‘THERE'S NO BEAUTY WITHOUT POIGNANCY’
Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe, Argyll & Bute If autumn has a way of ripening natural beauty to its sweetest pitch, a castle does the same for human history. At Loch Awe in the southern Highlands you have a scene of perfect autumnal poignancy – that bittersweet mixture of the world’s potential for beauty and its inescapable mortality. Built at the eastern tip of the aptly-named 25-mile-long Loch Awe, Kilchurn Castle was continually inhabited by the Campbells of Glenorchy between 1450 and 1760, when a catastrophic lightning bolt smashed its tower and sent a turret hurtling into the courtyard (where it remains impaled to this day). The castle is overlooked by ‘hollow mountain’ Ben Cruachan, whose golden petticoats rise up and to the left in this picture. A three-mile walk up Cruachan from nearby Lochawe village reveals a reservoir which disgorges into a power station contained entirely within the mountain, in a man-made cavern big enough to house the Tower of London.
WALK HERE: Climb Stob Daimh behind Kilchurn Castle, on the Dalmally Horsehoe walk, free from www.lfto.com/bonusroutes