History and Archaeology
There is much tangible evidence of the past in the area surrounding Loch Melfort Hotel. Whether you choose to walk by one of the many deserted hill tracks or half forgotten paths, or if you prefer touring by car, there is much to discover.
Of particular note are the imposing remains of the Iron Age fort at Dunadd, just outside the nearby village of Kilmartin. This was the capital for the kings of Dalriada, and to this day bears the mark in stone of a footprint used in their coronations. In the village itself is Kilmartin House Museum, with ‘hands on’ activities for children. Nearby Kilmartin Glen is an archaeologist’s dream. Home to more than 350 megalithic stone circles, chambered cairns, and other monuments, you can either explore them yourself or visit the museum for a more informed investigation.
Scotland is famous for its castles and the area around the Loch Melfort Hotel has many varied kinds. For example, the enigmatic Castle Stalker set on its own small island, the imposing Dunstaffnage Castle (Home of Clan Campbell), and Dunollie Castle in Oban with its stunning sea views, are all ruined but can be visited and explored at leisure.
To see what these ruins may have looked like in their prime, visit nearby castles that are in much better condition. To the south of the hotel, Inveraray Castle is a magnificent old castle in wonderful condition. Its design features impressive conical spires and castellated towers, while inside are displays of armour, weapons, tapestries and relics chronicling the castle’s place in Scottish history.
Duart Castle on Mull is set on a dramatic promontory overlooking the Sound of Mull. Here, visitors can learn about the Clan McLean, explore the dungeons and state rooms and strategic clifftop position. Further round the island is Torosay Castle which is reached by either a woodland walk or narrow gauge steam railway. This family visitor attraction has lush gardens complete with terraces, gazebos, statues, water and walled gardens, while inside are displays of red deer antlers, artwork and the Guthrie family history.