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Handbook for travellers in Scotland online

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W. Scotland. Route 34. — Loch Lomond to Fort-William. 225



Near Loch ISTell is the Serpent Cairn,
an old stone monument of heaped-up
boulders, supposed by some to be an
old moraine — a work of nature, and
not of man.

Steamer every morning to Crinan
and Ardrishaig for Glasgow ; every
morning and evening to Fort-Wil-
liam and Bannavie, for the Cale-
donian Canal and Inverness, touching
at Ballachulish for Glencoe.

Steamers every morning in summer
to StafFa, lona, and round the island
of Mull, returning the same evening
(Kte. 35).

Steamer twice a week to Skye
(Portree), calling at stated times at
Loch Aline, Salen, Tobermory, Ari-
saig, Balmacarra, Kyle Akin, Broad-
ford, Portree, Gareloch, Loch Inver,
Ullapool, and Stornoway. From Oban
to Skye (Portree, Etes. 56, 57)
takes 15 hrs., including halts. For
these trips the traveller should
consult the local time - tables, or
^Messrs. Hutcheson's agent on the
Pier ; but as goods are taken with
passengers, punctuality in these boats
must not be depended upon.

Coaches daily to Ardrishaig, by
which the tourist can visit Lochs
Nell and Feochan, and the Pass of
Melfort (Rte. 27) ; daily to Loch
Lomond, through Taynuilt, Dal-
mally, Tyndrum, Inverarnan ; daily
to Inveraray, by Connel Ferry, Tay-
nuilt, Pass of Awe, and Dalmally
{see above).

By taking the Melfort coach the
tourist can meet another near Ford,
then sail down Loch Awe, and re-
turn to Oban in the evening by the
Inveraray coach — a very good day's
work (Rte. 28).

Distances. — Lochs Nell and Feo-
chan, 4 m. ; Kilmelfort, 15 ; Auch-
nacraig (Mull), 7 ; Dunstaffnage, 3 ;
Dunolly, 1 ; Taynuilt, 11 ; Pass of
Awe, 15 ; Kilchurn Castle, 23 ; Dal-
mally, 24 ; Cladich, 30 ; Inveraray,
40 ; Tarbet, on Loch Lomond, 64 ;
Ai^pin, 12.



EOUTE 34.

Loch Lomond to Fort-'William,
by Tyndrum, Glencoe, and Bal-
lachulish.

A daily coach travels this road in
the season, starting from Ardlui
Pier, at the head of Loch Lomond
(described Rte. 19), on the arrival
of the steamer. It takes 10 hrs. to
perform the distance, 48 m.

1 m. Inverarnan Hotel, finely
situated at the embouchure of Glcn-
falloch, a very narrow glen, with a
small stream at the bottom, from the
sides of which the fir-clad hills rise
at once, but with a gradual inclina-
tion. The annual rainfall at Ardlui,
head of Loch Lomond, averages 115
inches.

After passing Glenfalloch House
a good retrospective view is obtained
from the head of the glen.

At 7J m. Crianlarich (Inn, im-
proved), is a Stat, on the rly. from
Callander to Killin and Tyndrum, a
junction of 4 roads.

[The railroad to Killin Stat, runs
alongside of (l^ m.) Loch Lochart,
a small but i)icturesque lake at the
foot of Ben More, which rises to the
height of 3903 ft., its regularly sloped
sides well covered with grass to the
top. From the west the ascent is
steep, but not difficult. This glen
is the scene of Hogg's song of the
"Spectre of the Glen, "

Immediately at the back of Ben
More rises the rival peak of Stobin-
nain, 3813 ft.

9 m. Lulh Stat. Inn. Nearly oppo-
site is xichlyne, a seat of the Earl of
Breadalbane. Near Lix turnpike is
the]

Hi m. KlUin Stat., of the Kail-
way from T}Tidrum — but it is 4 m.
from Killin. Omnibus thither
(Rte. 44.)

The railroad from Crianlarich to
Tyndrum, passing rt. Inverhagemy



22G



Route 34. — Loch Lomond to Fort-William. Sect. III.



