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 #HeartofArgyllpic 2017
Added: 05 May 2017
The Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance Limited HoATA is looking for iconic images that capture all that the Heart of Argyll has to offer. We know that locals and visitors take fantastic photographs every day, and we want you to share yours with us so that everyone can enjoy your images! We have some fantastic prizes. We will choose the very best photos that will best promote the area. We have identified four categories:
Water: Think sea, beaches, harbours, canals, lochs, rivers, boats…
Nature: Think wildlife, flowers and fauna, birds, nature reserves, forests, fungi, butterflies, dragonflies…
History: Think stones, cairns, monuments, archaeological artefacts, historic sites, rock art, castles…
People having fun in the Heart of Argyll: Think people, family, kids, events, sport & adventure, festivals…

Overall category winners will be awarded the following prizes:
Water Category: A trip for 2 on the Sea Leopard
Wildlife category: A day with wildlife photographer Philip Price
History category: Your personal guide to show you around the sites of the Kilmartin Glen and a voucher for the Kilmartin Museum Café plus free entry to the museum itself.
Events & Festivals in the Heart of Argyll category:2 Tickets to Bowfest 2018.
There is also a top prize for the most outstanding photograph: £500 towards photographic equipment.

How to enter:

Initially, share your photographs with ‘Heart of Argyll’ via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag: #HeartofArgyllpic . If your social media submissions make it through the first stage, they will be acknowledged and you will be invited to submit your highest resolution photograph to us by email to . By submitting your photos to us by email you will be agreeing to the terms and conditions of the competition as set out below. The Heart of Argyll Photographic promotion committee will categorise the photos and may enter a photograph into more than one category. (Maximum 10 entries per person.)
We look forward to seeing your entries!
Attachments: Download File
Added: 10 May 2016
The Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance Limited HoATA is looking for iconic images that capture all that the Heart of Argyll has to offer. We know that locals and visitors take fantastic photographs every day, and we want you to share yours with us so that everyone can enjoy your images! We have some fantastic prizes. We will choose the very best photos that will best promote the area. We have identified four categories:
Water: Think sea, beaches, harbours, canals, lochs, rivers, boats…
Nature: Think wildlife, flowers and fauna, birds, nature reserves, forests, fungi, butterflies, dragonflies…
History: Think stones, cairns, monuments, archaeological artefacts, historic sites, rock art, castles…
People having fun in the Heart of Argyll: Think people, family, kids, events, sport & adventure, festivals…

Overall category winners will be awarded the following prizes:
Water Category: A trip for 2 on the Sea Leopard
Wildlife category: A day with wildlife photographer Philip Price
History category: Your personal guide to show you around the sites of the Kilmartin Glen and a voucher for the Kilmartin Museum Café plus free entry to the museum itself.
Events & Festivals in the Heart of Argyll category:2 Tickets to Bowfest 2018.
There is also a top prize for the most outstanding photograph: £500 towards photographic equipment.

How to enter:

Initially, share your photographs with ‘Heart of Argyll’ via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag: #HeartofArgyllpic . If your social media submissions make it through the first stage, they will be acknowledged and you will be invited to submit your highest resolution photograph to us by email to . By submitting your photos to us by email you will be agreeing to the terms and conditions of the competition as set out below. The Heart of Argyll Photographic promotion committee will categorise the photos and may enter a photograph into more than one category. (Maximum 10 entries per person.)
We look forward to seeing your entries!
Attachments: Download File
 A Busy Season for the National Nature Reserves.
Added: 31 Mar 2016
From 1st April SNH and Artmap will have a Tile Trail along the Tileworks Walk of Moine Mhor NNR. Lesley Burr and Madeleine Conn from Kilmartin Museum have been working with pupils from Glassary and Kilmartin Primary Schools and S4,5 & 6 from Lochgilphead High School to create ceramic pieces which will be laid along the walk and be in place for the whole year. The pieces were inspired by past and present life on the Moss, particularly the use of the clay from the moss which was used in brick and tile making by the estate in days gone by. This has been accepted by Visit Scotland as an event to celebrate the year of Innovation Architecture and Design.

From mid May to the beginning of October, we will have an Art Trail along the Taynish Mill path. Working with 14 ArtMap Argyll artists, their work will be installed at several points along the path right down to the shore. This has also been accepted by Visit Scotland as an event to celebrate the year of Innovation Architecture and Design. The artists include – Louise Oppenheimer, Lesley Burr, Jane Smith, Frazer McIver, Jane Walker, Melanie Chimelewska, and Margaret Kerr.

From 1st April for a year, Taynish NNR has appointed Jane Smith as Artist in Residence for the reserve. She will host 5 free events at Taynish during the course of her residency, all of which will be open to the public, ranging from looking at the sea life, insects, colours, map making etc etc.

The Snapberry project continues this year, its 8th year, with the pupils from LHS visiting Taynish with Lorne Gill, the SNH photographer, on 23rd May and their images will be on display as part of Artmap Open Studio weekend at Taynish Mill at the end of August.
Attachments: Download File
Kilmartin Glen Guided Walks Every WednesdayKilmartin Glen Guided Walks Every Wednesday
Added: 26 Mar 2016
The very popular Kilmartin Glen Guided Walks are back. Starting on Wednesday 30th March 2016, experienced guides will be available to show you the wonders of our famous Glen.

The Walks take place every Wednesday at 1:30pm until the end of September.

The Walks are free, sikply sign up at the Museum Shop on the day. The walks last two and a half hours, only guide dogs are allowed, and boots and waterproofs are recommended.

There are only 20 spaces on each walk. Under 16s must be accompanied.

For details: 01546 510 278 or
Attachments: Download File
BBC Countryfile features KnapdaleBBC Countryfile features Knapdale
Added: 24 Mar 2016
Heart of Argyll and Wild Argyll took Charlotte Smith to discover the Knapdale beavers.

BBC1 at 7pm on Easter Sunday
A ‘wildlife centre’ in Knapdale?A ‘wildlife centre’ in Knapdale?
Added: 01 Dec 2015
Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance is undertaking a feasibility consultation to investigate if Barrandaimh in Knapdale could be an off-grid centre for environmental interpretation and events including a Mid Argyll ranger service.

Anyone interested is invited to come to a Drop In Consultation at Barrandaimh on Wednesday 16th December anytime between 1 and 3 o’clock.

Please also give us your views via this quick survey at before 15th January.

Background information and details are available in the document below. Will Self, who is running the consultation, is happy to answer any questions.
Attachments: Download File
Perfecting Picnic PlacesPerfecting Picnic Places
Added: 06 Jun 2015
Perfecting Picnic Places

Local charity, act and Food from Argyll are incentivising local people to enjoy a picnic outdoors this Summer - by offering them a chance to win £100 to spend on enhancing their favourite picnic spot plus a hamper filled with local produce.

A large part of the work that act does, is to encourage local people to enjoy the outdoors and the charity strives to come up with interesting ways to motivate the public to take ownership of the coast and countryside of Argyll and the Isles.

‘The money is to be spent on making a positive difference to a place people love in Argyll ” explains Julie Young, Development Officer for act. “Whether it’s to arrange a litter-pick, repair a bench or provide a bird table – we don’t mind as long as it enhances the area. We will be awarding twenty prizes of up to £100 to the people who give us the best suggestions and we’re really looking forward to hearing what people come up with.”

Food from Argyll are providing the ultimate prize – a picnic hamper filled with local produce from businesses in Argyll and the Isles. They’ll also be providing plenty of picnic tips via online channels including the best spots to visit and the best local food treats to enjoy along the way.

Katie Ritchie, from Food from Argyll commented “We were really keen to get involved in this project – not only is it such a positive cause but it also supports our main aim which is to encourage local people to enjoy local produce.”

The Perfect Picnic will run throughout the months of June July and August and more information can be found at
Attachments: Download File
Selling Scotland AbroadSelling Scotland Abroad
Added: 28 Feb 2015
Dutch Holiday Fair (Vakantiebeurs), Utrecht 14-18 January 2015

After an absence of many years, Scotland, under the banner of Argyll & the Isles, returned to the Dutch Holiday Fair. The stand was manned by motivated Dutch speaking volunteers - Hans Kok of the Viking Festival and the new chairman of HoATA, Jonathan Sheldrick, with support from a kilted Alec Howie of Scottish Canals. Despite the increasing use of internet, the Dutch still flock to the Fair in droves (117,000 visitors, 1,251 exhibitors) to collect bagful’s of brochures and other goodies. Our stand was dwarfed by our neighbouring competitors, the English, Irish and Norwegian stands, but more than equalled them in visitor numbers, which meant we had queues forming at the busiest times for information from our Dutch speaking staff. This was partly due to our publicity cannon, Dutch bagpipe player, Steve, who attired in full Scots Guard uniform, roamed the exhibition halls, piping up at discrete intervals, attracting many to our stand and it has to be said, driving some in the opposite direction!
Many visitors were caravanners, motor home owners or campers, and visitors looking for B&B or hotel accommodation tips for a touring holiday. Unfortunately the Visit Scotland official tourism routes do not include much of Argyll. We were able to convince many enquirers that the less well known regions in Argyll & the Isles were also worth a visit. Next year as well as an adequate supply of C&C maps, we plan to distribute alternative touristic routes and guides containing recommended accommodation and would welcome enquiries from more interested quality accommodation providers in these areas.
For the first 2 days of the 6 day fair, Visit Scotland’s Northern Europe manager, Maggie Anderson (Dutch despite the name) and Calmac’s Business Development & Partners Manager, Paul Freeman, attended our stand. They were suitably impressed. The news of the further application of RET to an increasing number of Calmac routes, resulting in substantial fare reductions, coupled with the concurrent showing of a popular Dutch TV travel programme filmed in the Outer Hebrides, was well timed. A further boost by Dutch TV on the 2015 Scotland’s Year of Food & Drink will be provided in April when a Dutch culinary programme filmed recently on the West Coast of Scotland will be broadcast.
An important part of the Fair is the opportunity to persuade Dutch Holiday Guides and Tour Operators to include Scotland and Argyll in their itineries, and to encourage those who already do so. It is just as important for the latter as for the Dutch public to see that Scotland is well represented at the Fair. So for example, the Dutch Offshore Yacht Charter Tour Operator representatives who already have the West Coast and Crinan Canal in their brochure, were very encouraged to meet Alec Howie of Scottish Canals, who came over to help us for at the weekend.

