Visit Scotland – Argyll and Bute
This blog post follows a visit to Scotland and the Cowal peninsular in Argyll and Bute.
We enjoyed ourselves so much and found the location of our secluded cottage close to Loch Fyne so ideal, that we decided before we left in September that we would return and explore the area a little more. In between times we had taken another break in Berwickshire in November but it was Argyll and Bute that called us back a couple of weeks ago.
It really is a truly beautiful area and having visited Scotland more times than I can recall and having travelled extensively in Scotland by car and motorbike I can safely say that the Cowal peninsular is a simply magnificent part of Scotland and is more than worth a visit.
Great weather and great location
We had gone well prepared for just about any eventuality with the weather, but in practice the first four days we were there the weather was just ideal and at times was actually tee shirt weather. The second part of the week was cold and by late Wednesday it had turned bitterly cold and remained so for the next three days but other than about 30 minutes or so of rain in Inveraray the day before we came home we really did feel that once again Scotland has been kind to us.
Our cottage was quiet, really quiet and was one of a pair of cottages just off the A815, main road that runs along the side of Loch Fyne, up a small unmade track and nestled in an area of protected forest.
It’s not for everyone
If it’s nightlife, pubs, restaurant and bright lights you’re after then it’s probably not the place for you and you may want to rethink a visit to this part of Scotland and the Cowal peninsular. But if you want peace and quiet, an absence of light pollution and pitch black nights along with an abundance of bird life then it really is ideal.
Visitors to the garden at St Catherines, included red squirrels, woodpeckers, jays, robins, chaffinches and others. Initially after an early sighting of a red squirrel and then nothing for a few days we ended up with a couple of red squirrels being almost constant visitors – so much so that I have done a separate red squirrel picture post which you can see here. and Great spotted woodpecker picture post with and a jay picture posts here.
Plenty to see and do
Whilst we were there we managed to find a decent balance of making the most of our time by getting out and about and also finding time to take it easy and enjoy the tranquillity of the cottage and its visiting wildlife.
Our stay included visits to Dunoon, Fort William, Oban, Inveraray and the the Isle of Bute as well as some terrific walking in Pucks Glen, Benmore Botanic Gardens and Glenbranter Forest as well of course along the local roads around parts of Loch Fyne.
We had walked in Pucks Glen back in September but were really keen to visit again as it is one of the prettiest areas of woodland I have ever seen in the UK and I can certainly recommend it if you are ever in the area and have a few hours to spare.
Part of the reason we had headed for Fort William was to travel via Glencoe and then to wander along Neptunes Staircase just outside Fort William on the Caledonian Canal.
Visitors to my other blog might recall that I stopped at Neptunes Staircase back in July when I was travelling on my own on one of my motorbikes and spotted a large navy vessel making it’s way through the series of lochs – (check out the picture gallery at this post to see it)
Decent selection of birds
We saw quite a selection of birds during the week we were there, (along with seals and red squirrels. The birds we saw were: siskin, ringed plover, buzzard, woodpecker, nuthatch, robin, curlew, water pipit, blue tit, great tit, wagtails, oyster catcher, blackbird, goldfinch, cormorants, starling, heron, song thrush, various gulls and a hooded crow.
The picture gallery in this blog post is much larger than usual and features many of the birds mentioned above along with pictures from some of the places we visited. The best way to view it is by clicking on an image to open it and then scrolling through.
Clicking on any of the images below should open a gallery that you can scroll through on mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop.