On the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, Inverary Castle, and the “Hill House”

The short drive from Glasgow to Loch Lomond provided some wonderful views.

 

Once I started up the one track road along the eastern side of Loch Lomond, I knew I was in for a real treat.

 

Along the 11 mile dead end road, many a campsite appeared along the sparkling shores.

 

Before I knew it, Rowardeenan Lodge appeared and welcomed me to a couple of restful days to luxuriate at the loch’s shoreline.

 

 

I had a full day to just kick up my feet and do a bit of writing and catching up with my blog posts just a bit.

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Well laid plans however can go awry and that they did.  I was writing along just dandy when all of a sudden – no more satellite internet connection!  To make matters worse, the midgies (Scotland’s version of teeny tiny mosquitos) were in full force because of the warm weather so I couldn’t even go outside without the threat of being eaten alive!

Allrighty then… plan B went into effect.  I got in my car and went for a bit of a drive through Argyll and drove west for awhile instead.  Along the way I drove through some drop dead gorgeous countryside.  Over hill, through glens, past old bridges with rivers running under…

 

 

Then I arrived at the Clan Campbell castle – Inverary!

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I have some great grandfathers who once upon a time lived here and I was intrigued to see how and where they lived.

 

 

Like many castles I have visited, there were rooms filled with many many lavious and beautiful items, and an armory room filled with a splendid display of swords and other weaponry of days past.  This one was no exception.

 

 

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In the gallery were many paintings of the Dukes, Earls and Lords of Argyll, including two that are in my lineage on my dad’s side of the family.  Above is my 10th great grandfather, Archibald E. Campbell, and below is his son, Lord Archibald Campbell.  They lived in the 1600s!  It was really neat to see these two particular great grandfathers original oil paintings hanging in the castle!

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Below are some actual pieces of clothing worn by the Dukes and Earls.  Quite beautiful and very well preserved.

 

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Following is a sampling of some of the things I saw, but of course did not even think about touching, in the various rooms we were allowed to visit.  The current heirs and descendants still live in this place.

 

 

 

As I ended my tour I noticed the poster for Downton Abbey and inquired about its tie to this castle.  I didn’t realize it before, but the special Christmas episode was filmed here at Inverary castle. Wow!

 

 

Now out to the gardens…

 

And a look at the outside views of this magnificent piece of architecture.

 

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After that wonderful tour, I worked my way back to the hostel making a couple of more stops.  First stop, the flower filled town of Luss on the western side of Loch Lomond. Love this small hamlet!

 

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And it’s charming church and graveyard too!

 

Another architectural treat was in store today as well in Helensburgh.  The “Hill House,” designed and built by Charles Renne MacIntosh, one of the famous and talented “Glasgow Four” who pre dated the art nouveau period.

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The house in its entirety is a work of art. The use of light, line, color… in every inch of the house – outstandingly beautiful!  I will let the pictures explain…

 

 

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Above – a writing desk that looks like a kimono..

 

 

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Below is the man, A. C. Blackie, that the house was designed and built for.

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IMG_0350Now let’s head outside and visit the garden…

 

As I left, I noticed the gate was even well thought out and also reflected the design of the house.  He thought of everything in this masterpiece!

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Well, that’s it for this time…hope you enjoyed this episode as I explore the wonderful finds in Scotland!

In my next post I’ll be visiting the beautiful harbour seaside town of Oban, with a ferry ride to the Isle of Iona, where ancient Scottish Kings of yore are buried, St. Columba built a church and Abbey and the Book of Kells was created!

 

 

 

Author: Claudia Frew

Adventuresome, independent and fun-loving traveling American 64 year young great grandmother who loves to travel solo or with fellow travelers!

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