"Inveraray - a magical place" Top 5 Page for this destination Inveraray by ettiewyn

Inveraray Travel Guide: 59 reviews and 145 photos

My visit to Inveraray was the highlight of my ten days in Scotland. It was just like magic to be there, I fell in love with the place the second we arrived. It was one of those moments when you come somewhere and it is exactly like in your dreams, only even better!

The story might sound awkward, but here it is: During my late childhood and early teenage I read many novels taking place in Scotland and Ireland, in picturesque little villages where life was still good, and they always had a happy ending. When I came to Inveraray I could not believe my eyes: This town really looked like the towns in my old novels, and my dream had suddenly come true! The wonderful loch with its tiny boats, the blue water and the green hills, the old, white houses in the main street... It really was like one of the towns or villages I had imagined when I was younger. And yet, it was of course better, because it was real, I smelt the fresh air, heard the accent of the local people, felt the sunshine, heard the seagulls... The place just captured me and I felt like I never wanted to leave!

Inveraray developed around Inveraray Castle and was originally located a little further away from the loch, surrounding the castle. The village was demolished to make way for a large park, and a new town was built closer to the loch. This happened in 1745, and therefore the town looks old and traditional, but no way medieval. The Duke of Argyll, a member of the Campbell clan, still lives in the castle to this day.
Inveraray is located on the banks of Loch Fyne, which gives it a maritime feel. It is a large loch that is connected to the sea, and to me it almost felt like being in a village by the sea, the atmosphere was very similar.

We visited in February, and so it was very quiet, our group were the only visitors. I think that in high season, it must be much more crowded here, and so I am happy I came in February, although I missed some things because they were closed: The castle, the bell tower, and the Maritime Museum. Instead, I just wondered around the town and enjoyed it, and with hardly any tourists here, it was so calm, it was easy to meet some locals, and everybody was friendly and up for a chat.
I visited on a guided tour and we spent one and a half hours here, so it was a short visit, but because there were not many things to do, it was ok and I really enjoyed my time in Inveraray, sitting on a bench at the loch enjoying the view, strolling along the main street, and also doing a walk to the castle grounds. It is such a small place that within a short time, you can see and do a lot.
However, I would of course love to visit again. Inveraray can be reached by bus from Glasgow and I would love to come back in April or May, before the start of the summer holidays, but when the castle, tower and museum are open. I could then visit at my own pace, without a tour group, and enjoy this wonderful place even more!

Inveraray was the fourth stop of a guided tour I did from Edinburgh, called "West Highland Lochs and Castles". If you would like to continue on the tour with me, visit the last stop, my Luss page.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A pretty town in a beautiful setting, wonderful sights like Loch Fyne and the castle
  • Cons:Some things closed in low season
  • In a nutshell:Visiting here was like magic!
  • Last visit to Inveraray: Feb 2012
  • Intro Updated Jul 12, 2012
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Reviews (12)

Comments (3)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    I’m glad you found a place that was just like the picturesque towns you used to read about in those old novels. Too bad so many things were closed during the winter, but I’m sure the atmosphere wouldn’t have been the same in the high season with huge crowds of visitors.

    • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
      Sep 2, 2012 at 12:39 AM

      Hi Don, thank you for visiting this page! Yes, that was just what I thought - it must be so different when it is more crowded in the summer.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Fantastic page about your adventures in Scotland. Unfortunately I never really made it to Inveraray, but from your descriptions it seems to be well worth a visit. Great to read that a dream came true for you. So Rest and Be Thankful . :o)

  • spidermiss's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Great views of Loch Fyne! I did a similar day tour to you in January 2010 but we had mixed weather (rain and snow)!


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