Holy Loch, Scotland, United Kingdom
Cut into the northwestern shore of the Firth of Clyde in Scotland’s Argyll and Bute, Holy Loch gets its name from its long association with Christian churches. In Kilmun the 19th century church stands on a site where earlier ones are believed to date to the 6th or 7th Century. At Sandbank, the Robertson’s Yard built famous wooden 12- and 15-meter racing yachts from the late 19th through the mid-20th Century, including several America’s Cup challengers. In World War II, Holy Loch was used by the Royal Navy as a submarine base, and during the Cold War from the 1960s until the 1990s the United States also used it as a base for its nuclear submarines. Nearby Dunoon, and its now-ruined castle, was the seat of Clan Campbell, later the Earls of Argyll, until they moved inland to build the castle at Inveraray. In fact, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, was an occasional guest there. Popular attractions around Holy Loch include the Benmore Botanic Gardens, Inveraray Castle and Scotland’s second-largest city, Glasgow.