Mingary Castle, former stronghold of the MacIans of Ardnamurchan, has been recently restored and is a now a luxurious hotel. It has four unique suites sleeping a total of 10 and offers castle guests a 10 course tasting menu in the grand dining room. Well placed to explore The Ardnamurchan Peninsula and also for the ferry from Kilchoan to Tobermory on The Isle of Mull.
This is a lovely magical short walk through a former policy woodland. The woodland was planted by the Riddle family in the 1800s and boasts over 60 exotic and native species of tree, including firs, spruces and pines, as well as a range of fine specimen deciduous trees. There is a particular fine specimen of the monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana). Identity labels on some of the larger specimens provide a wonderful opportunity to familiarise yourself with many of the exotic species. A real treat for the dendrologist.
Many of the large specimen trees also support a diversity and abundance of bryophytes and lichens, whilst fallen trees/dead wood provide a variety of habitats to support a diverse invertebrate community. The ground flora is particularly rich, supporting a combination of native woodland species, as well as introduced exotics. The ground flora is particularly lovely in Spring and early Summer. Listen out for cacophony of woodland bird song in Spring and early Summer.
1. Park at Strontian village car park and head off to the village green with its play area, immediately behind the Tourist Information Centre. Cross the village green and turn left onto the road and left again after approximately 10 yards into Dalmhor. The route passes by some houses, Sunart Cycles and heads towards the Community Composting Area. Follow a path by the side of the Composting Area to reach the Community Woodland as signposted.
2. There is an interpretation board at the start of the walk and a map showing the paths through the woodland. The woodland path skirts and bisects the boundary of the woodland providing ample exposure to the diversity of trees, shrubs and magnificent ground flora. There are several picnic benches on route, a lovely stream crossing, as well as some good views of Loch Sunart at the southern boundary of the woodland. There is also an optional path to a viewpoint at the northern end of the Community Woodland (signposted), affording good views of Loch Sunart.
Explore the woodland at your leisure. The path through the woodland is well defined and way marked, although rather steep in places.
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