Loch Awe

 

Loch Awe station is a wayside halt on the Oban line beside Loch Awe (Loch Obha). In the above picture an Oban to Glasgow train at Loch Awe station with Loch Awe and a snow covered Ben Lui in the distance. In the middle distance the ruins of Kilchurn Castle can just be seen. Loch Awe is the longest freshwater loch in Scotland at 25.5 miles (41 km).

 

A camping coach is located on the other side of the line from the single platform and the picture to the right  shows the location of the station and camping coach below the impressive Loch Awe Hotel. Click on this picture for a larger view of the hotel from across the Loch. The hotel is typical of Victorian hotels built to co-inside with the coming of the railway. Often as an investment with the promoters of the railway to share the potential tourism opportunities that the railway brought before mass car ownership and macadamised  road surfaces made access to the Scottish Highlands relatively easy.

Two pictures of a ScotRail service crossing the River Orchy Bridge where the River Orchy flows into Loch Awe. The picture on the left was taken in May and the summer service is augmented to four coaches (Two 2-car 156 DMUs), whereas the winter service simply amounts to a single 2 car DMU.

Kilchurn Castle is an impressive ruin in a very imposing setting which fully reflects the visitors romantic expectations of Scotland; a land of mountains, lochs and ruined castles. The castle has a long history and is an example of the Clan Campbell’s fiefdom over the whole area. It started as a more modest keep in the 15th Century and was subsequently developed by the Campbells, ultimately as a military garrison. Throughout it was the subject of several sieges and eventually the Campbells abandoned it in the middle of the 18th century. Shortly after it was struck by lightening and from that time it was allowed to fall into ruin. It is now protected from further decay by Historic Scotland. For a fuller account of the history this Heritage Site provides a fuller summary of the Castle’s history. Click on the image to obtain a better appreciation of the castle and its scenic setting.