The Kingdom of the Gaels

I first visited Argyll, the heart of the ancient kingdom of Dál Riata, in 1992 with my parents, but got to know it better after J. and I moved to Edinburgh in 2001. Over the next few years we took a few different visiting relatives there, and in between the inevitable family photos I took quite a few of the surroundings, only some of which have appeared before on this site. Two decades on, I’ve gathered them together to make a more substantial gallery, divided into four sections.


The first is from a weekend in November 2001 with my brother and sister-in-law, who were visiting us from London at the time. We stayed at a B&B in Kilmartin, which I remember having some of the best porridge I’ve eaten in Scotland, and toured the local prehistoric sites, an evocative church graveyard, and a nearby castle. Half a dozen of these photos appeared as Tour the Highlands, the very first gallery in Detail, launched while I was between blogs. I thought about retiring that older gallery now that I’ve made this one, but will keep it around as a key part of Speedysnail history.

Our next trip to Argyll was a few days after Christmas 2003, when we caught the train to Oban and back in a single day, mostly for the experience of travelling through snow-covered mountains. There wasn’t much to do there but wander around taking photos; I posted some at the time to a small gallery in the blog, along with a panorama and a collage of Dunollie Castle. An Oban seagull eventually made an appearance here, too.

Trip three was in the summer of 2005 with my brother-in-law and a friend, previously represented on the blog by a single photo from Dunchraigaig, where (like everyone else in recorded history up to that point) we failed to spot the prehistoric carvings of red deer discovered there last year. We stayed near the beautiful village of Crinan, where we ate a memorable meal in the local pub. This trip involved revisiting some of the same places we’d seen in 2001, but in much better weather. As well as this new gallery, it’s also yielded a new panorama of Loch Lomond from the journey west, and some additional Maps.

Finally, we passed through Inveraray and Tarbert on our way to Islay in December 2006, our first time as far south as Kintyre. As with our stay on Islay, some fine photos resulted, but I didn’t post them at the time as my focus was on the island itself.

In total, then, these images represent only a week in Argyll, but spread across five years and capturing it in three different seasons. It’s a pretty special part of the country. For photos of island and northern Argyll, take a look at Islay, Ardnamurchan and Mull.

22 June 2022 · Memory