Witches Woods~

In Oban Scotland, The Dunollie Woodland Trail, will lead you into The Witches Woods.

The deeper you go into the forest, the older it becomes.

The trees in the forest were twisted over time into witch-like shapes by the actions of fierce coastal winds.

Some of the oaks are over 400 years old.

The Witches Woods surround Dunollie Castle,

which was once home to the most powerful clan in Western Scotland, the MacDougalls.

The remains of the castle and the old manor house can be toured.

I was first scheduled to visit Oban about 30 years ago, but The Queen was doing a walk about, so our plans were changed. I am happy to have finally visited this charming town and the gorgeous Hebrides.

We are home at The Holler now, but it is cheers and BOO to you from misty Oban’s Witches Woods~

208 thoughts on “Witches Woods~

      1. Nice! I saw one of the pictures was of a twisted tree and thought that’s what it was. But my imagination got carried away and was wondering if there might be some tales behind the name 🙂

          1. I found this: http://haunted-scotland.co.uk/dunollie-castle/
            Interesting that the article says you can’t tour the ruined castle. You can, on your own. We clamored into the bowels of it, dark, foreboding, and didn’t linger long. There is a little island close off the coast of the castle, where legend has it a woman thought to be unfaithful was tied to a witches chair by her hair when the tide came in. If she was faithful she would drown, if she wasn’t she would free herself. Her paramour attempted to save her and drowned in the process. I don’t know if her story relates to the woods but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    1. Plus, my maternal grandmother was a proud MacKay. The first time I went to Scotland many moons ago, I shared this widely with people as I traveled, and learned my lesson, when some irate old man told me to leave his family cemetery as our clans had been enemies for centuries. I was 17 and an American, proudly wearing my MacKay tartan. I just assumed it was a lark. To this day, I don’t mention it when there, laughing……

  1. Lovely photos, Cindy. I love the Witches Woods – the name is perfect for an October post and the old trees with their bent and twisted shapes are so interesting.

  2. An enchanting post Cindy. Although I am not a huge fan of the touristy aspect of Oban, it plays its role well. There’s a lot to be dredged up and delved into from ancient times 🎃

  3. Lynda Lehmann

    Interesting post and fun to read, Cindy. Having just finished watching “Reign” and others, I’ve a new fascination for European history.

  4. Great post on Oban, the mystery laden town in Scotland, Cindy! The twisted trees remind of the trees at the wind swept coastal forests at the Pacific Ocean. Best wishes! Peter

    1. Yes, me too. The most intense example I have seen of this was in Ushuaia at El Fin del Mundo in Argentina where the wind whips whole forests into twisted tortured wonders.

  5. I did enjoy my walk in the woods with you, but most of all I was delighted to see the colorful buildings along the tide-washed shore. Also, in my more active social days, I did sample another version of Oban, not knowing anything other than its price and recommendations.

    1. I loved walking in the woods with you too. Isn’t it wonderful we can go there when we choose, and with whomever we wish to walk. I suspect a chunk of my heart rests in Scotland.

    1. Danke Ernst. Du würdest Schottland lieben. Es hat einige Ähnlichkeiten mit der Schweiz, aber jeder Ort ist einzigartig auf seine Art. Ich hoffe du besuchst. Danke dir, mein Freund.

  6. I just LOG in and saw your BOO-tiful post. WITCHES strange, isn’t it?༼✿ ͡◕ д ◕͡ ༽ LOL! Happy Sunday, my friend. WOOD you join me for a cuppa? ₊·*◟(˶╹̆ꇴ╹̆˵)◜‧*・

  7. Oh I wish we’d known about this place last year! We arrived in Oban at the correct time for the ferry to Barra, only to discover it was delayed by 8 hours! (Hurricane Ophelia) That meant killing time, driving around the area and wandering the town (McCaig’s Tower is spectacular, you just need the energy to get up there!), but I didn’t spot Dunollie Castle – it would have been perfect.
    I’m typing this right now, sitting in a hotel on Skye, having just done Arran, Islay and Mull. It’s raining, but hey, this is the Hebrides. Photos to follow soon 😀

  8. What a fabulous place to visit (and very appropriate for this time of year!) I’ve never been to Scotland, but it’s definitely on my list of Must-See places!

  9. It is fascinating what the wind can do with trees. As we passed through Florida’s panhandle this last week, we saw forests turned to matchsticks by Hurricane Michael and thought we had “seen it all.” But then further along, out of the path of that storm, we saw a pine that went up did a perfect loop and continued to the sky — probably the result of some old storm.

  10. Oban and surroundings are a nice spot indeed! Strolled through the town this August for the first time after about 15 years. Back then my wife and me walked from Oban past Dunollie (which was somewhat neglected and overgrown then) up the coastline to Dunbeg/Dunstaffnage Castle.

  11. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Meet the #Reviewers – October 22nd 2018 – D.G. Kaye with Robbie Cheadle, Teri Polen with Jacquie Biggar and Cindy Knoke | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  12. Wow! Cindy, the wood looks magically and mysterious … I’m taken with the strange and wonderful shapes of the trees … bewitched indeed! Glad you got a chance to visit Oban at last! 😀 You’ve given us a real treat of your trip.

  13. Bonjour ou bonsoir mon Ami AMIE
    Je te souhaite plein de bonnes choses
    La beauté du silence
    La gloire de la lumière
    Le mystère de la pénombre
    La force de la flamme
    Le pouvoir de l’eau
    La douceur de l’air
    La force tranquille de la terre
    L’amour qui se trouve
    aux racines des choses
    Je te souhaite de passer une agréable journée
    Riche de joie et de bonheur et du soleil dans le cœur
    Reçois ce petit câlin……et ce bisou ce matin
    Et aussi ce soir
    Bonne journée et bonne soirée douce nuit

  14. V interesting, Cindy – especially the intriguing wooden gadget in the middle of the kitchen table… what can that be for? What all-plastic replacement have we devised for the 2000s I wonder? RH

  15. Lovely impressions from Oban, Cindy. I think we had the same kind of weather when we visited Inveraray and Oban, Scottish as Scottish can be. 🙂

  16. Cindy, I’m no longer able to reblog any of your posts. Not sure if that is intentional or not, but there’s no reblog button. Also when I click “like”, I’m not sure if it’s registering. Anyway, I do really love your posts, which are always beautiful!

  17. Pingback: Witches Woods – Timeless Wisdoms

  18. What stories those trees can tell, I bet! Amazing capture, and I’m glad you were finally able to visit after 30 years. Sometimes queens can ruin plans with their queenly ways! 😀 Boo to you, too, on this lovely Halloween. xo

  19. All those years I spent in Glasgow and I never got around to visiting Oban, I must venture out more when I visit my brother who is living up in Scotland permanently now he’s graduated. Great photos.

  20. Really beautiful…those trees are amazing! You have really captured the essence and spirit of such an ancient place. Great photography and interesting explanation. Enjoyed reading this and now thinking perhaps about a journey there. Thanks!

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