In good time for the summer season, it is once more possible to walk out to old Castle Lachlan.
The old bridge across the river had broken some time ago; with a major construction job to replace it completed and opened a couple of weeks ago.
As the photographs show, it’s a first class job in terms of aesthetics, strength and durability.
Start at the lovely little Inver Cottage restaurant, above, on the shore at Strathlachlan on the B8000. Inver Cottage is a delight in itself – serving great local food.
The tall white house overlooking the shingle beach is the new Castle Lachlan and at the head of the beach in front of it, there is currently an art work, with pieces of driftwood laid in the shape of a boat, with a little sail.
You will first cross the existing approach bridge and walk on to the great sweep of the new one ahead.
If you stop in the middle of the new bridge and look lochwards, then landwards, you are looking at a river whose course was changed in the extensive initial landscaping of the estate.
On out along a winding decked path that keeps your feet clear of soggy ground in wet weather, you will come to the old castle itself [top photograph].
It is currently undergoing some restoration work and is taped off so you cannot go into it- but while it’s not yet possible to get up close and personal with it, you can get a lot closer than has been possible for some time.
This is a genuinely lovely place, crafted from the outset but not manicured and primped, working with the lie of the land and nudging it a little as was felt necessary. Between Lachlan Bay and the river, with Loch Fyne beyond and the old castle dominating the sweep on its promontory, this is a water-girt place and all the more soothing for it, even when it’s wild – and it can do wild.
We were here in late October last year, 2013, writing about old Castle Lachlan and Kilmorie – or St Maelrhuba’s – Chapel in our Argyll and the Isles Secrets Collection. This is a place that keeps drawing you back.
Photographs by Elizabeth Hadfield.