Slow adventure is the new way to travel. In response to our fast-paced lives, it offers the chance to relax, reflect and reconnect. This form of tourism avoids the adrenalin pumping hits, and instead looks for inspiring connections with the outdoors. Slow adventure gives you the chance to explore wild, open spaces and journey through beautiful landscapes at a more immersive pace. It also gives you the opportunity to spot local wildlife. Sound good? Then read on. Here are our top tips for having a slow adventure on Argyll’s Secret Coast.
Under your own steam
Whether you’re walking, cycling, kayaking or sailing, traveling under your own steam is the best way to have a slow adventure. There’s no better way to enjoy and appreciate your surroundings and to reach off-the-beaten-track places. There are lots of great options for walking on Argyll’s Secret Coast, including the long distance Loch Lomond and Cowal Way that starts at Portavadie. The country roads are great for cycling. The Ardlamont Loop is a fantastic option for a slow family cycle. Take your time and check out the beautiful Ostel Bay. And with deserted beaches, uninhabited island and protected waters, this is the perfect place for kayaking and sailing. The Argyll Sea Kayak Trail passes through Argyll’s Secret Coast.
Get closer to nature and camp! Fall asleep under the starts and wake up to a glorious view as you unzip your tent. Carry Farm is a fabulous spot to camp. Tents are pitched next to the shore and you wake up to the morning sounds of oystercatchers, eider ducks and waves lapping on the pebbles. You can even light a campfire on the beach. Carry Farm has embraced the concept of slow adventure, and you can only camp here if you’ve made your way without a car - so by bike, kayak or on foot.
Beaches are great places to slow down and connect with nature. Argyll’s Secret Coast is home to some lovely wild beaches, from the sandy crescent of Ostel Bay to the raw and rugged Glenan Bay. Go paddling, have a beach fire, build sandcastles, collect shells, catch mackerel and look out for playful seals. If you’re feeling brave, you can even go for a wild swim in the clear waters.
Woodlands offer so many options for slow adventures, from den building to tree climbing to foraging and walking. Argyll’s Secret Coast is home to some of the finest remaining examples of ancient oak woodland in Scotland. Take a woodland wander among the gnarly ancient oaks of Glenan Wood. It’s a beautiful place and home to a wide variety of flora and fauna including otters, deer and owls. You can walk to a deserted village deep in the woods that gives you a fascinating insight into lives that were lived here all those years ago.
An important aspect of slow adventure is the idea that it helps you connect with the place and the people that live there. You have the time to talk to the locals, discover traditional skills and knowledge and appreciate the local arts, crafts, food and drink. On Argyll’s Secret Coast, you’ll find artists, galleries, a thriving community of local producers and an exceptional range of local, seasonal produce. Try the saltmarsh lamb from Shellfield Farm, locally roasted coffee from Argyll Coffee Roasters and cheese from Evanachan Farm. There’s even a tea plantation at Glen Caladh Farm. Pop into Tighnabruaich Gallery to browse the beautiful local art and The Dairy Gallery to see textiles made by Fiona McPhail from her Hebridean sheep and functional, decorative ceramics by her sister Karen.
This year, why not make memories through meaningful experiences here on Argyll’s Secret Coast? Take a break and go slow.
There are a few ways to make your slow adventure journey to Argyll’s Secret Coast from Glasgow. You could get the train to Gourock and jump on the ferry to Dunoon (bikes go free). From here it’s a challenging, but rewarding, cycle to Tighnabrauich. There’s also a bus service from Dunoon to Tighnabruaich. Check the timetable though, as they aren’t very frequent. Or how about getting the ferry to Bute from Wemyss Bay? Cycle to the north end of the island and you can get the ferry from Rhubodach to Colintraive on Argyll’s Secret Coast.