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BBC Countryfile visits Loch Etive
"Nearly 20 miles long, never more than one mile wide and as much as 600 feet deep, Loch Etive is one of my favourite places on earth"
With its mouth located about four miles north of the little coastal town of Oban in the Argyle & Bute region of Western Scotland, Loch Etive is without doubt one of my favourite places on earth. The loch lies like an arm, the elbow slightly crooked, with the palm at the seaward end, where Dunstaffnage Castle sits like a jewel. The bracelet at the wrist is the rather beautiful steel structure of the 1903 Connel bridge; a former railway bridge which now carries the A828 main road north. The bridge hides a secret, as beneath its span lurks the mysterious Falls of Lora, where a peculiar shallow underwater shelf creates a wild tidal race for an hour or so twice a day as the lowering waters cascade into violent white water.
Sweeping along the loch's southern shore for several miles the A85 leaves the loch near Taynuilt, leaving the remainder of the loch road-free and thus a wild and secret place, the preserve of wild life and the occasional boat and the odd low flying RAF Typhoon roaring spectacular defiance at the granite crags to either side as they seem to skim the water like swallows.
Why do I love Loch Etive, and indeed Glen Etive where the loch terminates inland? I guess because it's got it all. Spectacular natural beauty in a truly wild place that's largely free of tourists and the trappings of civilisation. Just look at these pictures and you will see what I mean, and why the BBC decided to feature the loch in its latest TV Countryfile programme on the 18th September 2011.
Oh, I almost forgot that I need to tell you that BBC presenter, Ellie Harrison, was wearing a Barbour Ladies Winter Force Parka - a particularly fine jacket in which she looked rather lovely, ideally suited to the Loch Etive terrain. The Winter Force Parka is a traditional Barbour medium-weight 6oz Sylkoil wax in a field jacket style, with a gorgeous thermal fleece lining ideal for colder climates. It features a scooped fishtail hem and an adjustable hood and waist to accommodate winter layers.
You already know that we at Country Attire are very privileged to both live and work in the beautiful Peak District of Derbyshire; but do you know what? There are a couple of places, here and there, where, on a good day, when the sun shines and the wind's set fair, you might just find somewhere that could equal it - and for me that might just be Loch Etive.
The CA Blogmeister