How to spend a weekend in Argyll
Planning a visit to the exquisite and culturally-rich Scottish countryside in the near future? If so, you’ll be glad to know that the summer might just be the best time for such a trip. If you want to have an adventurous road trip – and explore the off-beat Scottish countryside with your family and friends – then it’s time to start packing ASAP.
As summer is the peak tourist season in Scotland, you should consider taking the road less travelled. Why not ditch the popular destinations in the Highlands and opt for the criminally underrated Argyll region, instead? After all, you don’t want to waste your precious vacation time getting caught in traffic and wading through the never-ending throngs of eager tourists that routinely clog the most popular routes.
In this article, we will help you ensure that your upcoming Argyll road trip is nothing short of extraordinary.
A Road Trip to Remember
If you’re travelling by car, you need no more than a long weekend to explore the gorgeous region of Argyll in western Scotland. You can rent a car in Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, and drive easily to one of the lovely seaside villages of Argyll. The drive is quite smooth, and it’s unlikely that you’d encounter too much traffic on the way.
Once you’ve rented a car, you would need to drive for a little over two hours to reach the village of Craobh Haven from Glasgow. Craobh Haven is a small sailing port and village located on the west coast of Argyll. This gorgeous village was designed and built by a group of Glasgow-based architects in 1983.
You can book one of the many holiday homes Argyll Holidays have to offer - from hot tub lodges, caravan holidays, lodge-style accommodation and hotel stays. Hot tub lodges would be relaxing after a day’s activities to pamper yourself with beautiful and stunning Scottish scenery. You may also opt for self-catering lodges with a variety of shapes and sizes as well as your budget. Or you can choose to stay in our hotel with a choice of beautiful bedrooms, spa pool, restaurants and more. For the authentic Argyll experience, you might want to kick off your holiday weekend with a few pints of ale at the village pub.
As a tourist destination, Argyll is extremely diverse and versatile. Whether you want to explore the local culture and cuisine, or partake in adventurous water sports on the sandy beach, Argyll has something for everyone. So you will never fall short of interesting things to do, while on this road trip.
Boating, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and wakeboarding are some of the water sports popular on the beaches of Argyll. If your dog is with you - he’ll love SUP too (just remember to snag a PFD for your pooch). You can also try relaxing in a hot tub at the foot of the mountains, explore new islands, and sample award-winning seafood dishes while on your much-anticipated Scottish vacation.
Things to Do in Argyll
You should definitely spend some time exploring the Kintyre Peninsula when visiting Argyll. Long and narrow, this peninsula stretches for about 48 km (or 30 miles) from north to south. It is very much off the beaten track and has an economy that’s chiefly reliant on fishing and farming. You will hardly find any traffic on the road when travelling in this area.
The historical graveyard with its tall, carved stones in the village of Kilmartin, the famed whisky distilleries of Campbelltown, the Isle of Gigha, and the magnificent Tarbert Castle are some of the most popular sights that you should definitely see, while in the Kintyre Peninsula. The peninsula also boasts a number of lovely beaches, where you can take long walks or try out paddleboarding and wakeboarding.
Finally, to reach the Mull of Kintyre, you will have to drive through single track, mountainous roads surrounded by dense forests. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of deer, sheep, goats and many other animals grazing on the sides of the road, as you pass by. At the bottom of the Mull of Kintyre is a lighthouse that can only be reached by a narrow footpath. You will have to walk to it, but the magnificent views – stretching up to Northern Ireland – are more than worth it.
Whisky and Castles
On the second day of your weekend road trip, you can visit the resort town of Oban as well as Loch Awe, one of the most beautiful freshwater lakes in Scotland. From the tiny village of Ardbrecknish on the eastern shore of Lock Awe, you can rent a boat or a hard paddleboard to better explore the lake.
If you move northward, you will eventually reach Kilchurn Castle, a popular landmark located in the northern corner of Loch Awe. The castle now lies in ruins, but you can visit it for free, take aesthetic photos, and learn more about the history of its past inhabitants from the numerous info boards that have been erected around the building.
Finally, you can visit Oban and its famous whisky distillery in the Firth of Lorn. After taking a tour of the distillery and purchasing a few souvenirs, you might want to pick up some fish and chips from one of the amazing seafood restaurants in Oban for supper and eat it by the harbour. The harbour front offers some exquisite views, so if the weather permits, you should definitely opt for a small picnic rather than an indoor meal.
Before you say goodbye to Argyll and head back to Glasgow, be sure to make one last stop at the picturesque natural retreat known as the Ardkinglas Woodland Garden. It is open all year round and is home to some unique flora, wildlife, as well as a 64m fir that is the tallest tree in the UK. You can spend about an hour exploring and resting in the lap of nature, before heading back to the hustle and grind of the big city.
This is a guest blog from paddleboards.com.