As well as general site-seeing and trips to the Island of Bute, Inverary and further afield, there are a host of other activities you can undertake around Glenaruel. It’s fabulous walking country and we’ve also provided twelve mountain bikes for those who want to explore on two wheels rather than four. There are some really excellent and quite varied routes direct from the house, involving all sorts of terrain and levels of strain!
Golf – there’s a lovely 9 hole pay and play course ten minutes away above Tighnabruaich. We’ve supplied five bags of golf clubs for the house and they probably won’t be too fussed about the usual rules re golf shoes provided you don’t arrive in jeans and carve the course up. The same applies to the almost equally spectacular nine hole course at Blairmore & Strone, half an hour away. Cowal Golf Club at Dunoon and Inellan are the 18 hole courses in the area that welcome visitors.
Fishing - too many options to go into here, but you can spend anything from £9 per day to over £1,000 for river fishing in the area. You can fish for trout in our own stream for nothing or in the Lochen at the head of the river. Mackerel on a line in a boat on the Kyles is a right of passage for hundreds of West of Scotland kids every year. They swim in shoals all around these waters – the mackerel, not the kids - and there’s no permit payable.
It’s a fabulous part of the world for water-sports of all sorts. Horse-riding, climbing, canoeing, caving, archery, quad biking, paint-balling, and clay pigeon shooting are also all available either on site or in the area. It’s not our thing, and the house ain’t full of antlers, but we can help you arrange a day’s grouse or pheasant shooting, or stalking in season, if some of your party want to do that.
There is a wee shop selling all the basics at the camp-site in the Glendaruel valley, about a mile’s walk away, beside the historic Kilmodan standing stones. You get a slightly bigger choice in the Spar at Tighnabruich five miles away, and all year round opening. Dunoon is 16 miles away and is a thriving market / harbour town with award-winning bakeries, cafes and butchers, as well as a big Co-Op and a big Somerfield supermarket.
Scotland isn’t really well served by pubs in general; this area is definitely an exception. The Glendaruel Hotel is a lovely wee pub, a two mile drive away – or about a mile and a quarter as the crow staggers – and serves good pub grub or better. The Colintraive Hotel and Tighnabruich Hotel are each a tad busier and a tad more ambitious in terms of menu. Chatters in Dunoon is highly recommended, and the Whistlefield and Coylet Inns on Loch Eck are also worth a visit. Our favourite restaurant in the entire universe is on Loch Fyne, overlooking the old Castle Lachlan. (The view from the Inver Cottage terrace is one of the Robbie Innes pictures on our drawing room wall.)
It’s less than half an hour away from the house. The Benmore Gardens tea room is not half bad, either, and the Otterferry Inn and Loch Fyne Oyster Bar have good reputations (on which, it might be said, they trade slightly…) All in all, though, there are few areas of Scotland where you can enjoy such a variety of excellent, reasonably priced menus.