The reaction of the Dutch holiday trade and public was enough to convince all who took part in the Scottish stand that a physical presence at such shows is important. By use of a questionnaire we have built up a substantial database of serious Dutch visitors who we will follow up to determine the effect of our efforts. This combined with the use of a website purely for promoting participants at the Dutch Holiday Fair and Dutch holiday providers promoting Scotland and Argyll, , we can have an all year round presence. Using the figures for average spend employed by Visit Scotland, we estimate that the total contribution of our efforts to the Scottish economy could be as much as £250,000. Of that a substantial proportion will go to accommodation providers in Argyll & the Isles. We were also able to demonstrate that with motivated volunteer native speakers, much can be achieved with little. Next year, if the baton has not been taken up by Visit Scotland, we plan to return with even more support, and a Scotland –Argyll & the Isles stand befitting our potential as a tourist destination.
Dalriada Armada.Dalriada Armada.
Added: 12 Feb 2015
Go West with Confidence

CLYDE-BASED boat owners looking to extend their sailing horizons and explore more adventurous seas, are being invited to take part in a new ‘confidence builder’ flotilla event at the start of May.

Designed with lesser-experienced skippers and crew in mind, who have perhaps so far limited their range to day-sailing, the ‘Dalriada Armada’ three-day event will provide cruise-in-company, with sail coaching and mentoring before, during and after, across the sheltered waters of the Clyde to the more exposed Loch Fyne, tackle the Crinan Canal perhaps for the first time and enter the more challenging seas of the West Coast proper.

Shore-based fun is guaranteed, too, with evening meals and more at Tarbert, Crinan and Ardfern all included in the programme.

The Dalriada Armada is the result of a joint effort by Scotboats’ SmartBoating, the Crinan Canal area team at Scottish Canals, Tarbert Harbour Authority and Ardfern Yacht Centre.

Scotboats’ Barry Shafe explained: “Less-experienced sailors often set Loch Fyne as their westerly boundry, and even the most experienced owners on the Clyde can be nervous about taking an expensive yacht through the Canal for the first time. For many skippers, their confidence can lag behind their competence gained from traditional training. Confidence comes with practice and experience, so we aim to provide a structured and supported cruise out of your comfort zone, whilst also sampling some of the best of the region’s food and entertainment along the way to make the most of the early May holiday weekend.”

Day 1 – Saturday 2nd May
Morning departure from various marinas on the Clyde for evening arrival at the pretty Tarbert Harbour. Evening meal and traditional band at a local hotel in Tarbert..

Day 2 – Sunday 3rd May
Short sail from Tarbert to Ardrishaig, then transit the Crinan Canal with full assisted passage. Overnight at Crinan Basin and dine at the iconic Crinan Hotel, where spectacular food will be served in the hotel’s unique rooftop gallery.

Day 3 – Monday 4th May
Mini West Coast adventure from Crinan to an anchorage determined by wind and sea conditions, before heading up Loch Craignish to the naturally-sheltered marina at Ardfern, for a hog roast.

The cost is approximately £295 per boat (any length up to 45ft) plus £75 per adult for the meals at Tarbert, Crinan and Ardfern. The boat fee includes the Canal transit licence with assisted passage, 3 nights berthing at Tarbert, Crinan and Ardfern plus assisted passage planning before the event, daily skippers’ briefings and sail clinics throughout the weekend.

“We’ve secured the most favorable rates from the venues and our own organisations to offer a package that cannot be achieved by individual crews in terms of value or content on and off the water,” added Barry.

Joe Murphy, Waterways Manager at Scottish Canals and part of the Dalriada Project, added that ‘Dalriada’ represented the ancient kingdom in the Heart of Argyll, in which all the event destinations were located.

The ‘Dalriada Armada’ is limited to 20 boats, with bookings secured on a first come, first served basis.

Tarbert Harbour’s Donna Mallan told Yachting Life: “I visited the various marinas around the Clyde before Christmas and was taken by their enthusiasm to co-operate and encourage more sailing by their berthholders across to the West and beyond. We’ve conceived this activity so that any marina can be the starting point, and we’re inviting the marinas to ensure their berthholders are amongst the first to hear about it”.

Application forms are available online at or from Alec Howie on 01546 603210 or
Attachments: Download File
Successful and Informative Argyll Coast and Countryside Trust Walk a Great SuccessSuccessful and Informative Argyll Coast and Countryside Trust Walk a Great Success
Added: 08 Aug 2014
The first of the Argyll Coast and Countryside Trust (ACT) Summer Walks set off from Achnabreac on a bright sunny morning on Tuesday 5th August. The walk is famous for the two areas of late Neolithic rock art dating from over 4,500 years ago and consisting of a series of enigmatic cup and ring marked stone outcrops. There are many theories as to the meaning of the symbols and several theories were discussed but like many before us we failed to reach an answer! Whilst discussing the art we had time to appreciate the magnificent view down Loch Fyne towards the Isle of Arran at the high point of the walk.
The walk was taken at a very leisurely pace and as well as the grand vistas and archaeology folk were able to appreciate the smaller details. Several species of butterfly including Scotch argus, speckled wood and peacock were spotted. Darter dragonflies followed us along the wetland stretch and the first crop of mushrooms were appearing, including some impressive ceps.
There is another opportunity to take this walk on Friday August 15th at 12.30pm and bookings can be made by calling 01546 602755. The walk is one of a series being held throughout Mid Argyll up to September 10th giving locals and visitors an opportunity to explore the area’s, heritage, archaeology, environments and wildlife. They range from short, gentle walks to more strenuous all day adventures
All of the walks are free of charge and are provided with the assistance of Awards for All Scotland, Paths for All and Argyll and Bute Council. Further details can be found on the ACT website:
Attachments: Download File
Colouring Ardrishaig!Colouring Ardrishaig!
Added: 26 Jun 2014
Artmap Argyll’s Colouring Ardrishaig initiative has come to a colourful conclusion with 16 vivid banners displayed along the A83 in the village. The banners, inspired by the art workshops that have been taking place in the community over the last two years were printed and especially put on display to tie in with
the Loch Fyne Viking Festival Raid in the village on 26 June 2014.

The project has been generously supported by Ardrishaig Community Trust’s ACTion fund, HeART of Argyll / Creative Scotland, Artmap, Argyll & Bute Council and Scottish Canals.

The banners, which will be a lasting legacy from the heARTofARGYLL initiative that began in the Year of Creative Scotland 2012, were commissioned following an Artmap competition which was won by local artist Rebecca Barnett. Rebecca was born and bred in Lochgilphead, and used to work on the Crinan Canal as a seasonal lock keeper. Her father’s side of the family are all from Ardrishaig, and she also has a very close connection to Crinan, and the VIC 32, having worked as crew member on her week long summer jaunts through the Canal and surrounding west coast.

Rebecca commented “My heart is in Argyll, and always has been. After graduating with my degree from Dundee Art School, I decided to come back and put my roots down, living and working from my coastal home producing mainly Limited Edition Woodcut Prints, and freelancing as a Graphic Designer. With this knowledge of, and upbringing on the west, the banner design project
really appealed to me - I jumped at the chance to get involved.”

She explained “My vision for the banners was to mix the old with the new, to illustrate the romance and heritage of the area they’re representing. I’ve used a collage of vintage photographs, nautical imagery, and key elements which represent the rich diversity of colour and wildlife that spans from Ardrishaig to Crinan on ‘Britain’s most beautiful shortcut’”. Rebecca added “I wanted to highlight just how pretty and special this place is, with respect and sympathy to my surrounding home environment - something that locals can relate to, and will also encourage visitors to explore further.”

Lesley Burr from Artmap played a key role in setting up the Colouring Ardrishaig initiative then coordinating the art installations in the village. The project started with the Blue Dot Shop offering art workshops including the production of new tile mosaics of grey gulls which were then installed on the public toilet walls. In February 2014 further Green Dot workshops took place in Pier Square which inspired the banners project.
Attachments: Download File
The Vikings are Coming to Ardrishaig!The Vikings are Coming to Ardrishaig!
Added: 22 Jun 2014
Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance is keenly looking forward to the Loch Fyne Viking Festival based in Tarbert which starts on 25 June when the first raid will take place at Fyne Ales at the head of Loch Fyne. The Alliance is coordinating the Ardrishaig Raid on the afternoon of 26 June and also the Treasure Trail which runs over the 5 days of the festival.

The Ardrishaig Raid is planned between 3.00 and 5.30pm on the afternoon of Thursday 26 June. The Alliance is coordinating this raid and to mark the occasion, we have gifted 30 large Aztec bird kites to Ardrishaig Primary School which the children are currently decorating and will take to the front green as a colourful welcome to the Vikings.

Artmap Argyll will be busy making bunting to decorate the waterfront inviting everyone to join in on the day.

The Rumblin Tum’s serving wenches will be feeding the ravenous Vikings and onlookers while the many Coastal Rowing Clubs who have accepted the challenge to take part in the inaugural Loch Fyne Coastal Rowing challenge from Ardrishaig to Tarbert psyche themselves up for the 12 mile epic race.

The Watersports Club will be paddling out to greet the Vikings, and Bruce the Beaver will warmly welcome the Vikings ashore. But rumour has it the Cubs and Scouts might have a surprise in store…

There will be various activities with Artmap Argyll, the Scottish Beaver Trail and Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance plus information from the new Argyll & The Isles Coast and Countryside Trust on guided walks planned for the summer.

The Vikings are due at 4pm and the rowing race will begin at 5pm with several clubs responding to the Mid Argyll Rowing Club’s challenge. The Longboat and its flotilla of traditional boats will then set sail and join the coastal rowers in Tarbert for the prize giving.

Andrew Wilson, chairperson explained “the Alliance decided very early on to get behind this truly innovative festival on Loch Fyne. It’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone to work together – and have fun! In addition to coordinating the treasure trail and the raid in Ardrishaig, we have also provided the funding for the Festival flyer and are sponsoring the Long Boat sail which has been expertly made by Willie Leitch in Tarbert.

