A visit to Argyll can be a whirlwind tour of the many attractions and interesting villages, or a more sedate stay on the Islands and Mull of Kintyre (you hum it, we’ll sing it!).
Oban is a very popular seaside town and as well as being a destination for tourists is the gateway to the Isles. If staying on the mainland, you can take day trips to Islands such as Lismore, Kerrera, Gigha and larger ones such as Mull and Islay. Families love Oban and it is entirely possible to have car free holiday due to excellent transport links and everything being on your doorstep. We highly recommend “The Pokey Hat” for an unusual selection of ice-cream flavours!
Water sports feature highly in this region with some of the best coastline in Britain for kayaking and coasteering. For those new to this sport, it can include swimming, climbing, scrambling, canyoning, jumping and diving – definitely a must for those with an adventurous spirit!
Loch Awe makes a great day out, being surrounded by forest walks and picnic areas and is a very well-known trout fishing loch. You will also find two very impressive attractions on the loch-side. The first being St Conans Kirk, which is a church befitting any fairy tale. The other, “The Hollow Mountain”, is a power station set 1km below ground where you can see how it all works, amidst sub-tropical plants, which grow due to the humidity – almost like something from a 60’s Star Trek scene!
Argyll has its own fair share of history with attractions such as Inverary Jail and the prehistoric area of Kilmartin. To date, over 800 historic monuments, cairns, standing stones, stone circles and rock art dating back over 5000 years have been recorded within this area.
The Mull of Kintyre has a more leisurely pace and golfers amongst you will be familiar with the Machrihanish Golf Course, whilst the waters surrounding the southern tip are popular with surfers, due to their excellent waves.
The 4 main Islands in this area, each have their own draw. Islay is perhaps the most famous whisky island with 8 working distilleries, with the week-long Islay Festival of Music and Malt taking place in May each year.
Jura has a wild and rugged landscape including the distinctive ‘Paps of Jura’, which can be seen from neighbouring islands as well as the mainland. There is one distillery and stalking is a popular sport on the estate.
Arran offers a little bit of everything in one place. From the impressive peak of Goat Fell in the north to the sandy beaches of the south, it’s easy to take in all the Island has to offer, with little effort. Golf, whisky, restaurants, walking, castles, crafts and culture are all on offer and the 6th century Holy Isle welcomes day trippers.
Bute is the easiest to reach from the central belt and is well known for its beautiful gardens and historic buildings. It is very popular with weekend visitors and has a huge amount to do, packed into its 15 by 4 miles area!
Island visits, particularly in peak season, require planning. Timetables are often weather dependent and we recommend keeping the Calmac timetable to hand!