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Just through the bridge, which is much newer than it looks having opened in 1975, this is a nice spot alright (apart from the domineering orange house), but because there are a lot of private moorings it is very difficult to anchor, almost impossible in the summer. North Ballachulish is hardly an attractive village but in a small complex of craft enterprises just by the Loch Leven Hotel, you will find the F.W.Holroyd Art Gallery, established for over 100 years but only in this location since the early 2000s. (ph 01855 821 277). Also do visit Starfish — Dave, Davey and Jenny make more lever harps than anyone else in Scotland (also known as Celtic harps or clarsachs). You will find these master craftsmen just behind the art gallery where they are more than willing to show you around their workshop, and sell you a harp (or electric violin, viola or cello if that is your fancy).
You can best walk to the hotel along the foreshore, definitely not along the road. The attractive path starts by the small isthmus joining the islet of An Dunain in the south west corner of the bay to the mainland. En route take a turn round the islet to find the cup marks on a rock by a metal post, facing south. These are prehistoric and notwithstanding the effort that must have gone into carving them out of the rock their function is unknown.
The Loch Leven Hotel itself is prettily situated above the old ferry slipway, presumably it was much busier and touristic before the bridge was opened (ph 01855 821 236). New owners took over in 2013, escaping from an Edinburgh law firm (check out the legal tomes in the library). Sprucing the place up, launching a nice website, they are much in evidence and seem to be doing very well. They have added a library dedicated to Scottish literature and books about Scotland (most encouraging), nice prints on the walls, a gin distillery, and 50 varieties of gin as well as real ales — something for everybody, and child friendly. And the food is good.
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Buy yourself a harp at Starfish
View over the bay