Charlotte & Jamie Smith live in Fasnacloich, near Port Appin where they run St. Mary’s Space, a B&B with a creative work space for guests to use. Appin is only 17 miles north of Oban and is situated on a peninsula with Loch Linnhe lying to the west and Loch Creran to the south.
We live with Molly our fabulous six year old daughter & a rescue cat named Blue. Oh & lots of bats in the belfry.
We are creative people who love art, music, walking, gardening, exploring, cooking, self-sufficiency & so on.
How long have you lived here?
We took on a major move from Leicestershire, England to Appin, Scotland in May 2011, leaving our friends & family behind when our daughter was only six months old. We knew that we wanted a dramatic change of scenery & lifestyle & romantically fell in love with our church property in dire need of a makeover that we saw on the internet. We’ve always been drawn to the mountains on holidays, so it seemed a perfect place to live – & it is.
Cuil Bay, a long shingle and sand beach not far from us which is a popular spot for bird and wildlife watching. It is a beautiful and peaceful place with some fine coastal views across to the islands of Balnagowan, Shuna and Lismore. Always wonderfully blustery.
Beinn Sgulaird is a solitary Munro on our doorstep, rising steeply above upper Loch Creran. The upper slopes are rocky but the summit is best known as a fantastic viewpoint. On a clear day the 360 degree panorama of mountains, lochs, sea and islands is one of the finest in Scotland.
Most special time of year
For me, autumn is the most beautiful time of year to visit Scotland, the landscapes are ablaze with autumnal colours, the skies have a wonderful purple and orange glow and the wildlife is thriving with activity. The stags roar, geese descend on us, seasonal produce is plentiful and there are fewer midges!
One thing that every tourist should do
One of Scotland’s most romantic ruined castles, the much-photographed Castle Stalker, a four-story tower house or keep picturesquely set on a tidal islet on Loch Laich, an inlet off Loch Linnhe.
Best wildlife encounter
Regularly watching otters play in the river, stags rutting & buzzards flying over the house.
Favourite road or drive
The single track road to Port Appin lying on the coast of Appin just north of Loch Creran, Port Appin is a pretty little fishing village on a peaceful secluded peninsula. It is a lovely wee drive.
Most loved view
I am lucky enough to say the ever changing tidal river mountain view from our house.
Favourite place to eat and drink
The Old Inn, Portnacroish. A rustic old Inn perfectly resurrected after 325 years.
Holiday Scottish Highlands & Islands says…
Thanks to Charlotte for sharing her local tips on things to do in the Port Appin area. The scenery looks beautiful around Port Appin and I love the way they’ve decorated their home. It looks like a really special and unique place.
Find out more about St Mary’s Space
St Mary’s is our family home and multi-use art work space with a guest room. You can find out more in our directory listing for St Mary’s Space or check out the links below:
Plan a trip to Port Appin, Argyll & Bute
- Ordnance Survey maps with free mobile download (available from Ordnance Survey or Amazon)
- Walk books – we like Pocket Mountain walk books (read our review) and they have one for Oban and North Argyll but there are also other books on Amazon
- See holiday accommodation in Argyll & Bute
Want more local tips?
Check out all articles in the What to see in Scotland: Local Tips series or some of our favourites: