The Cowal Peninsula has a stunningly diverse coastline, with fantastic beaches, hills sweeping down to the sea and pockets of ancient forest hugging the shoreline. It’s only fair that your canine friend gets to enjoy this coastal playground too! Your pooch can run free on the sandy expanses, explore the coastal woodlands and enjoy a paddle in the shallows. Here are five dog-friendly coastal walks in Cowal. You’ll find plenty of dog-friendly places to eat and drink in Cowal too.
Loch Lomond and Cowal Way
The first section of the 57-mile Loch Lomond and Cowal Way takes you from Portavadie to Tighnabruaich through Argyll's Secret Coast. You’ll pass though beautiful coastal scenery, with the first section taking you high along a forest path to a look-out point with views of Loch Fyne. The second section from Tighnabruaich to Glendaruel takes you along a lovely coastal track via Caladh Harbour, with plenty of opportunities for your dog to take a refreshing dip! Portavadie, at the start of the walk, has some dog-friendly accommodation.
Ostel Bay is perhaps Cowal’s most beautiful beach. This crescent-shaped sweep of sand is the perfect place to let your dog run free and splash in the waves. It’s a good walk along the length of the beach. It takes about 20 minutes to walk down to the beach along a track. There are sheep in the neighbouring fields, so do keep your dog under control. Just a few miles up the road is Botanica at the Barn, a lovely dog-friendly café where you can sit outside on a sunny day and enjoy a locally roasted coffee.
Ardentinny to Carrick Castle
For a longer walk with your dog, try the seven-mile linear walk from Ardentinny to Carrick Castle, which follows the western shore of two beautiful sea lochs - Loch Long and Loch Goil from Ardentinny to Carrick Castle. Most of the walk is along forest tracks.
There are some smashing short coastal dog walks near Toward Quay, which is located around seven miles south of Dunoon. You can access most of the walks from Ardyne Car Park. Check out the map of various routes at the car park. One great option if your dog likes a hill walk is a two-hour trail, which includes climbing Toward Hill. The coastal views are tremendous, with views to Arran, Bute, Kintyre and Loch Lomond.
Find out more about things to do and see in Cowal.