Shock an Awe
Pass of Brander, Hollow Mountain Power Station, Kilchurn Castle, Inverary Castle, Rest and be Thankful
Pass of Brander
Lying between Loch Etive and Loch Awe is the Pass of Brander. Here, in 1308, Robert Bruce was ambushed by a party of MacDougalls, but fought them off. Loch Awe now forms part of a massive hydro-electric scheme; and an excursion can be made into the heart of Ben Cruachan to learn more about the inner workings of this huge engineering feat.
Stop off at the Cruachan Visitor Centre.
The Hollow Mountain Power Station, so called because it is hidden with the mountain of Ben Cruachan. Take the 1 mile bus trip to explore the cavern which houses the turbines; a space big enough to house the Tower of London. This is a short tour and the guides are lauded for their brevity. Tickets can be purchased in advance (see more info here: http://www.visitcruachan.co.uk/pages/guided_tour.asp)
Another Stronghold of the Campbells, this time the Campbell clan of Glenorchy. Although in a ruined state, Kilchurn Castle is wonderfully evocative, jutting out on its rocky headland as the River Orchy meets Loch Awe. It played its part in the Jacobite Risings in the late 1600’s; after the first uprising in 1689 it became a garrison, but by the end of the 1700’s it was abandoned.
If you stopped off at the Hollow Mountain Power Station, you may recognise the peak of Ben Cruachan visible in the distance.
Seat of the Duke of Argyll, Inverary Castle is home to the chief of Clan Campbell of Argyll. The Campbells have always been a clan of power and influence; in the Jacobite Risings of 1715 and 1745 they fought with the Government.
Take the ‘Dun Na Cuaiche Woodland Walk’ (1.5 miles) to get to the Folly up Dun na Cuaiche to get a superb view of the Castle and Loch Fyne
Rest and be Thankful
The quaintly named Rest and be Thankful between Glen Croe and Glen Kinglas is 860 feet at its highest point. The newer A83 road follows the old Military Road and gives fine views down the valley.
An even better view can be found if you travel a few hundred yards up the B828.