Between 1 and 2 hours from us
Further afield these are suggestions for some of the things you can see and do that are between one and two hours from Ardmarnoch Estate, real time, not as the crow flies.
Dunoon ( 1 hour )
Dunoon is located on the coast and offers reasonable scope for shopping through small traditonal outlets. In addition affords access to several gardens including Benmore Botanic Gardens. For fishermen and women, the River Massan is noted as one of the best for salmon (permit only). For the more historically minded Kilmun Church, built in 1422, has some interesting history and also has access to Kilmun Arboretum.
Inveraray ( 1 hour 10 mins )
Inveraray, a popular destination for day trippers and tourists, is only just over a single hours journey by car from Ardmarnoch Estate. The black and white buildings are unmissable and the views across Loch Fyne on a still summer’s day are very special. Here you will find Inveraray Jail, an attraction which includes an exhibition and a leisurely tour. Alternatively you can visit Inveraray Castle, home to the Duke of Argyll, and explore the inner grounds and the various rooms complete with historical artifacts and information. A worthwhile peek into the history of the family home and castle. Inveraray features several hotels, public bars, cafe’s and offers fine traditional fish and chips.
Rothesay (1 hour 15 Mins )
Rothesay, travelling north and then doubling back heading southwards is a little over an hours journey by car. On the agenda for visitors to Rothesay are the opportunity to explore the very tip of bute, but also the attractions locally. For golfers there is Rothesay Golf Club, for families and historically minded visitors there is Rothesay Castle which has been partially restored over the last 100 years and contains an audio visual presentation. The castle is kept by Historic Scotland in good condition. Mount Stuart, an extraordinary building and stunning gardens, are also at Rothesay alongside some other attractions such as Ascog Hall Fernery and Gardens and the Victorian Toilets !
Loch Awe & Kilchurn Castle (1 hour 30 mins )
Loch Awe, accessed by travelling to Inveraray and further north for a short drive, is a lovely location for a tranquil and exploratory day out, where you can go fishing at the Loch by permit, or alternatively hire boats. There is a boat trip that travels a distance up and down the Loch. Kilchurn Castle, is a magical castle, part ruined but recently undergone strengthening and restoration and defnitely worth a visit. There are various gardens of interest here including Fredine Woodland Garden and Upper Sonachan Garden. There are several walks in the area. Travelling another 20 minutes will take you to Cruachan Power Station which is located within the mountains. A very interesting day out.
Helensburgh ( 1 hour 30 mins )
Helensburgh is one of the main towns of Argyll only a short journey from West Glasgow and roughly an hour and 30 minutes from Ardmarnoch towards Glasgow. Helensburgh has a good selection of sea facing shops and a superb coastline. Geilston Garden, only a couple of miles outside Helensburgh features glasshouses, herb gardens and a fruit and vegetable garden that are accessible by paths that meander across a burn. Hill House, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, owned by the National Trust For Scotland is a popular tourist attraction in Helensburgh, built in 1903 to the typical Art Deco styl.
Gigha ( 1 hour 30 mins – two ferries )
Gigha, a small island benefitting from a frost free climate is only 7 miles long and 1.5 miles at its widest point, sitting off the west coast of Kintyre. It is accessible by two ferries as part of your journey, from Portavadie to Tarbert and then a short drive to Tayinloan to take the ferry to Gigha. It is possible to hire bicycles (limited number) to explore the island. Highland cows at the north of the island graze, Creag Bhan, Gigha’s highest point is accessible to walkers, and Achamore Gardens are beautiful and historical, a well visited part of the island. There is a small golf course and if you time your visit right you may see dolphins playing from off of the south pier.
Arran ( 1 hour 30 mins – two ferries )
Scotland’s most southerly inhabited island, only 19 miles by 10 miles is known as Scotland in miniature. Arran is popular with golfers and has no less than 7 golf courses across the island. Arran also has a walk called the Coastal Way which circumnavigates the whole island. Brodick is popular with shoppers and has a notable castle and gardens. Arran contains a distillery and brewery, museums and much more.
Mid Argyll (1 hour 30 minutes by car and single ferry crossing)
Kilmartin Museum & Standing Stones
Kilmartin, the first capital of Scotland lies in the 6th century overkingdom of Dalriada now called Argyll & Bute. Over 150 prehistoric sites lie within 6 miles of the village of Kilmartin. Carved rocks, standing stones, burial cairns, ancient gravestones and early Christian Crosses.By visiting the museum it is possible to walk around stone circles and standing stones and climb inside burial chambers. Dunadd hillfort, once an island, lies inland near the River Add. This was occupied in the Iron Age and later became a seat of the kings of Dalriada.
Kilmartin Church, houses some impressive early Christian grave slabs, some more of which are available to view in the graveyard.Other mediaevil grave slabs that used to be at St Columba’s Chapel in the ruined mansion of Poltalloch have also been moved to Kilmartin.
Through Kilmartin by less than a mile lies Carnasserie Castle, to the left up a considerable hill walk of roughly 1 kilometre. The castle is a great example and a well preserved riun, dating back to the mid 1500’s. The castle is open to the public and is quite eerie within the inner tower as you experience the quiet and the birds flying through. The castle also has a well manicured courtyard lawn. Great views across the glen are available from the tower.
Mull Of Kintyre (2 hours by car and single ferry crossing)
From the ferry across to the Kintyre peninsula, following the A83 south towards and through Campbeltown you can either go towards Machrihanish and play a round of golf on the famous links course, or alternatively drive to Southend and the Mull of Kintyre, taking in a game of golf at Dunaverty or walking on the beach at the Mull of Kintyre and admiring the view across to Ireland. Campbeltown has a history museum which highlights its impressive past with local trains and the whisky trade. There is also the Owl Centre which is worth a look and will impress the children.
Oban (2 hours by car and single ferry crossing)
Oban is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the west coast of Argyll. The ferry to Mull departs from Oban on a daily basis if you wanted to visit this island. Oban has a very large selection of shops, plenty of places to eat and of course a good selection of gift shops and traditional Scottish clothing shops. The town is overlooked by a colloseum style monument, a popular photographic attraction called McCaig’s tower. Oban distillery is worth a visit with guided tours available for a small fee. Just outside Oban you can visit the Sealife Centre, where orphaned seals and otters are fed in public on a daily basis.
These are just some of the things you can see and do within 2 hours of Ardmarnoch. Please contact the local Tourist Information Centre around your journey to find the most appropriate things for you and your family to do in that area.