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The Argyll’s Secret Coast Art & Food Trail

The Argyll’s Secret Coast Art & Food Trail
Colintraive – Glendaruel - Otter Ferry – Kilfinan – Portavadie - Tighnabruaich - Glendaruel

Discover a feast of fantastic art and fabulous food and stimulate all your senses as you follow this Art & Food Trail through Argyll’s Secret Coast. This coastal route takes you though some of the most stunning parts of Argyll’s Secret Coast. The beautiful landscape and light of Argyll’s Secret Coast have inspired generations of artists, and you’ll find a number of galleries showcasing a wide range of work. As for the food! Argyll’s Secret Coast is a must-visit destination for any food lover. With seafood hauled fresh from Loch Fyne, lamb from the hill farms and a thriving community of local producers, you’ll find an exceptional range local, seasonal produce.

Colintraive & Glendaruel
The Colintraive Hotel is an award-winning hotel with magnificent views over the Kyles of Bute. You can feast on local produce expertly prepared in the gatro pub. Local seafood features on the menu, including fresh langoustines caught in the sea in front of the hotel and hand-dived scallops, as well as beef and lamb from Bute and venison stalked by Winston Churchill.

Your next stop is Caol Ruadh Sculpture Park, a unique outdoor gallery just outside Colintraive. tucked away on the Kyles of Bute on Argyll’s Secret Coast. Stroll around the wonderful grounds to discover some beautiful contemporary Scottish art. Check opening times as the sculpture park closes in the winter.

Driving to Glendaruel, you’ll pass Auchinbreck Farm, which farms free range pigs. You’ll find this delicious pork on many menus locally.

Your next stop is Glendaruel, a tranquil glen sitting to the north of Loch Riddon. Pop into Kilmodan Church to see the Kilmodan Carved Stones. From here, you’re heading to Otter Ferry. You can either head over via the Bealach an Drain taking a windy but scenic singletrack road or take the longer coastal route via Strathlachlan. Both offer incredible views of Loch Fyne. If you go via Strathlachlan, you’ll pass Inver, a must-visit destination for any serious foodie!

Otter Ferry & Portavadie
Just before you reach Otter Ferry, look out for Evanachan Farm Hut. Pick up seasonal organic produce from Evanachan Farm, eggs, fresh flowers, jams, chutneys and Fi's amazing cheese made with milk from her Jersey cows. Just pop your money in the honesty box. Otter Ferry sits on the eastern shore of Loch Fyne. Sitting right on the beach is The Oystercatcher, a fabulous pub and restaurant. The location is pretty unbeatable, as is the food. The oysters are provided by Ballimore Oysters, located less than a mile down the loch. Local mussels and crab also feature on the menu. In the bar you'll find a wide selection of Scottish craft beers as well as an extensive list of single malt whisky and small batch gin.

Follow the road until you reach Kilfinan. This hamlet is home to a fine 13th-century church, a large lime kiln and Kilfinan Hotel, where you can dine on delicious meals featuring local produce.

Carry on to Millhouse. From here make a short detour to Portavadie, also on the banks of Loch Fyne. It’s a fabulous place to sample local produce expertly prepared. Enjoy waterfront dining in the Marina Restaurant and Bar where you can feast on scallops, mussels, salmon and other delights expertly prepared.

For something different, hop on the the CalMac ferry from Portavadie to Tarbert and pick up a seafood box from Prentice Seafoods which is located by the Tarbert ferry terminal. The seafood is incredibly fresh, local and good value for money. Lobster, prawns, mussels, clams, cockles, brown crab, velvet crab, king scallops, scallop meat, and squat lobster tails are all on offer, depending on the season. You can also call ahead and arrange for your seafood to be sent over on the ferry.

Ardlamont and Kames
Return to Millhouse and take the scenic route around the Ardlamont Peninsula. It’s worth making the short walk to Ostel Bay, a stunning stretch of golden sand. Back on the road, your next port of call is Carry Farm, home to the Dairy Gallery where you'll find a wonderful selection of textiles and ceramics. Fiona McPhail produces knitted textiles using yarn from her Hebridean sheep. She creates a variety of beautiful objects from cushions and tea cosies to foot stools, bags and even a knitted bucket. Her sister Karen makes fabulous, functional pottery.

If you’ve never tried Hebridean lamb then you’re in for a treat! Carry Farm’s Hebridean flock are lovingly reared. The meat is delicious, tender and low fat. Depending on the season, you can buy a 1/2 lamb, butchered and commercially frozen directly from the farm. Drop by and you can meet the flock.

Follow the road until you get to Kames. For a meal in relaxed, family-friendly surroundings, you can’t beat the Kames Hotel. Check out the specials board for seasonal dishes using local shellfish and seafood, as well as the catch of the day. The Kames Hotel is a champion of local artists as you’ll see lots of artwork adorning the walls. The Kames Village Shop is a great place to buy local produce, including Scottish cheeses, ales and meat.

Carry on along the road to Tighnabruaich, a pretty seaside village that’s home to a number of hotels, shops and cafés, as well as a lovely art gallery. The Royal an Lochan has an enviable location on the seafront in Tighnabruaich with views across the Kyles of Bute. You’ll find local produce, including plenty of seafood, served in a modern Scottish style. Top Scottish chef Tom Kitchin said in the BBC Good Food Magazine that his ideal meal would be feasting on fresh, Tarbert-landed langoustines here! If you’re looking for B&B in Tighnbaruaich, Tregortha is a great option. The breakfast features local produce and the views from the breakfast room are stunning.

Botanica is a fantastic restaurant that sits at the heart of Tighnabruaich. The owners are passionate about using local ingredients in the dishes, as well as foraged food. Loch Fyne seafood features on the menu and is lovingly prepared by Michal. Expect simple, but innovative cooking, that lets the quality of the ingredients shine through. They also do freshly made pizza.

For your art fix, just across the road is the renowned Tighnabruaich Gallery. Run by Ros and Neil McKenna, it brings a range of dynamic and engaging works to rural Scotland alongside contemporary art and crafts from established and emerging talents. The gallery hosts a host a series of exhibitions throughout the year.

Finally head out of Tighnabruaich and back to Glendaruel via the B8003. Stop at the National Trust viewpoint for one of the most spectacular views on the west coast of Scotland.

Look out for the Local Producers’ Markets when you’re in the area. Held throughout the year in the Kames Village Hall, these markets are brilliant places to pick up seasonal vegetables, artisan food, delicious homebaking, breads and other tasty treats, as well as unique gifts and crafts

And art lovers should look out for Cowal Open Studios, an art trail that takes place every September.
Tighnabruaich GalleryDairy GalleryBotanica
Seafood at The Royal an LochanPortavadie Colintraive Hotel
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