Cowal is practically undiscovered as the gateway to the Scottish Highlands, yet is little over an hour from Glasgow. Take some time out and escape to this idyllic part of Scotland which is a haven for wildlife and outdoor activities, but also has great accommodation, restaurants, pubs and festivals.
Dunoon: seaboard gateway to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
The ferry trip across the Firth of Clyde is a fine introduction to the Cowal Peninsula. To the north the mountains surrounding the sea lochs of Long and Goil provide a stunning backdrop as the ferry arrives at the busy town of Dunoon, Cowal’s principal community, which has an excellent choice of accommodation, shopping and eating out. Built around two sheltered bays, and with wonderful views over the water, Dunoon is also the seaboard gateway to the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
Arrive via the Scenic “Rest and Be Thankful”
The alternative route is to take the Erskine bridge and then the beautiful scenic route by the A82 by Loch Lomond side north to Tarbet, then the A83 to Arrochar, either turning off for Lochgoilhead or continuing through Glen Kinglas and turning off at Cairndow.
A landscape of amazing contrasts
For such a small part of Scotland, there is an amazing contrast in the landscape throughout the Peninsula.North Cowal is distinctively rugged and remote, with Loch Ech surely one of the most breathtakingly picturesque stretches of water in Europe. South East Cowal is the home of Cowal’s only major town, Dunoon, the location of amazing historic botanical gardens with a coastline indented with sea lochs and peppered with many lively small communities. South West Cowal is “Argyll’s Secret Coast”, a remote and beautiful stretch of Cowal Coastline taking in the spectacular Kyles of Bute and the picturesque town of Tighnabruaich. It is a great area for outdoor activities, especially sailing, as well as excellent hospitality, yet is less than two hours from the central belt of Scotland.