The 4 x 6m sail has the Heart’s logo emblazoned across it and will soon be seen out on Loch Fyne. The sail has been part funded by a very generous contribution to HoATA from the Phyllis Wedgwood Memorial Fund and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her sons Gilbert, John and wife Liz in Tarbert for this very generous donation and real support for local activity.”

The Heart of Argyll Viking Treasure Trove Trail
With great prizes to be won, the treasure trail is open to anyone to enter – adults and children - and has been designed to encourage people to explore the area much more widely as they follow the Vikings antics over the week. With two of the top prizes being a 2 night stay for 2 people with continental breakfast in one of Portavadie’s Lodges or a 2 night stay in one of Scottish Canal’s canalside cottages it’ll be hard to resist taking part!

To enter all you need to do is download the entry form with terms and conditions from the Heart’s website and answer all the clues – but to do so you’ll have to visit each place… and then if submit your form with a copy of 3 receipts showing that you spent some money in at least 3 of the premises featured you will then be entered in the prize draw. First prize will go to the person with the most answers correct and there will be a tie breaker in case there is more than 1! We have several prizes very kindly donated by participating businesses including gift shop vouchers, meal vouchers, gifts and entry tickets for some of the attractions.

To find out more about the five day festival and where to join in simply visit the Viking Festival Facebook page at

To get your entry form for the treasure trail - visit
Attachments: Download File
Heart of Argyll Viking Treasure Trove Trail - Entry Form Now AvailableHeart of Argyll Viking Treasure Trove Trail - Entry Form Now Available
Added: 21 Jun 2014
23 June to 30 June 2014

For the week of the Loch Fyne Viking Festival 2014, the Heart of Argyll Viking Treasure Trove Trail is taking place. There are over 30 clues and 20 fantastic prizes to be won.

All you need to do is visit as many places as possible over the course of the week and answer as many questions as you can – you do not need to pay to enter anywhere to get the answers but to win a prize you need to provide copies of three receipts for purchases made at any of the places with a clue. These purchases must be made over the course of the week from 23 June to 30 June 2014. The trail starts at the head of Loch Fyne where the first Viking raid takes place on 25 June and then follows the A83 down to Inveraray then on to Lochgilphead with a detour west towards Crinan, Knapdale and Kilmartin, then back to Ardrishaig to head south to Tarbert and finally Portavadie where the final raid takes place on 29 June. You can follow the trail or dip in and out!

We have an incredible prize list – with lots of chances of winning! Every prize has been very generously donated by our wonderful local businesses.

1. 2 night stay for 2 in one of Portavadie’s Lodge rooms including continental breakfast
2. 2 nights stay in a Scottish Canal’s Canal Cottage
3. A £50 voucher towards a meal in the Chartroom II at Loch Melfort Hotel
4. A 3 course meal for 2 at the Tarbert Hotel
5. A complimentary meal for 2 in the Seafood Restaurant at the Anchor Hotel
6. A mini cask of Fyne Ale of your choice and a brewery tour when you pick it up
7. A side of Bradan Rost from Loch Fyne Oysters
8. An apple tree to the value of £33 from the Tree Shop
9. A Rhododendron Plant from the National Trust for Scotland at Crarae
10. A Family ticket to Inveraray Jail
11. A family ticket to Kilmartin Museum
12. A house tour of Ardkinglas for 2 on any Friday during summer 2014
13. A 1 hour Canadian Canoe hire for up to 3 people at West Loch Shores
14. Tea and a cake for 2 adults and 2 children in the Crinan Coffee Shop, Crinan Basin
15. A horn whisky cup plus tea for two in the Auchindrain Tearoom
16. A £20 gift voucher for Bluestone Gifts in Lochgilphead
17. A £15 voucher towards meal at Lochgair Hotel
18. 2 x £15 vouchers for Lite Bites in Tarbert
19. 5 x £10 gift vouchers from the Square Peg in Lochgilphead
20. An Arran Aromatics scented candle from Loch Fyne Galleries
21. An Inveraray Castle Jute Eco-Bag & Family Ticket to the Castle
22. A Galt ’Putrid Pirates’ jigsaw from WK Soudan Newsagents in Tarbert

To enter simply download the entry form here. Complete the answers to as many of the clues as you can and submit them with a copy of the 3 receipts required.

You can either email or post your entry

a) email it to and put Treasure Trail Entry in the subject box, or

b) post it to Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance, c/o The Square Peg, Colchester Square, Lochgilphead, PA31 8LH and clearly mark on the outside of the envelope ‘Treasure Trail Entry’

All entries must be received by Friday 4 July. The person with the most correct answers will win first prize and then work back from there through the prize list. In the event of more than one having the same number of correct answers then these will be drawn out a hat one by one.

There’s never been a better time to delve deeper in Heart of Argyll!

Attachments: Download File
Local Charity will ACT Local Charity will ACT
Added: 29 Apr 2014
New local charity ACT (Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust) launched on Monday (April 28th) with a strong and positive vision – to maintain, enhance and promote the coast and countryside of Argyll so it can be enjoyed by residents and visitors.
This new initiative is a partnership between Argyll and Bute Council, the Forestry Commission, NHS Highland and Scottish Natural Heritage and will be active in a variety of projects running across the area.
ACT will focus on initiatives which improve opportunities in the access, biodiversity, health and wellbeing, economic growth, heritage and environmental tourism sectors. The new charity will provide opportunities to support existing initiatives and projects and will be actively encouraging the people of Argyll and existing groups to get involved.
Following a successful funding bid of £10,000 for the launch project, ACT’s new website has gone live and takes an active and inclusive approach towards making Argyll a more attractive place to live, work and visit.
ACT Chairman, Ian Hepburn said ‘’Many groups and individuals in Argyll have a strong commitment to our environment and natural resources and wish to maximise the opportunities for developing them fully, which will have economic, health and environmental benefits for us all. We’ve known about all of the positive things happening in the community for a long time but often it’s difficult for people to get involved because they don’t know where to go or who to ask for more information. It’s the people who live in Argyll and the Isles who have the best ideas on how to enhance the area and we are hoping to attract members who will be able to represent all of the communities and projects across Argyll and the Isles.
‘’ACT will be serving the community as an information hub and a platform for local people to get involved, suggest projects that will help to improve our communities and to find out about recent or upcoming changes. We encourage people to sign up through our website for ACT membership.’
ACT has already established partnerships with Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative, the Kintyre Way and the neighbouring Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Countryside Trust and has a number of other projects under development. ACT will be working with these organisations to develop ideas and exchange information.
You are encouraged to get involved via the website at – there are a range of options to join ACT as a member, friend, facebook follower or business supporter. Members will have the opportunity to suggest projects and join the Board, as well as receiving regular updates.
Attachments: Download File
Campbeltown Museum hosts Kintyre Coast and Seabird Exhibition until end August.Campbeltown Museum hosts Kintyre Coast and Seabird Exhibition until end August.
Added: 23 Apr 2014
Visit Campbeltown Museum for this special exhibition featuring the work of children from Dalintober Primary School.

Through a series of one day workshops in school and on site, the children produced photographic images and artwork that celebrates and represents the wildlife and landscape of the Machrihanish.

Special thanks to Philip Price, Jane Smith, GRAB Trust, Machrihanish Observatory and the Marine Centre.

Campbeltown Museum Open:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am to 12.30pm - 1.30pm 5pm
Wednesday 10am to 12.30pm - 1.30pm to 5pm

Free admission

Contact or telephone 01546 510278 for more information
 Living Symbols Runs until 23rd December
Added: 29 Mar 2014
In November 2013 stone carving and clay working workshops were organised by Kilmartin Museum and over sixty sculptures, handcrafted in stone and clay by children and adults from the Glen and surrounding area, were produced. These are on display in the Museum porch and each carving is accompanied by an explanation of its significance, spanning a variety of themes such as beauty, remembrance, hope, family, wishes, achievement, death and dreams. These descriptions provide a privileged insight into the inspirations of the modern inhabitants of Kilmartin Glen.
Accompanying the sculptures is a cutting edge film produced by Aaron Watson and John Was. This film acts as a potent metaphor for human relations with the environment in the past and the present.

Funding for this exciting temporary exhibition was provided by Creative Scotland as part of a suite of tourism related activities organised by HOATA.
Attachments: Download File
Inspiration from the Heart of ArgyllInspiration from the Heart of Argyll
Added: 07 Jan 2014
As part of celebrating the Year of Natural Scotland 2013, the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance decided to take its heARTofARGYll initiative a step further by making a short film about the natural inspirations of Knapdale, Kilmartin Glen and the Crinan Canal.
Collaboration is at the heart of everything the Alliance does so the starting point was for Andrew Wilson, chairperson to source a local film maker and a professional artist willing to share their story.
Andrew said “ I live close to local artist Jane Smith who was elected to the Society of Wildlife Artists in 2013, and her husband, Mark , the well-known wildlife cameraman who recently featured in the BBC series ‘Wild Cameramen at Work’ – who is also famous for having filmed the first footage of a snow leopard hunting. A quick chat with them proved we had the perfect combination for capturing the natural essence of the heARTofARGYLL”
The film is 3 minutes long, and highlights some of the inspirational aspects of our wonderful countryside which have drawn many professional artists to visit, live, work and create here. It demonstrates, without shouting or stating the obvious, what a wonderful place this is.
Jane talks about her love of this area and the film features her work as one of the Artmap Argyll artists. A link to her blog and the HoATA website appear at the end of the film.
Mark and Jane gave of their time to achieve this terrific visual experience. We would wish to thank them very deeply ; the film is a beautiful piece of work.
Nature’s Paradise ‘Art in Nature’ Workshops produce over 600 individual artworks.Nature’s Paradise ‘Art in Nature’ Workshops produce over 600 individual artworks.
Added: 22 Oct 2013
Over the week of 12-19 October a partnership of Argyll & The Isles Tourism Co-operative, Artmap Argyll, Forestry Commission Scotland the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance rolled out a programme of Art in Nature workshops across Argyll at stunning venues such as Benmore Botanic Garden, Mount Stuart, Arduaine Gardens, Corrachie Clematis near Taynuilt and The Tree Shop next to Loch Fyne Oysters. To kick things off the first event took place at the Scottish Boating Show at Inverkip on the 12th October.
Celebrating Autumn in the Year of Natural Scotland 2013, participants worked with professional artists to make their own artworks including dot painting, glass engraving, glass mosaics, charcoal drawing, leaf rubbings, stone carvings, weaving with nature, silk painting, decorating tote bags, and all inspired by Argyll, autumn and nature.
The workshops proved very popular with family groups with many spending a few hours trying out each activity on offer. This included pre school youngsters and grandparents all taking part and many also found time to explore the nearby gardens and woodland walks, and treat themselves to lunch in the nearby cafes.
One participant at Benmore fed back ‘Fantastic activities for all ages. The children made some lovely keepsakes’ with another at Arduaine stated ‘thank you very much for a wonderfully creative time in and out of the sun and gardens!’.
These art workshops for tourists and locals are a direct legacy of the heARTofARGYLL initiative which Creative Scotland invested in during the Year of Creative Scotland 2012. Forestry Commission Scotland helped make this Autumnal Art in Nature programme happen in the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 as a key part of the innovative ‘Nature’s Paradise’ project which celebrates the wonderful forests, woodlands and gardens of Argyll & The Isles.
Sian MacQueen chair of Artmap Argyll said “Our artists love getting the chance to demonstrate and share skills with the public and being able to do this in some of the most inspiring venues Argyll has to offer proved a great success”

