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Explore: Argyll & The Isles

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  • Over 200 ideas for great days out

    Experience Natural Wonders for yourself


    What to See & Do 2013-14

    Explore: Argyll & The IslesEarra-Ghidheal s na h-Eileanan

    Island Hopping

    Natures Paradise

    Scotlands Birthplace

  • Disclaimer VisitScotland has published this guide in good faith to reflect information submitted to it by the proprietor/managers of the premises listed who have paid for their entries to be included. Although VisitScotland has taken reasonable steps to confirm the information contained in the guide at the time of going to press, it cannot guarantee that the information published is and remains accurate. Accordingly, VisitScotland recommends that all information is checked with the proprietor/manager of the business to ensure that the facilities, cost and all other aspects of the premises are satisfactory. VisitScotland accepts no responsibility for any error or misrepresentation contained in the guide and excludes all liability for loss or damage caused by any reliance placed on the information contained in the guide. VisitScotland also cannot accept any liability for loss caused by the bankruptcy, or liquidation, or insolvency, or cessation of trade of any company, firm or individual contained in this guide. Quality Assurance awards are correct as of December 2012.

    Argyll & The IslesFilte gu Earra-Ghidheal s na h-Eileanan

    04 12

    Welcome to...


    02 03

    Duart Castle, Isle Of Mull

    For further information on accommodation and exploring Scotland, go to www.visitscotland.com

  • Contents02 Scotlands birthplace04 Argyll Forest Park06 The Cowal Peninsula08 Isle of Bute10 Oban & Lorn12 Mid Argyll & The Kintyre

    Peninsula14 Mull, Iona, Coll & Tiree16 Islay, Jura & Colonsay18 Where legends come to life 20 Places to visit22 VisitScotland Information Centres23 Quality Assurance24 Practical information25 How to read the listings26 Great days out Places to Visit46 Outdoor adventures48 Great days out Leisure Activities52 Local produce 54 Great days out Food & Drink58 Shopping59 Great days out Shopping62 Whats on65 Great days out Events & Festivals66 Great days out Local Services67 Great days out Family Fun68 Travel tips70 Great days out Tours74 Great days out Transport76 Argyll & The Isles area map

    Fall in love with inspiring scenery, fascinating history and tranquil island surprises in Argyll & The Isles. This region is Scotlands birthplace, where ancient kings were crowned in castles and forts which can still be visited today. Be amazed by this natures paradise with a variety of wildlife from beavers to minke whales and sea eagles, and sample the regions renowned fresh seafood which can be complemented by whisky from one of the 14 world-class distilleries.

    Discover energising outdoor pursuits and admire the gardens which flourish due to the regions mild climate. Hop around the 25 inhabited islands which are accessible by ferry all year round.


    CreditsPhotography: Paul Tomkins/Alan Jamieson/Robert Pogson/Chris Robson all with Scottish Viewpoint, HoATA, Chris Watt, Iain Erskine, Mike Story, Peter Sandground: Scottish Canals, Tiree Wave Classic: John Carter and DisneyPixar.

    Design: APS Group Scotland | www.theapsgroup.com, Shaw Marketing and Design | www.shaw-online.com and THK Design | www.thkdesign.com

    This brochure is printed on recycled contentpaper. VisitScotland is committed to ensuringthat our environment, upon which our tourismis so dependent, is safeguarded for future generations to enjoy. 13


    Cover Iona Abbey, Iona.01 The Paps of Jura from Ronachan Bay,

    Kintrye.02 Walking path towards Ben Arthur with

    Loch Long in the background. 03 Inveraray Castle, Inveraray. 04 A beach by Loch Tuath, Isle of Mull.

    To find out more about Argyll & The Isles go to www.visitargyllandtheisles.com 01


  • 01

    Argyll & The Isles is a beautiful blend of coastal vistas and island havens, with a landscape marked by history. Be welcomed in friendly towns and villages where youll be treated to delectable local produce.

    Oban & LornWith sweeping mountains and gardens such as Arduaine, An Cala and Ardchattan Priory, Lorn is the

    perfect backdrop to the bustling coastal town of Oban, Gateway to the Isles. As the seafood capital of Scotland, youll find fishing boats bobbing in the harbour alongside ferries and pleasure boats taking passengers to the isles. Head north to find a haven of butterflies at Glasdrum Wood National Nature Reserve (NNR), where you can spot the rare chequered skipper.

