Embark on a journey of architectural exploration on this cruise that introduces us to a myriad of design masterpieces and rare private viewings, often by a member of the family, including ancient castles, private apartments and a fine house.
As we heave anchor and set sail from Greenock Hebridean Princess cruises north along one of the longest sea lochs, Loch Fyne. From our berth at Strachur we venture to the home of Sir Charles and Lady McLean, Strachur House, with its sheltered flower garden.
Before we head to the fishing village of Tarbert, with its ruined castle once occupied by Robert the Bruce, the fairy tale Inveraray Castle, ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell, opens the private apartments for our visit. A castle has been standing on the shores of Loch Fyne since the 1400’s, although the impressive Inveraray Castle of today was inspired by a sketch by Vanbrugh, the architect of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard in the 1700’s.
The ruined castle of Lochranza is wonderfully positioned on a curved shingle spit projecting into the water. Much of what can be seen today is the result of rebuilding in the 16th century, but there are remnants of the original castle built before 1261 for the MacSweens.
Before our short adventure draws to a close we make for the delightful island of Great Cumbrae, home of Britain’s smallest cathedral, The Cathedral of the Isles, with its vivid tiles and stained glass.
For more information visit Ruins and Ramparts of the Lower Clyde
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