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Day-by-day Programme

The programme will be subject to variables such as weather and the abilities of the group and changes may also be made to take account of lambing, deer stalking, etc. Any such alterations will always take into account the need to maintain the overall character of the holiday.

Hiking holiday Discovering Sout-Argyll, Scotland

 

  1. Sunday: Strachur and Strathlachlan
  2. Monday: Loch Goil
  3. Tuesday: Loch Lomond
  4. Wednesday: Ardkinglas House and Inveraray
  5. Thursday: Isle of Bute
  6. Friday: Arrochar Alps

 

Saturday: Glasgow - Inveraray
We meet in the afternoon in Glasgow (city or airport). From Glasgow to Inveraray, where we will be based for the week, takes a little under one and a half hours.

Sunday: Strachur and Strathlachlan
Our first day takes us into the rugged little hills overlooking Loch Fyne, and along its quiet shores where seals and sea birds live peacefully beside the ruins of an early Christian chapel, a medieval castle and an abandoned farming township.
This area, with its birch and oak woods fringing open hill land has been the home of the Clan MacLachlan since at least the 15th century. Other records suggest that they have been here much longer than that.

9 miles/14km and 1200ft/380m of ascent

On the Steeple, Loch Goil

On top of the Steeple, Loch Goil

Monday: Loch Goil
We will walk in the Ardgoil hills which dominate the village of Lochgoilhead and command glorious views over the length of a beautiful sea loch - Loch Goil. The most rugged of these hills, the Steeple, belies its 1280 feet (380m) - with its silver-grey cliffs of schist, steep slopes and several landslip caves it has the feel of a much bigger mountain. Don't worry, the landslides happened at the end of the Ice Age, 10,000 years ago, so there's no likelihood that anything will fall on your head today!).

We may also walk part of the old track known locally as the 'Duke's Path' (once a major route for the Dukes of Argyll between their Inveraray home and the Lowlands). From this path we can climb any one of a number of hills, small or large, depending on the weather and the fitness of the party - whatever our choice, the views will be good, with a high possibility of seeing a herd of red deer.

The minimum is 5 miles/8km and 1300ft/400m of ascent

Tuesday: Loch Lomond
We will take the passenger ferry across Loch Lomond to Rowardennan on the eastern shore. Loch Lomond is the largest freshwater loch in Scotland. The loch also crosses the Highland Fault Line, as is evident in the changing landscape between the farmland of the south and the more rugged terrain to the north of the Fault.

We will do a circular walk through Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and along the open hillside on the slopes of Ben Lomond, with spectacular views across Loch Lomond and the Arrochar Alpes. Ben Lomond is a nature reserve, owned by the National Trust of Scotland.
7 miles/11km, 1475ft/450m of ascent

If the group is very fit, we might even walk up Ben Lomond (3193ft/974m), the most southerly Munro in Scotland.

Hiking holiday Loch Fyne, Argyll

Inveraray and Loch Fyne from
Dun na Cuaiche

Wednesday: Ardkinglas House and Inveraray
Today is a gentler day as we stay in and around Inveraray. We will have a tour of Ardkinglas House, designed and built in 1907 by Robert Lorimer one of Scotland's leading architects. Lorimer was allowed a free hand and the result is a large neo-baronial style mansion of over 80 rooms set in its own gardens.

Inveraray Castle, set in elegant planned grounds, beside the equally well planned and elegant white-painted 18th century town, is well worth seeing and there are excellent walks in the estate. Perhaps the best of these - all on path and track - takes in the riverside and some varied woodland on its way to the 700 feet high (220m) top of Dun na Cuaiche. The view from the watchtower here is the very best there is of Inveraray, the castle and Loch Fyne.

Afterwards we will take a walk around the town, and perhaps visit the splendid museum in the former jail and courthouse, which provides an accurate and interesting social history, not at all ghoulish. There is also an excellent museum at the old farming township of Auchindrain, a 15 minute drive away. There's nowhere better for gaining an insight into the life lived in the pre-Clearance Highland countryside.

Up to 6 miles (9 km) and up to 1300 ft (400 m) of ascent.

Thursday: Isle of Bute
Southwards today, to the Isle of Bute, to its southern end to enjoy the wide seascapes of the lower Firth of Clyde, with views to Arran's wild mountains and to Ailsa Craig. The walk is a circular one along the coast past Glencallum Bay and Garroch Head, returning north across lava hills.

Apart from the views, attractions include seals and seabirds, while those interested in history will particularly enjoy seeing the substantial ruins of the 12th century St Blane's Chapel with a much older early-Christian enclosure, both set in beautiful surroundings. The graveyard near the chapel includes a Viking hogback-style gravestone. There is also lots of geological interest along the shore.

Up to 8 miles/13km and up to 1000ft/300m of ascent

Hiking Arrochar Alps

The Cobbler, Arrochar Alps

Friday: Arrochar Alps
Today's walk takes us to the summit of one of the mountains in the Arrochar Alps - a fitting climax to our week! We've had a fairly gentle day on Thursday, so should be OK to make the most of today.

The Cobbler is one of the hills we might do. Superlatives are appropriate for this mountain with its dramatic rocky top. This is a real mountain walk with some scrambling. This will be a hard day, but one offering great rewards and a wonderful sense of achievement, with views far into Argyll and across Loch Lomond (weather permitting!) from the summit.

6 miles/9km and up to 2990ft/910m of ascent

Saturday: Inveraray - Glasgow
After breakfast, we will take you back to Glasgow (city centre or airport).