Towns & Villages

Argyll & the Isles

With a vast mainland and home to 23 inhabited islands, the scenery and landscape in Argyll & the Isles will take your breath away.

From white sandy beaches to outdoor activities and world class whisky distilleries, there is always plenty to do here. 

Argyll & the Isles is made up of settlements where 80% of the population live within a kilometre of Scotland's coastline.

From Rothesay to Tiree, and from Helensburgh to Campbeltown or Oban, our towns and villages are located near beaches, waves and clear blue water, forests walks, mountain climbs and island views.

Our landscapes inspire. And our artists, musicians and food & drink are celebrated across the world!


Must Visit Places near Kilmartin Glen

Explore the surrounding areas of Kilmartin Glen for world-class biodiversity, pristine coastal sea lochs, the mighty Corryvreckan whirlpool and discover the social history of our fishing villages.


There are two piers, a lighthouse, slipway and breakwater along the seafront. Scottish Canals has transformed a historic building, The Egg Shed, into a interpretation and visitor centre, telling the story of the Crinan Canal & its communities. Visitors are invited to learn the stories of ‘Britain’s most beautiful shortcut’ within the exhibition space, with artefacts from Scottish Canals displayed alongside items supplied by the local community


Every year nearly 2,000 boats make the journey along the nine miles of the Crinan Canal. Opened in 1801, it linked Loch Fyne at Ardrishaig with the Sound of Jura at Crinan, cutting out the long and treacherous journey around the Mull of Kintyre. Today, its towpath makes for a wonderful walk, cycle or kayak.

The surrounding countryside is stunning and rich in history. You’ll find ancient sites, rock art and forts not far from the towpath. There’s a magical network of paths, towpaths and shorelines to explore. You can climb high through the forest above the sea at Crinan to give stunning views of Jura, Scarba and the Argyll coastline.


Tayvallich is a small village in Knapdale, on the western shore of Loch Sween. The village sits on an attractive horseshoe bay, surrounded by richly wooded shores. The Knapdale peninsula divides just beyond it.

The western arm leads eventually to the medieval Chapel of Keills, with a display of late medieval carved stones, and from where there is also a fine view of the MacCormaig Islands, the largest of which, Eilean Mór, is a breeding ground for seabirds. The other arm, the Taynish peninsula, is a National Nature Reserve and has one of the largest remaining oak forests in Britain.

On the eastern shore of Loch Sween stand the impressive ruins of the 12th century Castle Sween, probably the oldest stone castle on the Scottish mainland. Beyond it, Kilmory Woodland Park offers fine collection of witch hazels, alpines, hardy ferns, historical sites and lochside walks.


Ardrishaig is a coastal village south of Lochgilphead, and is the entrance to the Crinan Canal.

Visitscotland Ardrishaig

Crinan is a small village famous for the nine miles of ‘Britain’s most beautiful shortcut.’

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Tayvallich is a small village on the western shore of Loch Sween.

Tayvallich 2

Must Visit Places on the Cowal Pennisula

The Cowal Peninsula is framed by Loch Fyne and Loch Long, and is one of the most visited parts of Argyll & the Isles.

Many head straight for Dunoon, but others enjoy the forests and mountains of Argyll Forest Park or the peace and tranquillity of the coastline villages.


This pretty beach in Argyll & The Isles is popular with families and is a great area for walking and fishing. There are interesting shells and colored pebbles to collect and wonderful wildlife to look out for, including seals and various birds of prey. Otters can also be seen near Ardentinny Bay. Barbecue and toilet facilities are available at Ardentinny Bay, in addition to free parking.


Tighnabruaich has a marina and is a very popular location for sailing and yachting. Just a few miles down the coast you will come to Portavadie, which also has a marina and is perfect place to find boat trips.


Set amidst magnificent West Highland scenery, this picturesque village is now a popular outdoor pursuits and holiday home centre. The ruins of Carrick Castle lie a few miles south of the village.


