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Tour Argyll and The road to the Isles

Argyll Hotel Deals
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Ardanaiseig Hotel, Kilchrenan PA35 1HE, Scotland. Scottish Baronial House set in 100 acres of gardens and woodland on the shores of Loch Awe and offering views of Ben Cruachan. Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor.

Dramatic mountain peaks tower over moors dotted with tumble-down crofts and castles laid waste in clan feuds. Icy streams ripple through wooded glens and into lochs teeming with salmon and trout, the delight of anglers. Golden eagles soar above the rocky crags and red deer roam the moors, near scattered villages haunted by tales of murder and treachery in days gone by.

Achnacloich Woodland Garden
Castellated mansion on promontory among gardens protected by oaks and larches. Views west to Mull and east to Ben Cruachan.

Ardanaiseig Gardens
Rhododendrons and azaleas set paths ablaze with colour in wood-land gardens overlooking Loch Awe. Walled garden, 1 acre, with herbaceous borders.

Sailing boats moor in harbour at southern end of 9 mile long Crinan canal, started l794 by John Ronnie to link Loch Fyne with Atlantic Ocean and cut out the 120 mile voyage round Kintyre.

Argyll Wildlife Park
Thousands of wildfowl feed on the 60 acre reserve, which also has a large collection of owls.

Auchindrain Open Air Museum
Restored cottages and barns survive from ancient communal farm by families who shared Visitor centre shows life of Highlanders in past centuries.

Crofters' fields surround scattered houses. Huge Douglas firs line paths to Gleann Dubh, where waterfalls plunge. Views of the Western Isles from reservoir.

Dawn redwoods and eucalyptuses line forest paths near Loch Eck. Avenue of 130ft Wellingtonias leads to grounds of Benmore House and botanic garden.

Restored 1753 charcoal ironworks above Loch Etive. Exhibition of smelting process and local life. Boat cruises leave from pier.

Castle Sween
Probably Scotland's earliest stone castle, built in mid-12th century. Stronghold of the MacSween family; destroyed in 1647. Ruins retain their original proportions.

Clachan Bridge
Humpbacked stone 'Bridge over Atlantic', designed by Thomas Telford 1792, links Seil Island to mainland across arm of ocean.

Footpaths skirt reservoirs and hill-side channels built 1827 by Robert Thom to serve textile mills. Visitor centre shows history. Nature trail to Shielhill Glen with waterfall.

Falls of Lora swirl beneath bridge across narrows of Loch Etive. Stained glass in village church depicts bridge and falls.

Crarae Glen Garden
Rare trees and rhododendrons flourish here. Associated garden centre sells shrubs and trees.

Yachts and fishing boats pass through locks at terminus of Crinan Canal. Duntrune Castle has skeleton of MacDonald piper imprisoned by the Campbells in 17th century. Crinan Canal Puffers and Paddle Steamers.

Dunadd Hill-Fort
Stone walls of ancient fort. Carvings on rock face thought to mark Pictish victory in AD 683.

Resort noted for sandy bays and castle burned in 1685. Hillside statue of Mary Campbell, Burns's 'Highland Mary', who was born here. Holy Loch Farm has rare breeds of cattle and horses.

Dunstaffnage Castle
Castle remains cling to black crag on or near site of capital of Dalriada, original Scots kingdom. Campbells were castle governors in medieval times. Many buried in roofless chapel in wood.

Peaks of Dun More look down on old slate quarries. Museum of 1800's industrial and domestic life.

Eredine Forest
Dense forest skirts lochside road, ideal for picnics. View of Innis Chonnell Island with ruins of former Campbell stronghold.

Glen Nant
Trails explore oak and hazel woods in narrow glen. Charcoal hearths once fuelled Bonawe ironworks nearby.

Fishing, sailing and golf resort, backed by hills and glens. Obelisk memorial to steamship pioneer Henry Bell. Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed The Hill House; special display on architect.


Hereditary seat of Dukes of Argyll. Campbell chiefs ruled from 15th century in blue-grey castle. Tapestries, paintings and swords on display. Story of Scot-fish crime and punishment in Inveraray Jail, with reconstructed prison cells and torture scenes.

Inverliever Forest
Switchback road through forest inhabited by deer and badgers. Paths from Dalavich village to waterfalls and hill-top views.

Kilfinan Parish Church
A place of worship since 1235. 1759 Gothic, including the earlier Lament Vault 1633. Stones of interest. Kilfinan, Tighnabruaich, Argyll, Scotland.

Bronze Age symbols adorn burial chambers in village. Medieval stone sculptures in churchyard.

Kilmichael Glassary
Cup-and-ring engravings of c. 2000-1500 B.C. on natural rock outcrop. Located three and a half miles north of Lochgilphead, Argyll, Scotland.

Ruined church contains medieval cross and Celtic grave slabs. Views look across to Papa of Jura. Kilmory Knap.

Kilmory Castle Gardens
Rare alpines, ferns and rhododendrons line the woodland paths in these gardens started in 1770s.

Kilmun Arboretum
Pathways weave among pines, hemlocks, cedars, cypresses, dawn redwoods, and eucalyptuses.

Kilmun (St Munn's) Parish Church
By Dunoon. On the site of a 7th century Celtic monastery. Tower of 15th century collegiate church. Present building dates from 1841, by Thomas Burns. Important stained glass, pews and water-powered organ. Ancient graveyard with 18th century carved stones. Mausoleum of Dukes of Argyll, Douglas vault, grave of Dr. Blackwell, first lady doctor.

Knapdale is a part of Argyll where long, narrow sea lochs run northeast from the western sea, splitting the land into long strips, hilly and rocky in the interior, but with fertile ground around the edges.

Lismore Island
Mountains embrace site founded AD 580 by St Moluaig. Parish church set in 13th-century cathedral destroyed in Reformation. Book of the Dean of Lismore.

Resort overlooks narrow loch with fishing for salmon and trout. Robert Bruce memorial chapel in 1881 St Conan's Kirk. Kilchurn Castle, built 1440, on loch shore.

Loch Creran
Seals gambol in well-lit tanks at Sea Life Centre. Eels, dogfish, salmon, cod and bass also on view. Hillside walks above 17th-century Barcaldine Castle.

Crescent of stone-built houses overlooks loch. Bronze Age carvings on rocks near standing stone at Achnabreck.

Sheltered bay with fishing boats and Hebrides ferries. Creeper-clad ruin of Dunollie Castle, former MacDougall stronghold. McCaig's Tower above town is Colosseum replica built 1890s. Tour Oban.

Port Appin
Whitewashed hamlet has wildlife museum with local nature display. Castle Stalker, built 14th century, on offshore island.

Sailing centre set among trees. Renowned for healing waters of St Modan's Well.

St Columba's Cave
Cave with rock-shelf and altar associated with St Columba's arrival in Scotland. Occupied since Middle Stone Age.

Strone House Gardens
Pinetum contains tallest tree in Britain, a 203ft grand fir (Abies grandis). Exotic plants and shrubs.

Anglers and walkers converge on village dominated by 3,695ft Ben Cruachan. Nelson memorial erected in 1805. Woodland nature reserve at Glen Nant.

Natural harbour on shores of Loch a' Bhealaich. Walks lead into Knapdale and west to Carsaig Bay, overlooked by hills of Jura.

Cottages scattered on hillside of woods and gardens. To the north lies viewpoint of Kyles of Bute and forest trail.

If you would like to visit this area as part of a highly personalized small group tour of my native Scotland please e-mail me:

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