Port Appin is a perfect little gem in the jewellery box that is Scotland's west coast. Situated a mile or two off the main road between Oban and Fort William, (20 miles and 40 miles away respectively) it is right at the end of the little road that leads just to the foot ferry across to the island of Lismore. And as if that weren't enough, this tiny hamlet boasts two of the most prestigious eating places in the country, Aird's Hotel and the Pierhouse Restaurant. There is also a PO/small general store and a gallery gift shop.
Just a few hundred yards from the pier at the end of the road, and looking out across the Lynn of Lorne, Nemo's Cottage is a charming, chocolate box old terraced cottage, now lovingly restored internally to provide accommodation which is both comfortable and full of character. Downstairs, there is a dining kitchen and sitting room from where a couple of steps lead up to a further little seating area at the back. There, too, is a useful storage area beside the back door. Upstairs are two bedroom and bathroom. To the rear, there is a small, suntrap garden (furniture.)
It is just a short stroll to the pier (and/or an excellent lunch/dinner) where you can take the ferry across to Lismore. It will also take your cycles, and this is an excellent way to see this remarkable little island, which is traversed by one single-track road from tip to toe. Both historically and geologically, Lismore is a fascinating place and has been inhabited since neolithic times. (An arrowhead of Appin stone dating from 3500BC was found in 1974 and is now in the Heritage Centre.) The well preserved Broch at Tirfuir bears witness to Pictish occupation some 2000 years ago, and there is also a most interesting walk over to Coeffin Castle, named for the Viking prince who first built a stronghold there.
Back on the mainland, there is also plenty to explore. Just up the road is, in the bay, the iconic Castle Stalker. (The Castle Stalker Visitor Centre makes an excellent place to stop off for a coffee or light lunch) and beyond that are the riding stables at Lettershuna. Then on to Ballachulish (golf course). On a rainy day the Ice Factor and Kinlochleven (ice and rock walls, children's play areas) is an excellent place for a whole day's fun for all the family.
Beyond Ballachulish, walkers and climbers will find Glencoe, or, at Fort William, Ben Nevis itself. From there there are boat trips on the loch to see the basking seals, and the town also has a leisure centre, golf course etc. It is also the starting point for the highly scenic Jacobite steam train journey to Mallaig. Aonach Mor, beside Fort William, also offers excellent ski-ing in winter and mountain bike trails in summer.
To the south, Oban too has all facilities and is in its turn the starting point for ferries to many of the west coast islands. On the way, turn right at Benderloch for the wonderful sandy beach at Ardmucknish Bay.
Bed linen, towels and the first £10 of electric heating are included. Sorry, pets are not accepted and smoking is not permitted in the cottage.
Accommodation (sleeps 4):
- Sitting room with wood burning stove, TV/DVD and Radio/CD
- Kitchen with electric cooker, fridge-freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, etc
- Steps to small seating area
- Double bedroom
- Twin bedroom
- Bathroom with bath/shower, WC and wash hand basin