Picnic beside Cowal's longest sandy beach and explore Ardentinny's varied network of woodland trails.

Ardentinny1 (1)

Sitting on the shore of the beautiful Kyles of Bute, Tighnabruaich is popular for sailing and yachting.

Visitscotland Kyles Of Bute

Lochgoilhead is set in amongst magnificent west Highland scenery, and is popular for outdoor pursuits and a centre for holiday homes.


Must Visit Places in Oban & Lorn

Oban is endowed with world-class tourist attractions and experiences, but here is a list of places of interest that will be useful for a trip to Oban and the surrounding area.

Benderloch and Barcaldine

Benderloch and Barcaldine are small villages, on the main road between Oban and Glencore. Places of interest nearby include Tralee beach, Barcaldine Castle, Ben Lora and Ardchattan Priory Garden. Sutherland's Grove, near Barcadline has a magical atmosphere, with soaring Douglas firs, a rocky gorge, waterfalls and stunning views. There’s something for everyone at Sutherland's Grove, including perfect picnic spots and a host of enticing forest trails.


Nestled at the foot of Ben Cruachan between Loch Etive and Loch Awe, Taynuilt is a village with a number of things to see & do, including Fearnoch Forest, Bonawe Iron Furnace, the most complete charcoal fuelled ironworks in Britain, and the 9-hole Taynuilt Golf Club.


The small village is situated in area of outstanding natural beauty, with many miles of excellent walks and stunning views, it will be hard not to fall in love. It is ideally located for those who wish to explore the hills on foot, or the surrounding coast and islands by boat.


Coll enjoys some of the highest sunshine hours in the UK per annum, so be sure to take a walk on the secluded beaches, marvel at the fantastic wildlife and enjoy a dram or two.

Road Cycling Oban To Benderloch

The seaside town of Oban is a great place for a holiday with much to see and do in wider area and nearby Inner Hebridean islands.

Bonawe Iron Furnace

Argyll & the Isles is home to 23 inhabited islands, each combining stunning scenery and awe-inspiring landscapes.

Arduaine Gardens 1

Must Visit Places on the Kintyre Pennisula

One of Scotland’s most scenic regions, with its pristine natural setting, unique coastal character and rich history, you‘ll never run out of things to see & do in Kintyre.

From Saint Columba’s footstep and clan massacres in the south to a Championship golf course and surfer’s paradise in the west, and don’t miss a trip to the iconic Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse!


Follow the road along the rugged east coast of Kintyre and enjoy the small villages and all they have to offer, with spectacular views to Arran and the Ayrshire coast.

Tucked away in a quiet part of Scotland in Kintyre, Carradale is a small working fishing village. The most redeeming feature of this quaint village is its peace and tranquility. The very picturesque but small harbour with its small fishing fleet, with wide stretch of sandy beach is perfect for walks and swims in shallow waters. 


Machrihanish is a hidden gem on the south westerly part of the Kintyre Peninsula. The village is perfect for slow and quiet evening walks or perhaps a care free walk along Machrihanish beach with the water lapping at your feet.

Machrihanish is famous for its fantastic golfing opportunities. The 18-hole championship Machrihanish Golf Course was established in 1876 and offers beautiful views of the area. Machrihanish Dunes Golf Resort, which opened in 2009, has been named one if the top 100 courses in the UK and Ireland. 


The village of Southend boasts beautiful coastal scenery and lies at the end of the Kintyre Peninsula. Reputedly this is the location where Saint Columba first set his foot in Scotland at the start of his exile from Ireland. ‘Columba’s Footprints’ can be found on a rock near the village where it is claimed he first preached on Scottish soil.


Carradale has a wonderful bay with wide stretch of sandy beach, perfect for walks and swims in shallow waters.


Machrihanish is a hidden gem on the Kintyre Peninsula, famed for its fantastic golfing opportunities.

Golf Machrihanish

The village of boasts beautiful coastal scenery and is the location where Saint Columba first set his foot in Scotland.

Visitscotland Kintyre Stcolumba

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