    Bute & The Cowal PeninsulaHop aboard the ferry and introduce yourself to the Cowal Peninsula, peppered with picturesque villages and gardens, laced with forest walks,

    Scotlands birthplace


    Seals on the Isle of Jura

    Ancient discoveries

    Abundant wildlife

    Deserted beaches

    Argyll & The Isles

    02 For further information on accommodation and exploring Scotland, go to www.visitscotland.com

  • hidden beaches and immersed in history. The town of Rothesay on the Isle of Bute has a Victorian frontage cradling a picturesque bay and boasts a wonderful 13th century castle, while Mount Stuart is a splendid Gothic mansion.

    Mull, Iona, Coll & TireeThe serene beauty of Iona, birthplace of Christianity in Scotland, will take your breath away while Mulls colourful capital, Tobermory, offers local arts

    and crafts. The golden beaches and remote wildernesses of Coll and Tiree will delight both wildlife lovers and watersports enthusiasts.

    Mid Argyll & The Kintyre PeninsulaTake a short cut through the Kintyre Peninsula via the idyllic Crinan Canal, a great way to explore the founding lands of Scotland. Find ancient treasures where the kings of Dalriada were first crowned, and stop off at Taynish or

    Moine Mhor NNRs, both a spectacle in all seasons.

    Islay, Jura & ColonsayBe amazed by these places of exceptional scenic beauty. Take a break from the bustle of life on Colonsay, explore the expansive beaches whilst looking out for wildlife on Islay, and marvel at the natural wonder of the Corryvreckan Whirlpool before sampling renowned single malt whisky at the Jura Distillery.


    Did youknow?

    There are 25 inhabited islands in Argyll &

    The Isles.

    01 Dunadd Fort, Kilmartin Glen.02 The Poltalloch Monuments, Kilmartin Glen.03 Castle Stalker, Appin.04 Skipness Castle, Skipness.


    To find out more about Argyll & The Isles go to www.visitargyllandtheisles.com 03

    Scotlands birthplace

  • Argyll Forest Park is a haven of tranquillity. Part of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, the Forest Park is a land of mountains, lochs and glens, stretching from the western edge of the park to the Arrochar Alps.

    Walk along the shores of Loch Long, where you might spot an otter. There are four Munros in Ardgartan and Arrochar as well as the famous Ben Arthur, also known as the Cobbler.

    From the Rest and Be Thankful viewpoint, make your descent through Hells Glen where the road twists down to Lochgoilhead at the head of Loch Goil.

    Pucks Glen is spectacular after rainfall when the waterfalls fill the gorge. Nearby, Kilmun Arboretum benefits from the areas mild west

    coast climate. Stroll through stands of majestic conifers with more than 260 species from around the world.

    Benmore Botanic Garden is a must for anyone visiting this area, with the restored Victorian Fernery, rhododendrons and the spectacular avenue of giant redwoods at the entrance.

    Home of Sir Harry Lauder, Glenbranters bluebells provide beautiful colour to the forest in spring. If you explore quietly you may be able to spot red deer.

    Just outside Argyll Forest Park, Corlarach Forest boasts gorgeous views and a variety of walking, cycling and horse riding. Keep your eyes peeled for kestrels and tawny owls.

    Argyll Forest ParkPirc Choille Earra- Ghidheal


    Rich flora

    Botanic Garden

    Spectacular vistas

    Did youknow?

    Established in 1935, Argyll Forest Park is the first forest park designated for public

    enjoyment in the UK.

    Argyll & The Isles

    04 For further information on accommodation and exploring Scotland, go to www.visitscotland.com

  • Tips for the journeyFrom Glasgow follow the M8 to Gourock and jump onboard the ferry, or follow the A82 along the Loch Lomond shore, entering the park at Arrochar.

    Trails to exploreQ Glen Donich Forest WalkQ Loch Eck LoopQ Glenbranter Ritual Grove TrailQ Corlarach LoopQ Kilmun Eucalyptus Walk


    01 Carpet of bluebells near Loch Eck.02 Benmore Botanic Garden, Cowal

    Peninsula.03 Walking path towards Ben Arthur,

    also known as the Cobbler.04 Pucks Glen walk, Cowal Peninsula.


    Ardentinny was a place where people used to light warning beacons to aid mariners, giving the area its name the height of fire in Gaelic. The Riverside Trail is wheelchair accessible, and you can look out for local wildlife from the hide.


    To find out more about Argyll & The Isles go to www.visitargyllandtheisles.com 05

    Argyll Forest Park

  • The Cowal PeninsulaCeann-tre Chmhghaill

    Dunoon is well known for its Victorian pier. Explore Castle Hills surrounding gardens and the nearby Castle House Museum, which details the history of Cowal.

    Golfers can play a round at Cowal Golf Club, designed by James Braid and the only 18-hole course on the peninsula.

    Encounter the rugged hills and mighty mountains of Argyll Forest

    Park, home to Benmore Botani

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