Tralee Bay Holidays

Tralee Bay Holiday Park has successfully challenged a long held childhood belief that the joys of a coastal summer holiday might not be found in Scotland. The wind swept Atlantic coast, the rain, and temperatures that might often hover around the low 60’s seemed a life time away from the sunny beaches, the donkey rides, amusement rides, and ice cream of some of England southern resorts. There was an excitement about crossing the border at Gretna Green that couldn’t be replicated with a drive through the all too familiar Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. However, as I moved from my 30’s into and through my 40’s, the attraction of Scotland’s coastline has become ever more difficult to ignore. The landscape, infrastructure, and weather is not as raw as I once believed it to be. I’ve come to appreciate the proximity to nature; the simple joys of a bag of chips at the seaside, and a few beers after a day hiking or driving through the mountains.

A perfect get away and one of the best kept secrets in Scotland is the Tralee Bay holiday park. Accessed off the A85 near Oban airport, the park sits on Ardmucknish Bay in the small village of Benderloch. Tralee is a picturesque caravan and lodge park with semi-private access to a golden sandy beach facing the Scottish mainland. The beach arcs round to meet the foot of the 1,010-foot-high headland of Beinn Lora. This provides a magnificent backdrop for coastal photography, with an array of rocky outcrops and coastal dunes providing ample opportunity to compose an interesting foreground.

While the beach would not challenge those of the Caribbean, the golden sands and the expansive dunes are a joy on those seemingly rare sunny afternoons. Simple joys are abound, from evening camp fires, zip lines, access to adjacent woodland trails, and a distant view ferries on the approaches to Oban. You won’t find rolling waves, but the water is of a tranquil nature and relatively clear. A knee high paddle as the water ripples around your feet is as therapeutic an endeavour as you would ever need.

Reaching the nearby village of Benderloch requires crossing the Connel Bridge. The bridge is a listed structure which dates back to 1903, when it was constructed to carry the Callander and Oban Railway. Nowadays it carries the A828 towards Fort William, but it is something of a landmark attraction in its own right. The Falls or Lora, which forms a series of rapids at low tide, is often visible just beneath the bridge span. This, combined with the Beinn Lora in the background, offers an effortlessly pleasing composition for any photographer. The bridge provides other photographic opportunities, however, with stunning views of Lismore and Mull that are afforded from the bridge itself. This can be particularly pleasing during the sunset, offering a vast and expansive view of a large swathe of the Argyll and Bute coastline.


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