Colours of Cowal



Colours of Cowal
Special Autumn Offers inside
of Cowal
Autumn 2010
The Cowal Highland
Cowalfest 2010
Cowal Open Studios
and lots more inside...
Cowal is practically
undiscovered as
the gateway to the
Scottish Highlands
Image credit: About Argyll Walking Holidays
Colours of Cowal
Cowal is a land of beautiful contrasts; a landscape of hill and glen,
coastline and loch, forest and farmland, providing a stunning scenic
backdrop wherever you go. Cowal is not only a place of beauty and
tranquility, it is packed with fascinating places to visit and lots of
exciting activities to participate in.
Autumn in Cowal is perfect for a visit;
a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts,
the colours of the natural environment
inspiration for artists, a joy for food lovers
are breathtaking, mirrored in the tranquil
and perfect for family activities.
waters of the sea lochs which surround the
peninsula and in wonderful Loch Eck, the
Dunoon is “capital of Cowal” and the
deep glacial inland loch. You can choose to
lively gathering place for the whole Cowal
simply soak up the wonderful scenery, or get
area, with a wide range of entertainment,
involved in many of the activities and events
shopping and accommodation from
on offer; either way you are guaranteed
friendly bed and breakfasts to self catering
a relaxing and revitalizing break, enjoying
apartments and hotels of all sizes. Around
wonderful hospitality in a wide choice of
Dunoon there are large tracts of forest
which are perfect for walking, cycling and
horseriding, with exceptional views over
Cowal is practically undiscovered as the
the Clyde Estuary and its islands. Dotted
gateway to the Scottish Highlands, yet is
throughout the rest of Cowal are delightful
very easy to get to from central Scotland,
villages and small communities, each
just a little over an hour from Glasgow. Take
offering something unique for the visitor
some time out and escape to this idyllic part
and always a warm welcome.
of Scotland which is a haven for wildlife,
Autumn events
and festivals
Autumn is the time for many of Cowal’s main annual events, starting
with the world-famous Cowal Highland Gathering at the end of August.
Cowal Open Studios takes place in September, taking you to every
corner of Cowal with the opportunity to visit over 40 artists in their
own studios. Cowalfest is a unique major celebration of walking, the
arts and outdoor activities, taking place over ten days from Friday 8th
– Sunday 17th October.
There are some great local events taking place too; the forestry commission lays on some
delightful wildlife and outdoor events and there are exhibitions, theatre and music in the local
halls and venues throughout Cowal.
For further information on all events contact Dunoon Tourist Information Centre on
08707 200629 or email [email protected]
Colours of Cowal
Main Annual Autumn Events
The Cowal Highland Gathering: 26th – 28th August
The Cowal Highland Gathering is by far the biggest festival in Cowal and of course the largest
highland games in the world! It attracts more than 3500 competitors, many of whom come
from Scottish communities-in-exile such as British Columbia, Australia and New Zealand. Over
the three days of the games, around 23,000 people visit to enjoy the unique Cowal Highland
Games atmosphere. Apart from watching the competition, which includes Highland Dancing,
pipe bands, wrestling, heavy athletics, and solo piping, visitors can participate in the ceilidh tent,
a children’s tent and a quality food fair from the best of local producers.
For more information visit or phone 01369 703206
Cowal Open Studios: Friday 24th – Monday 27th September
Cowal Open Studios is a fascinating way to view the art and crafts of Cowal as local artists
throw open the doors of their homes and studios in September. You will experience at first hand
the processes that go into making finished works and enjoy visiting artists in their workshops
and studios, many of which are found in intriguing and inspirational locations.
For more information visit or phone 01369 860 099
Cowalfest 2010 Walking and Arts Festival:
Friday 8th – Sunday 17th October
Cowalfest is one of the largest and most varied walking festivals in Scotland, with more than
80 walks led by expert and knowledgeable walk leaders including National Park and Forestry
Commission Rangers. All ages and abilities are catered for and the walks cover wildlife, bird
watching, drama, photography, art, history, heritage, folklore, tai chi, great gardens, great
houses and even potholing. There are also some great hill walks including the opportunity to
complete the long distance trail ‘The Cowal Way’ over a 6 day period. Horse riding, cycling and
a range of musical and arts events are also in the programme.
For more information visit or phone 08707 200629
Local events
Bat Watch: September 1st (Glenbranter), 8th (Ardentinny)
and 15th (Dunoon) 7.30pm – 10pm
The Forestry Commission lay on some great nature events for children, visit for details or phone 01877 382383. No dogs are allowed.
The bat watch events require to be booked by phoning Steve on 01877 382383
Colours of Cowal
Benmore Gardens Guided Tours: selected days
throughout September, 2pm
With 120 acres to explore, make sure you see the best of this very special Garden by joining a
guided tour with an expert. Guided tours are included in the Garden admission and take place
on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 2pm (March – September).
No advance booking necessary. Visit
or call 01369 706261
Iron Giants: Sunday 19th September: 11am – 4pm,
Meet at Ardnadam Heritage Trail, Sandbank, near Dunoon
Could you have survived the Iron Age? Take our activity challenge using Iron Age tools and
equipment. Part of Scottish Archaeology Month.
