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seescotland JULY 2009 | FREE

your complimentary guide to...

Kyles of Bute



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seescotland seescotland

Greatroom Ltd Unit 13, 10 High Craighall Road Glasgow G4 9UD Tel: 0141 581 2646

WELCOME to our inaugural seescotland guide!


Published July 2009 We endeavoured to ensure that all details were correct before print however please confirm before travelling as details can change after publication for which we can take no responsibility. Please also note that most accommodation prices quoted are based on two people sharing. Terms and conditions may apply.

This destination guide is produced by UPTOWN, the award-winning bi-monthly interiors and lifestyle ARDENTINNY • magazine, and follows the • DUNOON TIGHNABRUAICH • • success of UPTOWN’S COLINTRAIVE • PORTAVADIE popular travel section. • ISLE OF BUTE & ROTHESAY Inside you’ll find an introduction to the enigmatic Kyles of Bute.The Kyles is a narrow and tranquil passage of water that flows through an array of charming and quaint Scottish villages.The idyllic waters provide the most spectacular natural backdrop for a relaxing or activity-based holiday. Whether your thing is rushing down white-water rapids with only a dingy to protect you from the unpredictable waters, sailing on the serene seas or simply going for a relaxing stroll along the shoreline - you’ll be sure to become captivated by the magic of the Kyles. In this magazine, we’ve suggested places to stay, eat and drink, and recommended things to do in some of the most remote and beautiful villages dotted along this dramatic coastline.

COVER IMAGE: Courtesy of Carry Farm,Tighnabruaich

We hope you will find our guide helpful and would love to hear your feedback so please do get in touch!



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PORTAVADIE MARINA Portavadie, Loch Fyne, Argyll PA21 2DA Tel: 01700 811075 | ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Read more about where to stay and eat, places to visit and things to do in Portavadie from page 55-57.

Photograph by Paul Zanre

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Getting there...




OPTION 1: Take a train to Gourock, a ferry from Gourock to Dunoon, then a bus from Dunoon to Tighnabruaich. Train Ferry Gourock - Dunoon Caledonian MacBrayne or Western Ferries Bus West Coast Motors OPTION 2: Drive - the journey takes approximately 2 hrs 10 min from Glasgow Int. Airport. OPTION 3: Travel to Tighnabruaich on the famous Waverley paddle steamer between 30th June 25th August (Tuesdays and Saturdays) however please confirm dates and times before travelling. TUESDAYS: Take a coach from Glasgow to Largs, then the steamer on to Tighnabruaich. SATURDAYS: Sail from Glasgow to Tighnabruaich. Waverley IMAGE: Waverley Excursions Ltd

THIS resort village has all the buzz and excitement of a seaside town, yet the atmosphere is serene and tranquil. Sounds like too much of an oxymoron to be true, but anyone who’s been to Tighnabruaich will rave about how much there is to do in this remote and peaceful Scottish getaway. During the day the village is awash with activities for the outdoors enthusiast - whether it be water sports (sailing, canoeing, kayaking or scuba diving) golf, cycling or walking. And at night there’s a choice of restaurants and bars where you can dine al fresco or have a drink while watching the sun go down in a romantic, candlelit setting. The name,Tighnabruaich, is said to be Gaelic for “houses on the hill” and one of the first things you’ll seen on arriving to the village are the many houses sitting on the hills that idyllically rise above the shoreline. The village is one of the stops for ‘The Waverley’ - the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world.You can take a trip down nostalgia lane by boarding the vessel or simply observe its towering funnels and mighty engines from the shoreline, as the steamer sails into the distance from Tighnabruaich pier. 05



HOLIDAYS ARGYLL Albert Buildings Tighnabruaich Argyll PA21 2AD Tel: 01700 811464 Mobile: 07887 621 836 If you’re after quality and friendly self-catering accommodation in Tighnabruaich then Holidays Argyll is the place to go.Tom and Margo Andrew manage a selection of holiday homes in this lush setting and they promise you the ultimate in mindless relaxation.The couple will be there to greet you on arrival and they pride themselves on offering a personal service, ensuring that everything is clean and in good working order. All properties are within five

miles of the couple’s home so they can provide 24-hour service and are always on hand to provide top tips about the village. Since the couple manage all the homes themselves, they are flexible about the duration of your stay and are more than happy to let homes for short periods. A Champney’s trained beauty therapist is available on site to provide treatments in your holiday home. So after a long walk or sailing trip in the beautiful Argyll surroundings you can relax at the end of the day with a massage or a facial! The weekly rate for a one bedroom studio is around £200, for a two bedroom cottage it is £550 and a four bedroom villa is £1200.

AN LOCHAN HOTEL Tighnabruaich Argyll PA21 2BE Tel: 01700 811239 Bedroom Reservations: 0845 371 1414 This small yet luxurious, award-winning hotel prides itself on providing ‘The An Lochan Effect’ - a phrase that the hotel has coined to describe the relaxing experience of staying at the hotel. An Lochan is family-run and the McKies aim to inject a touch of hedonism into the village for those who enjoy the finer things in life - think fresh seafood and game in the restaurant, fine wines in the bar and dreamy, luxurious beds in the guest rooms. At An Lochan - like most

HOLIDAYS ARGYLL: Offering quality and friendly self-catering accommodation in Tighnabruaich 06


TREGORTHA GUEST HOUSE: Boasting charming rooms with spectacular views over the Kyles of Bute

places in Tighnabruaich - it’s all about fresh local ingredients. During your visit you may see locals Shonna and Mary, still in their dripping wet-suits, delivering scallops to the kitchen, or Arthur setting out in his boat in pursuit of some plump langoustines, or indeed Winston heading into the hills on the trail of venison. The beachside hotel has a stream of accolades to its name, including three Red Stars by the AA, who awarded it the Inspector’s Choice.The luxury hotel is also included in the Which Good Food Guide and the independently edited Good Hotel Guide. In 2005, it was voted one of the Top 100 Hotels in the World by Harpers & Queen magazine. A standard room will cost £85 per person per night including dinner, bed and breakfast. A room with a sea view is £105 per person per night including dinner, bed and breakfast, whilst a

sea view superior room will cost £125 per person per night with dinner, bed and breakfast.

A single room costs £30 per night and a double room is £28 per person per night.



TREGORTHA GUEST HOUSE Tregortha,Tighnabruaich Argyll PA21 2BD Tel: 01700 811132

BURNSIDE BISTRO Tighnabruaich Argyll PA21 2BA Tel: 01700 811739

If you’re looking for a warm and cosy welcome during your stay in the Kyles then Tregortha guest house will provide the perfect retreat. It is a family-run establishment, with Ken and Ellen Parker offering three charming double en-suite rooms with spectacular views over the Kyles of Bute.The large rooms come complete with a colour television, central heating and tea and coffee making facilities. Breakfast is served between 8.30am and 9.30am and the flexible owners can cater for vegetarians and those with special diets with prior notice.

Read about the Burnside Bistro on page 10.




KAMES HOTEL Kames, By Tighnabruaich Argyll PA21 2AF Tel: 01700 811 489 Situated directly on the foreshore overlooking the magnificent Kyles you’ll find this small and welcoming hotel. The hotel has earned an excellent reputation for its food. Fitting in with the area, the Kames serves local produce including freshly caught fish and shellfish as well as Scotch beef and wild Highland venison.You can dine in the Edwardian restaurant which overlooks the water or in one of the bars.The owners have embraced the local history by displaying a collection of Edwardian and Victorian photographs, and these little features bring a beguiling sense of character and life to the traditional style pub. Watch out for getting hooked on the selection of real ales and good malts that are


available.The hotel offers a choice of a public bar, lounge bar and a malt bar which offer a wide range of drinks including an enticing collection of fine malts that are perfect for sharing. It can make for a great talking point in the pub about whether, at one sniff of a dram, you know your highlands from your islands and lowlands.Their selection of real ales (sourced from Fyne Ales, Cairndow at the head of Loch Fyne) has won them a place in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide. The hotel offers 15 moorings free of charge to patrons. It is near to the local sailing school and the staff can also arrange boat trips with local operators. They issue fishing permits for guests to enjoy the local wellstocked Lochs that lie five minutes drive from the hotel. Golfers will be happy to hear that the hotel is situated just a short walk away from the local Kyles of Bute Golf Course that boasts magnificent


views of the Kyles, Arran and Loch Fyne. For a double room with a garden view it will cost £85 per room per night, whilst a double room with a sea view is £90 per room per night.

••••••••••••••••••••••• CARRY FARM Ardlamont Tighnabruaich Argyll PA21 2AH Tel: 01700 811717 Located three miles from Tighnabruaich, this small holiday park provides an idyllic setting for a peaceful camping break.The park fronts a sheltered beach with amazing views across the Kyles to the Isle of Bute.There are facilities for static and touring caravans, tents, and holiday lodges. If you choose this holiday park you can enjoy shore and woodland walks, loch angling and cycling on the quiet roads.There are toilets and a shower block on site and bonfires and barbeques can be lit on the adjacent beach. Weekly prices for the lodges start at £194, touring caravans cost from £15 per night and pitching a tent (which must be booked in advance) costs from £10 per night.

the BURNSIDE LICENSED RESTAURANT WITH ROOMS The Burnside Bistro, centre of village, is the meeting place for morning coffee, lunch or dinner, - licensed restaurant with 4 new en-suite bedrooms and self-catering cottage.

Seafood landed in Tarbert and beef from Bute compliment our varied menu

THE BURNSIDE BISTRO Tel: 01700 811739 • E-mail:

Self catering holiday homes in and around Tighnabruaich, one of Scotland’s treasured seaside holiday destinations in rural Argyll yet less than 2 hours from Glasgow Holidays Argyll, based in the heart of this stunning seaside location, offers a wide range of quality self catering holiday homes carefully chosen to suit all pockets and requirements. Whether you just want to wind down and soak up the wonderful scenery or partake in the abundance of outdoor pursuits available in the village, from sailing to hill walking, sea and loch fishing to golfing, horse riding to cycling, Holidays Argyll is on hand to help you choose the perfect holiday home for you.

Contact Tom or Margo on +44 (0)1700 811464 Albert Buildings,Tighnabruaich, PA21 2BA | Email:



Tregortha Guest House overlooks the wonderful Kyles of Bute and is situated within walking distance of the village and local restaurants, you really can relax and unwind here. After a great nights sleep and a hearty breakfast in the conservatory, whilst over looking the sea, you'll be ready to explore the wonderful cowal peninsula in all it's glory. Tregortha Guest House has four rooms available. Each room is beautifully decorated and designed for your comfort.

Tregortha | Tighnabruaich | Argyll | Scotland | PA21 2BD | T: 01700 811132

W W W. T R E G O R T H A . C O . U K



BURNSIDE BISTRO Tighnabruaich Argyll PA21 2BA Tel: 01700 811739 This licensed bistro operates as a café by day and a restaurant by night. Like most of the hotspots in Tighnabruaich you’ll soon get on first name terms with the owners and this eatery is no exception. Joyce and David will welcome you and urge you to try their famous meringues! There are breakfast, lunch and dinner menus so you can start the day with a full Scottish breakfast or cappuccino and a homemade scone. Of course for those with

a sweeter tooth there’s a selection of home baking including those meringues and the old favourite desserts such as banoffee pie. In the summer months, you don’t get much better than dining al fresco with a simple seafood salad of locally caught langoustines or a hearty bowl of Cullen skink, perfectly accompanied with a glass of Chablis while you relax and look across the water at a supreme view. Maybe you’ll be luckily enough to catch a glimpse of one of the local yacht races which occur most weekends during the summer; if not then you can prick up your ears for the unmistakeable sound of the Waverley, which

BURNSIDE BISTRO: A café by day and a restaurant by night 10

visits the village twice a week. Part of the magic of this funky bistro is how the atmosphere changes in the evening when the candles are lit.The menu changes every night and in the summer season there are a variety of different dining experiences, for instance Friday night is Tapas Night.Treats on the menu include crayfish salad with sweet chilli dressing, smoked salmon with capers & lemon and bruschetta with fresh basil (at a very respectable price of £3.25!) For larger appetites there’s fillet of Bute beef with garlic chunks served with chips, mushrooms & tomato, local langoustines with salad and new potatoes, pan fried duck breast on red cabbage and apple with new potatoes. And why not finish it all off with some good auld Scottish tablet ice cream. Perhaps part of the bistro’s success is that since opening 15 years ago, it has undergone many an upgrade and now offers four elegantly furnished en-suite bedrooms - so if you need to lie down after a long, relaxing meal there are beds nearby! Be sure to book early for food as this popular place soon fills up. If staying the night, a double room is £70 per room per night and £40 for a single - both tariffs include breakfast.