Carron Tobin who devised the week’s activities on behalf of Forestry Commission Scotland said ‘we are absolutely delighted with the response we got each day. There were a number of parents who simply could not resist joining in and many surprised themselves with what they created. Our natural resources in Argyll proved to be a true inspiration and kept some people occupie
Kilmartin Museum - Public ConsultationKilmartin Museum - Public Consultation
Added: 19 Sep 2013
Come along to Kilmartin Museum on Thursday 26th September at 7pm to discover the Museum’s ambitious redevelopment plans.

A presentation will be given by award winning architects Reiach and Hall on their exciting designs for the site.

There will be plenty opportunity to ask questions and give your feedback to Reiach and Hall and Museum staff.

For further information please email: or call 01546 510278
Recognition of Heart of Argyll in the ’Guardian.’Recognition of Heart of Argyll in the ’Guardian.’
Added: 07 Sep 2013
Carron Tobin is interviewed about Heart of Argyll’s co-operative structure, and the benefits of the Scottish Beaver Trial for tourism in our area.

Carron discusses HoATA’s pioneering Information Point in Fyne Tackle.
Crinan Canal Water Festival - The Results Are In!Crinan Canal Water Festival - The Results Are In!
Added: 03 Aug 2013
Following last week’s fun and frolics we are delighted to announce the racing and prize draw winners as follows;

The Dalriada Dragon Boat Challenge
Winners – Trophy and gold medals won by Lock Stock & Barrel
Runners Up – Silver medals won by Kamikaze Artmap
Semi Finalists – the Natural Wonders and Portavadie Pirates

For all race times and the final positions – please refer to the attachment below

Build a Boat and Race It with Adam Way
Winners – Enge and Sergio from the Clipperton Project
Runners Up – Adam & Dale and Jack & Cameron
Prize sponsored by The Square Peg

Festival Prize Draw
Meal for 2 at Portavadie Marina Restaurant BRIAN MASSON

£20 lunch voucher for Loch Melfort Hotel PAULINE LAYCOCK

Family Ticket for Kilmartin House Museum GERARDO OLAEZ

£20 voucher for Cockles NORMAN MACDONALD

A signed digital print of ‘Islay Ruadh’ by Jane Walker ROBERT MACTAVISH

A bottle of Polivert St Jacques Champagne from the Galley of Lorn TONY GARMAN

Guess the Weight of the Clootie Dumpling baked by Lynn of Dunchraigaig ROBERT GLEN

A big thank you to all the prize providers and to everyone who to took part. A big thank you also to Andrew Wilson for his excellent photography at the event.
Attachments: Download File
Wanted: Canal Festival Boat Building Race TeamsWanted: Canal Festival Boat Building Race Teams
Added: 23 Jul 2013
The Crinan Canal Water Festival is shaping up well for Sunday 28th July at Dunardry with something for everyone whatever your age and interest. For those with a passion for the water and a competitive spirit, The Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance are seeking four groups to join the second ever community boat building race with Adam Way. Each team will get the same materials and tools on the day and the challenge is to build your own boat and then for the team to get in the boat and race around the Lochan next to the canal to be declared the champions of 2013.

Andrew Wilson, chairperson of the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance said ‘the boat building was a great success 2 years ago and we are delighted Adam is back with us this year. All we need is four teams of up to four people to enter. And if you don’t believe they can do it make sure you join us on Sunday for all the fun and games!’

The Clipperton Project which has been on the canal in the week leading up to the festival will have a range of different activities to take part in and also many of the works that have been produced during the week on display.

Artmap artists and Kilmartin Museum will be offering making activities and there will be crafts for sale and delicious Food from Argyll. Mid Argyll Sailing Club are offering canoe and pico dinghy taster sessions and MacPool are doing the waterwalkerz on the canal.

Rory and Ochie will return to greet friends old and new and this year will be joined by Woody the Knapdale Beaver for his first ever public appearance.

This year the shuttle bus is available from the Park and Ride at McGinty’s Yard but also from Ardrishaig via Lochgilphead leaving at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm from the bus stop at the Co-op and then 10 minutes later on the Front Green in Lochgilphead. Buses will return regularly up to 5pm.

To enter a team please email or call Carron on 07715773660. For more information on the Clipperton Project and the Canal Festival please visit the events listings on
Attachments: Download File
The Clipperton Project’s Floating Lab comes to the Crinan CanalThe Clipperton Project’s Floating Lab comes to the Crinan Canal
Added: 13 Jul 2013
From 20-28 July the international Clipperton Project’s Floating Lab will be on the banks of the Crinan Canal offering exciting activities for locals and visitors each and every day. The Discover Dalriada 2013 programme has just been launched and is jam packed full of science and arts activities for all ages and abilities. These range from professional art workshops to underwater camera explorations, talks and presentations for different age groups, and the opportunity to try some unconventional orienteering or learn more about the Scottish Beaver Trial and why these wonderful animals have been reintroduced. As part of the programme, there will also be stalls at local events including the Tarbert Traditional Boat Festival, Ardrishaig Gala Day and the Tayvallich Weekend.

The finale of the programme will be at the Crinan Canal Water Festival on Sunday 28 July when the project team will have lots of activities available and also artwork and other items which have been created during the week on display.

Andrew Wilson, chair of the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance said ’We are so lucky to have the Floating Lab here with us for the full week and I hope everyone gets involved whether you are a local or a visitor. The programme has been developed specifically for the Heart of Argyll area and really does have something for everyone! ’

Tennille Baker from Western Australia who is leading the Floating Lab at Crinan added “The Clipperton Project is a multi-disciplinary initiative that uses notions of exploration, journey and discovery to inspire and empower members of the public to interact with diverse perspectives, peoples and disciplines, in order that we might all come to more positively and progressively address some of the greatest issues of our day”.

The Clipperton Project’s Floating Lab is undertaking a tour of Scotland’s Canals over the summer and is spending the latter half of July on the Crinan Canal before heading north to the Caledonian Canal. The Floating Lab visit to Crinan ties in with the overall heARTofARGYLL heritage and arts festival programme for 2013 which received a significant investment from Creative Scotland and is supported by Argyll & Bute Council. The Floating Lab has been made possible by Scottish Canals and Scottish Waterways Trust.

The full programme is downloadable on under the event listing. Please note everything is free and most activities are drop-in, but some events need to be booked, especially the art workshops and where young people want to have a seat on the buses being laid on by the Mid Argyll Youth Project.

Find the Clipperton Project - @theclippertonproject on fb and @clippertontweet on twitter
Attachments: Download File
Free Shuttle Bus to the Crinan Canal Water Festival on 28 July 2013Free Shuttle Bus to the Crinan Canal Water Festival on 28 July 2013
Added: 13 Jul 2013
In the Year of Natural Scotland, the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance in partnership with Scottish Canals will be staging the fourth ‘Crinan Canal Water Festival’ at Dunardy Lock flight on Sunday 28 July from 11.30am to 4.30pm. This year there will be a free shuttle bus from Ardrishaig and Lochgilphead running every hour. The bus is being provided by West Coast Motors and will run at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm from the bus stop at Ardrishaig Co-op then along Lochgilphead front green ten minutes later. It will return from the festival every hour on the hour through to 5pm with a short break for the driver in the middle of the day. There will also be the park and ride running from McGinty’s Yard at Achnabreck.

Andrew Wilson, Chair of Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance said “the festival is proving to be a big attraction in the local area and making it easier for local people to get there is a top priority for us. We have a lot more activities planned for this year and with it being the Year of Natural Scotland we are keen to showcase all the wonderful things people can see and do in this stunning part of Argyll.”

This year’s festival will feature the fourth Dalriada Dragon Boat challenge – details for entering are on – and we have also added craft stalls, a climbing wall and art activities with Artmap Argyll and Kilmartin Museum. A major feature will be the Clipperton Project’s Floating Lab which will have activities throughout the day but also have artwork on display that has been produced over the course of our Discover Dalriada week from 20-28 July.

Andrew Wilson added : “Whatever weather our Argyll summer brings, the Crinan Canal Water Festival will be a great day out for all the family. There are lots of activities for children and it’s an ideal opportunity to try sailing or canoeing. You can attempt to stay upright in the WaterWalkerz from MACpool, cheer on the brave warriors in the Dragon Boats or simply enjoy the craft stalls and art activities on offer! When you get peckish there’ll be plenty of tasty treats from Food from Argyll to boost your energy again.”

Alec Howie, Harbour Master for Scottish Canals, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance again on the Crinan Canal Water Festival. The canal offers so many leisure opportunities for both local people and visitors, and this annual event provides a great showcase.”

