Monday, 23 April 2012
The Slate Islands - Ellenabeich
With a forecast of a few days good weather on the west coast of Scotland before more unsettled conditions arrived, we planned a weekend in Argyll based at Ellanabeich (island of birches). Driving south past Oban and then onto Seil via the famous "Atlantic Bridge" at Clachan, the view at the final rise above Ellanabeich is expansive, from Mull in the north to Jura and Scarba in the south. The island of Easdale is prominent in this image.
Ellaabeich is one of the Slate Islands, once known as "the islands that roofed the world". A large industry flourished here for many decades; Ellanabeich itself was joined to the larger island of Seil by a causeway made of spoil from the quarries.
The quarry cottages are still lived in and some of the industrial infrastructure is under preservation; the are is a conservation zone.
We stayed at Garragh Mhor, a bed & breafast at the edge of the village of Ellanabeich. It's perfect accommodation for sea kayakers being just 150 metres from the put-in at the harbour, and a very short walk to the pub, the village shop and the Easdale ferry.
Our room was very comfortable, and our hosts Trish and Steve really understand outdoor pursuits and wet kit. Keen divers, they have a large drying shed and a storage area for kayaks. As an accommodation option for kayakers, walkers and anyone else visiting this area Garragh Mhor gets five stars!
The aforementioned pub. After a good meal and a couple of pints, it was jsut a short way back to Garragh Mhor.