Taynuilt – by David Paterson

The West Highland village of Taynuilt (from Scottish Gaelic “Taigh an Uillt” meaning “the house by the stream”) nestles at the foot of the majestic Ben Cruachan (1197 m).

Ben Cruachan from the old curling pond, near Taynuilt

Ben Cruachan from the old curling pond. (Photo by D Paterson)

To the north and west of the village lies the picturesque Loch Etive which extends from the nearby village of Connel to the mountains of Glencoe further to the north. Taynuilt is also surrounded by a number of outlying hamlets such as Inverawe, Bridge of Awe, Balindore and Fearnoch.

The A85 passes through Taynuilt and the village’s train station is on the Glasgow/Oban West Highland line. Before the railway arrived in 1879, Taynuilt used to be a popular resting place for travellers and even today it is the ideal base for visitors, with outdoor activities such as fishing, golfing, shinty, canoeing, hill walking and birdwatching being popular in the area. Located in the centre of the village, Taynuilt Hotel provides excellent accommodation, high quality food and a wide selection of craft beers & malt whiskies.

With a population of around 800, the thriving village also has a primary school, police station, medical practice, two churches, village hall, post office, tearoom, butcher, grocers and hairdressing salon.

If required, sea anglers can hire boats on Loch Etive and permits can be purchased locally for salmon fishing on the River Awe and trout/pike fishing in Loch Awe. Inverawe Fisheries offers fly fishing for rainbow trout.

The village boasts an excellent nine-hole golf course where visiting golfers are made welcome. Shinty matches regularly take place at Taynuilt Playing Fields and last year there were two televised cup games at this venue. There is also a small all-weather pitch for tennis and five-a-side football.

The Lily Pond at Inverawe Fisheries, near Taynuilt

The Lily Pond at Inverawe Fisheries. (Photo by D Paterson)

Every July, the Taynuilt Highland Games attract many visitors who enjoy the dancing, piping and track & field events.
With an abundance of hills and forest trails in the area, climbers and walkers are spoilt for choice. Golden eagles are regularly seen in the hills around Taynuilt while ospreys visit Loch Awe each year.

Bonawe Iron Furnace played a huge part in Taynuilt’s history. It was established in 1753 and, making use of timber from the local forests for charcoal fuel to smelt iron ore, produced pig iron which was mostly exported. Cannonballs were also produced however and the large workforce erected what is believed to have been the first monument in Admiral Lord Nelson’s memory after the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. This monument stands beside the primary school in the village.

In recent years Taynuilt has been proudly associated with the well-known folk group “Capercaillie” due to band members Karen Matheson and Donald Shaw originally being members of the local community.

David Paterson