Nature & Walks
Loch Awe, with Ben Cruachan at the head of the loch, is 25 miles long and the longest fresh water loch in Scotland.
It’s shores are fringed with conifer forests, oak and birch woodlands, and the grazing fields and hills on each farm providing a varied habitat in which wildlife thrives.
- red squirrels
- red deer
- roe deer
- pine marten
- golden eagle
- grouse (red and black)
- common sandpiper
- swallows (summer)
- woodcock (winter)
Fishing & Boat Hire on Loch Awe
Boats can be hired from Loch Awe Boats or Lochside Marine giving you freedom to explore the loch and spend time with the nature and wildlife of Loch Awe. Fishing on Loch Awe is by permit and these are available here at Blarghour or from Loch Awe Boats.
Nature & Wildlife Tours
The chance to see wildlife such as white tailed eagle, golden eagle, seals, porpoises, otters, puffins and many sea birds can often be combined on a boat tour with a visit to natural wonders such as:
- Corryvreckan Whirlpool: Sealife Adventures from Seil Island or Craignish Cruises based in Ardfern
- Fingals Cave: Turus Mara and Staffa Tours on the island of Mull combine Fingals Cave and the Treshnish Isles, where puffins come onshore to nest (May – July) as do 6,000 guillemot, razorbill, kittiwake, fulmar, shag and skua.
Iona Abbey & Fingal’s Cave: Staffa Tours (possibility to see puffins on Staffa with a quick visit to Fingals Cave).
Seal colonies: short trips from Oban Harbour to seal colonies nearby.
Nature Reserves & Wild Land
The Eurasian Beaver, first introduced on a trial basis in 2008, was formally recognised as a native species in 2016, so the Beavers of Knapdale are staying.
Glen Etive is a remote area of ‘Wild Land’ accessed via a single-track road where red deer and golden eagles thrive in the solitude of the glen.
With hills, islands, the marked trails in Mid-Argyll’s Forests, the tow path along Crinan Canal, the towns of Oban, Inveraray and Lochgilphead, gardens of Argyll and the chambered cairns, standing stones and ancient rock art along Kilmartin Glen, there are plenty of interesting walks and places to explore on foot while on holiday in Argyll.
If the challenge for the holiday is to ‘bag’ a munro (a Scottish mountain over 3000ft) there is Ben Cruachan at the head of Loch Awe.
The circular route on the island of Kererra, just off Oban, will take you past Gylen Castle and the Garden Tearoom.
Walks of all standards are well described on the Walk Highlands website.
Bicycles can be hired from Crinan Cycles in Lochgilphead for cycling the Crinan Canal, Oban Cycles for exploring Kererra and Sunnybrae Caravan Park on the island of Luing.
If you bring your own bikes there are plenty of forest tracks and quiet roads to explore.
For a mountain biking challenge, the Fire Tower trail near Lochgilphead and the graded tracks provided for all abilities at Aonach Mhor on the Nevis Range near Fort William, with bikes for hire at the bottom of the gondola.
For ‘wild swimming’ Loch Awe is on your doorstep, but best to speak to a local before venturing into the loch for the first time.
The azaleas and rhododendrons in the National Trust for Scotland gardens at Crarae and Arduaine are well worth a wander round as is Benmore Botanical Garden near Dunoon.
Respect the Environment
Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photographs, kill nothing but time.