Best known for its beautiful castle, this charming little peninsula is a serene base for watersports, cycling, walking and fishing.
Appin is a lesser-visited Scottish peninsula with under-appreciated coastal scenery and a secluded atmosphere. Head to one of its main settlements, Port Appin, to rent bikes or book tours to more remote areas of the peninsula. Arrange a visit to the medieval castle, which sits moodily on a loch islet. Spend some time strolling through the lovely gardens found in the area.
Port Appin, one of the peninsula’s largest settlements, is an ideal place to rent bikes for further exploration of the region. It’s also the starting point for exciting sailing, windsurfing, pony trekking and waterskiing excursions. Stroll along the scenic 1.5-mile (2.5-kilometer) coastal walk that begins in town, admiring wonderful views over the Islands of Mull and Lismore en route.
Find Castle Stalker, a 14th-century tower house perched on an islet in Loch Laich, north of the village. Book in advance to go on tour of this privately owned castle, led by a member of its current owners, the Steward Allward family.
For a gorgeous perspective on the castle, head to the nearby Castle Stalker View Café & Gift Shop. This inviting café overlooks the castle, as well as nearby Mull and Lismore.
See more picturesque views of the castle from Kinlochlaich Gardens. Established in the late 18th century, these stunning gardens include an octagonal walled garden, as well as a bluebell woodland. Look for magnolias, eucryphia and rhododendrons as you stroll through them. A large selection of plants are also available for sale here.
More inviting garden strolls can be enjoyed at Druimneil House, a Victorian house surrounded by a 10-acre (4-hectare) garden overlooking Loch Linnhe. Find oak, beech and elm trees, along with azaleas and meconopsis blue poppies, among the foliage.
Appin lies between Oban and Ballachulish. It can be easily reached by car from Fort William, which is 30 miles (47 kilometers) away. Port Appin is connected to Lismore by ferry service. Buses en route to Oban make stops in Appin and Port Appin. Escape to this serene outdoor enthusiasts’ haven.