Port Appin Loop
The home of the Holy Grail, a murder that inspired a classic novel, and some seriously stunning scenery.
It’s one of our Top 10 Things We Love – Port Appin Loop.
The loop in itself is a 15 mile track, but don’t worry if that sounds a bit much, there are smaller sections you can take on with ease. The track has a fairly low gradient throughout, so if you’re travelling on two wheels it’s very manageable, even for little peddlers.
You’ll find yourself at the heart of an unsolved clan murder mystery, while surrounded by stunning natural archways and lochs. It’s a great trail for birdwatchers, and if you’re lucky you might spot some seals too. This easy going coastal route has a brilliant combination of history and scenery.
Castle Stalker is a photographer’s dream, and you can’t miss it sitting on its own little island out in Loch Linnhe. If you’ve seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you’ll recognise it from the final scene. (If you haven’t seen it – you should watch it!). The Knights of the Round Table hunt for a Holy Grail, and it just so happens to be hiding in this beautiful castle.
Long before the Monty Python boys graced Appin, the village found infamy as the setting of a murder that caused one of the most celebrated miscarriages of justice in Scottish history – the Appin murder. It was this story that inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, ‘Kidnapped’, and 250 years on, people are still trying to solve this clan warfare mystery.
It all started when someone shot Colin Roy Campbell in the back. To this day, neither of the clans involved have admitted who the real culprit was, but it certainly wasn’t the man who was hanged, James Stewart.
Poor James didn’t stand a chance. His trial was rigged, and he was made to stand before a jury of 15 men, 11 of which were of the recently deceased’s clan – Campbell. The presiding judge also happened to be the Campbell clan chief. James was sentenced to hanging, but the injustice wasn’t to end there. His dead body was left for 18 months on the tall gallows, to send out a message to any Jacobites passing on the Ballachulish Ferry.
There’s no doubt that the West Coast is rich in clan history, but we’re pretty glad that we can give our guests a much warmer welcome now.