The Canal Festival is one of many events in the heARTofARGYLL Heritage and Arts festival programme for 2013 which is being progressed by Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance, Artmap Argyll and Kilmartin Museum, and was awarded a substantial investment from Creative Scotland and is supported by Argyll & Bute Council. Visitors to the Canal Festival will be able to find out about what else we have planned including the the Artmap Argyll RED DOT TRAIL open studios event later in August, the Tarbert Harbour Centenary celebrations, BOWfest in Inveraray in September and the Wild Argyll Lantern Festival in lochgilphead in November.
Attachments: Download File
Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance has been shortlisted for prestigious awardHeart of Argyll Tourism Alliance has been shortlisted for prestigious award
Added: 14 Jun 2013
Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance co-operative has been named as one of the UK’s leading co-operatives and has been shortlisted for Most Innovative Co-operative Award.

The Most Innovative Co-operative Award is one of the annual awards run by Co-operatives UK, the trade association for co-operatives and mutual business.

The annual awards recognise performance, innovation and excellence in the co-operative sector and are now in their fifth year.

The Most Innovative Co-operative Award will go to the co-operative that has challenged the status quo, broken new ground, developed new models or pioneered new approaches to improve their business within the last twelve months.

Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance will find out if they have been successful on Saturday 29 June, during dinner at Co-operative Congress, which is taking place in Cardiff this year.

The annual Co-operative Awards are open to any co-operative or mutual business in membership of Co-operatives UK.

Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, said: “With such great performance and innovation in the co-operative sector, the Co-operative Awards are the perfect way to recognise, highlight and reward best practice in the co-operative sector.

“I am delighted that Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance has made the shortlist as they are one of the best in the country.

“With previous winners of the awards ranging from fan owned football clubs to large retail business, the co-operative awards demonstrate that best practice and business success can be found in all parts of the diverse co-operative sector.”

Andrew Wilson, chairperson of the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance said
“Even to be shortlisted in the top three is a great achievement. We are up against stiff competition but we know that we have achieved a lot this year, from securing a major investment from Creative Scotland and then rolling out our innovative heARTofARGYLL partnership project in the Year of Creative Scotland 2012, to the truly unique partnership we have developed with Artmap Argyll. We are looking forward to the awards and will have our fingers crossed.

He added “As a co-operative we stand together and by so-doing we stand taller. Through we have a terrific platform to shout about our collective attractions - from our wealth of artistic talent, to our stunning nature reserves, the wonders of Kilmartin Glen, the Crinan Canal, Inveraray, Tarbert and the unique Scottish Beaver Trial.

Carron Tobin, the Heart of Argyll’s Coordinator further commented “ to be shortlisted for this prestigious award at such an early stage in our life is fantastic news. Everything we have achieved this last year has been down to the tremendous energy and commitment of our Board and the full support of our Members - and the belief that what we are doing and how we are doing it is really making a difference. We are delighted to be shortlisted from across the UK.”

Sarah Deas, chief executive of Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), said: “Congratulations must go to Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance which has come such a long way in a short space of time. They are a shining example of how effective collaboration can be, which in turn helps to deliver sustainable growth to Scotland.

“Tourism is one of the target sectors for our recently launched Collaboration Prize. £40,000 is available to encourage businesses to work collaboratively.”

Further information at
Jolomo Presents a Major RetrospectiveJolomo Presents a Major Retrospective
Added: 04 Jun 2013
From the 14th June, a major retrospective of John Morrison’s work will be on display at Clydebank Town Hall.

Heart of Argyll member, John, used to work in Clydebank for Strathclyde Regional Council.

The retrospective features 100 of Jolomo’s best works from a catalogue of almost 6,000 he has created. The focus is on the development of the artist over time.

This promises to be a rewarding outing for anyone who chooses to visit.
Portavadie Planning a New Leaisure and Spa Complex.Portavadie Planning a New Leaisure and Spa Complex.
Added: 30 May 2013
Portavadie announces plans for a new leisure complex which eclipses anything available for miles around. Indoor and outdoor pools and spa facilities. The design is beautiful, and sits well with the existing structures that are in place.

Extremely exciting. We’re impatient to see this built. Facilities of this quality are what the area needs.
New Train Journey App from Scottish Natural HeritageNew Train Journey App from Scottish Natural Heritage
Added: 17 May 2013
The View from the Train app covers 5 routes.

The routes are: Edinburgh to Aberdeen; Edinburgh to Inverness; Glasgow to Inverness; Glasgow to Aberdeen; and Glasgow to Oban. The app is free and available for both android and iOS.

aking you on your journey is Mark Stephen of BBC Radio Scotland’s Out of Doors programme and BBC Scotland’s, Fiona MacDonald. From the Clyde shipyards to the throng of wading birds in the Clyde estuary, the rich oakwood of Argyll, through to Dundee’s whaling heritage, the stories describe the links between man and Scotland’s rich natural environment.

The railways themselves are part of this tapestry; the iconic Forth Rail Bridge looks over a firth which is home to some of the biggest seabird colonies in the UK and railway lines provide corridors for wildlife in built up areas.

So in the Year of Natural Scotland, take in the View from the Train, and surprise yourself!

With the View from Train App and MP3 downloads, you can enjoy the stories, interviews and snippets of poetry in our audio guides, whether you be at home or on the move.
Kintyre Powers Up for the Season Ahead Kintyre Powers Up for the Season Ahead
Added: 29 Mar 2013
After a week of unprecedented weather Kintyre tourism businesses are powering up for an exciting season ahead. With some of Scotland’s best golf, beaches and heritage on offer and major investment in tourism in recent years, the area is powered up and set to move up a gear in the coming months.

Peter Stogdale, Director of both Explore Kintyre and Argyll & The Isles Tourism Cooperative said “it’s been a bizarre week here in Kintyre but we’ve had the opportunity to open even more people’s eyes to the wonders that Kintyre has to offer. We have had engineers staying in our local hotels who have never been to the area before – and the resounding comment we have heard is ‘we’ll be back!’ and that’s for a round of golf, to visit Southend and experience the wonderful Machrihanish surf... they’ve realised there’s a lot on offer here!’

Mike Story, Executive Director of Argyll & the Isles Tourism Cooperative commented, “Only a couple of weeks ago we had the Argyll & the Isles tourism summit on Bute in the finest possible weather and the spirit of partnership came to the fore. Last week the weather played a different game but again the spirit of partnership was at the fore with an outstanding service provided by partners such as Calmac, the Council and SSE.”

“This spirit has helped Kintyre to throw off its winter coat and open its arms to visitors in readiness for Easter. Argyll and the Isles is open for business” Peter further added: ’The community spirit that has been witnessed across Kintyre over the past week has been incredible. It’s been a true team effort and on behalf of everyone within Kintyre I’d like to thank each and every person involved for helping us through this week – local folk, volunteers, the emergency services, the Council and all the contractors who have been 100% focussed on getting life back to normal.”

Niall Macallister Hall at Torrisdale Castle near Carradale in Kintyre said “ we have ridden the storm and have come out the other side, ready for Easter! The cottages are each defrosted and the outdoor Eco hot tub is sitting, waiting for some extra use in this unseasonably cold weather”.

Kintyre looks forward to welcoming visitors over the Easter weekend and beyond. This last week has seen some hotels and B&Bs around Campbeltown full with over 250 engineers drafted in to fix the power failure that affected both Kintyre and Arran. Many of the engineers are still there so if you are planning a trip over the Easter weekend – typically one of the area’s busiest weekends in the year – do phone ahead to check availability.

For local visitor information please visit the recently launched web sites at
Great Coverage for the Tourism SummitGreat Coverage for the Tourism Summit
Added: 14 Mar 2013 writes enthusiastically about the Summit which has just been held at the fantastic Mount Stuart. They share the view that everyone had mucked in. Everyone was working together for the good of promoting Argyll as a tourist destination. It is that enthusiasm and the Argyll welcome; at all levels, demonstrated admirably by the people from the Castle itself, Calmac and West Coast Motors which will ensure visitors return once we get them here. What a fabulous and friendly reception.

Now the hard work of attracting new visitors begins. The website needs populated.. We need to redouble our effort to keep the momentum going.