House, readies (11 m.) the village
of St. Fillans (not to be confounded
Mith the village of the same name
on Loch Earn), where are the remains
of a priory, and "the Holy Pool,"
iu which epileptics and lunatics were
foi-merly ducked and left bound
all night in the open air.

" Saint Fillan's blessed well,

Whose spring can frenzied dreams dispel,

And the crazed brain restore." — Scott.

If found loosened in the morning
they were considered curable.
This mode of treatment is men-
tioned by Pennant as being practised
as late as 1790. He adds that the
patients were generally found in
the morning relieved of all their
troubles— by death.

12 m. cross the river Dochart,
which, under the name of the Ettrick
"Water, rises in the slopes of Ben Lui,
3651 ft., one of the mountains bor-
dering Glenorchy on the E. ^ m.
to the 1. is Dal-Righ or the King's
Field, celebrated for Eobert Bruce' s
escape (1306). After being defeated
at Methven by Lord Pembroke, he
Avas attacked here by the Lord of
Lorn, grandson to the Red Comyn,
whom Bruce murdered at Dumfries,
one of whose followers seized his
mantle, and though mortally wound-
ed, held .it so fast that Bruce was
compelled to abandon it. The
buckle which fastened it remained a
trophy at Dun oily. Bruce skilfully
withdrew his mailed warriors, whose
armour baffled the assault of the wild
highlanders.

13| m. Tyndrum Stat, a large
railway Inn. Coach to King's House,
Glencoe, and Ballachulish (Rte. 47).
Coach to Dalmally (13 m.), Loch
Aavc, Inveraray, and Oban. In the
neighbourhood are some lead-mines
belonging to the Earl of Breadalbane.
The annual rainfall here averages
104 inches. A little beyond Tyn-
drum are Benbuy, Ben Vurie, and
Ben Vuridh, S. W. spurs of the Glen-
lyon range.



17i m. is the village of Auch, to
the rt. of which is the pass to Glen
Lyon and Ta}Tnouth for pedestrians.
The distance would be about 7 m.
to Loch Lyon (Rte. 46). At the N.
corner of the pass is Ben Doa, a
fine bare peak.

19| m. at Orchy Bridge, the head
of Glenorchj^ is reached [up which
runs a branch road from Dalmally,
11m.] On rt. is a farm -road leading
to the scanty ruins of Atichallader
Casth, which stands at the foot of
Lnch Tullich, an interesting piece of
water much improved by the young
woods which have been planted
around it. Ardvrcchnish, Lord
Breadalbane's shooting-lodge on the
opposite side, with its young planta-
tions, contrasts agreeably with the
general barrenness about Tyndrum.

22^ m. Invcroran Inn (angling
quarters), succeeded by a very dreary
road, having the moor of Rannoch
on the rt. and the Blackmount deer
forest on the 1. This is one of the
finest deer forests in Scotland, and is
rented by Lord Dudley from Lord
Breadalbane for £5000 a year. This
part of the journey is tedious, the
road gradually ascending until it
arrives at a level of about 1500 ft.
above the sea. Then passing on rt.
a long winding piece of water, named
Loch Lydoch, it begins to descend,
having in view Glen Etive and Glen-
coe.

32^ m. King's House Inn, a
humble isolated hostelry, 5 m. from
the head of Glencoe, a dreary spot.
[From this point, a track, fit only for
hardy pedestrians, leads across the
Moor of Rannoch to Loch Rannoch,
so to Taymouth — distance about 45
m. (Rte. 47).]

34i m. at AUnafedh, a few cot-
tages by the roadside, a path turns
ott'to Fort-William, by Gen. Wade's
road, generally known as the Devil's
Staircase. 20 ra. stiff walking. The
tourist now enters

Glencoe. The Valley of Glencoe



W. Scotland.



Route 34. — Glencoe.



