Don’t let the cold temperatures and darker nights put you off going outside this winter! Wrap up warm and embrace the great outdoors in Argyll. With these winter outdoor activities, from hill walking to kayaking, you’ll stay fit, have fun and see some fabulous wintry landscapes.
Argyll offers some incredible winter mountain biking. From technical trails to fun family rides, you’ll find track and trails for all levels. Argyll Forest Park with its vast areas of forest and mountain, looks stunning in winter. There are thousands of miles of trails and forest tracks to explore by bike. There’s a whole network of trails from Ardgartan that make for a great day’s mountain biking in winter, including the 11km Glenshellish Loop.
The Fire Tower Trail near Lochgilphead is another good option for winter. The route is a network of single track sections linked by forest roads, so you can make up your own route and do as much or as little as you like. You’ll be treated to some amazing view over the winter landscape to the islands of Jura, Scarba and the Gulf of Corryvreckan. Fearnoch, a woodland near Taynuilt, is another top spot for mountain biking and you’ll be treated to dramatic views to the snow-capped Ben Cruachan, Argyll’s highest mountain.
Fat biking is a brilliant way to explore Argyll’s beaches and coastline during the winter. Due to their balloon tyres, fat bikes are suited to beach riding where they can float over sand and pebbles giving wonderful access to this amazing environment. Kayak Wild Islay offer fat bike tours throughout the winter. Head out along the five-mile long Big Strand beach and see some winter wildlife along the way. Warm up with a brew on he beach!
Winter hill walking
During the winter in Argyll you make not get snow at lower levels, but head to hills and you’ll be in a winter wonderland! The Arrochar Alps is by far the most spectacular mountain range in the southern Highlands. The most popular hill within this group is Ben Arthur, commonly known as The Cobbler, which is located near the head of Loch Long. The views from the top are stunning, particularly on a crisp winter’s days. A word of caution - hillwalking in Scotland in winter should be regarded as mountaineering and requires extra precautions. Daylight hours are shorter and weather conditions are more severe – so make sure you’re prepared and experienced before venturing out.
Winter bring bigger and more challenging waves, as well as colder conditions. If you’re an experienced surfer and you wear a winter wetsuit, boots, gloves and cap, you can enjoy some brilliant surfing in Argyll during the winter. Tiree, the most westerly Inner Hebridean island is a mecca for surfers. The west coast of Kintyre is another of Argyll’s top surfing spots. Huge sandy beaches are often pounded by Atlantic breakers, making it a destination for adventurous surfers during the winter.
The waters around Argyll’s coastline can offer wonderful kayaking during the winter. Argyll’s sea lochs can provide calm waters that are protected from the wind. The Kyles of Bute is a lovely protected spot, with plenty of beaches, islands and inlets to explore. Look out for the winter wildlife, including seals, seabirds and birds of prey circling overhead. A word of warning though, the weather can change very quickly in Argyll so you should only head out during the winter if you’re experienced and prepared. Kayak Wild Islay offers guided kayaking tours on Islay throughout the winter – weather depending.