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NN189128 – Kilmorich Churchyard is one of our ‘tempting tangents’ and although, on first glance, it seems there’s only a few ancient graves and majestic trees to see here, its location makes it a very tempting site to visit. This pilgrim site is right by the roadside, so it’s easy to find. In fact it’s next door to Loch Fyne Oyster Bar and the Tree Shop, which means not only are there plenty of parking spaces, but there’s also somewhere close by to get a tasty meal. If you’re more inclined to go for a walk, then there’s plenty of those nearby, and there’s even a wee community history museum and gallery, called Here We Are, tucked between the garden centre and the restaurant. And not to forget Fyne Ales, a fantastic local brewery, is just a short distance away.
If these tourist attractions are not your scene, then the discerning pilgrim would do well to time their visit to arrive shortly before sunset. Being situated at the head of Loch Fyne means that there are great views over Glen Fyne and, as the sun sinks below the cloud line, it bathes the surrounding hills in the most beautiful, golden light making it easy to see why we call rural Scotland ‘God’s Own Country’.
We’ve paired this site with Cairndow Church, which is now called Kilmorich Church on OS maps (incidentally, making one of our easiest sites to find in real life, one of the hardest to find on a map – it’s no longer named or even indicated). Some of the ancient carved stones and relics originally housed on this site have been moved to the beautiful little church on the other side of the loch. It’s definitely worth visiting these two together.
To get here, follow the A815 north out of Cowal, and turn left, when you reach the junction with the A83, toward Inveraray. Follow the road on a sweeping left hand bend around the head of the loch, then the entrance to Loch Fyne Osyter Bar appears on your right just as the road begins to straighten out. If you’re not planning on visiting the restaurant, cafe or visitor centre, then park in the overflow car park at ///spare.drummers.risky. The graveyard is just at the bottom of the hillside to the northwest of you, only a 2 min walk away.
Pass through a gate at ///innocence.cutback.hype, which is signposted for the ‘Tree Hoose’, and Kilmorich churchyard is on your right. There are some ancient headstones, some in enclosures, scattered around a central mound of turf that may well mask the foundations of the original church. From here, if you look south east over the head of Loch Fyne, you can see the ‘new’ Kilmorich church at the heart of Cairndow village.
This image kindly provided by Cowal Captures.