227



runs about E. and W., and is nearly
of equal width at either extremity.
The grandest scenery is on the E.,
next to King's House, therefore it is
best to approach it from the W. or
sea-side. The width of the valley
allows the eye to take in the full
height and grandeur of the flanking
mountains. From a wide open
country, at King's House, composed
of moor and swamp, the road gradu-
ally sweeps into a towering pass,
wdiich the dark perpendicular rocks
close in on both sides, their height
and gloom intensified by the thick
veil of mist that generally rests be-
tween them. The course from the
King's House is a regular descent,
and the horses galloping the whole
way, whisk the coach round the
sharp corners and arrive at the end
of the stage before the traveller has
had time to complain of monotony.
[1. a road turns otf S. to the head of
Loch Etive, where Edw. Grieve,
Esq. M.P., has built a house in the
midst of majestic scenery.]

The entrance to Glencoe is be-
tween the Devil's Staircase and
Buachail Etive, 2537 ft., a frowning
mass of rock on the 1. On rt. of
the glen is an almost unbroken wall
of precipice ; on 1. a number of sepa-
rate momitains rearing themselves
from distinct bases, or breaking into
peaks as they rise. They are chiefly
of porphyry, and owe to that rock
their picturesque character.

About the middle of the glen is
the tarn or small lake of Treachtan,
through which flows the Cona, of
which Ossian sang, and on whose
banks Ossian was born. It is hard
to say under which aspect Glencoe
is finest —Avhether with the shifting
lights of cloud and sunshine, or when
the storm is breaking over its pre-
cipitous black jagged rocks. In the
latter case the innumerable torrents
that tumble down the rifted walls
form not the least remarkable feature
of the scene.

The following description by Lord



Macaulay will be read with interest
on the spot, allowing for certain
exaggerations — e.g., the green sides
of the glen are now covered with
sheep, and it includes several cot-
tages and a few trees. The pre-
vailing sound is that of the rush
of waters.

"In the Gaelic tongue Glencoe
signifies the Glen of Weeping — and,
in truth, that pass is the most dreary
and melancholy of all the Scottish
passes — the very Valley of the
Shadow of Death. Mists and storms
brood over it through the greater
part of the finest summer, — and even
on those rare days when the sun is
bright, and Avhen there is no cloud
in the sky, the impression made by
the landscape is sad and awful. The
road lies along a stream which arises
from the most sullen and gloomy of
mountain pools. Huge precipices
of naked stone frown on both sides.
Even in July the streaks of snow
may often be discerned in the rifts
near the summits. All down the
sides of the crags heaps of ruins mark
the headlong paths of the torrents.
Mile after mile the traveller looks in
vain for the smoke of one hut (?), or
for one human form wu-apped in a
plaid, and listens in vain for the bark
of a shepherd's dog, or the bleat of
a lamb (?). Mile after mile the only
sound that indicates life is the faint
cry of a bird of i^rey from some storm-
beaten pinnacle of rock. The pro-
gress of civilisation, which has
turned so many wastes into fields
yellow with harvest, or gay with
apple-blossoms, has only made Glen-
C9e more desolate." — Macaulay^ s
"History of England."

In 1691, William III., having
tried several means of pacifying the
' Highlanders, issued a proclamation
: that whatever clan did not take the
I oath of allegiance to him by the 31st
j of December should be treated as an
enemy. The chiefs declared they
1 would not ; but, seeing warlike pre-



228



Fioute 34. — Glencoe.



Sect. III.



parations being made by the Govern-
ment, they one after another sub-
mitted. The last day of the year
arrived. All except Macdonald of
Glencoe (known as M'lan) had
sworn, he having been prevented by
accident rather than by design from
tendering- his submission within the
limited time ; and on that day he re-
paired to Fort-William and ottered to
take the oath.

But Colonel Hill, the governor of
the fort, was not a magistrate com-
petent to receive the oath, and so
Macdonald had to make his way to
Sir Colin Campbell, Sheritt' of Argyll,
who lived at Inveraray, live days'
journey. He swore allegiance, and
intelligence to that eff'ect was sent
to the Ministers in London, but
suppressed by tiie Master of Stair,
Secretaiy of State ; and AVilliam was
thereupon induced to sign an order
for the extirpation of the clan,
principally at the instigation of the
Earl of Breadalbane, whose lands
the Glencoe men had plundered.
On the 1st of February 1692, Camp-
bell of Glenlj^on, a connection of
Macdonald's, arrived in Glencoe with
128 soldiers, giving assurances of the |
most friendly intentions. During 1 2
days the soldiers lived familiarly
with the people of the glen, and the
very evening before the massacre
was spent by the officers at cards in
Macdonald's house. On the 13th
Campbell began at five o'clock in
the morning to execute his orders.
His host and nine others were drag-
ged out of their beds and murdered.
Lieutenant Lindsay knocked at the
door of the old chief, and asked for
admission in friendly language.
Macdonald got up to receive them,
and with two servants was shot dead ;
his wife being so ill treated that she
died the next day. The huts were
burned and the cattle driven off. Out
of 200 inhabitants, at least GO were
slain, but many more perished from
cold and privation, and it was only
the roughness of the weather which



