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Echoes of Appin

A soundwalk through time.
Narrated by Kelly Macdonald

Download the audio, grab your headphones and use the map to create your very own immersive tour. 

Let Kelly Macdonald transport you to a hidden world!

Drop beneath the surface of lochs...

Gaze into the geological past...

Meet the ghosts of strath and glen...

An immersive audio experience in soundscape and story

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Purchase to download the audio and use the map to create your own cultural tour of this Highland gem.

Plan your itinerary to make use of the existing trails, cycle path, and parking places. Remember to park only in designated spaces and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code ( 

For the best listening experience, bring your headphones.


Take the ‘Clach Thoull Walk’ from Port Appin. When you come to the little look-out with panorama boards, listen to Track 1: A Far Cry and Track 2: Drunken Sailors, then continue on your walk. When you get to Clach Thoull (the sea arch) look for a little path on the right leading down towards the water’s edge. Listen to Track 3: The Understory of the Sea. Then walk back up to the arch (getting a good look at it from nearer to sea level) and play Track 4: Deep Time, Deep Water.

FOR CASTLE STALKER Find the Info Board for Castle Stalker behind the Old Inn on the Sustrans Cycle Path. Listen to Track 5: Sentinel of Appin while looking out at the castle, then turn around to see the back of the Old Inn behind you for Track 6: The Old Inn.

AT JUBILEE BRIDGE Walk from the little car park on the Port Appin Road towards Jubilee Bridge. Listen to Track 7: Sweet Water, Salt Water as you walk or sit on the bench next to the bridge and listen before crossing. Mid-way, stop and look towards Stalker for Track 8: Turning Tides. Track 9: Donald: Another Story can be heard here or as you continue crossing.

LOCH CRERAN Take the old road along the south side of inner Loch Creran and stop in the first layby. Listen to Track 10: The Long View and Track 11: Drift Dive here.

GLASDRUM At the Nature Reserve, follow the path up through the woodland, and look out for the sign-post with a joke about ‘a Glasdrum tan’. The bench up there would be a nice spot for listening to Track 12: Old Grandmother Oak (but you could listen anywhere here really).

GLEN CRERAN Follow the single track road past St Mary’s until you come to the car park at the far end of the road. Walk along the road past Elleric until you come to the bridge over the river Creran. From there you can look across the glen to Glenure House and listen to Track 13: Say Nothing.

GAELIC GLOSSARY Drop into the Gaelic Glossary whenever you want to hear key words and placenames in their Gaelic form.

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Deborah Templeton


Deborah Templeton is an Irish writer, whose publications include performance texts, audio experiences, and installations.  She often works in collaboration with composers and other artists. She has created work to be experienced in a range of locations - from inside a giant inflatable to the back streets of an English city; from a Panamanian jungle village to a Mexican forest. She enjoys responding to wild landscapes and rich histories, and was very much in her element in Appin.

Jamie Smith

Composer and sound designer

Jamie Smith is a composer and producer living and working in St. Mary's Space, a creative arts retreat in Glen Creran, Appin.


Often working in the intersection between sound art and music, Jamie is known for his ability to bring a sound world vividly to life, often integrating music, spoken word, location recording and sound design to create visceral three dimensional sound worlds.

St.Mary's Space

Kelly Macdonald


Multi-award winning actress Kelly Macdonald has one of the most exciting TV and film careers in the UK. She is best known on the big screen for her roles in Trainspotting (and T2), Gosford Park, No Country for Old Men and Anna Karenina. Kelly has also starred in hugely popular television series including Black Mirror, Boardwalk Empire and most recently Line of Duty – for which she has been nominated for a Scottish BAFTA.

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Bird hide Appin


Narrated by Kelly Macdonald
Written by Deborah Templeton
Music and sound design by Jamie Smith
Additional underwater recordings generously contributed by the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust
Recorded and mixed by Jamie Smith at St. Mary's Space, Appin
Produced by Penny Cousins
Map by Fiona Hunter
Photography by Charlotte Smith and Trevor Davies
Cover image by Charlotte Smith
Gaelic glossary by Duncan MacNeil, Ionad Gàidhlig Furan/Furan Gaelic Centre


Alasdair Allward, John Britton, Donald Carmichael, Penny Cousins, Jane Dodd, Charles Steuart Fothringham, Henry Steuart Fothringham, Duncan MacNeil, Iain McNicol, Rhona NicDhùghaill, the children of the Gaelic Medium Unit at Strath of Appin Primary School, Feis na h-Apainne.


"It's a far, far cry to Appin" - from Anon, 'The Red Book'.

"Green Appin" - from 'The Stuarts of Appin' by James Hogg, "The Ettrick Shepherd" in Whitelaw (1843).

"with the ebb, with the flow" - from Carmichael, Carmina Gaedelica. 

'Drunken Sailors' is based on a story recorded in Dòmhnall MacIlleDhuibh (2006). 

"When you look at the rocks" - from David Thomson (1954/1999). 

"Donal nan Ord" Traditional Poem - from 'The History of Donald the Hammerer, from an Authentic Account of the Family of Invernahyle; a MS communicated by Sir Walter Scott' in Introduction to Burt's Letters from the North of Scotland by R. Jamieson. Edinburgh: William Paterson, 1876, pp. liii-lxvi. Available at:


Appin Historical Society Archive.

Alexander Carmichael Carmina Gaedelica.

Castle Stalker website.

Terry Donovan (n.d.) Loch Creran: A Scrapbook Journey. Creran Publishing.

John Halliday (2013) The Story of Glasdrum Wood National Nature Reserve (2nd Ed.) Scottish National Heritage/Dualchas Nàdair na h-Alba

John A. Love (2015) A Natural History of Lighthouses. Dunbeath: Whittles

Dòmhnall MacIlleDhuibh (2006) Sgeul No Dhà Às An Lios. Glasgow: CAPISDA, University of Strathclyde.

R. Maclean (MacIlleathain, Ruairidh). 2021. Ecosystem Services and Gaelic: a Scoping Exercise. NatureScot Research Report No. 1230.

David J. Potts (2001) Place Names around Appin: from Oban to Glencoe. Port Appin, Argyll: Commun Gàidhlig na h-Apainn/Appin Gaelic Interest Group.

Old Appin website.

Michael Starforth (1997) Clan Stewart of Appin. Port Appin, Argyll: Appin Historical Society

David Stephenson & Jon Merritt (2010) Argyll and the Islands: A Landscape Fashioed by Geology. Scottish National Heritage. Available at:

John Stewart & Duncan Stewart (1880) The Stewarts of Appin. Edinburgh: Maclachlan and Stewart.

David Thomson (1954/1999) The People of the Sea: Celtic Tales of the Seal-Folk. Edinburgh: Canongate Classics.

Alexander Whitelaw (1843) The Book of Scottish Song. London: Blackie and Son. Available at:

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