Enjoy a day out in Argyll with hundreds of things to see, do and explore. From pristine beaches and historic castles, to atmospheric woodland walks and adrenaline-pumping watersports, there's plenty for everyone to get involved in and enjoy.
These suggestions are not just for visitors - if you're lucky enough to call this region home, then these ideas are for you too!
Step back in time in Kilmartin Glen, where you’ll find over 350 historic sites, ranging from standing stones and ancient sculptures to cup and ring-marked stones. The glen is considered to have one of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age remains in Scotland.
Did you know?
- The Dunadd hillfort was once the crowning place of Scotland’s earliest kings.
- Dunadd is located on the edge of the Moine Mhòr – Gaelic for ‘Great Moss.’
- The cairns, forts and castles of the area span a period of more than 5,000 years.
- You can walk the most impressive monuments of the glen on this route from WalkHighlands.
Explore Kilmartin Glen.
Westport Beach is described as one of the finest beaches on the west coast of Scotland, so take a stroll along the sands or enjoy a picnic.
Did you know?
- Westport Beach is one of the very few places in Scotland where you can find the spectacular pyramid orchid. It can be seen from the end of July.
- The beach at the north end of Machrihanish Bay faces the Atlantic and continues to be a popular spot amongst surfers.
- The beach forms part of the famous Mull of Kintyre Half Marathon and was voted the most scenic race in the whole of the UK.
Visit Westport Beach.
Wander through the historic town of Oban and you'll be amazed by its beauty. Complete with a scenic harbour, views stretching out over the surrounding islands, and delicious local food produce to try, you can enjoy the best of all worlds here. If you look up you can see what resembles a Roman colosseum, McCaig's Tower, which is a prominent landmark of the town. The climb from the town centre is worth the effort for the magnificent panoramic views you can experience from the top.
Did you know:
- The name 'Oban' derives from the Gaelic language and means 'little bay'.
- You can head north along the main road where you'll come across the old ruin of Dunollie Castle, which provides incredible views over the surrounding islands and Oban's harbour. It's especially picturesque at sunset!
- Oban is walkable - everything you need or want to visit you can get to on foot; a great way to get your steps in and reduce your carbon footprint!
Loch Lomond & Cowal Way
Now one of Scotland's Great Trails, this quiet and waymarked 57-mile walking path boasts incredible scenery, views and history along each of its signposted sections. Broken up into four parts, choose which section takes your fancy, get your boots on, and head off to explore. Along the way you can spot a range of historic landmarks and ruins, including Asgog Castle, Kilmodan Church & Carved Stones, Struth Ban Falls and many more.
*Please check ahead for which facilities have reopened before you set off.
Did you know:
- This route is also known as 'Scotland in 57 miles'.
- Argyll boasts more coastline than France - that's a lot of beaches, bays and coastal spots to admire and explore!
- The route is incredibly scenic and includes forests, waterfalls, the shores of sea-lochs and hill-passes - these make for great little stop off points en-route.
Explore Loch Lomond & Cowal Way.
Knapdale Forest and Beaver Trial
If you're looking for somewhere to keep the little ones occupied over the summer months, then head on down to Knapdale Forest. With its abundance of wildlife and natural surroundings, it is the perfect setting for an adventurous day outdoors! During your visit to Knapdale Forest:
- Enjoy serene woodland walks with the family.
- Learn about the Scottish Beaver Trial. This unique partnership project led to the successful reintroduction of beavers to the UK for the first time in 400 years. Catch a glimpse of these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat in the heart of Argyll.
- It's not just beavers that you will be able to spot while on your travels, keep your eyes peeled for invertebrates, amphibians and even bats!
Head to Knapdale Forest.
The ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll and Chief of Clan Campbell, Inveraray Castle is an iconic landmark amongst the Scottish landscape.
Within the castle you can visit the famous Armoury Hall which hosts incredible collections of Brown Bess muskets, Lochaber axes, and 18th century Scottish broadswords - it's quite the sight to see! The castle also boasts beautifully maintained gardens and expansive estates, as well as offering some fantastic walks alongside first-class holiday accommodation.
Did you know:
- The castle is recognised as one of Scotland's finest stately homes - head inside and the intricate art, design and detail will do all of the explaining!
- The castle contains mesmerising examples of Scottish, French and English furniture, as well as featuring priceless artworks to admire.
Visit Inveraray Castle.
Watersports and Horse Riding
Being home to a collection of all shapes and sizes of islands, it's no surprise that Argyll features some incredible bays and beaches. These magical spots are a great way to get involved in a range of watersports and even horse riding along the beach. Why not try out a new sport? Windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing and coasteering are just a few of the great things you can get involved in.
Did you know:
- The Isle of Tiree is famed for hosting the BWA Tiree Wave Classic - the longest running professional windsurfing event in the world.
- Balevullin, also on the Isle of Tiree, is a dedicated Dark Sky Spot. Explore our Stargazing in Scotland video series to learn more about how you can get closer to the stars!
- Tobermory, on the Isle of Mull, was used as inspiration for the colourful houses on the children's TV show, Balamory.
Try out watersports and horse riding.
With so many places to visit across Scotland, will you head to one of your favourites or try somewhere new? Share your ideas and fascinating facts on Argyll in our iKnow Community or on social media.