The Arrochar Alps

 If you’re driving to Argyll’s Secret Coast via the Rest & Be Thankful mountain pass, then you’ll have passed through Arrochar and witnessed the beauty of the mountains clustered around the head of Loch Long. These peaks are known as the ‘Arrochar Alps’ and offer some of the best walking and climbing in Argyll. They include the famous Cobbler, one of Scotland’s most iconic – and best loved – peaks. 

If you fancy a bit of hill walking, the Cobbler makes a great day trip from Argyll’s Secret Coast. Arrochar is just over an hour’s drive from us and you’ll need to give yourself a good four hours to climb the Cobbler. The trip is easily done in a day and is stunning whether during the winter snow or summer sunshine!

Inverarary

inverarary castle

inverarary castle

Inverarary is very pretty conservation town around an hours drive from Carry Farm.  Inverary Castle is the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell and his fairytale castle is well worth a visit. Inside, you can view the lavish State Dining Room, the tapestries and the stunning Armoury Hall with its walls adorned with muskets, pole-arms and axes and the surrounding estate also offers some lovely walks.

Inveraray Jail is also in the town and is one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions. It has one of the finest and best-preserved Jail and Courtroom complexes in the world. Explore this unique collection of historic buildings, brought to life by real characters from the Jail’s past. Step back in time and find out what life was like for the men, women and children – some as young as seven – who were tried and locked up here all those years ago.

The Inveraray Bell Tower is just a stone’s throw from the jail. Climb the 176 steps to the top of the tower for stunning views over Inveraray and Loch Fyne to the Arrochar Alps beyond. 

The famous Loch Fyne Oyster restaurant and shop is ten minutes out of Inverarary on your way back to Carry Farm and is a must for seafood lovers. 

 

Kintyre Peninsula

tarbert castle

tarbert castle

The Portavadie ferry to Tarbert is 10 minutes from Carry Farm via Millhouse.  25 minutes crossing time.  Take the car to tour down south Kintyre or north towards Oban via the ancient Kilmartin Glen with Museum and huge collection of standing stones and cup and ring marks.

Alternatively leave the car at Portavadie and walk into Tarbert (5 minutes from ferry terminal).  Tarbert is a very pretty fishing village popular with yachtsmen in the summer months.  Plenty of shops, Hotels and Galleries to cater for your needs.  The ruins of Tarbert Castle built by Robert the Bruce is worth a visit with walks into the hills behind providing stunning views over Loch Fyne.

Island of Bute and Mount Stuart House

Mount Stuart House

Mount Stuart House

The ferry to the Island of Bute is a 30 minutes drive from Carry Farm and the crossing takes all of 2 minutes!  Explore the town of Rothesay with its very pretty castle and moat, the island's museum, Mount Stuart House and Gardens (well worth a visit) Fernery, Winter Gardens and Ettrick Bay.  A whole day is easily spent exploring the Island in your car.

Mount Stuart House is Britain's most astounding Victorian gothic mansion. Home to the Stuarts of Bute, descendants of the Royal House of Stuart, this magnificent house sits proudly on the Isle of Bute - ancient stronghold of Scottish kings.


This award-winning historical attraction is well worth a visit, the flamboyant house and its 300 acres of gardens reflect the artistic, religious and astrological interests of the 3rd Marquess of Bute, whilst the striking visitor centre has become an attraction in its own right. 

Benmore Gardens

benmore gardens

benmore gardens

Benmore Gardens, a regional garden of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, is a magnificent woodland garden set in the stunning Cowal Peninsula. Its 140 acres, entered via a Giant Redwood Avenue forming one of the finest entrances to any botanic garden in the world, contain a wide collection of flowering trees and shrubs including over 300 species of rhododendron and over one third of the world's winter hardy conifer species. Way marked walks lead to a pond, formal garden and viewpoint at 450 feet (140m) and access to the recently restored Victorian Fernery. Fine collections from North and South America, the Orient and the Himalaya are interpreted through guided and audio tours and a guidebook. The café is a great spot to grab lunch and there’s a nice wee shop too. 

Ardkinglas Gardens

Ardkinglas gardens

Ardkinglas gardens

15 minutes before Inverary,  Ardkinglas Woodland Garden is open all the year round from dawn till dusk with a variety of walks to suit all interests and levels of fitness. Ardkinglas Woodland Garden covers 25 acres of hillside lying in a naturally sheltered pocket near the mouth of the River Kinglas, surrounded by wild Highland scenery. The gardens are famous for the mature Champion trees (including the mightiest conifer in Europe) and an exceptional collection of rhododendron. A woodland lochan, ancient mill, scriptorium and a very visible and thriving population of rare Red Squirrels add to the attractions of the walks.  

The Gruffalo trail  uses boards showing selected extracts from the Scots version of the famous book to link the story to the setting of this special corner of the Woodland Garden.

Colintraive Heritage Centre

Step back in time and discover the story at  Colintraive Heritage Centre of the surrounding area over the last 150 years. This fascinating exhibition, full of letters, maps, photographs and drawings, illustrates a way of life typical of the west coast of Scotland. Find out more about crofting and farming, forestry and fishing and the passenger steamers and smoke belching puffers that served these small isolated communities.

Open May-September.