impeded the march of Colonel Ham-
ilton, and j)revented his occupying
the passes in time that saved the
lives of the rest.

41 m. is the small public-house
of Clachie, where milk and whisky
and oatcakes may be had. The
exit from the glen is by a long
valley, in which trees and cultiva-
tion begin to appear, opening on to
the shores of Loch Leven, with very
beautiful and pleasant landscapes.
On a wooded eminence in front
stands Invercoe, the modern mansion
of A. Burns ]\Iacdonald, Esq. A
portion of the old house of Macdon-
ald, the head of the clan, now a
ruin, may be seen above the trees.
Here the officers of the hostile regi-
ment were quartered, and here the
massacre began. Above rises the
jiicturesque and conspicuous conical
mountain, the Pwp of Glencoe, and
on the opposite side of the loch
is Calart, the seat of Sir Duncan
Cameron. The Pap of Glencoe is a
projecting bare peak with steep
rifted gullies, very dangerous to
ascend.

From extreme desolation and soli-
tude the road suddenly breaks into
life and bustle at the slate-quarries
at Ballachulish, where a large, dirty,
straggling village has gi'own up to
supply the wants of the workmen.
From thence the road winds by the
water's edge, affording exquisite re-
trospective views of the Loch and the
entrance to Glencoe, considerably in-
jured by the black scar of the slate
quarries opened in the mountain
sides. Fine in form rise the moun-
tains at the head of Loch Leven, and
in front the hills of the opposite
coast of ]\Iorven. Passing a pretty
Episcopal ch. and parsonage, we
arrive at

48 m. the Ballachulish Hotel, on
the S. shore of the grand Sea Fiord,
Loch Leven, here crossed by a ferr}'',
on the way to Fort-^Yilliam (14 m.)
and Ben ISTevis. On the opposite (N.)



'W. Scotland. Route 35. — Ohan to Staffa : Mull.



229



side of the ferry is the Loch Leren
Hotel, also good, and quieter.

The coaches start from the Bal-
lachiilish Hotel to Loch Lomond
or Inveraray — through Glencoe — to
Fort-William, from the other side of
the Ferry.

A coach starts for Glencoe on the
arrival of the early steamer from
Oban or Inveraray, returning after \
hr. halt in the glen : the steamer
meanwhile waiting to take on the
passengers. It is a drive of about
8 m. from the hotel to that part of
Glencoe which displays the finest
scenery. The steam voyage from
Ballachulish to Oban and Fort-
William is described in Ete. 36.
Steamers to Oban or Fort- William
and Bannavie daily.

[A very beautiful excursion may
be made along the N. side of Loch
Leven, an arm of the sea, extending
from Loch Linnhe some 12 m. in-
land. This road commands magnifi-
cent ^dews of the Pass of Glencoe,
and the entrance to the glen. Besides
the ferry between the two hotels,
there is one called the Dog's Ferry,
considerably higher up, and between
them is an island containing burial-
places — one for the inhabitants of
Glencoe, and the other for those of
Lochaber. In the former repose the
bones of M'lau, the laird who was
shot in the massacre of Glencoe. At
the head of the loch, where the road
from the Devil's Staircase to Fort-
William is joined, is the fall of the
Serpent Rii^er, which runs through
a series of natural arches, almost a
subterranean passage, and the fall
of Kinlochmore, a very beautiful cata-
ract of 30 ft., though the volume
of the stream is by no means large.
A track keeps on from this point by
the side of the Blackwater Lochs,
and eventually joins the road between
Loch Laggan and Loch Treig (Ete.
38).]

