Ross Appleyard is a former senior correspondent for Sky News. He has now happily swapped his flak jacket for a fishing rod and tractor, and runs the estate with his wife, Diana.
Diana is a freelance journalist who is also the author of six novels, published by Transworld. The couple have two grown-up daughters, three dogs, two donkeys and numerous animals ready to welcome you at Kirnan.
About The Area
Kirnan is based in the most beautiful and spectacular countryside on the west coast. The area is perfect for walking, cycling (with local bike hire), sailing, kayaking, riding, golf, wild swimming or simply taking a breath-taking drive. Kirnan is just four miles from the scenic Crinan Canal, where you can walk or cycle, or take a walk around Loch Coille Bharr, the home of the famous Knapdale beavers. Fascinating Kilmartin Museum is a ten-minute drive away, detailing over six thousand years of history – the area around the museum holds the highest concentration of Neolithic monuments anywhere in Europe. The area has many pretty villages such as Tayvallich, with an excellent pub and café, where you can look out over the boats bobbing in the harbour, before walking the stunning Taynish nature trail, looking out for otters.
Kirnan is perfect for the fisherman with six miles of salmon fishing on the River Add, free for guests. We also have two small trout lochs, a mile walk up through our forest, with a barbecue bothy on the shores of Loch Torrnaleich. Fishing on local lochs and in the sea can be arranged in Lochgilphead.
Boat trips are an essential part of a visit to Kirnan – boats such as ‘Venture West’ and the ‘Jenny Wren’ will whisk you away on an unforgettable trip to the Corryvrechan whirlpool and the islands, to watch sea eagles soaring above the cliffs, seals and porpoise frolicking and, if you are lucky, catch a glimpse of basking sharks, Minke whales and dolphins.
For wildlife enthusiasts and photographers, this area is a naturalist’s dream. Here at Kirnan we have three types of deer in the forest, Roe, Sika and Red, as well as pine martens, red squirrels, badgers and buzzards. We’ve had a pair of golden eagles nesting by one of our lochs. On nearby Loch Sween you can see otters and Osprey. There are guided walks to see the beavers at Knapdale.
Ross on Kirnan’s RIB in nearby Loch Sween
Kirnan is perfectly situated as a gateway to the islands – Gigha, Islay and Jura can be visited in a day from Kirnan during the spring and summer months, and we offer short breaks for those wishing to go on to visit the magical islands of Mull, Tiree, Colonsay and Coll from the port of Oban, which is under an hour’s drive from Kirnan.
Excellent cafes and restaurants – the Kilberry Inn, previously named Scottish restaurant of the year, is an easy drive from Kirnan – abound in the vicinity. Two welcoming pubs are just a five and ten minute drive away. Lochgilphead, five miles from Kirnan, has everything you will need in terms of shopping with two supermarkets, an excellent butcher’s and fishmonger’s, and an artisan deli, Marmalade.
Photos taken around Kirnan by guest Karl Mercer.