Bonawe House is situated overlooking Loch Etive and the River Awe. There are lots of beautiful walks of all lengths from the house. The Loch shore is a 5 minute walk from the house. Small boats can be launched from the beach which is also good for paddling, swimming and crabbing.
The entrance to Loch Etive is guarded at Connell by the Falls of Lora, the second largest tidal falls in the world. For the first 8 miles the loch heads east until meeting the river Awe at Taynuilt from where it swings north for the next 12 miles.
Seals, eagles, deer, otter can all be regularly seen along its banks. Loch Etive is renowned for its fishing.
The Best Things to Do in Loch Etive
Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and fringed with the subtle colours of the Scottish countryside, Loch Etive is one of the most picturesque lochs in all of Scotland. An ancient highland route used through the centuries runs the length of it, but is not wholly accessible by car, resulting in a visitor experience that must be reached by boat or on foot to be seen and appreciated in its spectacular entirety.
Tranquil and awe-inspiring all at once, some of the best places to visit in and around the area are covered here for inspiration.
Found at the top of Loch Etive, Glen Etive is an exceptionally beautiful landscape and a big draw for hill walkers and climbers. The main peaks are the Glen Coe Mountains, which run to the north and west of the glen itself, while the lower glen boasts the breathtaking Buachaille Etive Mor ridge and the Lairig Gartain. Those not inclined to climb will find the trip is worth it for the vistas alone. The landscape varies from lush heather to dense woodland, and it is not unusual to spot deer in the undergrowth.
The atmospheric ruins that make up Ardchatten Priory are a popular draw for visitors to Loch Etive. Found a few miles inland from the loch itself near the Connel Bridge, this fascinating monks’ priory, now a disused ruin, was founded in 1231 and houses some fine examples of ancient and beautiful local stonework. Attached to Ardchatten House and Ardchatten Garden, themselves each excellent stand-alone choices for a visit, the priory itself and its neighbouring attractions are together a worthwhile day trip destination with much to offer.
Bonawe Iron Furnace
The historic industrial site of Bonawe Iron Furnace, open from April through September each year, was founded in 1723 and once enjoyed a 120-year reign as an iron smelting centre for a large settled population during the height of the area’s industrial activity. It comprises a fascinating slice of a lost way of life and there is much to see here, including the charcoal stores, the red-hued ore sheds, the oak bark house, which served as an offshoot of the charcoal production process, and not to mention of course the impressive furnace itself.
Set in beautiful grassland in view of Loch Etive, the Bonawe Iron Furnace site offers a wealth of information to visitors who wish to learn more about the historic process of iron production and the local iron workers’ way of life during a time when the furnace was actively in use.
An impressive sight seen from afar, or the more adventurous and experienced might opt to climb this unique attraction, the rocky hill site of Bein Trillechean sits to the north of Loch Etive and attracts hundreds of hardy rock climbers. There are numerous routes to the top, and the higher you climb, the more impressive the views of Loch Etive become. A breathtaking vista of mountains and pinewoods awaits those at the summit.