As I was driving south from Port Appin to Oban the other morning, I was toying with the idea of taking an hour or so to revisit the summit of Ben Lora when I happened to pass the entrance to the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary. “Aha,” I thought, “I’ll go there instead!” I’ve often passed the entrance and promised myself a visit and this seemed an ideal opportunity.
The Centre enjoys a picturesque wooded setting above the shores of Loch Creran just a couple miles north of Benderloch. To anyone visiting for the first time, young or old, it has more than a few pleasant surprises in store.
Nature walks within the woods afford some cracking views over the loch as well as offering the chance to spot some of the local wildlife. The aquariums are amazing. You can even climb under one of them, and inside to watch the shoals of herring swim around you. You really feel like you’re in the sea beside them. There are plenty of colourful, exotic fish too; little sea horses, rays, turtles and a few creatures I wouldn’t like to meet without the glass between us!
For me, though, the stars of the show were the seals and not forgettingLewis and Isla, the two resident Canadian otters. Believe it or not, Lewis and Isla are actually married. Having been formally wed at a special ceremony in 2011! They even had their own cake made of fish mulch yuk!
Almost four years on and they’re still inseparable. I could have watched them for hours, and in fact I think I must have as it was almost 5 o’clock before I left. Where did the day go!