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Run, ride or walk: three active challenges on Argyll's Secret Coast

Run, ride or walk: three active challenges on Argyll's Secret Coast
If the Olympic Games are inspiring you to get active, there’s no need to jet off to Rio. There are some fantastic sporting challenges to take part in on Argyll’s Secret Coast. Embrace the great outdoors, see some stunning scenery and feel that sense of achievement. Now there’s no excuse to stay on the sofa!

Run the Kyles 10 Miles
There’s still time to sign up for the Kyles 10 Miles, Scotland's most scenic road race. It's a challenging run, but the magnificent coastal panoramas should take your mind off any pain. The route takes you around the Ardlamont peninsula on Argyll’s Secret Coast with beautiful views towards Arran and the Mull of Kintyre. This year’s race takes place on Saturday 10th September. Sign up online.

Bike the Bealach
This circular ride may be only 30 miles in length but it's a tough one and only for fit, experienced cyclists. It includes the forebodingly named, frighteningly steep, and undeniably challenging Bealach Maim. It starts with a big climb out of Tighnabruaich and along the New Road, where you’ll catch some great views of the Kyles of Bute, to Glendaruel. Then it’s time to take on the Bealach. According to the Map My Ride website this road climbs from 16m to 321m in 4.6km at an average of 6% and is “arguably the 2nd toughest climb in Scotland, with sections at 20%”. Other references claim different figures but whatever the reality, it will take all your determination to reach the top. The route continues to Otter Ferry and back to Tighnabruaich via Kilfinan and Millhouse.

Walk the Cowal Way
The Cowal Way is a fantastic 57-mile long-distance route which begins at Portavadie on Loch Fyne and ends at Inveruglas on the shores of Loch Lomond. In those 57 miles you’ll get a taste of everything the Highlands has to offer, with rugged terrain and glorious views from start to finish. The route is currently being upgraded, and it is well way-marked. Most of it is also suitable for cycling. The first section takes you from Portavadie to Tighnabruaich, where you can enjoy some of the finest views that Argyll’s Secret Coast has to offer! Then it’s on to Glendaruel, Strachur, Lochgoilhead and Arrochar, taking in some incredible natural highlights, including Struth Ban Falls and Ben Arthur (also known as ‘The Cobbler’). There are ferry links to the Kintyre Way and to the West Highland Way, and then to the Great Glen Way. So if you really want to challenge yourself, you can do an epic route from the Mull of Kintyre all the way to Inverness!

There are plenty of other great walks and cycles on Argyll’s Secret Coast. You could also take to the water for a kayaking or sailing adventure.
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