Argyll & The Isles Tourism Summit 2013Argyll & The Isles Tourism Summit 2013
Added: 13 Feb 2013
TURNING OUR ASSETS INTO EXPERIENCES ‘Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success’ The third Argyll & the Isles Tourism summit takes place on Wednesday 13 March 2013 in the Marble Hall at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute with the theme of ‘turning our assets into experiences’. Following the resounding success of the Portavadie summit in 2012, a full programme for the 2013 summit has been devised offering high calibre key note speeches. The speakers and workshops will explore what we have to offer which is uniquely Argyll – our 3175 miles of coastline, our 60 castles, our 14 world renowned distilleries and our 32 clan seats – and the opportunities open to us by working closely together - with a strong focus on what we could be doing to ensure we secure local benefits when Scotland welcomes the world in 2014. There will be extensive networking opportunities and a series of calls to action for Argyll & the Isles linked to the Year of the Homecoming, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles . The new ‘Uniquely Argyll’ website will be launched on the day, and the full ‘Argyll Street’ EXPO display will be set up in ‘the Armoury’ ahead of its appearance at the SECC in April. This is the first summit to be delivered on one of our 25 inhabited islands and with the exceptionally good Calmac ferry services operating to and from the Isle of Bute there is a full conference programme between 10am and 4pm making it easy for all delegates to readily do this as a day trip – but there are also special rates from VisitBute members for anyone wishing to stay overnight. The main programme will take place in the spectacular Marble Hall at Mount Stuart with the breakout sessions in the Drawing room, Dining Room, The Armoury and the Crypt. A lunch featuring regional produce will be served in the award winning Mount Stuart Visitor Centre and everyone attending will be treated to a guided tour of one of the World’s Great Houses here in Argyll and the Isles. Mike Story, Executive Director of AITC said “Last year’s event at Portavadie made people sit up and take notice and prompted a very strong sense of collaboration. In the space of a year our ‘Stronger Together’ message has turned into reality on the ground with a number of exciting initiatives underway and much more to come in 2013. I am looking forward to welcoming old friends and new delegates to this stunning venue to discuss how to capitalise on our vast and unique regional assets and forging the partnerships which will ensure the future of world class tourism in Argyll and the Isles.” The conference programme has something for everyone with inspirational key note speakers in the morning covering the topics of heritage, islands and partnerships. Based on feedback from Portavadie last year, an extended lunch will include a networking market place with stands, displays and opportunities to meet new people, and delegates having a choice of times for a guided house tour. The afternoon features motivational ‘Turning our Assets into Experiences’ breakout sessions with delegates able to choose two of four topics – Marine Tourism, Wildlife Tourism, Cultural Tourism and Food & Drink. These sessions will be led by key figures in each sector who are involved in developing the National Strategy. This year’s conference is taking place as the closing event in Scottish Tourism week running from 5-13 March 2013. Stephen Leckie, the charismatic chair of the Scottish Tourism Alliance will address delegates after the breakout sessions and set out a clear call to action for everyone involved in tourism in Argyll & the Isles. Connie Lovel CEO at Mount Stuart and Director of AITC said ‘In addition to the long stay market, we have an enormous opportunity to attract the domestic market, and to encourage day trippers to Argyll and the Isles as well as overnight visitors. The assets we have as a region provide the visitor with a truly remarkable experience. Now is our time to work together to attract both returning visitors to Scotland and newcomers – if they only have time to visit one region in Scotland, this should be it! By working together we have a stronger chance of success and this year’s summit provides an opportunity to learn more about how we can collaborate for the benefit of the future success of the region.’ Our 2013 summit venue has to be one of the most stunning houses in Scotland and included in the delegate fee participants receive passenger travel to/from the island, coach transfer to and from the venue, breakfast, lunch using regional produce, a tour of the magnificent Mount Stuart house, (including white Marble Chapel) and participation in the full conference programme. The conference event itself is being made possible by a unique partnership of Argyll & the Isles Tourism Cooperative, Mount Stuart Trust, Calmac Ferries, West Coast Motors, Portavadie Marina, eatBute, VisitBute, Visitscotland, Argyll & Bute Council HIE and Leader and also has the full support of the Scottish Government. To book a place and view the full programme and speaker list as it is confirmed please follow this link. Places are limited so do book early.
Attachments: Download File
The Hebrides on the BBCThe Hebrides on the BBC
Added: 31 Jan 2013
It seems that the BBC’s Wild Scotland season is to have, as its highlight, a series called ’The Hebrides’. It is filmed, in part, by local wildlife cameraman John Aitchison, and will be narrated by Ewan McGregor.
Sharing our Experiences Sharing our Experiences
Added: 22 Jan 2013
Landmark tourism summit in Inveraray brings together key players to focus on benefits of collaboration Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance shares experiences of how the consortium co-operative model offers a blueprint for tourism A landmark tourism summit was held on 15 January bringing together key figures in the sector to explore ways of boosting visitors to the West Coast. The meeting, held at Inveraray, examined how collaboration enables visitor attractions to pool their resources and promote Argyll as a region to increase footfall. The event was hosted by Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) with attendees from such organisations as the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) as well as the local chamber of commerce. Promoting tourism in remote regions can be a logistical challenge as different businesses and organisations often market their attractions in competition with one another. Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance was set up as a consortium co-operative business in 2010 to encourage a collective approach. The open membership allows contributions from businesses across the remote area to network with each other, support the Alliance and showcase what visitors can expect from the region. For example Argyll is home to such attractions as Dunadd Fort, where Scotland’s ancient kings were crowned, and the Scottish Beaver Trial in Knapdale, which was featured on BBC’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch. Carron Tobin, founder member of the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance, explained to the summit how the collective approach works. She said: “The consortium business model is one that is very relevant to tourism businesses in the region. Some of us have tried to market the area individually, but we’re just one lone voice in a very crowded marketplace.

“The idea is to showcase the collective destinations of the Mid-Argyll area to boost overall visitor numbers. So an hotelier on the Crinan Canal or the manager of a historic site such as Kilmartin House Museum can reach a bigger audience through a shared collective voice and brand. “We are then in turn working with the umbrella Argyll & The Isles Tourism Cooperative which is taking a strategic approach to marketing this beautiful region and helping us to work effectively with our neighbours like Kintyre, Cowal and Oban.” Sarah Deas, chief executive of Co-operative Development Scotland, said: “HOATA shows how effective a collective approach can be. We believe this offers a way forward for the tourism sector in other parts of Scotland. Our event today has proved a valuable strategic exercise.” David Adams-McGilp, VisitScotland regional director, said: “Scotland is in a strong position as a holiday destination but there’s no room for complacency and we need to ensure we continue to work hard and work together to make Scotland a must visit destination. “2013 marks the Year of Natural Scotland, this is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase and enhance Scotland’s reputation as a place of outstanding beauty. The Highlands is ideally placed to capitalise on this and therefore going forward we must ensure collaboration is at the core of all our activity.”
A Happy New Year - Naturally!A Happy New Year - Naturally!
Added: 01 Jan 2013
2013 promises to be a very exciting year for everyone choosing to visit the Heart of Argyll during the official ’Year of Natural Scotland’.

Your natural choice .... There is so much to see and do here in the Heart of Argyll and yet you are less than 2 hours drive from Glasgow... half an hour from Oban... and en-route to and from Kintyre, Islay, Jura, Arran and Cowal.

Here are just a few reasons why this is the place to be in 2013;

Natural Landscapes
The Heart of Argyll is home to two of Scotland’s National Nature Reserves with the ancient oakwoods at Taynish dating back over 7000 years and hosting a truly amazing range of wildlife... and Moine Mhor - Crinan’s Great Moss - a truly atmospheric place which is a wonderful remnant of one of our most ancient and spectacular landscapes... and home to rare butterflies, dragonflies and birds. And at its heart lies Dunadd - one of the most important sites in Scotland’s history. Dunadd was the seat of the ancient kingdom of Dalriada which was ruled by the Scott tribe, from where Scotland gets its name.

Natural Built Heritage
Kilmartin Glen is possibly one of the richest archaeological landscapes you’ll ever visit with the highest concentration of ancient rock art in Europe and 350 prehistoric and historic sites within six miles of Kilmartin Village and the award winning Kilmartin House Museum. Many of these are easy to visit and all the more fascinating as every day farming and forestry continues around you.

Natural Larder
Much of the food you’ll savour here in the Heart of Argyll is sourced from the land and sea around us. Our seafood is second to none - and the perfect place to buy it is off one of the fishing boats as it lands its catch at Tarbert Harbour, or fresh from the counter at the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar. The Hill Lamb from nearby Ifferdale in Kintyre is tasty beyond belief and for the sweet tooth - don’t miss one of Bumble’s exquisite puddings baked especially for you just outside Lochgilphead. Search our website for good places to eat and places to buy produce to cook for yourself.

Natural Playground
Throughout this beautiful area there are endless paths and tracks for the walker and cyclist, and we have some of the most remote yet accessible waters for sailing, kayaking and fishing. The Crinan Canal - Britain’s most beautiful shortcut - provides the perfect place to stroll or cycle along the 9 mile tow path with many natural places to explore nearby.

Flora & Fauna
The Heart of Argyll is home to many important plants and animals - and many of these are quite easy to spot. Seals are often spotted on the rocks near the shore and birds of prey can often be spotted soaring above you. Otters play on the shorelines and deer roam the hills and forests. We have some of the most important collections of lichens and mosses - largely due to our wonderful clean air - and you may catch a glimpse of some of the rare and beautiful dragon flies and butterflies that flit around our lochans, raised bogs and ancient woodlands. Knapdale is home to the Scottish Beaver Trial where not only have the beavers settled into their new home, but have also given birth to several baby kits. A guided walk from Barnluasgan will reveal much about their lifestyle - and you may even spot the beavers themselves if you visit at dawn or dusk.

Art in Nature
Possibly one of the most special ’natural’ aspects of the Heart of Argyll is the number of hugely talented artists, photographers and film-makers who have each chosen to live and work here being inspired by this wonderful natural environment. We have several galleries displaying their artwork and each year towards the end of August around 40 of the Artmap Argyll artists open their studios to the public. The plethora of outstanding artwork to view and purchase is invariably inspired by our wildlife, our landscapes, seascapes and skies. Art in the landscape workshops are planned for 2013 and many other events and guided walks will be announced early in the year.

Help is at hand!
Our website will help you find the right place to stay, where to eat and what to do in this ’Year of Natural Scotland’ on a trip to the Heart of Argyll. Look out for our heARTofARGYLL events and festival programme 2013 - a legacy of the Year of Creative Scotland in 2012. The Crinan Canal Water Festival will take place at the end of July, the Artmap open studio weekend at the end of August and the spectacular Lochgilphead Lantern Festival at the beginning of November. We will also have events in June to celebrate Iona2013 and St Columba’s journey through Argyll, and are planning a series of Art in the Landscape workshops throughout the year.

Send us an email if you have any specific queries or would like some help planning your trip. And don’t forget - if you have friends and family lucky enough to live here - take up any offer they make for you to come and explore their back garden - its second to none!

A Happy New Year from the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance!
Colouring ArdrishaigColouring Ardrishaig
Added: 11 Nov 2012
......Grey Gulls to a Rainbow Flock....... In this Year of Creative Scotland 2012 four Artmap Argyll artists (Lesley Burr, Melanie Chmielewska, Sheena Devitt and Sian Macqueen) have run a series of interactive art workshops linked to the regeneration of Ardrishaig with a view to developing proposals for Public Art in Ardrishaig and the area around the Crinan Canal.

The project has its’ creative base at The Blue Dot, 89 Chalmers Street Ardrishaig, an empty traditional shop, painted blue. The artists have used it as a studio / workshop / dialogue space for the last 10 weeks. This project has been made possible with generous investment from Creative Scotland to heARTofARGYLL festival and event programme 2012 and 2013, Argyll & Bute Council and local arts initiative Artmap Argyll to generate new ideas for culture and tourism.

The artists are about to complete Phase One of the project. This has involved the artists introducing a series of grey gull themed art workshops using sculptural materials and colour that involved, participants carving plaster, painting plaster relief tiles, carving into stone, making porcelain mosaics, wax crayon rubbings from carvings as well as drawing and discussing possibilities for next steps.

The project has welcomed and involved local families, adults, S3 and S6 Lochgilphead High School pupils, P6/7’s from Ardrishaig Primary, children from the cubs, scouts, brownies and guides. More than 250 people have taken part so far and the artists have been delighted with the enthusiasm and quality of work produced.

