1603, Elizabeth I of England passed away; James VI of Scotland quickly succeeded her, uniting Scotland with England and Ireland. What better use is there for Barcaldine than to celebrate our history and keep it alive with a Renaissance-style feast?

We also suggest some Shakespeare themes. Did you know The Scottish Play (Macbeth, but don’t say it out loud) is thought to have been first performed in 1606? People often connect the play with King James, patron of Shakespeare’s work. So bring your skulls and go mad, and we predict that you’ll have a great time!

Just a few ideas to get you in the party mood.

So what are you waiting for? Thinking caps on, and see if you’d like to book Exclusive Use of Barcaldine Castle for your next big event. It’ll be a night to remember!

Barcaldine Castle

After a lovely breakfast at Barcaldine Castle, wandering and seeing the sights nearby can work up quite an appetite. When it isn’t time for afternoon tea at the castle, a nice meal out should do the trick … and if your adventures take you to the charming town of Oban, you’ll be spoilt for choice. From a variety of cuisines and a range of prices, we’ve selected 10 tasty places to eat in Oban, to help you find what you fancy.

Oban Fish and Chips, Place to eat in Oban

Oban Fish and Chip Shop

Oban Fish and ChipsIf there’s one thing Oban does well, it’s fish. From 12:00pm till 7:00pm every day, Oban Fish and Chip Shop has plenty of choice, whether you’re eating in or having a simple chippy takeaway. This popular spot on George Street offers pies, burgers, seafood, vegetarian options, and of course some good old fish ‘n’ chips.

If you’re eating in, most mains on the menu are £8-13 each. Mussels are offered in various styles for £7-15, or you could share a fried seafood platter for two for £38.

This charming chippy has been described as “by far the BEST in town” on TripAdvisor, and we think it’s definitely worth a try.

Cuan Mór, places to Eat in Oban

Cuan Mór

Inside Cuan MórLocated further down George Street, this handsome restaurant and bar’s name is Gaelic for “big ocean”, which certainly matches its fantastic view of Oban Bay.

Open 12:00-10:00pm every day, Cuan Mór’s kitchen uses fresh and locally sourced produce – including, of course, seafood. It also offers gourmet burgers and steak, salads and low-calorie options, and a selection of other very popular dishes.

On the regular menu, most mains are £10-16, and sirloin steaks are £21.

There are also set menus (for functions only), a lunch menu, a gluten-free menu, and more. Cuan Mór also does a Gourmet Burger Night on Wednesdays, Fish & Chip Frydays, and Seafood Saturdays.

Cuan MórCuan Mór has a well-stocked bar (open 11:00am-late every day) serving the finest local beers, real ales and whiskies, as well as other spirits, wine and cocktails. Meanwhile, their back bar boasts about a hundred single malt and special blend whiskies.

We recommend that you book in advance if you want to sample Cuan Mór’s “excellent food and service” (TripAdvisor), but please note that they only make reservations for parties of 5-8 – for any more than that, it’s best to email.


Spice World

Spice World If you’re not in the mood for seafood and fancy something more exotic, Spice World has what you’re looking for. One TripAdvisor reviewer said, “Wonderful food! We ate here twice while we were away on holiday in Oban. The food was absolutely superb!”

Inside Spice World Even further down George Street, this mix of Indian, Chinese, Thai and Bangladeshi cuisine is up on the first floor, where its view of Oban Bay is clear and uninterrupted – well worth booking a table by the window (but we recommend booking anyway, even if you can’t reserve a window spot).

Spice World is open 12:00-2:00pm, then 5:00-11:00pm, every day, offering its wide range of tasty and spicy dishes along with wine, beer and a full bar. Of its many, many, many main course options, most are £9-12, with rice being about £3.

The Little Potting Shed Café, places to eat in Oban

The Little Potting Shed Café

The Little Potting Shed CafeTucked away up an alley (John Street) from George Street, this café is described as a “vegan oasis”. It’s a hidden gem for those seeking vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and lactose intolerant options.

Apart from catering to these specific diets for around £12.50-15.50 and offering a wide choice of teas, The Little Potting Shed Café is very allergy-aware, not to mention dog- and child-friendly, making this a safe and inviting place to eat.

The Olive Garden, places to eat in Oban

The Olive Garden

The Olive GardenOver on the Railway Pier, between the train station and ferry terminal, The Olive Garden is a great place to bring the kids. It offers seafood, risotto, burgers, pasta, pizza, and more.

Most mains come at a wide range of prices of £13-21. A seafood platter comes for £28 while prices vary for lobster specials. Their £7.50 children’s menu includes one of several popular mains with juice and ice cream.

The Olive GardenApart from its “lovely food and friendly service“, The Olive Garden has plenty to drink. It offers a range of European wines, gins and cocktails, as well as mocktails, non-alcoholic beer and cider, and the best coffee in town.