THE OYSTERCATCHER: Enjoy eating and drinking right on the beach

THE OYSTERCATCHER Otter Ferry Tighnabruaich Argyll PA21 2DH Tel: 01700 821229 You can’t ask for much more than eating and drinking right on the beach, and The Oystercatcher pub and restaurant provides exactly that. It will come as no surprise that the views of Loch Fyne as it rests across the landscape are breathtaking and captivating - nicely topped off with great food and awardwinning real ales. The owners Ken and Jo Coley are friendly and welcoming.They pride themselves on customer service

and are on a mission to make The Oystercatcher the best destination pub restaurant in Scotland.The Coleys are keen sailors so whilst visiting you can pick their brains for all the low-down on the best places to sail on the famous waters. The place is a family affair with teenagers Sam and Zac helping out, mainly with a car washing service and outside chores. Also, look out for Skye the dog - an excellent pub dog who loves everyone and can even hoover up chips! Located right on the beach, The Oystercatcher’s exterior needs no explanation but the interior also has a lot of appeal with the real log fires, comfy sofas, great beer and

locally sourced food - all of which has helped earn them a place in Yachting Monthly as one of the top 40 sailing pubs in the UK. Treats from the menu include The Oystercatcher’s famous Ballimore oysters that are naturally seasoned by the loch itself, Stornoway black pudding and Loch Fyne scallops. The main attraction of the restaurant is that you can take a beautiful walk on the beach before or after dinner (working off some of the food and ale!) But if that just isn’t relaxing enough then you can avail of the beauty treatment room which offers soothing beauty treatments by the resident Champney’s trained Beauty Therapist right in this tranquil setting. For boats the restaurant offers free moorings with wireless internet.

••••••••••••••••••••• SUZY’S TEAROOM Shore Road Tighnabruaich PA21 2DX Located near the pier in the village of Tighnabruaich, this quaint little gem offers teas, coffees and casual fare. 11



TIGHNABRUAICH GALLERY Tighnabruaich Argyll PA21 2DR Tel: 01700 811681 The romantic aura of all those rugged cliffs and tranquil coastlines around the Kyles can provide the perfect backdrop for a spot of art and culture.The Tighnabruaich Gallery has tapped into this appeal with its selection of fine art.There’s also a selection of jewellery and crafts to choose from. The gallery is well worth a visit with its display of original paintings, prints and handmade crafts. Exhibitions occur throughout the year by leading Scottish artists and the gallery specialises in paintings of its beautiful surroundings on the

west coast of Scotland. Keen art lovers may recognize some of the following artists that have work displayed in the gallery: James Adams, John WettenBrown, Mary Batchelor, John Bathgate, Dronma, Caroline Bailey, Philippa Eliot, Pam Carter, Kitty Watt, Dugald McInnes… plus many more. The gallery is open Monday to Sunday 10am - 5pm.

••••••••••••••••••••••• DC MARINE BOAT TRIPS Tighnabruaich Pier Tighnabruaich Argyll PA21 2EA Tel: 01700 811 538 Mob: 07799 661 493 The Kyles of Bute should be explored and observed in all their glory. However if sailing a

THE MORAG: Making waves with DC Marine Boat Trips 12

boat alone fills you with some trepidation and you’re a little unsure of your navigation skills, then DC Marine Boat Trips are ideal for showing you the magic of the area. The experienced crew members at DC Marine will take you out on a boat known as ‘Morag’. Morag can hold up to 10 people and it departs from the pier at Tighnabruaich to take you up-close and personal to some of the most captivating views on the Kyles. One of the highlights of their trips is the opportunity to spot seals, porpoises, and some of the many sea birds that inhabit the Kyles. Longer trips offer you the opportunity to try your hand at fishing for mackerel, pollock, saithe, cod and codling. All the necessary fishing gear is carried on board. The highly experienced skipper, Donald Clark, has a wealth of local knowledge and is only too keen to share the interesting local history and anecdotes with guests on the boat trips. Archie Smith has been sailing the waters of the Kyles of Bute since the Second World War and knows exactly where every rock, eddy and current is - and most importantly, the best areas to fish. There are regular set departure times for the group boat trips and you can book to have the whole boat for


periods of one hour.The company can provide tailor made trips for holidaymakers and visitors to the area and enthusiastic anglers can charter the boat purely for fishing expeditions. Trips run between 10am and 4pm and costs are £10 per adult per hour and £5 per child per hour.

••••••••••••••••••••••• THE ROWANTREE GIFT SHOP Smith Buildings Tighnabruaich Argyll PA21 2DR Tel: 01700 811000

THE WAVERLEY: All aboard with Waverley Excursions Ltd

centre and is open seven days a week and late most nights except Sunday and public holidays. Spar stores don’t need much introduction; they sell much needed essentials as well as special treats whether it is fresh food, drinks or toiletries - all the necessary provisions for your remote trip.

On the main street you’ll see a sign outside this shop saying ‘exquisite gifts for all occasions’. And inside you’ll find a wide selection of good quality gifts that range from £1.70 - £170. April, who owns the shop has lived in Tighnabruaich for five years and loves it because she says the people in the closeknit community are lovely. The gift shop is open seven days a week from 10am-5pm.




SPAR Tighnabruaich Argyll PA21 2DR Tel: 01700 811268

THE WAVERLEY Tighnabruaich Pier Tel: 0845 130 4647 www.waverley

This shop is conveniently located right in Tighnabruaich

Why not cruise down the famous Kyles in style by

POST OFFICE Tighnabruaich Argyll PA21 2BA Tel: 01700 811201 If you feel the need to send a postcard home of those stunning views then you’ll not be lost! Though in seriousness, the local post office does come in handy when dealing with your cash in a remote village like Tighnabruaich.

stepping aboard the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world? The vessel is magnificently restored with towering funnels, timber decks and gleaming varnish and brass. On board there is an Art Deco restaurant, two bars, a tearoom, an observation lounge and a souvenir shop. The historic vessel stops at Tighnabruaich Pier on Tuesdays between the end of June to the end of August. During these summer months you can go on an afternoon cruise to Arran and Tarbert before returning to Tighnabruaich in the early evening.Tickets can be purchased on board on the day subject to availability. But it is advisable to book in advance either online or by phone.You can buy tickets in Tighnabruaich post office as well as most tourist information centres in the west coast such as in Glasgow and Rothesay. Prices vary but you can expect to pay from £17pp. 13



MILLCROFT LAVENDER Millhouse,Tignabruaich Argyll PA21 2BW Tel: 01700 811 110 Millcroft Lavender is situated in the lovely hamlet of Millhouse and in the surrounding fields you’ll see the beautiful sea of lavender and other everlasting flowers that grow in abundance. The farmers are the most northerly producers of lavender in the UK and the shrubs are all grown naturally out of doors. It’s a small, family-run business that grows and sells lavender, flowers and herbs. There is a small craft shop and visitors are welcome to come and view the beautiful scene of lavender growing in the fields and purchase from the range of lavender products. Most of the gifts are handcrafted and include scented cushions, bath products and preserves and chutney. The farm is open from April December, between 10am 5pm every day.

MILLCROFT: Lavender cookies 14

TIGHNABRUAICH SAILING SCHOOL Tighnabruaich Argyll PA21 2AH Tel: 01700 811 717 The sheltered coastal waters coupled with stunning scenery make sailing in the Kyles an unforgettable and magical experience. In the true spirit of Tighnabruaich, its sailing school is a family-run business. It has a well established reputation amongst the sailing fraternity for providing some of the best sailing instruction in Scotland thanks to its 40 years of experience in the water sports industry. The school prides itself on its excellent reputation which will give you peace of mind when letting the kids learn how to sail. And for all those adults who haven’t sailed before, the teachers promise that at the end of the week you will be confident in a boat and in your ability to manage reasonable conditions. For club sailors or groups, the school offers a fleet of dinghies as well as safety cover, expertise and knowledge of the area - letting you cruise along the famous narrows to idyllic beaches, hopefully spotting some seals along the way.

KYLES OF BUTE GOLF COURSE The Moss Kames Tighnabruich Argyll PA21 2BE Tel: 01700 811603 www.kylesofbutegolf Those who enjoy a game of golf will be excited to play the sport in such a scenic corner of Scotland.This club is a hilly moorland course consisting of nine intriguing holes that are blessed with magnificent views of the Kyles of Bute,The Isle of Arran and Loch Fyne. There are no bunkers on the course but instead there are burns, punitive rough and long carries over heather, whin and blind holes that will help keep you on your toes.The first hole is only 110 yards, but you have to approach vertically (told you it was intriguing!) to carry the stone and heather outcrops before the green. Everyone is said to love the famous ninth hole which is poised 200 feet above the water with the Kyles at your back. Keen golfers have said the course is an enjoyable challenge as for much of the course you are playing into the prevailing westerly wind. Watch out for the sheep and wildlife that dot the course! The price for a weekday or weekend round is £10.


‘exquisite gifts for all occasions’

Tel: 01700 811 000

Tighnabruaich • Argyll • PA21 2DR • Email:

Open seven days a week - from 10am - 5pm

marine DC yacht survey & boat trips BOAT TRIPS: Enjoy sightseeing trips or sea angling in the Kyles of Bute on the converted fishing boat Morag


If you would like to be involved in our Kyles of Bute guide for 2010 please contact a member of our friendly sales team

If you are visiting the Loch Lomand or Cowal area why not get out and enjoy the beautiful Kyles of Bute from the water. These 1 or 2 hour trips are ideal for families and guaranteed to keep the kids happy in any weather. Seals, porpoises and dolphins are regular sightings, as well as a huge variety of bird life. Groups of up to 10 can be embarked, and as well as all the necessary safety gear, the vessel is equipped with buoyancy aids for children of all ages. Longer trips for picnics or visiting the Isle of Bute can also be arranged. The Morag carries fishing tackle for those that would like to try their hand at fishing, and experienced angling parties are also very welcome. Trips depart from Tighnabruaich Pier on the Kyles of Bute.

Contact Donald on t:01700 811 538 or m:07799 661 493

Tel: 0141 581 2646




MOUNT STUART HOUSE Rothesay, Isle of Bute PA20 9LR Tel: 01700 503877 |

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Read more about where to stay and eat, places to visit and things to do in Rothesay & Bute from page 29-39.



Getting there...




OPTION 1: Take a train to Gourock, followed by a ferry to Dunoon. Train Ferry Gourock - Dunoon Caledonian MacBrayne or Western Ferries OPTION 2: The Cowal Connector: a bus service from Glasgow to McInroy’s Point, with a ferry link to Dunoon town centre. Bus & Ferry The Cowal Connector McGill’s Buses OPTION 3: Take the scenic drive via the Erskine Bridge and Loch Lomond National Park.The journey takes approximately 1 hr 50 min from Glasgow Int. Airport.