The content of some of the artwork will now give a creative focus to the public toilets building which recently has had the doors replaced. In dialogue with Streetscape the artists are working on design solutions for the doors to help make the building more attractive for the local community and for visitors to the area. A number of mosaic gulls made with S3 pupils, are planned to be sited in Spring 2013 as part of Phase 2 of the project. The project has also helped inspire the artists to shape a next stage and come up with proposals for specific sites in the village if this is what the community would like to see happen. Ideas include a community sculptural garden, colouring or decorating the pillars.

If you have specific thoughts or ideas you would like to share or discuss please contact us afterwards as this all helps, to plan for next steps. For more information please contact Lesley: tel 079178567268 / 01546 600267 or Sian:
The Aliens Invaded .... Spectacularly!The Aliens Invaded .... Spectacularly!
Added: 11 Nov 2012
In the Year of Creative Scotland 2012, more than 130 aliens, rocket ships and strange creatures from outer space invaded the streets of Lochgilphead last weekend. Schools, communities and families from across Mid Argyll have been busy making lanterns for the annual Lochgilphead Lantern Parade which took place from 6.30pm on Saturday 3rd November.

Jane Walker, one of the Lead Artists said ‘We have been amazed by some of the ideas for lanterns this year; people get more and more creative and ambitious and this year we had some fantastic lanterns taking part in the Parade’.

This year the Parade has received an investment from Creative Scotland as part of the heARTofARGYLL events and festivals programme for 2012 and 2013. Ailsa Raeburn, Treasurer said ‘We have been really lucky this year to have the support of Creative Scotland, which together with the grant from Infinis and our Strictly fundraiser meant we could put on a great show. As usual the Round Table exceeded everyone’s expectations with their bonfire and fireworks which was a great end to the Parade.’

Jamie Grant, Senior Project Developer at Infinis commented: “Once again Infinis is delighted to support the Lochgilphead Lantern Parade. It was a great evening witnessing the creative collaborations made by the local communities across Mid Argyll. It was truly spectacular” .

Andrew Wilson of the Square Peg and Chairperson of the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance , who helped secure some of the funding for the Parade as part of the heARTofARGYLL initiative, explained what the Parade does for the town. ‘It really helps put Lochgilphead on the map. Every year we get more people travelling from further afield just to come and see the Parade and fireworks in this beautiful setting. We had over three thousand people lining the streets and the Front Green. The lanterns get more elaborate each year - there is nothing else like it.’

The Round Table put on a spectacular display of fireworks immediately after the parade centred around the ‘alien’ bonfire next to the Corran.

Images courtesy of Bill Baillie Photographer.
Alien Invasion - Lantern Workshops in LochgilpheadAlien Invasion - Lantern Workshops in Lochgilphead
Added: 28 Oct 2012
The workshops are now well underway preparing for the Alien Invasion Lantern Parade in Lochgilphead this Saturday. The workshops take place every day from now until Saturday - details of the times are on our upcoming events and on the attached flyer.
Do try and get along - they are great fun for all the family!
Attachments: Download File
Tarbert Seafood at BBC Good Food ShowTarbert Seafood at BBC Good Food Show
Added: 18 Oct 2012
Taste some of Argyll’s finest seafood this weekend in Glasgow! Hoteliers, restauranteurs and seafood producers from Tarbert, Loch Fyne will be at the BBC Good Food Show at the SECC this weekend.
STOP PRESS - Getting to the Heart of Social Media - 2 and 3 October 2012STOP PRESS - Getting to the Heart of Social Media - 2 and 3 October 2012
Added: 29 Sep 2012
More than 40 people have booked up for our training sessions with an additional session being provided on Monday for Artmap Artists. We do still have two morning only sessions on the Tuesday and Wednesday so if you are interested please follow the link and email carron on
Attachments: Download File
Artmap Argyll - Echoes of the Past continues until September 30thArtmap Argyll - Echoes of the Past continues until September 30th
Added: 12 Sep 2012
Artmap Argyll runs the final of three summer 2012 exhibitions at Auchindrain Township Museum near Furnace. The event takes place from mid-August to the end of September and will feature the following artists:

Libby Anderson - painter

Lesley Burr - Painter

Kirsty Brady - glass artist

Tara Coia - willow sculptor

Melanie Chmielewska - Sculptor

Lucinda Hopkinson - glass artist

Fraser MacIver - painter and print maker

Louise Oppenheimer - weave

Alice Strange - printmaker

Edna Whyte - painter
Free art workshops at the Blue ShopFree art workshops at the Blue Shop
Added: 11 Sep 2012
The Blue Dot project is creating Public Art for Ardrishaig using sculptural materials and colour. In partnership with HeART of Argyll, four Artmap Argyll artists: Lesley Burr, Melanie Chmielewska, Sheena Devitt and Sian MacQueen have been busily painting and transforming the use of the old shop premises to be the creative hub of this exciting new project. It’s open 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday, please come along to meet artists, share your ideas and find out how you can get hands on with public art for Ardrishaig. See how a rainbow flock of gulls have begun to inspire a series of artworks!
Attachments: Download File
Getting to the Heart of Social Media - 2 and 3 October 2012Getting to the Heart of Social Media - 2 and 3 October 2012
Added: 08 Sep 2012
On 2nd and 3rd October, the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance is giving local businesses the chance to learn from social media expert, Rene Looper, when it hosts a series of training courses at An Tairbeart in Tarbert, Loch Fyne.

Rene Looper of Tuminds, who delivered a highly informative workshop at the Argyll & the Isles Tourism Summit at Portavadie in March this year, returns to Argyll next month to share his knowledge of how best to maximise social media to grow a successful tourism business and raise awareness online.

Two training sessions will be available each day, with morning sessions for beginners and afternoon for more advanced social media users. The morning session will explain what social media marketing is, explain how it can help your own business and show you how to set up, manage and maintain an effective Facebook business page and Twitter account. The advanced session will focus on how to manage the online reputation of your business and how to improve your website ranking using social media. There will also be advice on how to manage the time spent on social media.

Training delegate rates are discounted for Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance members at £20 for a half day and £30 for a full day, with 12 places available for each session. Non members will pay £40 for a half day and £60 for a full day.

The booking form is available at the bottom here or from the download tab on our homepage.

Andrew Wilson, Chair of the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance and owner of The Square Peg in Lochgilphead, said: “The Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance is delighted to be able to offer this training to its members and others. The power of social media is growing by the day and with more people using it locally and linking together, the bigger the message we can get out there promoting this wonderful part of Argyll.’

Andrew, who manages the Heart of Argyll social media recently used Twitter to collaborate with a blogger who was compiling a ’Top 10 Free Family Days Out in Scotland’ for Relationship Scotland. HOATA suggested visiting the Knapdale Beavers in a Twitter exchange, and it made it onto the top 10 list - at number four just behind Kelvingrove Art Gallery.
Attachments: Download File
Crinan Canal Water Festival  - Dragon Boat Race Results!Crinan Canal Water Festival - Dragon Boat Race Results!
Added: 01 Sep 2012
The official results from the third Dalriada Dragon Boat Challenge previously published on Facebook are available here - a close run competition for sure!

Attachments: Download File
Ten out Ten for Art WorkshopTen out Ten for Art Workshop
Added: 01 Sep 2012
In the Year of Creative Scotland over 40 budding artists joined the Barnluasgan Art in the Landscape Workshop on Sunday 19th August and enjoyed making mosaics, weaving with nature and making aboriginal dot paintings. Louise Oppenheimer, Sian McQueen and Lesley Burr of Artmap helped everyone learn about the different art forms and everyone went away with their very own unique piece of art. Feedback gave the event a resounding 10 out of 10 and attracted people of all ages and from close and far. Andrew Wilson of the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance commented ‘this was a lovely family event where everyone got totally engrossed in making their own little piece of art. We are planning more heARTofARGYLL Art in the Landscape workshops for next year and this week’s event was very encouraging’.

The workshop was made possible with support being provided by Creative Scotland through the heARTofARGYLL partnership project.
Three little beaver kits spottedThree little beaver kits spotted
Added: 29 Jul 2012
Three little beaver kits, all from the one family, have been spotted by the rangers at the Scottish Beaver Trial in Knapdale in the Heart of Argyll. This is the time of year when young kits emerge from the family lodge so the rangers hope to see others, on the other Lochs, over the course of the summer. A promising start and the greatest number of kits born to one family to date!
Water Festival Programme & Prize Draw AnnouncedWater Festival Programme & Prize Draw Announced
Added: 27 Jul 2012
Click on the link to view the timings for this Sunday’s Crinan Canal Water Festival and see what great prizes you could win in the Festival Draw.
Attachments: Download File
2012 HeArt Festival dates confirmed2012 HeArt Festival dates confirmed
Added: 27 Jul 2012
Click on the link to view the dates for all the HeArt Festivals in 2012.
Attachments: Download File
Disney Pixar Brave-inspired debut performance at the Crinan Canal Water FestivalDisney Pixar Brave-inspired debut performance at the Crinan Canal Water Festival
Added: 23 Jul 2012
Visitors to the Crinan Canal Water Festival this Sunday, 29 July, at Dunardry Locks, near Cairnbaan, can look forward to the debut performance by the Walking Theatre Company of ’Braw An Aw’fy Big Adventure.

Find out more by reading the article on For Argyll - see link below.
 Craignish Festival and Ardfren Gigfest Run until 5th August
Added: 22 Jul 2012
The Craignish Festival is 16-day spectacular of art, drama, music, crafts and sport set on the beautiful Craignish peninsula. It starts with an Olympic-style Torch Relay started at Craignish Point on 20th July by the oldest member of the community, and ends on 5th August with a Giant Reel of the 51st in the middle of Ardfern; festival organizers are aiming for 250 dancers from near and far to set a new unofficial world record!

Datails below.

Art Map Argyll Exhibiting at Auchindrain until 29th JulyArt Map Argyll Exhibiting at Auchindrain until 29th July
Added: 12 Jul 2012
Artmap Argyll is running an exhibition called ’Walls of Stone’ in June & July at Auchindrain Township Museum near Furnace.

