The Ardnamurchan peninsula sticks out into the Atlantic to the west of Fort William in Highland Scotland. It is most easily accessed by turning off the A82 trunk road and boarding the Corran Ferry, which takes four minutes to cross Loch Linnhe but makes approaching Ardnamurchan seem like crossing to an island. The journey from Corran to Kilchoan, much of it along single-track roads, takes about an hour and a half.
Even the name Kilchoan can be confusing. We live in the crofting township of Ormsaigbeg which, with the crofting townships of Ormsaigmore and Kilchoan, make up the geographical village of Kilchoan. Taken as a whole, Kilchoan is the largest settlement on West Ardnamurchan, boasting a church, a primary school, a pub/hotel, a shop, a community centre which includes a medical facility and a tourist information desk, a Learning Centre, a fire station, a coastguard station and a telephone exchange. By comparison, the other villages of West Ardnamurchan are small, the smallest having a resident population of one.
Some 300 people make up the permanent population of West Ardnamurchan, but this number increases hugely in summer as our visitors arrive. A few have a holiday homes; more often, houses and caravans provide accommodation for weekly rentals. There are also hotels, camp sites, and caravan and motorhome parks.