Castle Lachlan, Strathlachlan
The Cowal peninsula is on the road to nowhere, except to itself and to the island of Bute. This ‘nowhere’ is more than enough for those in the know. It is a land of quiet corners - beautiful and very much off the beaten track. Rugged mountains such as Beinn an Lochan and Beinn Bhuidhe in the north give way to gentler hills, peaceful glens and a lovely coastline to the south. We should not see many people on the hills and we can often have the shore to ourselves too.
The Cowal Peninsula is as beautiful as it is diverse, from the towering Munros of the north to the mellow scenery and sea lochs of the south. Paddle steamers used to bring throngs of Glaswegian holidaymakers 'doon the water' to its shores. The peninsula is bounded by Loch Fyne on the west and Loch Long and the Firth of Clyde on the east. It is separated from the Isle of Bute by the deep narrow straits of the Kyles of Bute. The coastline is incised by deep sea lochs, principally Loch Riddon, and Loch Striven. These split the southern half of Cowal into three narrower peninsulas.
Cowal is 'Comhghall' (cow-ul) in Gaelic, meaning 'the land of Comgall', a leader of one of the four chief tribes of the ancient Gaelic territory of Dàl Riata.
The erstwhile island retreat of Scottish kings, the Isle of Bute lies at the heart of the Firth of Clyde. For such a compact island, Bute has some extraordinarily varied landscapes. From the lush, fertile and rolling hills of the island's heart to the craggy, heather-covered moorlands of the north and the delightful sandy beaches around the coastline, the island is a haven for walking and wildlife.
Day 1: Glasgow - Dunoon
Day 2: Benmore Garden and Puck's Glen
Day 3: Strachur and Strathlachlan
Day 4: Isle of Bute
Day 5: Arrochar Alps and return journey to Glasgow