Tips from the Locals: Argyll

With glens and lochs a-plenty and a rugged, island-strewn coastline, Argyll is a wonderful place to soak up some spectacular scenery, get close up with wildlife, enjoy tranquil surroundings and get active in the great outdoors.  It is also home to many Highland Games, including the Cowal Highland Gathering – the largest Highland Games in the world.  Highland Games are a fantastic way to inject some traditional Scottish-ness into your holiday, with events such as caber-tossing and tug-of-war as well as piping and dancing.

We asked our Argyll holiday home owners about nearby walks, lesser-known attractions and magical local sights, and here are some of their recommendations.

Ostel Bay is a real hidden gem – not easily stumbled across and home to one of the best beaches in Cowal.  It involves some effort to reach it but you are rewarded with wonderful views across to Arran.  ~ Shelagh Richards, Pucks Lodge

Ardnadam Heritage Walk is a lovely woodland walk which takes you to the site of an early Christian chapel and settlement enclosure.   There are information boards to tell you about those who lived here.  Further on you can enjoy views of Dunoon and the Holy Loch.  A delightful walk.  ~ Liz Fairclough, Pucks Glen Lodge

If you’re in the Oban area, Sutherland’s Grove is a lovely place to walk with huge Douglas Fir trees and a number of different trails.  After your walk you could head to the Castle Stalker View Cafe to enjoy the wonderful views (and some lunch or cake!). ~ Jenifer Moffat, Airdeny Chalets

Experience the breathtaking Argyll scenery from a sea kayak or open Canadian canoe with a Wild by Nature eco adventure.  Specialist guides can take you completely off the beaten track and tailor trips to individuals, exploring Loch Long, Loch Lomond, Loch Goil or the Gareloch.  If you want to see a colony of seals up close, they can paddle to a site on Loch Goil, or you can extend your trip to an overnight camping experience on one of the islands on Loch Lomond. ~ Fiona Butcher, Mansefield House

Kayaking, credit Mansfield House

Kayaking, credit Mansfield House

Clach Thoull is a special coastal walk at Port Appin with wonderful views of Loch Linnhe, the Lynn of Lorne and the Isle of Lismore.  Clach Thoull is part of the limestone seam that runs onto the Isle of Lismore and there are cliffs and caves as well as the natural rock arch.  The Pierhouse Hotel is a good place to stop for a drink when returning from your walk. ~ Susie Hutchinson, Kinlochlaich House

Tumbling down to Loch Goil, the beautiful Cormonachan Falls are definitely worth a visit.  At the top of the waterfalls lie the hidden remains of what was known as ‘Upper Cormonachan’, a settlement that was deserted in the 19th century. ~ William and Martine Cherry, Rhumhor Holiday Lodge

The ruins of Kilbride Church are just a short stroll from Cologin Farm.   This medieval church is currently the focus of academic research.  In Oban, walk up the steep streets above George Street to reach McCaig’s Tower for wonderful views of the Inner Hebridean islands and the Firth of Lorne. ~ Linda Battison, Cologin Farmhouse and Cruachan Cottage 
Do you have any tips of your own to add?  Leave a comment below.


  • Brian Luckhurst from Home Exchange 50plus
    26th March 2014 11:49 am

    Many fond memories of camping around Loch Lomond in my youth which unfortunately is a long time ago now. A wonderful part of a wonderful country!!

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