The Olive Garden is open every day: 12:00-2:00pm for lunch, and 5:00pm for dinner (without any rush to finish). There’s plenty of space (though we recommend booking in advance) but, if you prefer not to eat inside this summer, outdoor seating is available 11:00am-10:00pm. A takeaway service is also available for 10% off the menu price.

Oban Seafood Hut, places to eat in Oban

Oban Seafood Hut

Oban Seafood Hut As one reviewer has said, “looks can be deceptive”. This green shack, located between The Olive Garden and the ferry terminal, is simple and truly about the food. Imagine all the fancy restaurant service stripped away until all that remains is excellent food for a good price.

Oban Seafood Hut Open 10:00am till 6:00pm every day, Oban Seafood Hut is popular for serving the freshest seafood, expertly prepared and delicious, in cheap but large portions. It has a range of prices, from a £3.50 prawn cocktail to a £29.95 grand platter for two (including lobster).

Another TripAdvisor reviewer said, “It’s your own fault if you miss this place.” This seafood hut is open 10:00am-6:00pm every day. There’s no booking – you just turn up, order your seafood, grab a spot at the table, and enjoy.

Ee-Usk, Places to Eat in Oban


Ee-UskNamed the phonetic Gaelic for “fish”, fish is what Ee-Usk, the Seafood Restaurant of the Year, does best. It serves fresh, locally caught fish and shellish, simply cooked to keep their naturally delicious taste. Meanwhile, its floor-to-ceiling windows give its guests a clear view over the bay from the North Pier.

Ee-UskOpen 12:00-3:00pm and 5:30-8:00pm every day, Ee-Usk offers a lunch / early evening set menu (3 courses for £19) 12:00-1:00pm and 5:30-6:15pm. Its à-la-carte mains are normally £13-24, or a grand platter for two is £115, including lobster, crab, king scallops, fishcakes, and more.

Ee-Usk is normally so busy that we recommend booking in advance. Also please note that children under 12 are not allowed in the evening so, if you have little ones, be sure to go for lunch instead – it will be worth it.

Piazza, places to eat in Oban


PiazzaRight beside Ee-Usk on the North Pier, this tasty Italian also offers an excellent view of the bay. It offers a selection of pasta and pizza 10:00am-3:00pm and 5:30-9:00pm.

PiazzaIts Italian food and burgers are cooked to order with fine ingredients, with most mains priced at £8-13. “Lovely food, reasonably priced!” said one TripAdvisor reviewer.

As well as food, Piazza has a range of wines, by glass or by bottle. If you’re not stopping for a meal, it offers coffee and snacks from 10:00am. If you’re looking to dine, however, please don’t forget to book.

Coast, places to eat in Oban


Inside Coast restaurant, ObanRight in the middle of George Street, in a pretty former bank building, Coast Restaurant is described as the “best restaurant in Oban”.

Coast, restaurant, ObanApart from fish and shellfish, Coast serves meat and poultry, vegetables and herbs, all of which are locally sourced. Its mains are £17-21 (or a sirloin steak £24.50 / fillet steak £30), although its menu changes seasonally, so be sure to check it out.

Coast is open for lunch 12:00-3:00pm Monday-Saturday and for dinner 5:30-10:30pm every day. We recommend that you book in advance; please note that children under 10 aren’t allowed in after 7pm and must leave by 8pm.

Waterfront Fishouse Restaurant, places to eat in Oban

Waterfront Fishouse Restaurant

Inside Waterfront Fishouse RestaurantLast but not least, we had to finish on one of Oban’s fishiest places. On the Railway Pier, between The Olive Garden and the ferry terminal, the Waterfront Fishouse Restaurant is up on the first floor. It has a wonderful view of the bay and lots of fish to match!

Waterfront Fishouse Restaurant At 12:00-2:00pm and 5:30-9:00pm every day, Waterfront Fishouse Restaurant has plenty to choose from. It has a regular menu of fresh seafood and a non-seafood selection, as well as a gluten-free menu. The fishhouse’s Lunch and Early Evening Menu (12:00-2:00pm and 5:30-6:45pm) offers a starter and main for £16.99.

Its regular mains, on the other hand, are all £12-22, except for its £22.99 sirloin steak. However, its menu changes at least semi-annually, so please check it out on their website. It’s also best to book in advance and to email for parties larger than six, but we think it’s definitely worth it.

We hope something jumps out for you to try on your next trip to Oban. Wherever you end up eating, whether it be one of our 10 Tasty Places to Eat in Oban or not, be sure to let us know on our Facebook page!

While many seasoned travellers and new experience seekers enjoy island hopping in exotic locations like Thailand or Mexico, our very own Oban boasts its island gems which are just as unique and picturesque.

With a multitude of regular boat tours departing from Oban every day, our guests often love the adventure that Oban island hopping brings. Here’s why exploring the islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides is so rewarding:

Walking and Cycling

Kerrera, the closest island to Oban, is just 7km long and about 2km in width and its beautiful landscape and quiet roads make it a haven for cyclists and walkers. A ferry from Oban can get you to the island treat in a matter of minutes, making it perfect for guests at our castle who love cycling and walking against stunning backdrops. You can also see Gylen Castle while you’re there!

