Glenborrodale RSPB Nature Reserve
Glenborrodale RSPB Nature Reserve

Set in glorious Highland landscape on the south coast of the Ardnamurchan peninsula is the Glenborrodale RSPB nature reserve, surrounding an early 20th-century mansion. The nature reserve looks out over Loch Sunart and the Isle of Mull.

Glenborrodale is the RSPB's most westerly reserve. It consists mainly of oak woodland, which opens out into heath moorland.

Glenborrodale Castle
Glenborrodale Castle


This is an excellent area to see raptors such as golden eagles and merlins. Other common species include skylarks, passerines, flycatchers, and wood warblers. More rare sightings include red squirrels, pine martens, red deer and wildcats. Closer to the shore you might catch a glimpse of otters, seals, and porpoises.

The nature trail is generally good, though there are muddy and steep sections, so good footwear is necessary. Part of the route traverses boggy ground by way of a boardwalk. In shaded areas, you can see a huge variety of mosses, ferns, and liverworts.

Ferns line the forest path
Ferns line the forest path

If it is sunny you can see pearl-bordered fritillary, chequered skipper and purple hairstreak butterflies. Dragonflies are common, particularly the white-faced darter and keeled skimmer.

The nature trail offers wonderful views over Loch Sunart and across the loch to the Isle of Mull.

Glenborrodale at sunset
Glenborrodale at sunset


Glenborrodale Castle was built in 1902 by Charles Rudd, a wealthy diamond merchant and a close associate of Cecil Rhodes. Rudd owned a vast estate stretching from Acharacle to Ardnamurchan Point.

The designer was Sydney Mitchell. It is a superb 16-bedroom mansion in Scottish baronial style, built of red sandstone quarried in Dumfriesshire. After Rudd's death in 1916 the estate was purchased by Sir Kenneth Clarke, a wealthy member of a Paisley thread manufacturing family.

A later owner of the castle was Lord Trent, the son of Jesse Boot, the founder of the Boots chain of chemist shops. Lord Trent opened the estate to members of the Boots staff as a rest centre during WWII, and it was occupied briefly by the British Navy. The mansion was operated as a hotel for a time but is now a private residence once again.

A small waterfall beside the nature trail
A small waterfall beside the nature trail

Getting There

There is an RSPB parking area on the north side of the B8007 just west of Glenborrodale Castle. Entry is free, though donations are welcome. There are no visitor facilities beyond an information panel with a map of the site and a well-signposted nature trail.

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About Glenborrodale RSPB Nature Reserve
Address: B8007, Glenborrodale, Highlands and Islands, Scotland
Attraction Type: Countryside
Location: Ther is a signposted parking area on the north side of the B8007 at Glenborrodale, just west of the hotel.
Website: Glenborrodale RSPB Nature Reserve
Location map
OS: NM600608
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


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Nearest Holiday Cottages to Glenborrodale RSPB Nature Reserve:

Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Glenborrodale RSPB Nature Reserve. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.

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