IMAGE: Courtesy of X Bikes Argyll

THIS bustling town has all the attractions and luxuries of a modern tourist destination, yet it is idyllically set amid a timeless and unspoilt area of outstanding natural beauty. Because of its remote and secluded location in this part of rural Scotland, as well as its close proximity to Glasgow, Dunoon is often dubbed ‘the gateway to the highlands and islands’. The town is the ideal starting point for deeper exploration of the Scottish highlands and islands, and city dwellers flock to Dunoon for its gentle lakes, lush forests, magnificent views and lively social scene. Perhaps the most beguiling quality of Dunoon is the captivating history that echoes throughout its streets, forests, lochs, glens and mountains. The Holy Loch, which borders the town, was a submarine base during the Second World War, and from the 1960s to the 1990s it played host to an American naval base, which consisted of a floating dry-dock and supply ship. Dunoon first became a prime holiday destination in the 1800s during the heyday of the Waverley paddle steamer - the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world.The Waverley still stops regularly at Dunoon pier during the summer months, as well as at the villages of Blairmore and Tighnabruaich. 17



ABBOT’S BRAE HOTEL West Bay Dunoon Argyll PA23 7QJ Tel: 01369 705021 Nestled high amongst established woodland with views over the Firth of Clyde, Abbot’s Brae is the perfect luxurious getaway.This small family-run hotel is only one mile from Dunoon’s town centre. It was originally built in 1843 as a holiday retreat for an affluent Glasgow glass merchant, and the house still maintains many of its original features. It is set in its own secluded woodland garden with breathtaking views of the sea and hills.The owners pride themselves on creating a

welcoming home with an emphasis on relaxation and comfort. The grounds of Abbot’s Brae play host to frequent visits from roe deer and red squirrels, alongside an abundance of bird-life.The hotel staff are happy to assist with arranging any activities in the area, such as rambling, sailing, fishing, golf, hill-walking, pony-trekking, boat trips, scenic drives and historical site visits. There are eight spacious en-suite bedrooms, with a choice of luxurious fourposter, king-size, double and twin bedrooms. Prices range from £44 to £74 per person per night depending on the type of room and season.

HUNTERS QUAY HOTEL Marine Parade Dunoon Argyll PA23 8HJ Tel: 01369 707070 www.huntersquay This luxurious four-star hotel is a classic and newly refurbished fine Victorian villa located on a superb seafront location, with its own spacious garden of tended lawns and mature woodland gardens. The hotel serves modern Scottish style cooking with the freshest local produce.There’s a wide selection of international top quality wines and spirits that you can enjoy with the stunning views across the Clyde Estuary and Highland scenery. There are ten various sized

ABBOT’S BRAE HOTEL: Nestled high amongst established woodland with views over the Firth of Clyde 18


en-suite bedrooms, guaranteed to make your stay in Dunoon a memorable and enjoyable experience. Owners Graham and Christine Togwell promise a relaxing atmosphere from this family-run hotel. Prices of the rooms range from £49 - £66 per night depending on the type of room.

••••••••••••••••••••••• ST IVES HOTEL West Bay, Dunoon Argyll PA23 7HU Tel: 01369 704825 This beautiful cosy Victorian hotel has been in the family since 1983.The hotel is situated on the traffic-free west bay with magnificent views of the Firth of Clyde, yet it’s only minutes from the town centre. You can enjoy drinks in the comfortable lounge and choose from a variety of dishes made from local produce. Menus change daily and vegetarian and alternative diets can be catered for. All the rooms are en-suite with television, radio, telephone, and hair dryer, as well as complimentary tea and coffee. A single room will cost from £32 - £45 per night, whilst a double/twin is £58 £65 per room.

ROSSCAIRN HOTEL: Family-run Victorian house hotel

ROSSCAIRN HOTEL 51 Hunter Street Kirn, Dunoon Argyll PA23 8JR Tel: 01369 704344 Rosscairn is a small family-run Victorian house hotel with an emphasis on peace and tranquillity. Situated within large gardens in a quiet residential area of Kirn, this hotel is approximately one and a half miles from the centre of Dunoon. There are two lounges, both comfortably furnished, equipped with colour television and video.There is a wide range of books and games available to enjoy.The bright spacious dining room overlooks the adjacent Cowal golf course and surrounding hills. Delicious meals are prepared using the finest local

produce, including fresh Scottish beef, fish and vegetables.The hotel offers a choice of menus, which change daily. To underpin their ethos of peace and tranquillity, the owners have chosen to be an unlicensed hotel - much to the delight of returning guests who often provide their own wine! With only seven bedrooms (3 twin, 2 double and 2 family rooms) guests can be guaranteed of personal attention throughout their stay.The quiet en-suite bedrooms are tastefully decorated with tea, coffee and radio alarms. Most rooms offer spectacular views over the golf course to the Cowal Hills. The price for bed and breakfast is from £32.50 per night sharing, and from £42.50 per night single. 19



BAY HOUSE HOTEL West Bay, Dunoon Argyll PA23 7HU Tel: 01369 704832

The price for bed and breakfast is £30 per person per night. For dinner, bed and breakfast it is £44 per person.

Owners Linda and Rick Murry will greet you with a warm welcome in this small familyrun hotel that has been awarded three stars by the Scottish Tourist Board. Bay House Hotel is situated on the quiet, traffic-free west bay promenade, just a few steps away from Dunoon town centre, with spectacular views of the Firth of Clyde and the Islands of Arran, Bute and the Cumbraes. The hotel features six wellpresented rooms in various sizes, including one double room and two spacious family rooms.

••••••••••••••••••••••• PARK HOTEL Glenmorag Avenue, The West Bay, Dunoon Argyll PA23 7LG Tel: 01369 702383 www.parkhotel Family-run hotels seem to be the trend in Dunoon, and this establishment is bang on trend with its comfortable and tastefully decorated accommodation. The extensive and innovative menu is served in the newly refurbished dining room to both guests and visitors.The

menu reflects the vast choice of local produce available from this part of Argyll - the highest quality Scottish beef, fresh sea bass, Loch Fyne rainbow trout, locally smoked salmon, lemon sole and freshly caught and prepared scallops. Look out for beautifully presented entrees that are complimented with delicious, well-considered sauces and a variety of delicately prepared vegetables. The wine cellar offers a large choice of fine wines and champagnes, and make sure to ask the owners about their vast selection of malt whiskys. The lively night entertainment in the large function suite is open to both guests and passers-by. There’s a choice of twin rooms, doubles, a family room

BAY HOUSE HOTEL: Comfortable accommodation boasting both fantastic garden and view 20


entertainment in the ballroom. The hotel holds 64 en-suite rooms and boasts the Lamont and Lauder restaurant, a sea view ballroom and bar, a games room/snooker table, full size all-weather bowling greens and McColls famous five course buffet meals! PARK HOTEL

and a luxury suite - many with superb, uninterrupted views of the Firth of Clyde. All the rooms have been tastefully designed with the weary traveller in mind, and have a television, tea and coffee facilities and an en-suite bathroom. The price for a single room is £50 room per night and £70 for a double room, both including breakfast.

••••••••••••••••••••••• MCCOLLS HOTEL 1 Tom a Mhoid Road Dunoon, Argyll PA23 7HN Tel: 01369 702 764 Hotline: 08702 40 30 80 Facing south, down the beautiful Clyde, surrounded by the hills of Argyll and looking towards the Isles of Cumbrae, Bute & Arran, lies this hotel. If it’s a lively time that you’re after, then look no further because there’s regular dancing and evening

Bed and breakfast costs £29 per person per night and dinner bed and breakfast is £39 per person per night.

••••••••••••••••••••••• THE ESPLANADE HOTEL West Bay, Dunoon Argyll PA23 7HU Tel: 01369 704070 There is a warm and friendly atmosphere in this long established family hotel. Situated on the west bay promenade, the Esplanade offers comfortable accommodation, appetizing meals, friendly service and a warm welcome. Staying at this hotel, you can enjoy the entertainment that is provided on most evenings, as well as whisky tasting, golf, sailing and cycling breaks - or perhaps just go for a few days of relaxation. Family accommodation is available, and the hotel welcomes children of all ages. Bed & Breakfast per night per person is £39.

WEST END HOTEL West Bay, Dunoon Argyll PA23 7HU Tel: 01369 702907 Do you want to enjoy the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of Dunoon’s west end? This hotel is situated on the traffic-free west bay and is blessed with magnificent views of the Clyde Estuary - yet is only a few minutes walk from the town centre. There is varied cuisine and vegetarians can be catered for by advanced request.The chef uses fresh Aberdeenshire meat and local produce to create tasty home-style cooking. Guests can enjoy their meals in the ambience of the Tudor dining room.The hotel is licensed with a well stocked bar, and the lounge area features a dance floor, with live entertainment most weekends - perfect for those who want a boogie during their stay. A separate games room provides a full sized pool table and dart board. If that’s not enough to keep you entertained then why not sit and relax on the sun terrace taking in the views of the River Clyde. All rooms are en-suite, and have television and tea and coffee making facilities. The price for bed and breakfast is from only £29 per night, and dinner, bed and breakfast from £39 21



LA CANTINA ITALIAN RESTAURANT Basement level 200 Argyll St, Dunoon Argyll PA23 7HA Tel: 01369 705550 This rustic restaurant serves fine Italian cuisine, with an extensive menu to choose from with daily specials, as well as excellent wines and beers. A takeaway menu is also available and the restaurant is very family friendly and caters for business lunches. Opening hours are 5.30pm to 10pm seven days a week.

••••••••••••••••••••• CHATTERS RESTAURANT 58 John Street, Dunoon Argyll PA23 8BJ Tel: 01369 706 402 Delicious Scottish produce, unique surroundings, a superb selection of fine wines and a pudding trolley make this award-winning restaurant an unforgettable experience. An AA Rosette and recommendations from A Taste of Scotland and Scotland The Best has helped Chatters build up an established reputation as one of the finest dining experiences on the west coast. You can relax before or after your meal in the cosy conservatory area and appreciate the regular art exhibitions. Enjoy a light lunch, or sample 22


the A La Carte evening menu which includes terrine of chicken livers studded with potato wrapped in parma ham with a pistachio dressing and roast breast of wood pigeon with caramelised onion, Madeira and thyme reduction to start, and for your main you can choose supreme of guinea fowl with smoked cheese mousseline, potato rosti and sweet pepper coulis.

••••••••••••••••••••• THE 51ST STATE BAR AND GRILL Ground floor level 200 Argyll St Dunoon Argyll PA23 7HA Tel: 01369 705550 Located next door to the Italian you’ll find this authentic bar and grill - perfect for those

Scottish produce

who want some hearty American or Italian cuisine. The bar and grill is open from 10am for coffees, pastries and filled rolls. Lunches and snacks are served from 12pm.

••••••••••••••••••••• COT HOUSE HOTEL Basement level Kilmun, Dunoon Argyll PA23 8QS Tel: 01369 840260 The Cot House Hotel is a traditional inn open all year serving food and drink all day, located a 10-minute drive from Dunoon centre.The interior is cosy thanks to the open log fires and warm ambiance. There is also a children’s play area and a beer garden perfect for those warm summer days.

Holy Loch Marina in Dunoon is at the gateway to the Highlands, on the Cowal Peninsula, where landscape meets seascape. This is one of the most spectacular and picturesque locations in the United Kingdom and is a secure haven for sailing.

Holy Loch Marina, Rankin’s Brae, Sandbank, Dunoon PA23 8FE Tel: 01369 701800 | VHF: Channel 80 | Email:


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HOLY LOCH MARINA Rankin’s Brae Sandbank, Dunoon Argyll PA23 8FE Tel: 01369 701800 Perfectly situated amongst beautiful scenery in a relaxing, established holiday area, the Holy Loch Marina offers all the sailing and yachting facilities you would expect to find in a first class marina. Located right at ‘the gateway to the highlands and islands’ it will come as no surprise that this marina is a secure haven for sailing. Whether you’re sailing around the Cowal peninsula or travelling a little further afield to the highlands or islands, this classy marina is the perfect place to berth your boat, refuel, use the toilets and showers, do your laundry or stock up on some necessary provisions for your trip. Here is the impressively long list of facilities available on site: Holy Loch coffee shop and brokerage; Clyde Sea Recovery (in case you break down at sea!), ARU Ltd (a tour company);The Majestic Line (offering cruises); Atelier 23 studio (the working studio and gallery of contemporary Scottish artist, Ronnie Ford); Proform Marine (boat training, ship security and assistance and executive charter); Marine Blast (Yacht and commercial 24


anti-foul, paint and varnish removal); St Hilda Charter and Nautical School (chartering and training); Swordfish Marine (marine Engineers) and finally, Cumbrae Voyages (offering wildlife and island boat trips from the marina).