Animal Spotting

Lismore is home to otters, seals and numerous birds making it a slice of heaven for animal and avian lovers. At ten miles long, the island is suitable for being explored on bike or foot, though there are limited car spaces on the car ferry from Oban which leaves every hour. Alternatively, you could take the ten-minute journey on the passenger ferry from Port Appin.

Cave Exploring

The Inner Hebrides island of Staffa in Argyll and Bute is famous for its awesome deep caves and spectacular basalt columns, which are best to visit in the morning. There are many opportunities to venture deep inside the incredibly symmetric and mighty 227-foot Fingals Cave on tours when the weather permits.

Castle Visiting

With the ferry journey from Oban to Mull taking a convenient 40 minutes you can discover the ‘ancient clan castle’ of Duart with its 13th century keep in no time. Better yet, you can catch traditional and charming events at the castle all year round. The Isle of Mull is also known as ‘Scotland’s Eagle Island’ for its large sea eagle population. You can find tips for bird watching on the island here.

Historical Discovery

The Isle of Iona is often heralded as a beacon of Christianity. On the small isle you can admire the 13th – 16th century architecture of the Abbey’s church, explore St Oran’s Chapel, which according to folklore is the lasting resting place of Scottish Kings, and feast your eyes on St Columba’s Shrine, built in the 9th/10th century and still standing!

Note: Staffa Tours offer a popular tour of all three island treasures, Mull, Iona and Staffa, from Oban encompassing the magnificent Fingal’s Cave, Iona’s historic abbey and the soaring sea eagles circling over Mull.

Oban Island Hopping, Scotland, ferry

Sand Dune Admiring

Another unique Inner Hebrides Island near Oban is the Isle of Coll. A tranquil nature retreat and sparsely populated, Coll’s beaches boast remarkably high and distinctive sand dunes, some of which can reach impressive heights of up to 35 metres! As well as beaches, you can treat yourself to climbing, sailing, kayaking and golf by day and star gazing at night, since there are no streetlights on the island, the Dark Sky is as dazzling as it is twinkling! The ferry journey departing from Oban to Coll takes just over two and a half hours.

To book a room at Barcaldine Castle and have the pleasure of Oban island hopping click here.

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

– Henry James (1843-1916) said in his book “The Portrait of a Lady”, published in 1881 and we couldn’t agree more!

Quintessentially English, the tradition of enjoying dainty sandwiches, delectable scones and piping hot tea from lovely teapots and china cups and saucers is thanks to the seventh Duchess of Bedford, Anna getting hungry around 4:00pm most days back in 1840. The routine in her household was that the main evening meal was served late at 8:00pm, leaving a long time between midday lunch and dinner. The peckish Duchess would often request that a tray laden with bread, butter, cake and tea be brought to her during the late afternoon. After forming the luxury habit, she started welcoming friends to partake in Afternoon Tea with her.

Making time for Afternoon Tea soon caught on and quickly became a trendy social event to participate in. The upper-class and stylish-society women of the 1880s ended up donning their most fashionable gloves, hats and dresses for their Afternoon Tea, which they savoured while chatting with their peers in the drawing room, between 4:00 and 5:00pm most afternoons.

Of course, in today’s world, anyone can have fun with a luxury Afternoon Tea. And they don’t need to be ‘posh’ or extremely wealthy and dressed up to do so! In fact, we offer a scrumptious Afternoon Tea here at Barcaldine Castle (£21pp) next to our roaring fire, ideal if you’ve spent the day out and about in the areas and attractions local to our beautiful castle.

Afternoon Tea

5 Reasons to Indulge in Afternoon Tea:

1) Time Out

It’s mentally rewarding and essential that we take time out of our hectic schedules, away from screens and stress, and take time to unwind and reflect. The tea and sweet bites are a happy bonus!

2) Socialise with Those That Matter

Good friendships and relationships only remain strong if they are kept well maintained. What better excuse for meeting and catching up with a few friends than sharing some delicious light snacks?!

3) Keep the Tummy-Rumbling at Bay

When broken down, the custom is basically eating a meal to keep your energy levels up, giving a boost to your productivity, concentration levels and mood. “Afternoon Tea” simply adds to the delight and charm.

4) Locally Sourced

If you opt to indulge in Afternoon Tea at Barcaldine Castle, we’ll treat you to our Locally Sourced Smoked Salmon, with Cream Cheese on Farmhouse Bread as one of the tasty choices.

5) Food That’s Kind

Again, if Barcaldine Castle is your choice of Afternoon Tea venue, ethical and healthy options such as Free Range Egg and Fresh Watercress on Brown Bread and Chicken & Rocket Sandwiches on Granary Bread are available.

Do you want to indulge in Afternoon Tea? Book your slot at Barcaldine Castle by calling us today on +44 (0) 1631 720598.