The Crinan Canal
Off with the family, three adults, three children, a poodle and a whippet to the Crinan Canal, all piling into the VW van. As ever in Argyle, most of the way was on single track roads, this time with the added frisson of a heavily laden large van occasionally crossing the canal on narrow bridges with large "weak bridge" signs. We were surrounded by water, with the canal on one side and the sea on the other.
Finally arriving at Crinan, where the canal joins the sea via a sea lock. Lots of lovely boats in the harbour formed between the first two locks, barges, sea going yachts, and even a steam boat, all surrounded by pretty whitewashed cottages. The canal was built to provide a short cut for freight carrying boats, saving them the long and treacherous voyage round the Mull of Kintyre. Now it's used by pleasure boats rather than freight.
Time for a walk up the towpath, past nesting swans and a fabulous view across the estuary, with repeated calls of "keep away from the edge!" to stray children. The canal gradually turned a bend, creating shelter from the wind for us to settle down and tuck into our picnic....cheeses and pickle sandwiches all round.
Back to the village, past the red and white mini lighthouse, for tea and cream scones for the adults and ice cream for the children, sitting outside the coffee shop overlooking the harbour. Perfect home cooked scones, crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside, with a big blob of thick cream and strawberry jam. And all with a lovely view and sunshine!
Stopping off at a nature reserve on the way back, we walked through a wood and out onto the peat bog. The children (and adults) were suitably frightened by the large faces up in the trees. We didn't see any hen harriers or deer but we did see our first red squirrel, which brought back memories of the Tufty Club (showing my age now). I didn't realise at the time that Tufty, that road safety guru squirrel, was a native red one. I'm afraid I was reminiscing about the delights of the Tufty Club to an unappreciative audience.
Back to the cottage for more playing in the garden, punctuated by the usual daily visit to the rope swing in the bluebell wood.