Argyll and Lochaber feature on festive television

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Argyll and Lochaber are to feature on two Adventure Show specials this Christmas on BBC 2.

The double-bill of Roads Less Travelled – Scotland’s Atlantic Way are on Thursday December 27 at 7pm, and Friday December 28 at 6.30pm.

In the two programmes, adventurer Cameron McNeish travels from the Mull of Kintyre up 200 miles on roads less travelled through the Crinan Canal, Loch Awe and Loch Linnhe to Mallaig.

Along the way, he meets and interviews various personalities as he explores history, culture and geology of Scotland.

At Kilmartin Museum, Cameron plays instruments with musician Bob Pegg, instruments which may have been played by our ancestors – scallop shells, bone whistles and animal skin drums.

He chats with Patsy Dyer about standing stones and cup ring marks, and her storytelling, and meets Lesley Banks, artist in residence on the Crinan Canal, and Ross Ryan, who runs an old herring ring netter fishing vessel from 1947.

As well as a cruise through the canal, they tuck into a Crinan ‘fish and chips’ – eating the bounty of the sea – from lobster and scallops to prawns.

Cameron travels on foot, by bike, on the water by packraft and in his campervan. He said: ‘I’m on a mission to explore the history, legend and culture of Scotland in these two Adventure Show specials.

‘I will be rethinking what I know about music, discovering secret glens where our Commandos trained for the world wars, and putting my feet in the footsteps of St Columba at Keil Point.

‘The part of the programme I think I enjoyed the most was finding out more about one of Scotland’s finest Gaelic poets – Duncan Ban MacIntyre – and walking in the shadow of Ben Dorain in Argyll, the great mountain his long poem praises, in what is recognised as one of the finest achievements of Gaelic literature; a rich, rhythmic, unsentimental appreciation of wild landscape which was first published in 1768.

‘It was also so interesting to meet people and learn about the little places we so often pass by without knowing much about them, such as the ruined house at Loch Ailort.’

Cameron grew up dreaming of earning a living from the great outdoors, and at that time he was drawn to the hills and did a bit of hillwalking. In his early career he did a variety of jobs, but when the opportunity arose for him and his wife to be wardens in a Highland youth hostel, his love of climbing mountains and the great outdoors really took off.