Day trips and short breaks to Argyll & the Isles

Scotland's Adventure Coast

Want to make the most out of your holidays and weekends? Then why not take a trip or short break to Argyll & the Isles? Where you can enjoy stunning scenery, tourist attractions, fantastic food and wonderful walks. Argyll & the Isles is close to Scotland's main cities and not many people realise that you can enjoy the feel of a holiday all within a day, be sure to take a look at some of our suggested day trips!

Create lasting family memories as you discover the range of family-friendly activities and adventures that make Argyll & the Isles the perfect destination for a family day out.

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Leave the car behind and travel to Oban from Glasgow Queen Street train station via the Highland Explorer train carriage. The Scotrail service runs direct trains and can take up to 20 bikes. One of the best ways to experience the coastline of Oban & Lorn is to take a boat trip. Many companies offer marine wildlife trips in the area. With years of experience, they can take you to the best spots to view wildlife, and visit secluded coves, beaches, and islands. There are lots of amazing castles located in Oban, Lorn & the Isles area and don't forget to stop by some of the many food and drink places on offer.

Explore Oban


Inveraray is a classic example of an eighteenth-century planned town with a stunning setting on Loch Fyne. This handsome town is a bustling place, with independent shops, historic buildings, and glorious gardens. Don’t miss the chance to visit Inveraray Castle, the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell, and Inveraray Jail, a living museum and one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions. If you’re feeling active, take a walk up Dun na Cuaiche or if you have a little more time, visit Auchindrain, a fascinating example of a Highland settlement.

Explore Inveraray
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Just a short Calmac ferry ride from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay is the Isle of Bute. It’s a gem of an island and accessible all year round. The Victorians left their mark with splendid architecture and glorious gardens which you can view on the Rothesay shoreline. You’ll also find stunning beaches, fabulous walks, and cycling, why not cycle around Bute? Along your journey, you will find some great places to eat and drink. A highlight of any visit to Bute must be Mount Stuart, a spectacular neo-gothic palace set amid acres of lush woodlands.

Explore Bute

Dunoon, Cowal

Dunoon, Cowal’s only major town, is a lively place, with shops, restaurants, pubs, and coffee shops. It’s a top spot for a rainy day, with plenty of indoor activities to keep all the family amused including indoor soft play at Queen's Hall and a swimming pool at Hunters Quay. Discover the story of Dunoon from the Neolithic to the present day at Castle House Museum, set in gardens opposite the historic Dunoon Pier. Dunoon is surrounded by large tracts of forest which offer great mountain biking, walking and horse riding. Puck’s Glen is a magical woodland world and a great place for a family walk. Benmore Botanic Garden is not to be missed, with a magnificent mountainside setting and world-famous collection of flowering trees and shrubs including over 300 species of rhododendron. If you are looking for something a bit more action-packed, then check out local boat trips perfect for exploring the Cowal waters. If arts and culture are more your thing, then why not catch a show at Dunoon Burgh Hall.

Explore Dunoon & Cowal
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Hop on the train at Glasgow’s Queen Street and in just 45 minutes you’ll be in the beautiful Argyll town of Helensburgh. With elegant, broad, tree-lined avenues, piers, a promenade, shops, and eateries galore, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this lovely Scottish town. There’s also a rich heritage to discover, from the town’s notable residents to its world-class architecture, as well as a cracking visitor attraction of Hill House. For a great day out, make your way to Helensburgh.

Explore Helensburgh

The great outdoors around Glasgow

The great outdoors around Glasgow!

If you fancy bagging one of Scotland’s iconic hills, then the Arrochar Alps is about an hour's drive from Glasgow. This rugged mountain range offers some of the best walking and climbing experiences in Argyll and the Isles and includes the famous Cobbler. For world-class mountain biking head for the forests of Bishop’s Glen, Glenbranter, Ardgarten and Glenmassan or cross the loch to Lochgilphead to try out the famous Firetower Trails.

If you are looking for something more family-friendly there are plenty of beginner trails that everyone in the family can enjoy.

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Plan your journey

Rail and Trail
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Getting Here
Rail And Trail Calmac Ferry
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Explore all the places to visit in Argyll & the Isles

3700km of coastline, 23 inhabited islands, major towns and villages are all waiting for you.

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