Crossing the ferry from Balla-



chulish another coach awaits the
passenger.

50^ m., at Onich village (slate-
quarries), the road leaves Loch
Linnhe, and for the rem.ainder of
the distance skirts the E. bank of
Loch Eil.

Upon the opposite side is Ardgour,
pleasantly surrounded by woods and
meadows.

59i m. Maryhurgh, a suburb of
Fort- William, so named in honour
of the queen of William III.

60i m. Fort- William {Inn:
Caledonian— tolerable ; not so expen-
sive as Bannavie). It is a drive of
3 m. to the steamer on the Caledonian
Canal. The sea steamer, after touch-
ing at Fort - William, proceeds
to the entrance of the canal (Ete.
36).



EOUTE 35.

Oban to Staffa and lona— a Cruise

round the Island of MvQl.

Daily in summer a steamer makes
this most interesting excursion ;
tourists, especially ladies, had better
not attempt the trip when the
weather is at all bad — for with
a rough sea it is impossible to land
at Staffa, and they are sure to get a
good tossing oft' the Mull coast. In
fine weather nothing can be more
delightful.

The fare is £1, including the land-
ing expenses at Staff"a and lona.
The time employed is about 12 hrs.,
including 1 hr.'s stay at Staffa and
the same at lona. Dinner and refresh-
ments on board at moderate rates. The
steamer in this excursion makes the
circuit of the Isle of Mull, and it de-
pends on the state of the tide and
mnd whether it steers W. from Oban
through the sound of Mull, or S.
through the Firth of Lorn. The
first-named route crosses the mouth
of the Linnhe Loch. The points



230



Route do.—Ohan to Staffa : Mull Sect. III.



to be noticed are rt. Dunolly Castle,
■while farther on and more inland is
Dunstaffnage (Rte. 31V On 1. is the
N. end of KeiTera Island. Lying
in the very centime of Loch Linnhe is
rt. the Island of Lismore, "the great
garden," a long, low mass of lime-
stone, about 10 m. long by 2 m.
broad, with a lighthouse at the lower
extremity (Rte. 36).

The steamer next passes the Lady's
Eock, visible only at low water. One
of the Macleans of Duart, about 1530,
having married a sister of the Earl of
Argyll, and wishing to be rid of her,
placed her upon the Lady's Rock,
that she might be drowned by the
rising tide. She was found and
rescued by some of her own people, and
Maclean was eventually assassinated
by her brother. This story is the
subject of Joanna Baillie's " Family
Legend," and Campbell's poem of
" Glenara." On the mainland of Mull
(1.) are the tolerably preserved ruins
of Duart Castle, formerly the pro-
perty of the Macleans, standing on
the brink of a high cliff, at the ex-
tremity of a long and elevated penin-
sula. The main building is a large
and nearly square tower, with walls
12 ft. thick. The vessel now enters
the "melancholy" Sound of Mull,
a sea channel, varying in breadth
from 1 to 3 m., and ha-v'ing on rt. the
high grounds and cliffs of the main-
land of Morven, and on 1. the still
more picturesque mountains of Mull.

[The Island of Mull, " a mass of
hill," round which the tourist is about
to coast, is about 30 m. long, while
its greatest breadth is 20 m. The
indentations of the bays and creeks
however, are so deep and irregular,
especially on the W., that while the
coast-line measures some 300 m., it
it is only 3 m. from sea to sea —
between the Sound at Salen, and the
Atlantic at Loch-na-Keal, a long and
broad fiord that nearly cuts the island
in two. To the S. of it is Loch



Screidan, beyond which projects a
long granitic promontory called the
Ross of Mull. Though the island
contains some lofty mountains, it
cannot be said, as a whole, to be
picturesque, consisting, with the ex-
ception of occasional patches of arable
land, of a vast moor, devoted to the
pasturage of cattle and horses.

