Wow what a whirlwind summer this has been!! With the world wide travel restrictions that the Corona virus has lead to our travel plans have taken so many U turns that I have lost count!! We certainly didn’t expect to find ourselves Stand Up Paddleboarding in the stunning Scottish summer on Loch Awe!
The Main Points
- Location – Loch Awe northern shore, Argylle & Bute Scotland
- SUP – Own Fatstick Inflatables, Pink Panther* and Blue Lagoon (*Pink Panther now has a new design – check it out here)
- Cost – Free
- Conditions – Freshwater Loch
- Other users – Mainly campers, swimmers and a couple of Stand Up Paddleboarders
- Entry Point – Rocky/pebbly
- Surrounding amenities/Bathrooms- Town of Dalmalley 3km to the East
Our original plans were to take a couple of weeks out and do a road trip through the western part of Europe in our Jeep, Stand Up Paddleboarding along the way. We would be limited to the time we could take off work and while we really wanted to go further afield we figured 2 weeks would be enough to experience paddleboarding in a couple of different countries. It would also be the first time we took our own vehicle abroad. Of course the corona virus put paid to that and so we began to look closer to home.
The Shetland Islands is somewhere we have always wanted to explore. You may have seen some of our Instagram posts on the Brochs that we have visited in the Isle of Lewis, North Uist, Isle of Skye, Orkney and on the mainland. I am a little obsessed with them!! Brochs are an Iron Age round tower like structure found in Scotland. It just so happens that the best preserved one is in Sheltand – Mousa Broch
After rescheduling our holidays a number of times due to the ongoing travel restrictions we finally were able to take one week off just when there was another outbreak of the corona virus in Aberdeen. Travel advise was to avoid Aberdeen even though we would only be traveling through to catch the ferry we decided that a safer bet was to stay a bit closer to home.
Our plans take an interesting turn
A couple of weeks prior to our trip we unexpectedly became the proud owners of a really cute wee retro camper van.
The great thing about Harmony is that she has her own wee bathroom so we can be fully self sufficient. Lately as the camp sites around the UK have been opening they are offering accomodation primarily to those who have onboard facilities such as these. The other great thing about having your own bathroom is that you can wild camp. This is not only a great saving but allows you to stay closer to your next SUP location. Suddenly missing out on our Europe trip doesn’t seem such a bad thing after all because now the Europe trip 2.0 is forming!! We are starting to plan an extended trip to Europe spanning as much time as we can afford and aiming for around 12 months (depending on how long our savings lasts). So stay tuned!! Also we haven’t forgotten about Shetland either and hope to get there next year.
In the meantime though we decided to head towards the Isle of Mull and see where we ended up. The first day saw us at Loch Awe. We followed the advice of one of our awesome SUP Chick Community members who suggested we stop at the northern end as there was great access by the railway bridge. It was an absolutely stunning day with the water so flat and mirror like and barely a breeze. Such a nice surprise after leaving a grey and damp Glasgow earlier that morning.
Loch Awe is a beautiful long loch with the Castle Kilchurn close to where we launched. Not having paddled by a castle before we were pretty excited to check it out. While the sun was in the wrong spot for SUP Blokes ideal photographic requirements we managed to get some good images and have a play with the drone. Check out our YouTube video below.
Surprisingly the loch wasn’t the most peaceful place we have paddled. It has roads down both sides of it, one of which is the main road to Oban. It was pretty cool to see the train go over the railway bridge though. There were heaps of people out camping and enjoying the loch as it was the last weekend of the summer holidays. The water was so warm we even went for a quick dip!