As mentioned in my recent A Walk on Lismore post, my other favourite island walk on my summer trip to Oban was Kerrera, the island closest to Oban that protects Oban Bay from the worst of the weather.
After a hearty Scottish breakfast at the B+B in Oban, I set off along Gallanach Road toward the foot ferry, with views across the Sound of Kerrera to the island along the way.
The ferry proved quite popular and, only being able to take twelve passengers at a time, made multiple crossings to get everyone over to the island, landing at the slipway near Horseshoe Bay. I opted for the southern loop walk in an anti-clockwise direction, so headed up the hill past the old school building and down to the west coast of the island at Barnabuck, overlooking Barr-nam-boc Bay (above) with views across the Firth of Lorn to Mull in the distance.
The path follows the coast for a while before heading inland down to Ardmore and the south coast of the island at Orasaig Bay (above), a lovely tranquil spot with just a few sheep grazing by the sea for company.
From Orasaig Bay the path heads back towards Lower Gylen where no visit to Kererra is complete without a visit to the Tea Garden, which was quite busy as most of the other ferry passengers had opted for the clockwise route and had already arrived. Though there was a table available in the full sun, it was rather hot by this point, so I opted for the cool shade of the converted byre for a refreshing peppermint tea and the obligatory scone.
From Lower Gylen a side-path leads off down to the coast at Port a’ Chaisteil (top, featured image) where the fabulous ruin of Gylen Castle sits atop the headland (above). It’s worth the steep climb up to the castle to admire the view and have a look inside the ruin. I descended to Port a’ Chroinn and walked back around the headland below the castle to see it from every possible angle.
Back at Port a’ Chaisteil I walked out onto the rocks to look back across the bay at the castle, which probably gave the most interesting viewpoint and would be a fine place to set up for a sunset shoot – though this would have to wait for a future visit as an overnight stay would be required with sunset some time after the last ferry!
After spending quite a while around the castle it was indeed time to walk back to Upper Gylen and along the track to Horseshoe Bay to catch the return ferry, stopping at Little Horseshoe Bay along the way for a closer look at the old wooden boat slowly decaying on the beach. After the short ferry ride back across the Sound of Kerrera I followed the footpath up to Druim Mor and on to Pulpit Hill to make my way back down into Oban, rounding off the day’s walking nicely.