••••••••••••••••••••••• ARDKINGLAS HOUSE & WOODLAND GARDEN Estate Office The Square Cairndow Argyll PA26 8BG Tel: 01499 600261 The impressive Ardkinglas Estate covers around 12,000 acres of lush, hilly ground that is home to sheep, deer, birds and other wild animals. The House sits to the east of

Loch Fyne on a fairytale site amongst ancient woodland. The present house at Ardkinglas was completed in the autumn of 1907, and alongside the traditional strengths of the design is a wealth of new technology, including cavity walls, concrete floors, the latest sanitary fittings, top quality ironmongery and a fully equipped kitchen and scullery with numerous larders. House tours are available by prior appointment. It is still primarily a family home but for most of the year the largest reception rooms are available for hire for conferences and events, as well as a location for filming and photography - in 2003 Eastenders featured the drawing room as the location


for Barry Evans’ wedding, before he met his end in Glen Fyne. (Did he fall or was he pushed?) Nearby, the famous Ardkinglas Woodland Garden follows the tumbling waters of the River Kinglas. Parts of the gardens date back to the eighteenth century, notably the ‘Caspian’ ornamental lake, the large walled garden and some of the specimen trees in the woodland garden. Ardkinglas’ tree shop specialises in supplying native and ornamental trees, rhododendrons and conifers, many of which are reared on the west coast of Scotland. In addition to the plants you’ll find an exciting array of gift and craft items: books and cards; toys and puzzles; garden tools and much more. There is also a cafe where you can relax and enjoy homemade soup, a smoked salmon and cream cheese roll, a delicious jacket potato or one of their fair trade coffees and delicious cakes. The shop and café are open everyday 9.30am - 5.30pm. A choice of three walks is offered to allow people to fully absorb the beautiful surroundings.The Heritage walk is £4 per person, and the Glen Fyne and Newton Hill walks cost £5 per person. A house tour costs £6 per person.

BENMORE BOTANIC GARDEN: Enchanting garden steeped in history

BENMORE BOTANIC GARDENS Benmore Botanic Garden Dunoon, Argyll PA23 8QU Tel: 01369 706 261 Seven miles north of Dunoon you’ll find this enchanting garden steeped in history and surrounded by dramatic scenery. Benmore’s 120 acres boast over 300 species of rhododendron; Bhutanese and Chilean plantings and a spectacular avenue of Giant Redwoods. Take a leisurely stroll through the Benmore Botanic Gardens and see the world famous conifers and rhododendrons providing interest throughout the year, set against spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. The Benmore Café offers an excellent range of fair trade coffees and teas, traditional home-baking, snacks or meals. The Café also offers full

disabled facilities together with a warm welcome in very pleasant surroundings. The Benmore Shop offers the keen gardener a wide selection of books, gifts and plants, some of which can be seen growing in the garden. Wheelchair users may explore the extensive lower areas of the garden.The Benmore Explorer people carrier offers rides for those with mobility needs information about running times is available from the Visitor Reception. The garden is open daily, 1st March - 31st October 10am 5pm.The café and shop remain open throughout winter, 1st November - 28th February 10am - 4pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays). Admission is £4 for adults, £3.50 for concessions, £1 for children and £9 for families. 25




CASTLE HOUSE MUSEUM Castle House, Argyll Street, Dunoon Argyll PA23 7HH Tel: 01369 701422 www.castlehouse The Castle House Museum, which has been open since 1998, is one of Dunoon’s most historic buildings.The town became a popular holiday resort when Lord Provost Ewing of Glasgow bought the land around the ruined medieval castle and built himself a holiday home.This was in 1824 and many other wealthy businessmen followed his example. The museum was set up through the enthusiasm and vision of the late Arthur Allan. The first venture was a limited exhibition, displaying models of Clyde steamers and items associated with them.Through hard work and passion for the local area, volunteers have gradually built up the museum and it now tells the story of Cowal from the Stone Age right through to the Americans using the place for their nuclear submarines. The museum is set in wellmaintained gardens affording excellent views of the Firth of Clyde and surrounding hills. Free car parking is available just outside the museum door for visitors. 26

X BIKES: Explore Scotland’s stunning scenery on a mountain bike

From Easter to October, the museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10.30am - 4.30pm and from 2.00pm - 4.30pm on Sundays. Admission is £2 for adults, £1.50 for concessions and £1.50 for accompanied children.

••••••••••••••••••••• X BIKES ARGYLL Hunter’s Quay Holiday Village, Dunoon Argyll PA23 8HP Tel: 07826 516 745 This company’s mantra is to take only photographs and leave only tyre marks! And why not explore the stunning scenery on a top brand mountain bike hired out from this well-established hire shop? Dunoon and the surrounding parts of Argyll provide the

perfect terrain and scenic backdrop for mountain biking with the easy access to cycle trails.You can enjoy gentle scenic rides along the shores of Loch Eck or for a more challenging route, take the Lochgoilhead to Arrochar loop. Deals can be arranged in advance regarding bulk hire, longer period rides, tours and tailored trips. With X Bikes Argyll you can make it a day out for the whole family as the bike company caters for everyone. Prices start at £15 per day for an adult and £10 for a child, and go up to £80 for seven days for an adult and £50 for a child. Children’s trailer bikes, baby bike seats and car racks can also be hired for £5 each per day.


COWAL GOLF COURSE Ardenslate Road, Dunoon Argyll PA23 8LT Tel: 01369 705673 Golf enthusiasts will find it hard to resist playing this picturesque 18-hole course with panoramic views over the Firth of Clyde and an inviting spacious clubhouse facility, where changing rooms and showers are available. Here you are warmly invited to play a round of golf in the scenic location, and then dine and quench your thirst in the dining room and bar.

beginners or experienced riders.The centre also specialises in disabled riding, and is TRSS and RDA approved.

••••••••••••••••••••• ATELIER 23 Holy Loch Marina Sandbank Dunoon PA23 8QB Tel: 01369 704 817 Atelier 23 is the working studio and gallery of Ronnie and Carol Ford.The studio stocks a wide range of exciting arts and

crafts, many exclusive to Scotland, including original paintings and prints by internationally renowned contemporary artist Ronnie Ford, photography by Alan G Forsyth, graffiti and abstract art created by Swiss Artist Marcel Meier and limited edition giclee prints by Hong Kong illustrator Jonathan Jay Lee.Within the gallery visitors will also find jewellery crafted by Rosemary Graham, sculpture and jewellery by glass artist Petra Kaiser, woodcraft by Trevor Fenwick and cushions and knits by Carol Ford and Ina Leith.

A round costs from £14 for adults and from £7 for children, depending on the day and the time of year.

••••••••••••••••••••• PONY TREKKING Velvet Path Trekking & Riding Centre Campbell Road Innellan, By Dunoon Argyll PA23 7SL Tel: 01369 830580 Want to experience the exhilaration of riding wonderful Icelandic and Fell ponies on the beach or through the forests? Then discover pony trekking in Innellan, just ten minutes drive from Dunoon town centre.The trekking is suitable for

ATELIER 23: Summer Story by Ronnie Ford 27



QUADMANIA Stronchullin Farm, Blairmore, Argyll Tel: 01369 810289 | ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Read more about where to stay and eat, places to visit and things to do in Ardentinny from page 41-47.



Getting there...




OPTION 1: Take a train to Wemyss Bay, followed by a 35-minute ferry crossing to Rothesay. Train Ferry Wemyss Bay - Rothesay Caledonian MacBrayne OPTION 2: The Waverley paddle steamer sails from Glasgow to Rothesay during the summer months. Sailing days and prices vary so it's vital to phone and check the dates that you're wishing to travel. A single trip costs around £20.30 per person. Waverley

IMAGE: Courtesy of Waverley Excursions Ltd,

THIS small, characterful island is tucked peacefully into the spectacular sea lochs of southern Argyll. The island was once a popular Victorian seaside destination, and the main town of Rothesay would often be bustling with daytrippers who had come “doon the watter” during the Glasgow Fair and disembarked from the many steamers that once sailed the Clyde. The town's heyday was in the thriving fifties when working-class Glaswegians would flock there for their seaside holiday. However, the historic town has been attracting a very different kind of tourist of late - walkers, cyclists and anglers, and even music lovers for the annual jazz festival which usually takes place in May. As one of the easiest west coast islands to reach from the mainland, this beautiful, pastoral island offers all the quaint benefits of a remote island without any of the tiresome travel arrangements. As the ancestral home of the Stuart Kings of Scotland, Bute is steeped in history and in every nook and cranny of the compact island (it's only 15 miles long and is just 5 miles wide at its widest point) you'll find some fascinating relic of a bygone age. Rothesay stands proudly amid the green fields and sandy shores of its remarkable island, Bute, and is well worth a visit to see what all the fuss is about - you'll not be disappointed! 29



THE VICTORIA HOTEL 55 Victoria Street Rothesay Isle of Bute PA20 0AP Tel: 01700 500016 This accommodation is historically celebrated as one of the most prestigious hotels in Scotland. Having undergone a creative and inspirational transformation, the Victoria Hotel now combines the best of Scottish traditional values with modern state of the art facilities. You can choose to enjoy the culinary delights of the hotel's gourmet restaurant which is fully licensed and serves local Scottish and international cuisine. For a less formal ambience, why not try the bistro cafe where you can

enjoy a traditional Scottish breakfast? The stylish rooms are all ensuite, with television, coffee and tea making facilities, along with the all important views of the Clyde coast and island of Bute. A single room is £50 per person and a double is £96 per room – both prices include breakfast.

••••••••••••••••••••• THE BOAT HOUSE 15 Battery Place, Rothesay Isle of Bute PA20 9DP Tel: 01700 502696 This beautiful seafront guesthouse offers the discerning visitor a warm and inviting ambience.

BALMORY HALL: Set in six acres of beautifully kept private grounds 30

Proprietors Paul and Sara have created a simple yet elegant interior that should appeal to the weariest of travellers.Their aim is for even a short stopover to become a long-term memory - for all the right reasons. On the ground floor there is a spacious sitting room with a television and stereo for guests, as well as a varied selection of reading material about the island. All the rooms have a television, hair dryer, extra blankets, either en-suite or a private bath - and access to ample street parking.The guesthouse is family friendly and can provide cots, baby chairs and changing mats. If you are a family of three, just ask for a camp bed to help you save on costs. Paul and Sara are willing to lend out their DVD player as well as any little extras you may require such as an iron, wake-up calls, and toiletries (“just ask!”). There is a room suitable for disabled or mobility impaired guests on the ground floor. For breakfast you can expect local produce and a choice available for vegetarians. If staying on a Saturday between May and September, a two night booking is required. Prices start at £32.50 per person per night based on two people sharing.


BALMORY HALL: Bute Suite - overlooking the grounds and beyond

BALMORY HALL Ascog Isle of Bute PA20 9LL Tel: 01700 500 669 The owners of Balmory Hall have always had an ambition to create an atmosphere of a Victorian house party.Their vision is for guests to arrive tired from their travels and work, to be greeted and cared for by the perfect hosts in this oasis of peace and tranquility, set in an area of remarkable natural beauty. Overlooking Ascog Bay, with a colony of seals, Balmory Hall is set in six acres of private grounds, where deer, owls, hawks, hares and a myriad of other wildlife visit.The Lodge stands alone and is ideal for guests seeking complete seclusion. An interesting fact about the hall is that when Mount Stuart House was destroyed by fire in 1878, the 3rd Marquess of Bute and his family lived at Balmory Hall until his own Gothic

mansion was completed. The proprietors have lived in the hall since 1999 and have sympathetically restored Balmory to preserve the elegance of opulent bygone times, providing spacious ensuite bedrooms with breakfast and individual self-catering or serviced apartments. You can choose between a room with breakfast, serviced suite and self catering. Prices start at £75 per person for single occupancy and a double room starts at £110 for two people sharing.

••••••••••••••••••••••• BAYVIEW HOTEL 21-22 Mountstuart Road Rothesay Isle of Bute PA20 9EB Tel: 01700 505411 A friendly Scottish welcome from the McGregor family awaits the traveller in this

lovely Victorian house hotel, which is ideally situated on the seafront, only 10 minutes walk from the pier. This elegant house is ideally situated on the quiet Craigmore shore with panoramic views over Rothesay Bay and looking up towards Loch Striven and the famous Kyles of Bute. Relax and enjoy the Victorian grandeur of days gone by in this beautiful building with many of its features still intact. There is a wide choice on the menu, and all dishes are traditionally home cooked making use of the nearby fresh produce, be it trout caught from Loch Fad or Isle of Bute roast lamb. Make sure to leave room for the hotel's specialty dessert - bread and butter pudding - often specially requested by the guests. The Bayview has twelve attractive spacious nonsmoking bedrooms. Eight rooms are en-suite and all rooms have television, dock radio, hairdryer and courtesy tray. Eight rooms enjoy panoramic views over Rothesay Bay and the other four rooms look out onto the garden, which has the occasional visit from the roe deer which room freely on Bute. Prices start at £32 per person per night including breakfast 31



CANNON HOUSE HOTEL Battery Place, Rothesay Isle of Bute PA20 9DP Tel: 01700 502819 www.cannonhouse Originally built many moons ago (in 1827) as a gentleman’s residence, Cannon House stands in an area steeped in history. Just ask the owners why the hotel is called ‘Cannon House’ and why the road is called ‘Battery Place’ - they’ll fill you in with all the interesting history of the spot involving Oliver Cromwell and Napoleon. The hotel forms an ideal base for any type of holiday whether it is a relaxing break or an activity holiday. A number of activities can be arranged for any guest whether your interest is golf, cycling, riding, fishing or sailing.


