Kirnan is a historic shooting lodge set amidst some of the most beautiful countryside on the west coast of Scotland. The house, owned by the Appleyard family, has three attached rental luxury holiday cottages and three bed and breafast (B&B) rooms within the main house. The self-contained holiday cottages, all with their own private entrance, have log fires and are furnished to a high standard. Guests have the freedom to wander around this five hundred and fifty acre estate with salmon and trout fishing, bird watching and wonderful walking, with cycling, golf, riding and sailing close by. The larger holiday cottage, Chapel, is ideal for families or groups of friends, the two smaller holiday cottages, Heron and Torrnaleich, ideal for couples. The three bed and breakfast rooms all have en suite bathrooms, linen bedding, DVD’s and sofas, one with jacuzzi bath and one with a four poster bed.
And lonely the dark raven’s sheltering tree;
And travell’d by few is the grass cover’d road,
Where the hunter of deer and the warrior trode To the hills that encircle the sea.Excerpt from “On Visiting a Scene in Argyleshire” by Thomas Campbell written in the 1800’s.
The poem, by the poet Thomas Campbell, a younger son of the Duke of Argyll, now buried in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey, is written about Kirnan. There has been a house on this site since the 13th century, and in the mid 1850’s Kirnan was rebuilt again on the lines of the old Campbell shooting lodge, originally for the Dukes of Argyll. The house, and the grounds in which it stands, are redolent with history. Within the 550-acre estate lie the remains of a medieval village, Kirnan Beg, the old drover’s road to the sea referred to in the poem, hidden Neolithic cup and ring marks and a ruined fort. The deer, Sika, Roe and Red, still patrol the forest, and at night come down to graze close to the house. Buzzard and osprey circle overhead, and the grounds and forest are home to pine martens, red squirrels and wild cats.
The Campbells laid out a formal twenty-six acre garden and then in 1897 a world-renowned botanist, Robert Heber Macaulay, an Eton and Cambridge-educated scholar, set about restoring the ancient gardens. With a team of six full time gardeners he created a garden full of rhododendrons and rare plants which was considered the second finest in the west of Scotland, second only to Poolewe. Much of this garden is visible today, and is in the process of being restored to its full glory.
Our Terrier, Phillip,
getting beaten up by the Kirnan ducks
The house stands in one of the fascinating and undiscovered parts of Scotland. Remote and wild, yet only just over two hours from the centre of Glasgow. The Kilmartin Glen and Kilmichael Glassary, in which the house stands, together hold the highest concentration of Neolithic monuments in the world, and there is a current application for Kilmartin Glen to have World Heritage Status. Ancient castles, burial chambers, ruined forts, standing stones and the unique rock carvings and cup and ring marks define this area as the most significant in Scotland during ancient times. This region, known as Dalriada, is where the first Kings of Scotland were crowned. In a loch just a mile from Kirnan stands a perfect example of a crannog, a Neolithic stone island created in the centre.To stay at Kirnan is to step back in time, revel in the peaceful, stunning scenery and leave all the cares of the modern-day world behind.