The following artists will be exhibiting:
Libby Anderson - painter

Tara Coia - willow sculptor
Melanie Chmielewska - sculptor
Sheena Devitt - Lettering designer and carver

Lucinda Hopkinson - Glass artist

Fraser MacIver - Painter and printmaker

Louise Oppenheimer - weaver

Christine Russell - painter
Edna Whyte - painter
Creative Scotland AwardCreative Scotland Award
Added: 29 May 2012
The Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance has secured significant investment from Creative Scotland for a partnership programme of activity with Kilmartin House Museum and Artmap Argyll to celebrate the Year of Creative Scotland. More news coming soon...
Attachments: Download File
BBC Radio visits Loch FyneBBC Radio visits Loch Fyne
Added: 28 May 2012
A fascinating radio programme highlighting the importance of sailing to the Heart of Argyll area, featuring Tarbert, Loch Fyne and Portavadie Marina. Click here to listen.
In the Footsteps of  KingsIn the Footsteps of Kings
Added: 14 May 2012
Kilmartin House Museum’s new Walking Guide to Kilmartin Glen and the surrounding area will be launched at the Museum on 19th May when author Sharon Webb will be signing copies. The book contains a section on Argyll’s archaeological and historical past followed by 25 of the best heritage and natural heritage walks in Kilmartin Glen, Craignish, Kilmichael Glen and Knapdale. The title of the book is In the Footsteps of Kings and it retails at £7.99. Stunning photography of the area by Dr Aaron Watson complements the text. Jim Gilchrist, free lance writer, visited Kilmartin a couple of weeks ago with a preview copy of the book and kindly penned the attached article which appeared in the Scotsman on Saturday 12th May.
Attachments: Download File
 Scottish Field magazine article
Added: 10 May 2012
There’s a lovely article on Argyll in the May issue of Scottish Field so be sure to pick up a copy before they sell out.
Attachments: Download File
 On the buses...
Added: 10 May 2012
More coverage from the recent Argyll marketing initiative launch of promotional artwork on the back of West Coast Motors buses and the fish lorries travelling back and forward to Spain. May the images inspire lots of visitors to come and enjoy short breaks and family holidays in the Heart of Argyll.
Attachments: Download File
 The Sun Travel Feature
Added: 10 May 2012
Argyll and the beautiful drive along the shores of Loch Fyne on the A83 featured in a recent article in The Sun mid-week travel section. Click on the file below to read more.
Attachments: Download File
 Tourism boost to Argyll
Added: 03 May 2012
Expo raises profile of tourism in Argyll and the Isles

The Visit Scotland International Trade Expo in Edinburgh saw Argyll and The Isles Tourism take a massive step forward in raising the regions international profile.

A team of 15 volunteers from every corner of Argyll and The Isles took six spectacular concept stands called “A Journey through Argyll and The Isles” to the Highland Show Grounds at Ingliston and wowed buyers and VIPs from all over the world. They distributed fantastic food and Malt whisky from the all over region as well as using fantastic imagery and in-depth local knowledge.

The banks of stands were cleverly placed at either side of the corridor so faced each other and the sales team used the space in between to capture the attentions of guests.

Mike Story of Vice Chair and Communications director of Argyll and The Isles Strategic Tourism Partnership said:

“Our New Chair Calum Ross and I are very proud of our team. The buzz from our stands was felt right through Expo. The team engaged with customers like no other stand did, and carried out in depth interviews with nearly 200 international buyers, all of which were given a real flavour of Argyll and The Isles, and a real west highland welcome. The stand attracted a lot of VIPs, we even had his grace the Duke of Argyll come and give us a hand!. Privately we were told that our stand had set a new standard, and was the most talked about in the show.”

The team will now start on following up all the interview and leads which will drive customers to businesses all over Argyll and The Isles.

Meanwhile, demand from other Argyll and The Isles based businesses has resulted in the team doubling their booking to 12 stands for the 2013 Expo in Glasgow and they are all full already!

Expo 2012 is Part of a two year managed programme of events to promote Argyll and the Isles as a regional tourism destination, this project is being part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Argyll and the Islands Leader 2007 – 2013 Programme, Argyll and Bute Council, HIE, the VisitScotland Growth Fund, and local tourism marketing associations including Oban and Lorne Tourism Association, Islay and Jura Marketing Group, Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance, Food from Argyll, Inveraray Marketing Group, and Holiday Mull and Iona.

Scotland Outdoors competition winnerScotland Outdoors competition winner
Added: 01 May 2012
The winners of the Scotland Outdoors magazine competition were in Argyll last week to enjoy their two-day bespoke kayak safari. After a good night’s sleep at West Loch Shores near Tarbert, the prize winners met up with guides Will Self and Colin McWilliams and set off on their adventures from Loch na Cille from where they enjoyed breathtaking views of the Paps of Jura and learned about the interesting wildlife to be found in this part of Argyll.
Coverage of  Expo on www.forargyll.comCoverage of Expo on
Added: 27 Apr 2012
What a great article. The event was a cracking success. Argyll and the Isles and HoATA are really on to something.

It’ll take time for the numbers to grow, but grow they will.
Website: http://
The Dalriada ExpeditionThe Dalriada Expedition
Added: 25 Apr 2012

Attachments: Download File
HoATA Bus and Lorry Coverage from Forargyll.comHoATA Bus and Lorry Coverage from
Added: 21 Apr 2012

Jura Passenger Ferry on BBC AlbaJura Passenger Ferry on BBC Alba
Added: 07 Apr 2012
The Ferry was featured on BBC Alba’s An Là last night, Nicol, Rob Tìgeir and Iain Cameron all feature as well as the Ferry, Castle Sween and more.
Rob was filmed in The Antlers. Thanks to Sharon for letting us duck out of the rain - and for the great breakfast rolls too.
It’s about 7 and a half minutes in.See Jura Passenger Ferry on facebook for more info.
 BBC Country Tracks in Argyll
Added: 21 Mar 2012
Joe Crowley from BBC’s Country Tracks programme visited the Heart of Argyll en route to the Isle of Arran in last Sunday’s programme. If you missed it, click on the link below to catch up on BBC iPlayer. Some great footage of Loch Fyne and Tarbert in particular.
Attachments: Download File
The Scotsman - Travel the Kintyre PeninsulaThe Scotsman - Travel the Kintyre Peninsula
Added: 14 Mar 2012
From Tarbert in the Heart of Argyll, explore the Kintyre Peninsula.
The Scotsman - article on Night time Beaver Safaris The Scotsman - article on Night time Beaver Safaris
Added: 08 Mar 2012

Forest Tourism in Argyll & The Isles Local Cluster WorkshopsForest Tourism in Argyll & The Isles Local Cluster Workshops
Added: 06 Mar 2012
For Everyone interested in better promoting the wealth of forests, woodlands and gardens within Argyll & The Isles which are open to and accessible to the public

We are delighted to invite you to attend a workshop in yourlocal area to explore the potential to develop forest tourism as part of a strategic initiative covering Argyll & The Isles.

local area to explore the potential to develop forest tourism as part of a strategic initiative covering Argyll & The Isles.

An initial study was undertaken for FCS which identified over 250 sites in Argyll. and concluded that there is real potential to develop a cluster &hub approach to better promote these sites. When you consider Perthshire Big Tree Country and the 7Stanes you get an excellent feel for just what could be achieved.

A forum has been established, FCS has secured funding from LEADER and ruralDimensions has been commissioned to roll out a programme of interactive workshops, one in each cluster. We began with mapping the sites and identifying 11 discrete clusters and we have a programme of workshops throughout March. These will each seek to better understand what each cluster has to offer, what makes it special, the scope for cross selling within and between each cluster and also how we can better promote this wonderful resource outwith the region.

This current phase will build up capacity in each cluster but will also generate a leaflet and web based information to attract visitors and help them find what they are looking for. Further funding has been committed by FCS for a second phase which will build on these workshops and develop a strong and sustainable Argyll
Forest Tourism product we can all benefit from We want to involve as many landowners/managers and tourism operators as possible in each cluster so please feel free to pass this to any one who may be interested in these cluster workshops . We do hope you can join us.

Please RSVP to or call 07715773660

PDF download below.
Attachments: Download File
Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance AGMHeart of Argyll Tourism Alliance AGM
Added: 29 Feb 2012
The first AGM takes place on Wednesday 7th March 2012, 6 for 6.30pm at the Cairnbaan Hotel.

The programme for the evening will include a talk from Simon Jones of the beaver trial setting out what has been achieved so far and the business opportunities that are emerging. Carron Tobin, our coordinator will also present an overview of all that has been achieved in our first year of operation and our plans for the coming year. Our financial year has not yet ended but we will set out our spend projections and budget plans for next year, and are also proposing the next AGM is in the Autumn to review the first year accounts. The evening will also include open discussion to explore what Alliance members, would like to see more (or less) of.

The formal AGM will take place at the end of the evening and will be restricted to members only.




6.00-6.30pm Networking with Refreshments

6.30pm Welcome – Joanna Ashton, HoATA, Interim Chairperson

6.35pm HoATA – the First Year – Carron Tobin, HoATA Coordinator

7.55pm Beavers Really Do mean Business – Simon Jones, the Scottish Beaver Trial

7.15pm Open Floor Discussion


1. Welcome, sederunt, introductions and apologies

2. HoATA – the First AGM – an Overview of our Articles of Association

3. Annual Report

5. Annual Accounts (Year 1 budget position and spend projections for Year 2, and proposal)

6. Directors and Directorships

7. A.O.C.B.

8. Date of next Annual General Meeting.

8.15pm CLOSE

8.15pm Networking in the Bar

PS please note an innovative forest tourism workshop is taking place in the afternoon from 2-5.30pm at the same venue to which all Alliance members are invited.
New Heart of Argyll Website launchedNew Heart of Argyll Website launched
Added: 29 Feb 2012
Today the new Heart of Argyll website is launched adding easier navigation and more up to date information.
Upcoming Events
26 Jul
Guided Glen Walk
26 Jul
Create your own 'Standing Stone' or 'Stone Circle' Landscape
27 Jul
Guided Tour of Arichonan Deserted Settlement
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5 May #HeartofArgyllpic 2017
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31 Mar A Busy Season for the National Nature Reserves.
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