Wild About Argyll

08 March 2018

Quiet Cowal Roads

Quiet Cowal Roads by Christine McIntosh via CC

Wilderness has always been a big attraction for visitors to Scotland but sometimes taking it in can be a difficult balancing act when on holiday. Just how do you experience the natural and unspoilt beauty, away from the crowds, but at the same time still have a relaxing and comfortable break with the family? To completely immerse yourself in the wilderness you would have to hike for days, carrying all your own supplies and camping equipment to a remote spot with no Wi-Fi or mobile signal or facilities. An adventure like that will no doubt appeal to some but is maybe not wholly suitable for the majority of holidaymakers. The newly launched Wild about Argyll bike route is a brilliant compromise. It’s a massive, off-road, loop that can be ridden as a whole or broken into lots of bite sized chunks and offers the opportunity for those on holiday to take in some of the wild highlights of Argyll whilst at the same time enjoying the comfort and luxury of an LHH property. Here are a few of the highlights of the route and some nearby places to stay which you can use as a base to explore this most spectacular and scenic part of the country.

The Wild about Argyle trail passes almost right by the front door of Strone House. This quiet country road ambles along for almost 7 miles before it reaches Helensburgh where there are a host of drinking and dining options for refreshment. The official route diverts off road over farm tracks for a large part of the way but it’s very easy to stick to the tarmac if you prefer, the roads are never too busy here anyway. You could return a different way via the shores of Gare Loch for a very satisfying day out where the rewards seem out of all proportion to the effort.

Kirkland House also sits just metres away from the trail, as well as being close to the Kintyre Way, which means there are options aplenty for getting out and exploring by bike. A fantastic third option is to do the loop from the front door which takes in the coastal path from the jetty at Portachoillan to the sandy beach at Dunskeig Bay and then back via the remains of Dun Skeig Fort. A mixture of farm tracks, single track roads and not many hills means this is suitable for all the family. The views over to Jura are fantastic and you can almost be assured of peace and tranquillity.

The Isle of Luing is just six miles long and has only a tiny flow of traffic, so getting around by bike is ideal. If you had a bike with fat tyres then you can even ride on the firm sandy beaches, so much more fun that the roads. Bike hire is available on the island for adults and children with tag-alongs and trailers for wee ones and helmets provided free of charge. When you arrive at Ardlarach Lodge for the first time you will see it has a 5 star luxury interior and views to die for, with so much to see close by you could find that you don’t move your car for the whole week.

Achaglachgach Stables is only a few miles from Tarbert, the Argyll Trail and the starting point of the Cowal Way. This has long been a popular walking route but recent improvements have now made it suitable for biking and a number of races take place along it annually. It’s a journey to savour though, to be taken slowly instead of rushed. Appreciate the scenery and peace of mind that routes like this offer. To get away from it all and immerse yourself in the landscape, but still return home at the end of the day, to be able to escape civilization by lunchtime but be back within Wi-Fi range by dinner. It almost seems too good to be true but that is the reality of the Wild Argyll Trail. Call LHH now to experience it for yourself.