In New Zealand, the third weekend in October is Labour Weekend, it marks the unofficial start of camping season for many families (well, mine for sure). Regardless of the weather, we like to head to Kaitoke and try and nab our favourite spot by the river under the trees for a long weekend. Even though Autumn is well under way here in Scotland, the urge to be outdoors is still strong. As it’s not quite tent weather in the Northern hemisphere we wanted to find somewhere that embraced the outdoors. Happily, we found the perfect spot. A sheltered place beside the sea, where we spent a night that away from the city; it was ruggedly beautiful and totally unique.
The Alexandra is an ex-lifeboat converted into accommodation at Argyll Kayaker Coves in Cuan Ferry on the Isle of Seil. To reach the Isle of Seil we travelled over the Clachan Bridge – which is a very cute, but old bridge (built in 1793). We didn’t realise we’d left the mainland UK for one night until we drove back over it the following morning.
The Isle of Seil is a beautiful destination in its own right, but the accomodation has an amazing history too, since starting out as an open rowboat back in 1903 – have a look at this article in the Scotsman to see and read more about the Alexandra’s story.
The Alexandra has a beautiful outlook across the water to the Isle of Luing and stunning views of the rugged coastline, with its interesting tidal activity. True to its name, Cuan Ferry has a ferry. The service to Luing runs regularly throughout the day and is a nominal price (less than £2 per person and under £10 to take your car). Luing has a handful of places to eat and you can even hire bikes from the local caravan park close to the ferry landing on Luing – so you could include a half day explore of this tiny island in your short stay. The Atlantic Islands Centre has plenty of info and link on places to eat (including their own cafe and restaurant), things to do and suggestions for accomodation if you decide to stay a little longer in the area.
Inspite of the weather, we managed to explore the coastline of Cuan, enjoy a glass of wine at the shorefront picnic table, roast mushrooms on the BBQ (in-between the brief spells of rain) and had a very comfortable night’s sleep in our boat’s heated cabin. The well equipped galley meant I could cook a good breakfast before we drove back to Oban, which is only 25 minutes away.
We’ll definitely make time to visit the area again we go back to explore the West coast further.