A delicious dinner menu is available each evening which takes advantage of the locally produced fish, meat and cheese, complimented by a moderately priced wine list. An a la carte dinner menu is available for approximately £18 per head for a four course dinner with coffee. After dinner you can retire to the hotel lounge and enjoy one of the many Scottish whiskys on offer at the bar. The hotel holds six doubles and one twin room. All rooms have a private bath or shower, a television, hairdryers and tea and coffee making facilities most boast sea views. The prices range from £35 per person per night, with the suites costing either £45 or £50 per person per night. Single supplement charges apply.

THE ARDYNE HOTEL 38 Mountstuart Road Rothesay Isle of Bute PA20 9EB Tel: 01700 502052 The Ardyne Hotel is situated in a prominent position on the seafront in Rothesay, just five minutes by car from the main ferry, or a leisurely stroll for those leaving their cars at home. This comfortable hotel is an elegant listed Victorian villa designed by John Orkney in 1875 and its importance is recognized by Historic Scotland. Its setting within well tended gardens creates an ideal ambience for a relaxing break and its spectacular views across Rothesay Bay to the Cowal Hills and the Kyles of Bute are unsurpassed. The Ardyne has 19 en-suite bedrooms all comfortably furnished and well appointed. There is a large lounge and bar, both with stunning sea views where you can relax, enjoy a drink, read the papers or just sit and stare at the magnificent views.The enticing menus always feature fresh local produce. Meals are complemented by a fine selection of wines, beers and malt whiskies. Since the hotel has a small team and always buys fresh local produce, advance bookings for dinner are essential!


A single room will cost from £37.50, a double/twin room with a garden view from £29.50 per person, a double/twin room with a sea view from £40 per person.

••••••••••••••••••••••• THE ESPLANADE HOTEL 4 High Street Rothesay Isle of Bute PA20 9AR Tel: 01700 50 2001

IVYBANK VILLA Bridge St/Westland’s Rd Rothesay Isle of Bute PA20 0HQ Tel: 01700 505064 Mob: 07774598129

This large, traditional hotel is perfectly located adjacent to the ferry terminal and offers spectacular views over Rothesay Bay. It is a popular place to dine anytime of the day - whether it be early morning or late evening. There’s a lively atmosphere in this hotel thanks to the many live shows, band performances and comedy, jazz and folk nights. The 17-bedroom hotel offers good quality budget accommodation and it has been pleasantly described as a traditional west of Scotland boarding house with a license.

This elegant and beautifully restored Georgian Villa boasts spectacular, panoramic views all the way from Rothesay Bay to the scenic Cowal hills and Peninsula. Built and occupied by a Captain John Stuart (namesake of Lord Bute) in 1795, the house sits in over two acres of exotically planted gardens which are a haven for resident wildlife such as deer, owls, bats, hedgehogs, fish and the full spectrum of wild birds. The rooms are beautifully restored period bedrooms that evoke a bygone age. All rooms have luxury king-size beds, with the rooms to the front having spectacular sea and mountain views, whilst those at the rear have views of the extensive gardens.The villa’s new master bedroom boasts a living room, large en-suite and dressing area.

Prices vary depending on type of room, length of stay, dates and type of boarding so contact the hotel to check which package will suit you best.

All double rooms are £34.50 per person, and single occupancy in a double room is £45. A family room for four is £100 (children up to 14).

MUNRO’S BED & BREAKFAST 17 Ardmory Road Ardbeg, Rothesay Isle of Bute PA20 0PG Tel: 01700 502346 Formally known as the Ardmory House Hotel, this cozy bed and breakfast has recently opened with some upgrading, decoration and a refreshing lick of paint. Perched on the hill in Ardbeg, Munro’s is in a lovely quiet location and enjoys marvellous views over the bay. On beautiful mornings you can have a relaxing breakfast on the terrace - you may even spot a fish in the lily-pond! Munro’s are committed to being as green as they can and have free range hens that produce beautiful fresh eggs. They use organic and local produce wherever possible and are committed recyclers. The beautifully decorated rooms are all en-suite - one with a whirlpool bath - and also include flat screen television, wireless broadband access, under floor heating in the bathrooms, lovely soft bathrobes, specialty and Fairtrade teas and luxurious toiletries. Prices start at £50 for a single room and £70 for a double, both including breakfast. 33



THE GREEN TREE CAFÉ Moat Community Centre Rothesay Isle of Bute PA20 0JT Tel: 01700 503724 uk/TheGreenTreeCafe.php Set up to promote healthy eating among the islanders, this cafe serves interesting food at good value for money. Eighty percent of the dishes are vegetarian and there’s a wide choice of fresh and wholesome treats on the menu.These range from simple delicious dishes to more adventurous meals. Besides traditional tea and coffee you can choose from a wide range of organic fruit and vegetable juices and herbal teas. The menu is designed to be tasty, affordable and healthy. Whenever possible, organic, local and seasonal ingredients

are used. The Green Tree Café opens Tuesdays to Fridays from 10am to 2pm.There’s a carry out service available for those on the go.

••••••••••••••••••••••• THE WATERFRONT BISTRO 16 East Princes Street Rothesay, Isle of Bute Tel: 01700 505166 www.thewaterfront If you’re looking for some home-cooked food served in a relaxed, casual atmosphere then get yourself along to this pretty bistro that has excellent harbour and bay views. Located in a former Victorian chemist’s shop, the waterfront bistro offers an extensive menu to suit most tastes.There’s a wide selection of fish, duck, chicken and Scottish beef and

lamb which is individually selected and prepared by the skilled local butcher. However, vegetarian diners should not be disappointed as there is always a meat-free selection on offer. All dishes can be nicely washed down by some quality wines served at affordable prices. The bistro aims to serve up home cooked food in a relaxed and informal atmosphere, so there’s no need to dress up for dinner - and be aware that the portions are generous!

••••••••••••••••••••••• THE KETTLEDRUM 32 East Princes St Rothesay, Isle of Bute Tel: 01700 505324 This café is in a prime location overlooking the harbour and pontoons.You can enjoy everything from a fresh ground coffee to some home baking, a snack or a three-course meal. The café is open from 10.30am - late.

••••••••••••••••••••••• THE BLACK BULL Albert Place Rothesay, Isle of Bute Tel: 01700 502366

THE GREEN TREE CAFÉ: The menu - tasty, affordable and healthy 34

Rothesay’s oldest pub serves tasty, rustic food, along with an impressive selection of fine ales and lagers.The pub’s sizzling platter steaks have been recommended as second to none for a tasty feed.


Haste ye back! For further information, contact: Rothesay Golf Club Canada Hill | Isle Of Bute | t: 01700 503 554 |

Established in 2004 by David & Mary Jayne Kilpatrick, the Bike Shed is Bute’s cycle shop with a difference. We carry an extensive range of quality bikes and stock a full range of bike accessories including clothing, helmets, glasses, shorts, name it we’ve got it. As well as a large range of high quality workwear, boots and farm machinery replica toys. Cycle hire is available all year round (every day that we are open). All our hire bikes are from the Raleigh range and include a helmets, lock, a basic map and even mudguards for those West of Scotland wet days.

23-25 East Princess St. | Rothesay | Isle Of Bute | 01700 505515

W W W. T H E B I K E S H E D. O R G . U K

Welcome to our newly-enlarged pontoon facilities at the heart of the Royal Burgh of Rothesay on the beautiful Isle of Bute, operated by us on behalf of the island community. Rothesay Harbour, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, PA20 9AQ

Tel 07799724225 | email: | Call sign: “Bute Berthing” - Ch16/37




BUTE BERTHING COMPANY 15 Watergate, Rothesay Isle of Bute PA20 9AB Tel: 01700 500630 The Isle of Bute is often referred to as Scotland’s Jewel in the Clyde, so where better to berth your boat than Rothesay? This well-established berthing company has managed the outer harbour pontoons and the moorings on Rothesay for the last 14 years. Because of Bute Berthing, the town can now offer 68 berths plus 20 visitor moorings in the bay. This exciting and successful company is constantly growing and expanding its services.The main pier is soon to be altered to provide 24-hour access to toilet facilities. Berthing dues overnight start at £11 for 21ft - 6m and go up to £37 for 60ft 18m. A short stay will cost £5 for up to a maximum of four hours. Moorings cost £7 per night.

••••••••••••••••••••••• THE BIKE SHED 23-25 East Princes Street Rothesay Isle of Bute Tel: 01700 505515 Be sure not to miss anything 36

on this wonderful island by hiring a bike from the bike shed and exploring the island in all its glory.There are miles of flat roads by the coast on the east side of the island, and for the more experienced or fitter rider, the route around the island takes in some breathtaking scenery. Fully trained members of staff are on hand to advise you on routes and helpful hints to biking around Bute.There’s a fleet of bikes available to suit everyone. All the hire bikes are from the Raleigh range and include: mountain bikes, hybrids, a tandem, 24” youth bikes, 20” kids bikes, tag-alongs and a buggy and baby seats. Helmets, locks and a basic map are all provided. All adult bikes come with mudguards for those West of Scotland wet days. Cycle hire is available all year round (every day that they are open). Prices start at £10 for four hours for an adult bike.

••••••••••••••••••••••• ROTHESAY GOLF CLUB Canada Hill, Rothesay Isle of Bute PA20 9HN Tel: 01700 503554 www.rothesay Golf enthusiasts will relish in this course with its spectacular panoramas and refreshing sea breezes. Arguably one of

Scotland’s most scenic, the course was founded in 1892 and designed by James Braid in 1908. It boasts unparalleled panoramic views of the Kyles of Bute, Clyde coast, Arran and the Cowal Peninsula. It’s only 5419 yards long but don’t be deceived! The 18 holes will present any player with a challenge, whether it be the rolling par 4s or the testing par 3s. Ryder Cup stalwart Eric Brown thought that the 4th hole was one of the most difficult Par 3s in Europe.The great Walter Hagen played the course and said that the views could not be beaten anywhere in the world! With continuous height changes, most of the senior members use pull or powered trolleys which are available to rent to visitors. The clubhouse is open for meals and drinks - perfect for after round relaxation. Off Peak deals, parties, and offers involving the ferry and local hotels and B & Bs can be arranged through club professional Jim Dougal.

••••••••••••••••••••••• MOUNT STUART HOUSE Rothesay Isle of Bute PA20 9LR Tel: 01700 503877 This award-winning historical attraction (one of Britain’s


most astounding Victorian gothic mansions) sits proudly in Rothesay. Still a family home, this majestic house has a long and intriguing history - descending right back to the ancient kings of Scotland, known as the Stuarts. With a visit to the grounds, you’ll see the flamboyant mansion in all its glory, alongside the labyrinth gardens, a restaurant, gallery, gift shop and garden centre all open to the public. Wandering around the immense grounds you’ll feel as if you’ve escaped to a wild and wonderful kingdom. Mount Stuart’s gardens were designed upon an exquisite natural canvas provided by the island’s lush habitat and picturesque shoreline.Today they are amongst Europe’s finest - incorporating three hundred acres of vibrant gardens, wilderness and woodland. The restaurant allows you to savour fresh, seasonal and locally sourced food while you take in the panoramic views across the grounds.The frameless glass walls allow you to fully appreciate the glorious views and in the summer you can dine al fresco on the balcony. It is easy to see why the restaurant has already been dubbed “the best looking” in Scotland. The gift shop offers an


enticing and unusual selection of quality products, from postcards and books to children’s toys and local food. Also available are a selection of Mount Stuart branded items including stationery and kitchenware. The acclaimed gallery is a dedicated space for exhibiting contemporary art. It continues a long-standing Stuart family passion for creative flair that has been evident since the 3rd Marquess of Bute. The grounds are open daily from 1 May to 30 September. The opening times for the house are 11am - 5pm Sunday to Friday and 10am - 2.30pm on a Saturday. For the gardens it is 10am - 6pm daily. Guided tours take place every hour on the hour between 11pm - 3pm Sunday to Friday and between 10am 1pm on a Saturday. Admission for the house and grounds is £8 for adults, £4 for children and £6.50 for concession. For

grounds only it is £4 for adult, £2.50 for children and £3.50 for concession.

