The village of Furnace is located on Scotland’s rugged west coast, in Argyll and Bute. The nearest town is Inveraray, eight miles away. Furnace lies amid thick woods and hills, on the western shore of Loch Fyne, the country’s longest sea loch. Furnace has a rich history of farming and fishing, and a thriving industry, with an iron furnace, powder mills and a quarry. A visit to the old furnace and the gunpowder works is a must on self-catering holidays in Furnace. There are many beautiful walks in and around the village, including a path which follows historic drovers’ roads between Furnace and Auchindrain. As you make your way along the loch shore, look out for dolphins, seals, basking sharks and otters. In Auchindrain, there is an excellent museum with exhibits on how people have survived through the ages in this remote region.

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  1. Taynuilt

Wander into the village centre from your holiday cottage in Furnace and you will discover a tight-knit community with a population of less than 200. There are a handful of businesses near the loch shore, including a post office and a small shop. The village is a popular base among anglers, thanks to the unrivalled fishing on the loch. The A83 runs past holiday cottages in Furnace, north and south along the shores of Loch Fyne. It is a wonderful drive with plenty of spots to stop and enjoy the view.

Heading south, there is a café at Quarry View serving homemade cakes and coffee, while to the north of Furnace, Inveraray has a renowned whiskey shop and a supermarket. Samphire is a superb restaurant serving fresh, locally caught seafood, meat and game. Inveraray Jail is well worth a visit, with restored cells and plenty of grisly exhibits. Nearby, Inveraray Castle is a spectacular example of Gothic Revival architecture.