Enjoy Fun, Feasts, and Friendship with Argyll Cruising

By on February 26, 2017

By Norine Rae─

Argyll Cruising is a family own business, which offers personalized cruises in Western Scotland. I had the pleasure to go on a cruise with my dear friend Joy last year and hope to go again in the future. It was so much fun to explore the coastline on the Splendour: a unique trawler yacht with four charming suites accommodating up to 8 guests. It was a perfect trip and you too can enjoy a quiet holiday getaway as they currently offer 9 cruising opportunities to choose from. The scenery is magnificent and each day offers pleasant surprises as you explore islands and inlets partaking in the fabulous views, with Scotland’s wildlife, gardens galore, lovely villages, churches, and impeccable castles and grounds.

Last month, I shared about my experience at Mount Stuart a 19th century Victorian Gothic country manor home with extensive gardens. You can read about it here. As promised, I would like to share with you two other remarkable stops along our journey that I will always remember with fondness. The spectacular fairy tale images of Kylemore Abbey and Inveraray Castle still bring joy to my heart as I remember strolling around their grounds and exploring the exquisite manors.

Norine and Joy Argyl CruisesKylemore Abbey is an enormous estate located in Connemara, Ireland. It’s impelling history and beauty is undeniable. Originally it was built in 1867 as a private estate for the Mitchell family (Henry Mitchell was a wealthy doctor from London). In 1909, it was purchased by Duke and Duchess of Manchester: who only enjoyed the Abbey for a short time as they were forced to sell their cherished estate in 1920 due to gambling debts. Along came the Irish Benedictine Nuns who purchased the Abbey and grounds as they too where forced to flee their home in Ypres, Belgium. Yet, in their case it was not due to debts, but the effects World War 1 as their beloved Abbey was completed destroyed by bombs. The Kylemore Abbey must have been a perfect location for them as they operated a Catholic boarding school for girls there for over a century.The school unfortunately closed in 2010, yet this beautiful restored Estate with Victorian walled gardens, chapel, and walking trails has remained open for public viewing since the 1970’s. Truly, it is a must see!

Norine Rae Inveraray CastleYou might have seen my next favorite site, Inveraray Castle, on Downton Abbey as it was feature as “Duneagle Castle” in the 2012 Christmas episode. Since the 18th century, nestled on the shore of Loch Fyne, in Western Scotland is the stunning Gothic Revival style home of the Dukes of Argyll known as Inveraray Castle. Reconstruction of the home that we see today began in 1975 as much of the castle was destroyed by fire. The 12th Duke and his family held a global fundraising campaign while actually living in the basement during renovations. Perhaps this might have been a godsend as James Lees-Milne stated in 1943 that the castle was “ugly” for it was “grim and forbidding”. Not so today, as the charming castle is home to the 13th Duke and family with private apartments, yet tourists are free to roam much of the grounds, visitor’s center, and part of the castle which,displays a remarkable collection of weapons including swords, muskets, and pikes.

If it hadn’t been for Argyll Cruising, I might never had the opportunity to see these incredible sites. I am so grateful they contacted Living Better 50 and asked us to come and experience their cruises. Truly, I recommend them whole heartedly as I will always look back in fondness at the great fun I had, the delicious feasts I enjoyed (thanks to Steve), and especially the friendships I gleaned during our voyage. Sincere thanks to Iain Duncan, Splendours skipper, and Jamie Duncan, office manager, as they really know how to make dreams come true. Be sure to check out Argyll Cruising and experience it for yourself. You will not be disappointed!

Norine in front of statue

Norine Rae

About Norine Rae

Norine Rae resides in Redding, California where she is a member of Bethel Church. In 2012 she completed her Master’s in Intellectual Leadership from A.W. Tozer Seminary through Simpson University. She has worked over 30 years in Human Services fields and has done extensive work in ministry, missions, and leadership both foreign and domestic. She is a lifelong learner, international speaker, minister, writer, mother, and friend. You will find her at: http://www.aimadventures.org/blog/ or NorineRae.com.

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Enjoy Fun, Feasts, and Friendship with Argyll Cruising