••••••••••••••••••••••• THE CASTLE GALLERY 13 High Street Rothesay, Isle of Bute Telephone: 01700 500159 In this gallery you’ll find paintings, woodwork, glasswork, sculpture and ironworks. As a general rule, the gallery runs four solo or group exhibitions per year. They feature well established Scottish artists, new and recent graduates from various art colleges around the country and local artists and craftspeople. Artists on display include Peter Howson, David Shepherd, Jolomo, Pam Carter, Jim Wylie and Davy Brown. The exciting gallery is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Wednesdays from 10am to 1pm. 37




ROTHESAY CASTLE Castlehill St, Rothesay Isle of Bute PA20 0DA Tel: 01700 502691 castle.shtml It may be rather unusual for an ancient monument to sit right in the middle of town, yet this is where Rothesay Castle is located - so you’ll not miss it. Originally the castle was virtually sitting on the shore, at only 75 yards from the sea! During 1839 and 1840, the shoreline was extended and the castle was placed behind a curtain of buildings so it could be scarcely seen from the bay. The castle sits on a mound surrounded by a deep moat which is fed by a burn from Loch Fad. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 7pm and Sunday 2pm to 7pm.The castle is closed Thursday afternoons and Fridays during the winter. Entry fee is £4.20 for adults, £3.20 for concessions and £2.10 for children aged between 5 – 15 years (children aged under five are admitted free of charge).

••••••••••••••••••••••• BUTE MUSEUM Stuart Street, Rothesay Isle of Bute PA20 0EP Tel: 01700 505067 38 Step back in time and explore the natural and historical heritage of this fascinating part of Scotland with a visit to the island’s museum. The History & Archaeology Gallery has displays covering aspects of Bute’s History from Mesolithic and Neolitic times through to the closing years of the 20th century. The Natural History Gallery allows visitors to explore the geology, plants, animals and birds of the island. From April to September, the museum is open from Monday to Saturday 10.30am - 4.30pm and from 2.30pm - 4.30pm on a Sunday. From October to March it is open Tuesday to Saturday from 2.30pm 4.30pm. Admission is £2 for adults, £1.50 for senior citizens and £1 for children.

••••••••••••••••••••••• ISLE OF BUTE OPEN TOP BUS TOUR West Coast Motors & Sight Seeing Glasgow Tel: 0141 204 0444 www.citysightseeing The tour starts at Rothesay and takes a scenic route past Ardbeg Point, Port Bannantyne, Kames Castle and the “One Man Burial Ground” before continuing to Ettrick

Bay. Following the coastal road south, the tour passes Scalpsie Bay allowing passengers to savour its peace and tranquillity before moving on to Kingarth, Kilchattan Bay and Ascog Bay.The tour ends at Rothesay pier. The bus departs from Guildford Square at 11am, 13pm and 15pm. It is £7 for an adult, £5 for children and senior citizens. Family tickets are available at a price of £18 for two adults and up to three children. Tickets can be purchased from the driver.

••••••••••••••••••••••• FISHING FOR TROUT ON LOCH FAD Loch Fad Fisheries Ltd Isle of Bute, PA20 9PA Tel: 01700 504871 Mob: 07712 534511 Loch Fad, known locally as the ‘long loch’, covers 175 acres and is situated in the centre of Bute.The loch is tranquil - until you feel the jerk of an 18lb trout, and you know a fight is on! Fish of such size are landed regularly from boat and bank between March and October. The loch is classified by Scottish Natural Heritage as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) for its scenic beauty and its huge diversity of bird life


and vegetation.The loch is surrounded by wooded hills, including one of the first commercial Douglas Fir plantations dating from the 1840s. The fishery is suitable for both the serious and novice angler with a large area of the loch restricted to fly only. Bait and spinning is permitted from the bank at the north end of the loch. The loch is stocked several times each week with quality reared fish. The facilities at the head of Loch Fad include a picnic area, angler’s shelter, toilets, partial disabled access, tuition, ghillie and rod hire, and staff are on hand to offer expert and helpful advice.There is a vast selection of flies on sale at the Bailiffs Hut. Permit charges start at £12 per adult for four hours, £9 for OAP, £6 for a junior. For a day, it’s £17 for adults, £12 for OAP and £8 for a junior.

••••••••••••••••••••••• KINGARTH TREKKING CENTRE Kingarth Old School Kilchattan Bay, Isle of Bute Tel: 01700 831673 www.kingarthtrekking The stables are situated only five minutes from the vast

ROTHESAY CASTLE: The deep moat which is fed by a burn from Loch Fad

sandy beach of Kilchattan Bay (less than 15 minutes from Rothesay town centre). Unsurprisingly, there are many scenic routes surrounding the trekking centre including moor and hill rides. The Trekking Centre has a large variety of horses and ponies, ranging in size from small lead rein ponies to large thoroughbred types.There are mounts suitable for beginners on their first trek out and competition horses for riders with experience. The centre caters for casual bookings on a daily basis as well as offering the complete holiday package.They cater for unaccompanied children in their own home, who can live as part of the family on a full board basis.They can hang out at the stables all day and in the evening mix with the other kids. Unaccompanied children can be met at the ferry. Minimum age for riding is eight years old and children under eight can have a 10minute paddock ride.

Prices start at £5 for a 10minute paddock ride, £12 for a 30-minute trek or lesson, £20 for a one-hour trek and go right up to £70 for a day ride.

••••••••••••••••••••••• LOCAL AREA Despite its small size, Bute offers an abundance of sights and activities for the visitor. If your idea of holiday heaven is relaxing on the beach, then there are three to choose from - Ettrick Bay, Scalpsie Bay and Kilchattan Bay. If you prefer to stay active or indulge in some eating, drinking and shopping then Rothesay’s classic seafront, promenade and pier offers plenty of water sport, dining and shopping opportunities. Why not combine your seaside holiday and island trip with one of Rothesay’s annual events - the Jazz Festival or the Highland Games - which take place every summer. 39



ARDKINGLAS HOUSE & WOODLAND GARDEN Estate Office,The Square, Cairndow, Argyll PA26 8BG Tel: 01499 600 261 | ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Read more about where to stay and eat, places to visit and things to do in Dunoon from page 17 - 27.



Getting there...




OPTION 1: Take a train to Gourock, and then get the ferry over to Dunoon, followed by a 40minute bus journey to Ardentinny. Train Ferries Caledonian MacBrayne Bus West Coast Motors OPTION 2: Drive to Gourock, and then get the ferry over to Dunoon, followed by a 25minute drive to Ardentinny. Ferries Caledonian MacBrayne OPTION 3: You can drive all the way to Ardentinny - the scenic route passes Loch Lomond and the Rest & Be Thankful.The journey takes approximately 1 hr 50 min from Glasgow International Airport.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Ardentinny Hotel

THIS quiet village is the perfect place to just get away from it all! Ardentinny is naturally enveloped by the loch and surrounding hillsides, which makes it a welcome oasis of calm to the city dweller. The village is ideal for walkers and nature lovers to absorb the natural surroundings. Here you’re guaranteed to stumble upon some interesting wildlife that live in the woods or along the shore. One of the most peaceful things to do in Ardentinny is to sit by the sandy beach and take in the spectacular views. Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of some seals, dolphins or submarines.You might not believe that you’ll spot a submarine in this sleepy, rural village but Ardentinny lies opposite Coulport, which is home to the Trident Submarine. Anyone who loves the outdoors should visit Ardentinny whether you enjoy a gentle stroll around the lush forests or a more adventurous excursion at one of the outdoor parks - there will be something to get you buzzing and revitalised in this sleepy village. 41



ARDENTINNY HOTEL Shore Road, Ardentinny Argyll PA23 8TR Tel: 01369 810 100 This beautiful building dates back to the 18th century when it was first built right on the shores of Loch Long.The hotel has now been restored to its former glory and newly reopened in the heart of the Argyll Forest Park. It is in a tranquil location ideally situated for a range of outdoor pursuits such as walking, cycling, sailing and fishing. The hotel boasts an elegant dining room and a couple of bars. There are a total of ten rooms, including a family room, in which you can enjoy fabulous loch views. All rooms are en-suite and they each have a television and tea and

coffee making facilities. In the morning you get a choice of a full Scottish or a continental breakfast. Rooms start from £35 per person per night.The hotel also offers a special rate for three nights from £79 per person.

••••••••••••••••••••••• CULZEAN HOUSE Glen Finart Deer Park Ardentinny Argyll PA23 8TT Tel: 01369 810 331 Mob: 07825 587 706 If it is luxurious self-catering accommodation that you’re after, then you will not get much better than Culzean House.This four-star holiday accommodation sleeps up to 14 people and has access to a restaurant and bar.

CULZEAN HOUSE: Luxurious self-catering accommodation 42

Nestled on the shores of Loch Long within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, you’ll find this beautifully renovated late 18th century farmhouse.The house gives all the warmth and comfort of a home, yet all the class and sophistication of a luxury holiday accommodation. Although Culzean House is predominantly a self-catering facility, guests can choose to be fully-catered.The owners say that they often find guests long for the freedom of a selfcatering stay, whilst enjoying the hassle-free alternative of catered evenings and special occasions. So if you want to meet up with family or friends in a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy the finer things in life, then Culzean House is the place for you. The comfortable living area hosts a lounge with wood burning stove, modern country-style kitchen and separate family dining room. For added rest and relaxation the eight person sauna and a six person hot-tub overlooks the picturesque hills of Glen Finart, so you can enjoy a glass of bubbly as you soak away your cares in the tranquil heart of Argyll. There are seven rooms in total catering for 14 people ten adults and four children. There are three double bedrooms (two en-suite), two


ARDENTINNY HOTEL: This building dates back to the 18th century - built right on the shores of Loch Long

family bedrooms, one en-suite twin room and a children’s bunkroom.The house comes with bed linen, towels, dishwasher, washing machine, tumble drier, microwave and Sky television, DVD/VHS, stereo and a trampoline! The property is WiFi enabled and has full central heating as well as private parking and a large garden. Culzean House is rented from a Friday to Friday. Check out time is 10am and earliest check in time is 4pm. Short breaks and weekend offers are available. Prices start from £995 - £2,195 per week.

GLENFINART CARAVAN PARK Ardentinny Argyll PA23 8TS Tel: 01369 810256 Glenfinart Caravan Park is set right in the lush and prestigious grounds of the estate of Glenfinart House. The park offers new and used caravan holiday homes that are available for sale and hire. All homes are clean, comfortable and fully equipped. The new holiday homes include quality wooden deck to the front and side, a 12-month guarantee and metered mains

electricity. The park is situated in an area steeped in Scottish history, and the unique position is conveniently close to the beaches of Loch Long. Also, the backdrop of the Argyll forest and highland makes Glenfinart Caravan Park an idyllic location in Argyll. During your stay you can enjoy scenic walks around the natural landscape, river fishing or boating. Wildlife abounds the caravan park and you’ll be sure to spot red squirrels and roe deer that are regular residents in the park.The area is also famous for a wide range of native and migrant birds. 43



ARDENTINNY HOTEL Shore Road, Ardentinny Argyll PA23 8TR Tel: 01369810100 This tranquil hotel has an inviting restaurant and bar. Wholesome bar meals are served throughout the day, and the last orders for food is 8.30pm. Menus are available on request for buffet or threecourse meals. Read about the Ardentinny Hotel on page 42.


simple menu of enticing stacks to enjoy amongst the beautiful artwork. Choose from a variety of scones, which are made fresh daily and best accompanied with some Deurrs strawberry jam and clotted cream…delicious! Soup is homemade daily too and you can enjoy toasties, jacket potatoes, sandwiches, and a tempting assortment of gâteaux and muffins. The gallery is open Monday to Saturday from 10am - 5pm, and on a Sunday from 12pm 4pm.

