Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The forests of Loch Fyne.

From Kenmore south to Furnace we entered a wild paradise, a quite exceptional coast to explore by sea kayak.

Steep rocks plunged into the deep waters of Loch Fyne.

These rocks had been smoothed by the glacier that had created Loch Fyne, the longest sea loch in Britain.

Round every corner there were new vistas...

...which brought smiles to our faces. On the far side of the loch great swathes of commercial forest plantation have recently been harvested and transported by sea to Troon.

We had never seen such an abundance of mussels.

Great trees grew right beside the sea and ...

...their boughs stretched out over us, giving temporary shade from the sun.

This verdant coast line is not seen from a passing car and we relished it...

...particularly the maritime sessile oaks...

...until all too soon the trees petered out leaving a bare rocky peninsula announcing our imminent arrival at the village of Furnace. This was named after an iron furnace which was established here in 1755 taking advantage of the abundance of trees that could be used to make the charcoal for the smelting process. The furnace closed in 1813 but was replaced in 1841 by a powder works which also used charcoal from the trees to make gunpowder. This factory came to a very sudden end in 1883. Also in 1841, a granite quarry opened, which supplied cobbles for the streets of Glasgow. The quarry is still in production today.

I am pleasantly surprised that there are any natural trees left.


  1. There is an excellent pub in Furnace too!
    I paddled here earlier in the year, and some of the people from the village were very kind helping me carry my boat up to the road at the end of the day.
    You are right about the amount of mussels that can be found here, but early in the year they had a lot of small pearls in them.

  2. Hi Mike, the Furnace Inn is indeed excellent! We didn't try eating any of the mussels, I am a bit off mussels, after getting an algal toxin from eating some in Jersey.