Get Outdoors this Spring and discover Argyll & the Isles

Argyll & the Isles is a natural playground. This is Scotland’s Adventure Coast, and it’s a spectacular setting for a host of activities on land and water. This spring, escape the city, get off the beaten track and try something new in Argyll. It doesn’t matter if adventure to you means trying a new sport, going on a big hike or relaxing at a nature wellness retreat, your Argyll & the Isles adventure is just a hop and a skip from Glasgow. Need some inspiration? Here are some of the best spring adventures in Argyll & the Isles.

Learn to sail in Tighnabruaich 

Learn how to sail this spring at Tighnabruaich Sailing School.

The coast of Argyll has some of the best sailing grounds in Britain. You could learn the ropes this spring on world-class sailing waters. Tighnabruaich Sailing School has been teaching people to sail in the Kyles of Bute for over 50 years. As well as learning new boating skills, you’ll also get the chance to get up close to the area’s abundant wildlife. 

Walk the West Island Way

Take in the stunning views of the West Island Way on the Isle of Bute.

Get to know the beautiful island of Bute from top to toe this spring by walking the West Island Way. This 30-mile route, one of Scotland’s Great Trails, takes in a huge variety of landscapes. Feel the warmth of the spring sunshine, listen to the birds and take in magnificent coastal views as you amble along. Bute is a place of great contrasts, from its stunning beaches to its fascinating historical sites. Walking is one of the best ways to see the island in all its glory.

Getting to Bute from Glasgow is easy. It’s just 50 minutes away from Glasgow by road or rail, followed by a 35-minute CalMac ferry crossing from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay. Another CalMac ferry runs from Colintraive to Rhubodach, taking less than five minutes.

Discover Historic Luss & Inveraray

Visit one of many historic attraction in Inveraray.

Looking for a calmer adventure? Head to the historic town of Inveraray for the day or overnight to enjoy spectacular landscapes steep in history. When heading towards Inveraray, you’ll be passing through Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, with plenty of beautiful scenery, wonderful wildlife, and fantastic stops. Stop for a coffee break at the conservation village of Luss, to take in the tranquil scenery around Luss Pier.

Travelling further along the shores of Loch Lomond, you’ll be passing through the region of Arrochar with it’s fantastic walking trails and scenic views before arriving at Loch Fyne. Stop for lunch at Ocho Inveraray before heading into the historic town of Inveraray.

A trip to Inveraray isn't complete without visiting Inveraray Jail, a unique award-winning living museum, where costumed guides tell stories of former inmates.  On your way back, stop at Cairndow's Ardkinglas Estate and gardens, which is home to the well-known Gruffalo Trail- perfect for families and for an educational visit to Auchindrain, a farming township, just a few miles south of the town, that has been carefully preserved to showcase true highland history and heritage. 

The drive from Glasgow to Inveraray is about  1 ½ hours one way, making it a great short trip destination.

Cycle the Caledonia Way

Spring is here and it’s time to dust down your bike and have a two-wheeled adventure. The Caledonia Way, National Route 78 of the National Cycle Network, could be the one for you! It runs from Campbeltown to Inverness, and the first section is a 122-mile, mainly on-road route between Campbeltown and Oban, offering cyclists the chance to explore Lorn, Knapdale and the spectacular Kintyre peninsula. If you’re feeling adventurous, it’s possible to cycle to Campbeltown from Glasgow via the Gourock/Dunoon ferry and the Portavadie/Tarbert ferry. You can catch a train from Oban back to Glasgow, part of the world-famous West Highland Line.

Go wild swimming

With 3,723KM of coastline, 23 inhabited islands, over 40 freshwater and sea lochs and several easily accessed beaches and rivers, Argyll & the Isles' west coast waters are a wild swimmer’s paradise. Just a stone’s throw from Glasgow, you can explore Loch Lomond'swaters with Inchbaggers Island Swims.

Alternatively, you could jump on the Highland Explorer train from Glasgow Queen St Station and head to Oban, Scotland’s Seafood Capital. Wild Swimming Coach Bekah can take you out on a custom wild swimming adventure before you return to the bustling coastal town. Stay in one of many excellent accommodations in and around Oban and discover one of Scotland’s most popular coastal towns. 

If you're looking for a multi-day wellness retreat, join Emma from Wild Hebridean Swimming on a 3- and 5-night dipping retreats and guided swim holidays. She will take you to unique and hidden swimming spots some of which require a short hike to get there; we'll do Pilates on the spiritual island of Iona, birthplace of Christianity and where the emerald green waters are simply too stunning not to have a dip!

Whatever your adventure looks like, go outdoors this spring and discover Argyll & the Isles.