GALLIMAUFRY GALLERY Pierhead, Shore Road Blairmore PA23 8TJ Tel: 01369 840 253 www.blairmore


For a fresh and delicious light meal look no further than this quaint gallery.The café has a

Being surrounded by all that unspoilt nature, there’s nothing nicer than stumbling upon a

THE WHISTLEFIELD INN Loch Eck, By Dunoon Argyll PA23 8SA Tel: 01369 860440

GALLIMAUFRY GALLERY: Enjoy a light lunch amongst beautiful artwork 44

traditional Scottish inn. Just 10minutes drive from Ardentinny The Whistlefield Inn has all the history and character that you’d expect from a pub that dates all the way back to 1455. Situated overlooking Loch Eck, it is the perfect watering hole for visitors to get some respite from all that outdoor activity in Ardentinny.Whether you’ve been hill walking, sailing, mountain biking, fishing, horse riding, quad biking, clay pigeon shooting or rock climbing, this popular and friendly bar is the perfect place to relax. There’s a cosy and lively ambience in the pub, thanks to its friendly locals, log fires and regular folk music. If you play or sing, you are more then welcome to join in with the monthly folk sessions! Meals are served in the warm, friendly bar, the family room and the beautiful loch view restaurant (make sure to book in advance for the restaurant).The menu is made up of local Scottish produce and dishes include Loch Awe smoked salmon, breaded butterflied west coast tiger prawns and haggis drizzled with Drambuie liqueur and served with neeps and tatties. The inn also offers eight comfortable en-suite rooms (six doubles and two twins) and a twenty-bed bunkhouse which is ideal for walkers, anglers and musicians.

Ardentinny Hotel

The Ardentinny hotel was built on the shores of Loch Long in the 18th century. The Hotel has now been restored to its former glory and newly re-opened in the heart of the Argyll Forest Park.

TRANQUIL LOCATION IDEALLY SITUATED FOR WALKING, CYCLING, SAILING & FISHING Ardentinny is only a two hour drive from Glasgow by the scenic banks of Loch Lomond and through the spectacular ‘Rest And Be Thankful’ pass, or arrive by sea with the regular ferry services from Gourock to Dunoon.

Ardentinny | Loch Long | Argyll | PA23 8TR | T: 01369 810100 | E:

W W W . A R D E N T I N N Y- H O T E L . C O M



ARDENTINNY OUTDOOR EDUCATION CENTRE Actual Reality, Ardentinny Argyll PA23 8TR Tel: 01369 810271 www.actualreality Nestled amongst the forests and hills of the Trossachs National Park, you’ll find this purpose built facility. Its remote location is perfect for exciting watersports - such as dragon boating, team rafting and sailing. Other activities include abseiling, archery, climbing, field studies, gorge walking, hill walking, kayaking, low ropes elements, mountain biking,

canoeing, orienteering, rock hop, sailing, seashore safari and night hikes. Whatever your ability, the activities will definitely excite, build confidence and leave you with a sense of satisfaction. There are four bed dormitories that can accommodate groups of up to 80 people aged 8+ and facilities for people with physical disabilities.

••••••••••••••••••••••• QUADMANIA Stronchullin Farm Blairmore, Argyll Tel: 01369 810289 www.quadmania

If you feel the need to be revitalised and have some outdoor fun, Quadmania have 2,000 acres to play on guaranteeing an exhilarating outdoor experience at any time of the year. Choose from quad biking, archery and clay shooting or try more challenging adventure pursuits such as gorge walking, mountain biking, rock climbing, abseiling, kayaking and sailing. The quad bike trails are simply superb, with a combination of forest, farmland, open hillside and spectacular views over the sea lochs. Quad trekking is suitable for anyone aged 12+. Archery is suitable for anyone aged 8+ and clay shooting is for 14+. The team challenge course is great fun for groups of people, and a multi-activity package allows you to choose the combination of activities that best suit you. Quad trekking is £45, £60 or £75 per person depending on the course. Clay shooting is £25, £30 or £45 per person - depending on the target. One-hour archery session is £25 per person.

QUADMANIA: Quadmania guarantee an exhilarating outdoor experience 46

There are group and family discounts available.


ARGYLL FOREST PARK Cowal & Trossachs Tel: 01877 382383 In this part of Ardentinny, mountains, rivers, forests, lochs and the sea all blend together to create a place of moving beauty. Thanks to this lush and rugged park, there is a selection of captivating forest walks around the village and you can choose between easy, moderate or strenuous ratings. One of these walks is designated ‘easy access’ especially beneficial to visitors new to the area. In the forest park, you’ll be glad to know that there are toilets, parking and wheelchair access. As well as trails for walking and cycling, there are fishing areas and picnic benches.

••••••••••••••••••••••• GALLIMAUFRY GALLERY Pierhead, Shore Road Blairmore Ardentinny PA23 8TJ Tel: 01369 840 253 With the Scottish paradise that is Argyll Park, it’s no wonder that an art gallery has sprung up in this remote area. The natural surroundings have inspired and cultivated the creative talents of the locals

GALLIMAUFRY GALLERY: Specialising in the work of Scottish artists

and their work is displayed in this local gallery. This pretty art and craft coffee shop is located just a five-minute drive from Ardentinny, in the scenic location of Blairmore.The gallery specialises in the work of Scottish artists, so on display you’ll see a unique mix of wellestablished Scottish artists and local amateur artists. Solo exhibitions change monthly. There can’t be much more pleasant ways to spend a morning or afternoon than sipping coffee surrounded by artworks and crafts on display. The shop is there for you to relax and enjoy the art, and perhaps ponder a purchase of art and crafts.There’s a simple menu, based on good quality fresh food. The gallery is open Monday to Saturday from 10am - 5pm,

and Sunday from 12pm - 4pm. The shop has internet access for customers and they accept payment by cash, cheque, maestro, mastercard or visa.

••••••••••••••••••••••• LOCAL AREA You can’t ask for much more than being near a sandy beach whilst on holiday in Scotland. Finart Bay is located right next to the hotel and outdoor centre and it goes along to Shepherd’s point at Stronvochlan.This short, peaceful stretch of beach has picnic areas overlooking Loch Long, where you can see the mountains rising from the water.Water babies can take a swim in the loch (weather permitting, of course!) or kayak up the narrow waters of Loch Long towards Loch Goil. 47



CARRY FARM Ardlamont,Tighnabruaich, Argyll PA21 2AH Tel: 01700 811717 |

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Read more about where to stay and eat, places to visit and things to do in Tighnabruaich from page 5 - 15.



Getting there...




OPTION 1: Take a train to Wemyss Bay, a ferry to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, a bus to Rhubodach followed by a short ferry ride over to Colintraive. Train Ferries Caledonian MacBrayne Bus West Coast Motors OPTION 2: Take the car ferry from Gourock to Dunoon followed by a 30-minute (very scenic) car journey to Colintraive Ferry Gourock - Dunoon Caledonian MacBrayne or Western Ferries OPTION 3: If you prefer you can drive all the way to Colintraive.The journey takes approximately 2 hrs 10 min from Glasgow International Airport. IMAGE: Colintraive photographed from the approaching road. All Colintraive images courtesy of Gilly Wilson.

IDYLLICALLY located right on the edge of the Kyles of Bute this tranquil village is particularly scenic on a fine day, with the many white sails that you’ll see dotted along its narrow waters. A tiny speck on the eastern coast of the Cowal peninsula, the village is surrounded mainly by water and often the only sound to be heard in this little Scottish hideaway is the sound of the waves lapping the rugged landscape. The passageway between this tiny village and its neighbouring Isle of Bute is so narrow that the ferry ride over to Bute’s terminal (in the village of Rhubodach) takes only 1 minute! The proprietor of the Colintraive hotel quipped that the ferry crossing is like “stone skimming”. Coincidently, the name Colintraive - derived from Gaelic - actually means ‘swimming strait’ or ‘swimming narrows’. The serene village is said to be quite an exclusive place to live and to this end it has attracted a number of famous faces. There is a real sense of camaraderie among the locals in Colintraive and whilst visiting you’ll be sure to pick up on the quaint and charming vibe of the close-knit community. 49



COLINTRAIVE HOTEL Argyll PA22 3AS Tel: 01700 841 207 With its diminutive size, it should come as no surprise that there is only one hotel in the village.The lodge style hotel dates right back to the 1850s and it was originally used as a hunting lodge for the Marquis of Bute. Making use of the nearby shores, the accommodation has magnificent views over the Kyles.The four ensuite rooms offer a choice of either country or sea views and their interiors are adorned with local artwork. The hotel is home to a restaurant which serves an à la carte menu as well as bar meals, which are available seven days a week for both

lunch and dinner.The chef embraces his natural surroundings by preparing locally sourced food, including fresh local game and seafood products.Treats on the menu include Kyles of Bute langoustines, hand dived local scallops and Isle of Bute lamb. The restaurant and lounge are decorated in an elegant style with comfy leather chairs and period furniture and, of course, you can expect magnificent vistas of the north and south Kyles.The bar has a log fire as well as loch views, giving it a cosy ambience. In the nice weather you can dine al fresco in the hotel grounds or sip summer drinks in the beer garden. And being right on the Kyles, the hotel aptly provides six fully serviced moorings and yachtsman facilities.

COLINTRAIVE HOTEL: The lodge style hotel dates right back to the 1850s 50

A twin room with a sea view costs £90 per night including breakfast. A double room with a country view will also cost £90 per night.

••••••••••••••••••••••• GLENDARUEL CARAVAN AND CAMPING PARK Glendaruel Argyll PA22 3AB Tel: 01369 820 267 www.glendaruel This award-winning park lies within 22 acres of beautiful mature woodlands and is situated about a 10-minute car journey from Colintraive. It’s the perfect place to unwind, relax or use as a base to explore the village of Colintraive and its surroundings.Take a stroll along the park and discover the spectacular waterfalls and keep an eye out for the red squirrels. For the more adventurous, the Cowal hills on either side of the glen provide an excellent choice for wildlife walks.The Ruel estuary and Loch Riddon are only 4 miles south of the park, offering fishing and the opportunity for water based activities.The owners guarantee that you’ll have a great stay and they’ll help you organise activities and plan outings.They have also arranged a number of discounts for visitors at local attractions.

Colintraive Hotel RESTAURANT & SHOP

Former hunting lodge to the Marquis of Bute, now restored to its former glory. There are beautiful en suite bedrooms with sea views. Great bar meals and restaurant menu are served in this Gastro Pub, using only fresh local produce such as langoustines, hand dived scallops and venison. The hotel boasts stunning views across to the Island of Bute. As featured in the Good Hotel Guide. Amenities in the area include sailors moorings and a village shop.

A warm welcome awaits all who visit this lovely area!

Contact us via email for further information COLINTRAIVE HOTEL | Colintraive | Kyles of Bute | Argyll | T: 01700 841207



COLINTRAIVE HERITAGE CENTRE Main Street, Colintraive Argyll PA22 3AS www.colintraive Step back in time and discover the story of Colintraive and the surrounding area over the last 150 years. The new village centre opened this year thanks to the community spirit of the locals who rallied together to open the landmark centre, where visitors can step back in time and discover the endearing history of Colintraive and its surroundings.The exhibition, open May to September, is full of letters, maps, photographs

and drawings which all illustrate a way of life that characterises the west coast of Scotland. Many visitors will be interested to learn about the area’s unique crofting, farming, forestry and fishing traditions as well as the passenger steamers and smoke-belching puffers that have served these small isolated communities.

••••••••••••••••••••••• VILLAGE SHOP AND POST OFFICE Tel: 01700 841 362 The village is also home to a shop and post office, conveniently located next door to the hotel. Here you can buy most things from newspapers

to general groceries and there’s even some unique, local produce on sale such as Eileen Connon’s and Jessie McNaughton’s knit wear as well as Kirsteen Sinclair’s range of beauty products. The shop boasts a coffee corner which serves homemade breads and cakes, as well as Winston Churchill venison products, Macqueen’s butcher meat and fresh cheese and dairy products. The opening hours for the shop are: Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm and 9am to noon on weekends. However the owner, Jenny Boyd, says that they are happy to open the shop outside these hours if you are desperate!

