North Cowal itinerary

Discover north Cowal

Follow this route to explore the north of Cowal, a magnificent landscape of towering hills and fiord-like sea lochs. Discover beautiful glens, fabulous walks and scenic views galore!

Have your camera at the ready! You’ll be treated to some epic scenery on this route and you may event spot some of iconic Scottish wildlife, including red squirrels, red deer and golden eagles.

Lochgoilhead – Cairndow – Inveraray – Rest and Be Thankful - Lochgoilhead

Lochgoilhead sits at the northern end of Loch Goil. It’s a scenic location, where majestic mountains tumble down to meet the water. There are some great walks in the area, including a circular walk to Carrick Castle and a circular walk to the impressive Donich Falls. Carrick Castle, a 14th-century ruined tower house, is well worth a visit. You can also hire a boat and go fishing on Loch Goil.

From Lochgoilhead follow the road up through Hell’s Glen towards Cairndow. The view over the northern part of Loch Fyne towards Inveraray is simply stunning. When the B839 meets the A815, look out for the Tinkers' Heart, a pattern of quartz stones that’s been used by generations of Scottish Travellers as a wedding place.

At Cairndow take a walk in Ardkinglas Woodland Gardens. Set against the mountainside, it has an outstanding collection of plants and trees. It’s also home to The Gruffalo Trail, which follows a short route through an atmospheric area of the woods. Further up the road, you’ll come to the head of Loch Fyne, where you can stop in at Fyne Ales for a brewery tour or Loch Fyne Oysters to pick up the freshest local seafood.

From here it’s just a short detour to reach the handsome Georgian town of Inveraray. It’s home to Inveraray Castle, the seat of Clan Campbell, and Inveraray Jail, one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions. When you’ve finished exploring the town, head east along the A83, to the top of the ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ mountain pass. Pullover in the car park and enjoy the views of Glen Croe and the Arrochar Alps stretching out before you. Now follow the B828 to rejoin the route through Hell’s Glen back to Lochgoilhead.



The easiest way to follow this tour in by car. If you're very fit, it's also possible to do this route by bike. 

There is a very limited bus service in the area operated by West Coast Motors.