Ss Benstarra

Loch Etive 1877
in the 1800s

“New Highland Route.—To the energy and public spirit of Mr D. Campbell, postmaster, Oban, the tourist and pleasure hunter must feel deeply indebted for rendering of easy access the picturesque mountain scenery on both sides of Loch Etive. The steamer **Benstarra**, formerly the Morvane, the property of Mr Campbell, left Oban on Saturday on her trial trip for the head of Loch Etive with a considerable complement of passengers. The Benstarra is chartered to carry a hundred passengers, and her cabin and deck accommodation are in every respect fitted to administer to the comforts of passengers. Conspicuous among the places of historical interest by the way are the venerable ruins of Dunolly and Dunstaffnage Castles, Berigorium—said to have been the ancient capital of Scotland—the Falls of Connel—better known in Ossianic lore as the Falls of Lora—and the ivy-mantled Priory of Ardchattan. Nowhere can a better view be obtained of the snow-capped Bencruachan than from the deck of the Benstarra as she steams along the lower part of Loch Etive. At the little village of Bonawe the tourist, if so disposed, can break the journey, spend the remainder of the day in the gentle sport of angling on the River Awe, and join the steamer next day for the upper end of the loch. The scenery of this part of the loch, which has been so graphically described by Christopher North and others of more recent date, is romantic in the extreme. From the village of Bonawe to the head of the loch is a distance of twelve miles, the whole length from the opening, at Dunstaffnage Castle, being twenty-four miles. Passengers intending to pursue their journey through are landed at the head of the loch, and thence conveyed by coach to King’s House, at the head of Glencoe, where they may have the option either to join the coach going through Glencoe in connection with the Messrs Hutcheson’s steamer at Ballachulish, or of taking that in connection with the railway for Tyndrum. The Benstarra commenced her regular trip yesterday.”—Glasgow Herald, July 10, 1877.

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