••••••••••••••••••••••• PURE THERAPY Losganbeag, Colintraive Argyll PA22 3AR Tel: 01700 841 319


Situated on the coast, this beauty salon is sure to offer a tranquil, relaxing experience thanks to its stunning views which overlook the islands at the north end of Bute. The salon offers reiki, aromatherapy, reflexology, and Indian head massage, as well as some new treatments designed to sooth and unwind the client, including hydrotherm massage, hot stone massage and hopi ear candling.



Open May - September, 7 Days, 9am - 5pm. Admission FREE. Guide Available: Sunday 10am - 12 noon, 2pm - 4pm

W W W. C O L I N T R A I V E H E R I T A G E C E N T R E . C O M COLINTRAIVE COMMUNITY GARDEN The community garden which was created by the locals, with design assistance from the Beechgrove Garden television programme, is situated to the rear of Colintraive village hall. The community are proud of their colourful garden which is probably about half an acre long and boasts a pool, various types of plants and a few picnic benches - making it the perfect place for visitors to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Colintraive.

With its quiet and scenic coastal road, it will come as no surprise that cycling is a popular activity in the village. To hire a bike for a day will cost £20 and for half a day it is £15, and helmets come included in the price. Patricia Watts, who runs the village hotel, is a keen cyclist and provides the bike hire. She says the cycling routes are easy and gentle (fitting in with the peaceful ambience of the village).You can hire the bikes from the Colintraive Hotel.

unspoilt areas along the shoreline that are ideal for walkers and cyclists. Besides the absolute peace and tranquillity, there are many activities to enjoy whilst staying in the village, such as sailing on the Kyles, fishing in nearby lochs, deer stalking on local estates and sightseeing in nearby Bute.




BIKE HIRE Colintraive Hotel Cointraive Argyll PA22 3AS

With its coastal beauty and tranquil landscape, the tiny village of Colintraive can provide the perfect Scottish oasis.There are some lovely,


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Getting there...




OPTION 1: Follow the directions to Tighnabruaich on page 5 and then drive the 10-minute car journey to Portavadie. OPTION 2: Get a bus to Tarbert and then take the 25-minute ferry crossing from Tarbet to Portavadie. Bus Scottish City Link Ferry Caledonian MacBrayne OPTION 3: Take a train to Wemyss Bay, and then take the 35-minute ferry crossing over to Rothesay, followed by an hour bus journey to Portavadie. Train ScotRail Ferry Caledonian MacBrayne Bus West Coast Motors

IMAGE: Courtesy of Portavadie Marina

THE scenic waterfront at Portavadie is sporting a sleek new look thanks to the development of a new marina complex. The new marina is sure to transform this small hamlet (which was once a fishing village) into a hot sailing destination. Idyllically located on Loch Fyne, Portavadie is the perfect base for sailors and travellers visiting the west coast.The new stylish and prestigious complex will make sure you enjoy this naturally beautiful corner off Scotland's beaten track in style. Whilst based at Portavadie you can get a scenic ferry over to Tarbet, a small village lying directly opposite on the other side of the loch. Here you can sample the restaurants and shops that are dotted along the horseshoe harbour. Portavadie is a great base for travelling to the surrounding hotspots such as Tarbert,Tighnabruaich, Isle of Bute, Isle of Arran and Dunoon, however with its new facelift, the little hamlet is fast becoming a hotspot in its own right. Portavadie provides a magical backdrop for holidaymakers to walk and cycle by the shore or in the countryside and its location, right by the loch, provides the perfect opportunity to indulge in some fresh seafood. 55



PORTAVADIE MARINA Portavadie, Loch Fyne Argyll PA21 2DA Tel: 01700 811075 The new marina at Portavadie provides the perfect base for sailing in the west coast, thanks to its prime location on Loch Fyne and its proximity to nearby villages and towns. Whether you need to fuel your boat, have a shower, do your laundry or dispose of garbage, the marina guarantees that you’ll be well prepared for your trip along the water. The new development offers 230 fully serviced floating pontoon berths that have 240V power, water and lighting as well as wireless broadband access through Oceanwave. There’s also car parking and a local taxi service available at the marina.


PORTAVADIE MARINA COTTAGES Portavadie, Loch Fyne Argyll PA21 2DA Tel: 01700 811075 www.selfcatering These attractive cottages are in a prime location overlooking the new Portavadie Marina development, allowing holidaymakers to enjoy magnificent views over Loch Fyne.The cottages are selfcatering and provide an ideal setting to relax and unwind in this beautiful unspoiled area. There are five cottages in a row and each home has two bedrooms, sleeping up to five people per cottage.The comfortable open plan living area is spacious and bright with wooden floors, colourful rugs, leather sofa, iron and ironing board, freeview TV and DVD (though you’ll probably be too occupied with the wonderful views to watch telly).The kitchen is well equipped with just about everything you might need for your holiday including fridge/freezer, microwave, and dishwasher. There is car parking available next to the cottage and an outdoor table and chairs are supplied, so you can sit outside and absorb the vista over the marina. There is electric heating throughout the cottages, and electricity, bed linen and towels

are included. Non-smokers will be relieved to know that all the selfcatering cottages are nonsmoking. Up to two well behaved dogs are welcome. Sailors should note that special berthing rates are available to guests at Portavadie Marina. Useful things to bring whilst staying in one of the cottages are bikes, golf clubs, tennis racquets, outdoor games, fishing rods, camera (to capture the spectacular Scottish landscape), binoculars (hopefully to get a glimpse of some local wildlife), picnic items including rug/groundsheet, wet weather gear (especially suitable footwear), insect repellent, sunscreen and sunhats, baby linen and pet bedding and bowls.Though don’t be intimidated by the long list as there’s plenty of shops in nearby villages that sell provisions. For a weekend stay (FriMon) or a midweek stay (Mon-Fri), prices range from £275 - £375. For one week (Fri-Fri) the rate is between £375 - £500. Berthing at the Marina is included for the length of your stay, for one boat up to 7.5 metres. There is a 50% reduction on standard Marina rates for boats over 7.5 metres.


PORTAVADIE MARINA BAR AND RESTAURANT Portavadie, Loch Fyne Argyll PA21 2DA Tel: 01700 811075 This newly opened slick bar and restaurant serves meals, teas, coffees and cakes throughout the day.There aren’t much better ways to enjoy a meal or a drink than beside the water, overlooking Scotland’s rugged landscape in this unspoilt hamlet. With its ideal location on the water’s edge, it will come as no surprise that fish is in abundance on the menu, and the restaurant specialises in local seafood as well as Scottish beef and lamb.Treats on the menu include Cullen skink, potted crab, steak and Fyne ale pie or char grilled west coast salmon. The opening times are Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm and weekends 8am to 9pm with a weekend barbeque buffet between 12pm to 5pm.

••••••••••••••••••••••• THE COWAL WAY Portavadie to Inveruglas Colintraive and Glendaruel Community Council Tel 01700 841311 With all those grassy hills, heather moors and forest plantations around Portavadie,

Photographs by Paul Zanre

PORTAVADIE MARINA: Enjoy a meal or a drink overlooking the water

it’s no wonder that this is where the long distance walk coined ‘The Cowal Way’ kicks off.The walk covers a distance of 57 miles and will bring you from Portavadie on Loch Fyne to Inveruglas on Loch Lomond - allowing you to absorb the Cowal peninsula in all its glory. The walk is divided into six one-day sections allowing you to really embrace the environment. However, be warned that some sections of the walk are remote and strenuous! And since signposts are sparse in these rural parts you will really need to have some experience of long distance walking, as well as some map reading skills, to

complete the challenging and scenic route.

••••••••••••••••••••••• LOCAL AREA Portavadie is a picturesque and unspoilt base for touring Scotland’s beautiful west coast thanks to its proximity to the exciting villages of Tarbert and Tighnabruaich, and of course, the beautiful Isle of Arran and bustling Isle of Bute. Yet when visiting this little sailing haven, be sure to explore Portavadie’s own shoreline, hills and forest trails, where you can enjoy pretty walks or peaceful cycles within the spectacular natural backdrop. 57




THE WAVERLEY Tel: 0845 130 4647

CHATTERS RESTAURANT Tel: 01369 706 402

HOLIDAYS ARGYLL Tel: 01700 811464

MILLCROFT LAVENDER Tel: 01700 811 110


AN LOCHAN HOTEL Tel: 01700 811239

SAILING SCHOOL Tel: 01700 811 717

THE 51ST STATE BAR AND GRILL Tel: 01369 705550



COT HOUSE HOTEL Tel: 01369 840260

BURNSIDE BISTRO Tel: 01700 811739 KAMES HOTEL Tel: 01700 811 489

ABBOT’S BRAE HOTEL Tel: 01369 705021

CARRY FARM Tel: 01700 811717

HUNTERS QUAY HOTEL Tel: 01369 707070

THE OYSTERCATCHER Tel: 01700 821229

ST IVES HOTEL Tel: 01369 704825

SUZY’S TEAROOM Shore Road,Tighnabruaich

MCCOLLS HOTEL Tel: 01369 702 764

TIGHNABRUAICH GALLERY Tel: 01700 811681 DC MARINE BOAT TRIPS Tel: 01700 811 538 THE ROWANTREE GIFT SHOP Tel: 01700 811000 SPAR Tel: 01700 811268 POST OFFICE Tel: 01700 811201 58


THE ESPLANADE HOTEL Tel: 01369 704070 BAY HOUSE HOTEL Tel: 01369 704832 PARK HOTEL Tel: 01369 702383

HOLY LOCH MARINA Tel: 01369 701800 ARDKINGLAS HOUSE & WOODLAND GARDEN Tel: 01499 600261 BENMORE BOTANIC GARDENS Tel: 01369 706 261 CASTLE HOUSE MUSEUM Tel: 01369 701422 X BIKES ARGYLL Tel: 07795 301 748 COWAL GOLF COURSE Tel: 01369 705673 VELVET PATH TREKKING & RIDING CENTRE Tel: 01369 830580


ROSSCAIRN HOTEL Tel: 01369 704344

THE VICTORIA HOTEL Tel: 01700 500016

WEST END HOTEL Tel: 01369 702907

THE BOAT HOUSE Tel: 01700 502696

BALMORY HALL Tel: 01700 500 669

MOUNT STUART HOUSE Tel: 01700 503877

THE WHISTLEFIELD INN Tel: 01369 860440

BAYVIEW HOTEL Tel: 01700 505411

THE CASTLE GALLERY Tel: 01700 500159

CANNON HOUSE HOTEL Tel: 01700 502819

ROTHESAY CASTLE Tel: 01700 502691


THE ARDYNE HOTEL Tel: 01700 502052

BUTE MUSEUM Tel: 01700 505067

THE ESPLANADE HOTEL Tel: 01700 50 2001


MUNRO'S BED & BREAKFAST Tel: 01700 502346 IVYBANK VILLA Tel: 01700 505064 THE GREEN TREE CAFÉ Tel: 01700 503724 uk/TheGreenTreeCafe.php

FISHING ON LOCH FAD Tel: 01700 504871 KINGARTH TREKKING CENTRE Tel: 01700 831673



ARDENTINNY HOTEL Tel: 01369 810100

THE KETTLEDRUM Tel: 01700 505324

CULZEAN HOUSE Tel: 01369 810 331

THE BLACK BULL Tel: 01700 502366 BUTE BERTHING COMPANY Tel: 01700 500630 THE BIKE SHED Tel: 01700 505515 ROTHESAY GOLF CLUB Tel: 01700 503554

GLENFINART CARAVAN PARK Tel: 01369 810256 ARDENTINNY HOTEL Tel: 01369810100 GALLIMAUFRY GALLERY Tel: 01369 840 253

QUADMANIA Tel: 01369 810289




PORTAVADIE MARINA Tel: 01700 811075 PORTAVADIE MARINA COTTAGES Tel: 01700 811075 THE COWAL WAY Tel 01700 841311 59 exhibition details at website


tel 01369 704817

seescotland Kyles of Bute  
seescotland Kyles of Bute  

Your complimentary guide to the Kyles of Bute