Flanked by Loch Fyne and Loch Long and carved by the beautiful Glendaruel and Loch Eck, the Cowal Peninsula is a land of rich highland diversity and home to charming hamlets and villages like Tighnabruaich, Strachur and Lochgoilhead. Dunoon, with its Victorian pier and craft shops, cafes and museums, is the peninsula’s main town and home of the world’s premier highland games, the Cowal Gathering. Fringed by beautiful shores, rich in seafood, and stunning seascapes and filled with dramatic mountain and loch scenery, home to magnificent birds of prey and red deer, Cowal is a wonderful introduction to the West Highlands of Scotland.
A short ferry crossing from Colintraive on the Cowal peninsula takes you to the
emerald gem that is Bute. Once the island retreat of Scottish kings, the captivating
Isle of Bute lies at the heart of the Firth of Clyde. For such a compact island, Bute has
some amazingly varied landscapes, from the lush, fertile rolling hills at the heart of the
island to the craggy, heather covered moorlands of the north and the delightful sandy
beaches around the coastline. Home to feral goats, buzzards and roe deer, the north of
the island is separated from the mainland by the beautiful sea channel called the Kyles
of Bute. The island’s main town, Rothesay, has a main ferry pier at one end of the bay,
which is lined with a splendid Victorian frontage. Worth a visit are the dramatic, moated Rothesay Castle and the house
and gardens of Mount Stuart, belonging to the Marquess of Bute.
Quadmania offer a great outdoor experience. Within a 2,000 acre estate you can enjoy quad biking, archery, clay shooting or a team challenge course. Adults of any age and ability and children from age 8 can spend an hour or more on one sport or try multi- activity packages, which will provide you with a truly unforgettable day.
Benmore Botanic Garden with its magnificent mountainside setting, is a joy to behold. Its 140 acres – entered via the spectacular Giant Redwood Avenue – boast a famous collection of flowering trees and shrubs, including over 300 species of rhododendron. Trails throughout the Garden lead to the beautiful Formal Garden, hillside woodlands and a dramatic 450 feet viewpoint overlooking the mountains and Holy Loch. You can also enjoy the café, shop and exhibitions in the Courtyard Gallery.
Mount Stuart is Britain’s most spectacular Victorian Gothic house, is the architectural fantasy of the 3rd Marquess of Bute. Situated on the Isle of Bute, the house and grounds are open daily, spring and summer, giving visitors the opportunity to explore at their own pace or to take a guided tour. Over 300 acres of gardens, pasture and woodland unroll towards the unspoiled coastline.
Near Dunoon, Chainsaw Craft’s Andy Maclachlan has, for 20 years, created sculptures, inspired mainly by local wildlife. Visitors can browse the carvings on display, whilst watching Andy use only a chainsaw to carve sculptures from locally grown timber. Most works are bought as garden or patio features and many are commissioned for public spaces and often appear all over the world.
Come on an interactive guided theatre walk with Argyll’s Walking Theatre Company, experiencing our environment and history through drama. Enjoying Cowal’s breathtaking and inspiring landscape, join in our adventures, inspired by Scotland’s rich culture and dramatic history. Meet Jacobite rebels, highland smugglers, warring Clan chiefs, or naughty sprites.