Energetic walks, exciting bike rides and tours, or boat trips for hours, days, weekends and weeks. Here are just some of the places you can go to make the most of your short break or family holiday in the Heart of Argyll. There’s so much to see and do, we hope you’ll come back time and again to delve deeper…
Take a day to discover the ancient area of Kilmartin, including Carnasserie Castle, Kilmartin House Museum and the standing stones of Kilmartin Glen. Go on to discover Dunadd Fort where ancient Kings of Scotland were once crowned – does your foot fit in the stone footprint?
Visit Mhoine Mhor nature reserve to watch Hen Harriers in their natural habitat. Take a woodland walk at Achnabreac near Cairnbaan to examine the cup and ring markings or simply amble or cycle alongside the Crinan Canal – ‘Britain’s prettiest short cut’ – to arrive at the quaint village of Crinan.
Explore beautiful Knapdale and follow the beaver trail along a path and boardwalk that skirts the Dubh Loch and Loch Coille Bharr. Take a stroll around the lovely village of Tayvallich and retire to Carsaig bay for a relaxing picnic on a quiet beach.
Enjoy some retail therapy in the lovely gift shops and art galleries in Lochgilphead and Tarbert, before heading off for a coffee at a relaxing café with a sea view. Take time to wander up around the remains of Robert the Bruce’s castle in Tarbert and watch the fishing boats land their catch of langoustine, scallops and fresh crab at the quay.
Or how about doing a little island hopping and visiting a whisky distillery on Jura or Arran? You can get to the island of Jura for the day on one of the high speed passenger boats out of Tayvallich, Ardfern or Loch Sween. There’s also a regular short ferry service from Claonaig near Tarbert to Lochranza on Arran– and the distillery is just a short walk from the jetty.
There are beautiful walks to be enjoyed throughout the area from Kilmichael Forest, to those at Port Ann and Dunardry and up over the hill from the stony beach at Crinan Ferry from where you can look out over Jura and north towards Mull. In Tarbert, the Millennium Walk follows a circular route up the hill from the castle and takes in the start of the Kintyre Way, while a walk to the White Shore affords some great bird watching overlooking an island heronry.
There are old Duns and Bronze Age stones to be explored on walks at Torinturk on the scenic B8024 Kilberry Road. Further west on the Craignish peninsula at Loch Na Cille is Keills Chapel and the nearby chapel at Kilmory in Knapdale is also well worth a visit. Take a picnic and wander down to the beautiful sandy beach at Kilmory. To the east of Lochgilphead are Crarae Gardens, where excellent tree and plant collections are on display including an abundance of rhododendrons and azaleas.
Take a look at the ‘Explore for a day’ leaflet on the Downloads page for some classic destinations to visit in the Heart of Argyll.