The cliff scenery on the S. is cer-
tainly grand, and contains several
caves ; and considering that very fair
accommodation is to be got, and the
roads, few as they are, are good, it is
surprising that Mull is not visited
oftener than it is. Salcn is the best
place to stop at, both from its central
position and its comfortable quarters.
To the S. of Salen is the great range
of mountains that fill up the interior,
and rank in height and abruptness
of outline with the principal ranges
in the "W. of the mainland. Ben
More rises to 3172 ft. ; Benbuy to
2352 ; and Dun-da-Gu to 2505. The
result of the proximity of such high
peaks to the moisture-laden breezes
of the Atlantic is, that Mull is the
rainiest place in Scotland, exceeding
in this characteristic both Rum and
Skye. ^052rcZZ described Mull as " a
hilly country diversified with heath
and grass, and many rivulets." Dr.
Johnson said it was a dreary country,
much worse than Skye, ' ' Oh, sir !
a most dolorous country." — Croker,
Boswell.

But indeed the voyage we are now
describing will enable the traveller
to pronounce the coast scenery and
cliffs of Mull exceedingly grand.
Both to the artist and geologist the
arched rocks of Carsaig on the S.
coast, and the display of basaltic
columnar cliffs are full of interest ;
while the Duke of Argyll's discovery
of Tertiary leaf-beds in volcanic ashes
on the promontoiy of Ai-dtim Head,
between Loch Screidan and Loch
Laigh, causes that spot to be visited
by men of science. From Salen an
excursion may be made to the ba.salt



W. Scotland. Route 35. — Ohan to Staffa — Salen.



231



cliffs of the Island Ulva, from which
a boat may be hired to Statfa.

Some of the localities in Mull are
very interesting to the geologist.
Nine-tenths of the island consist of
trap rocks of the tertiary age, and
those peculiar terraces characteristic
of these igneous overflows. Along
the E. and S. coasts in the neigh-
bourhood of Loch Buy is a thin strip
of oolite — and again on the W. coast
of Gribun, facing Staffa. The pro-
montory of the Ross, as far as
Bunessan, consists of granite, the red
colouring of which imparts a pic-
turesque warmth to the rocks. At
Arcltun, to the N. of Bunessan, are
some basaltic pillars, together with
tertiary beds, containing leaf impres-
sions associated with volcanic ash.
These interesting fossils consist of
Rhamnites, Filicites Hebridicus,
Equisitites Campbelli, Alnites, etc.,
and were described by the late
Professor Forbes, in the "Geological
Journal."]

In traversing the Sound of Mull
the steamer passes on 1. a cascade,
the spray from which is often taken
at a distance for smoke, the water
being hidden by a projection till the
steamer is abreast of it.

Rt. is Ardtornish Castle, in a wild
and picturesque situation, on a chain
of rocks overhanging the sea at the
mouth of Loch Aline, Avhich stretches
up into the district of Morven, It
was during the latter part of the 14th
and during the loth centy., the head-
quarters of the " Lords of the Isles."
The ruins are not large : the square
keep, with its thick Avails, and the
broken rampart of the courtyard,
give one but a faint notion of the
grandeur of the " Ardtornish Halls "
of Sir Walter Scott :—

" Ardtornish on her frowning steep,
'Twixt cloud and ocean hung,
Glanced with a thousand lights of glee.
And landward far and far to sea
Her festal radiance flung."

But the introduction of Ardtornish
at the date of the poem is an ana-



chronism, for the residence of the
Lords of the Isles at that time was
Islay, the castle of Ardtornish being
built about 1340. The Lord of the
Isles, in the time of Robert Bruce,
was in reality Angus Og, but his
name has been converted by Scott
into the more euphonious title of
Ronald.

Here it was that the treaty was
signed between Edward IV. and
the Lord of the Isles, in which the
latter consented to become Edward's
vassal, and receive an annual pension
in return for assistance to be ren-
dered to the King and the banished
Earl of Douglas in their designs upon
Scotland. {SceRymer's "Foedera.")

Just beyond it is the narrow en-
trance to Loch A line, in many places
prettily fringed with copsewood.

"Green Loch Aline's woodland shore."

At the head of the Loch is the ruin
of another old castle, called Kinloch
Aline, and in the village close by is
one of the crosses brouglit from lona.
Loch Aline House is the residence of
— Sinclair, Esq. Passing rt. Fuenary



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