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Five of the best day trips from Argyll’s Secret Coast

Five of the best day trips from Argyll’s Secret Coast
If you fancy visiting some of the famous attractions on the west coast of Scotland, Argyll’s Secret Coast is a great central base. Ferry connections take you to the Isle of Bute, Kintyre and the Isle of Arran and you’re only an hour’s drive from Inveraray and two hours’ drive from Oban. Here are our top five day trips.

A Bute Day Out
It’s just a short ferry crossing from Colintraive on Argyll’s Secret Coast to Rhubodach on Bute. It’s a gem of an island. The Victorians left their mark with splendid architecture and glorious gardens. You’ll also find stunning beaches, fabulous walking and cycling and some great places to eat and drink. A highlight of any visit to Bute must be Mount Stuart, a spectacular neo-gothic palace set amid acres of lush woodland.

Explore Inveraray
After a scenic one-hour drive along the Kyles of Bute and around Loch Fyne you'll reach Inveraray. This handsome town is a bustling place, with independent shops, historic buildings and glorious gardens. Don’t miss the chance to visit Inveraray Castle, the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell, and Inveraray Jail, a living museum and one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions.

Tarbert & Skipness
Hop on the ferry from Portavadie and cross the water to Kintyre to explore the bustling fishing village of Tarbert and discover stunning Skipness. In Tarbert, art galleries, shops and cafés surround the natural harbour. Head up Tarbert Castle, a scheduled monument of national importance because of the major role which Robert the Bruce King of Scotland played in its reinforcement and enlargement in 1325. You’ll find another ruined castle at Skipness, as well as an ancient chapel. In summer, treat yourself to wonderful fresh seafood at the Seafood Cabin.

Kilmartin & Crinan
The historic and natural wonders of Kilmartin Glen and Crinan Canal are also reached via the Portavadie ferry to Kintyre. Kilmartin Glen is one of Scotland’s richest prehistoric landscapes, with over 350 ancient monuments, including cairns, standing stones and stones circles. Don’t miss the rocky outcrop of Dunadd, the capital of the Ancient Kingdom of Dalriada. The Crinan Canal links Ardrishaig on Loch Fyne with Crinan on the west coast. Known as “Britain's most beautiful shortcut”, it makes for a fabulous walk, cycle or kayak.

Go to Gigha
The beautiful Hebridean island of Gigha sits three miles off the west coast of Kintyre. It’s famed for its wonderful white beaches and fabulous flora. Just seven miles long by a mile and a half wide, it’s easily explored by bike or on foot. You do need to take two ferries, but they’re both short and are all part of the adventure. First you need to catch the ferry at Portavadie to Tarbert. From here it’s an 18-mile drive to Tayinloan where you catch the ferry to Gigha.

Discover more day trips from Argyll's Secret Coast.

Header photo: Kilmartin Glen
Mount Stuart on Bute by MT PhotographyGighaInveraray Jail
Inveraray CastleSkipness CastleSkipness Beach
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