Contact Jim Downie 01389 727736. No booking required, suitable for all the family.
Kyles 10 mile scenic run: Sunday September 12th, Kames
A brand new 10 mile road race, under 2 hours from Glasgow, is set to become the most
stunning run in Scotland. This incredible scenic run follows the Ardlamont Peninsula south of the
village of Tighnabruaich on ‘Argyll’s Secret Coast’. The natural circular course is a gem and once
uncovered never forgotten, with majestic mountains and a secluded coastal route providing the
runner with amazing views and challenges.
Visit or call 01700 811004
Ardkinglas House Tour: Friday September 24th
& October 15th & 29th, 2pm
Situated on the shores of Loch Fyne, against a spectacular background of rugged mountains
and ancient forest, Ardkinglas House is an architectural gem. Still occupied as a family home
it has remained virtually unchanged for 100 years.
The House is open for a guided tour on the last Friday of every month from April
to October. Booking essential, phone 01499 600261
MacFloyd: Saturday September 25th, Queens Halls, Dunoon
The 8 piece Scottish tribute band delivers an impressive light show and Pink Floyd experience.
For more information and to book call 01369 702800
Nuts about Squirrels: Saturday October 9th,
Glenbranter, 11am – 4pm.
Another great Forestry Commission event. No dogs allowed.
To book phone Steve on 01877 382383
Colours of Cowal
Oasis v Stone Roses: Friday October 22nd, Queens Halls, Dunoon
Tribute band showdown in Dunoon.
For more information and to book call 01369 702800
Burgh Hall, Dunoon
Multi story: Red Road Exhibition
Cowal Pipe Band Performance
Sound of Cowal Ceilidh Band
Shoppers Art
Until September 4th
Monday October 11th
Tuesday October 12th
Friday 8th – Sunday 17th October
For more information contact 01369 703302 or visit
Events at a glance
Thursday 26th – Saturday 28th August
Cowal Highland Gathering, Dunoon
Friday 24th September
Ardkinglas House Tour,
Cairndow: 2.30pm
Saturday 25th September
Wednesday September 1st
Bat Watch: Glenbranter
7.30pm – 10pm
Wednesday September 8th
Bat Watch Ardentinny: 7.30pm – 10pm
Wednesday September 15th
Bat Watch Dunoon: 7.30pm – 10pm
Sunday September 12th
MacFloyd, Queens Hall Dunoon
Benmore Gardens guided tours
Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and
Sunday throughout September, 2pm
Friday 8th – Sunday 17th October
Cowalfest 2010
Saturday October 9th
Kyles 10 mile scenic run, Kames
Nuts about Squirrels, Glenbranter:
11am – 4pm
Sunday September 19th
Saturday October 22nd
Iron Giants: 11am – 4pm
Sunday September 19th
Concert in St John’s Church,
Dunoon: 3pm
Sunday September 26th
Concert in St John’s Church,
Dunoon: 3pm
Friday 24th – Monday 27th September
Oasis v Stone Roses, Queens Hall,
Friday October 15th & 29th
Ardkinglas House Tour
Cairndow: 2pm
Friday October 29th
Fun Family Hallowe’en, Glenbranter:
7pm – 9pm
Cowal Open Studios
Colours of Cowal
How to get to Cowal
You can get to Cowal easily by car, ferry, train, bus and plane.
In just over an hour, you can escape to the tranquility of the
Scottish Highlands; they really are a lot nearer than you think!
Travel information
By car:
From the South:
The Ferries to Cowal are approximately
By bus:
From Glasgow Buchanan Street Bus Station
there are regular buses to Cowal.
one hour from Glasgow Airport following the
M8 for Greenock and the A8 for Gourock.
Cross the Clyde at Gourock on Caledonian
MacBrayne or on Western Ferries which
By train:
is 2 miles beyond Gourock.
From Glasgow Central Station, there are
From the North:
Travel west on the M8 motorway. Take the
Erskine bridge and then take a beautiful
scenic route by the A82 by Loch Lomond side
north to Tarbet, signposted Crianlarich, then
regular trains to Dunoon via Gourock where
you board the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry
to Dunoon.
By ferry:
Regular ferries to Cowal leave from
Gourock to Dunoon (Caledonian
MacBrayne) and Gourock to Hunters Quay
(Western Ferries). You can also travel by
ferry to visit Bute and Tarbet from Cowal.
By air: – 01369 704452
The Ferry crossing to Cowal from Gourock is – 0800 066 5000
take the A83 to Arrochar and continue along
the A83, either turning off for Lochgoilhead or
continue through Glen Kinglas and turn off at
40 minutes from Glasgow International Airport
and 1 hour from Prestwick Airport; both
have good public transport links and road
Colours of Cowal
Map of Cowal area
Arrochar Alps
Botanic Garden
Otter Ferry
Forest Park
Hunters Quay
Toward Point
Botanic Garden
Special Autumn Offers
To help you get the most out of your visit to Cowal, have a look at some
great special Autumn offers. To access the offer, simply quote COCO10
when you book or bring the offer with you.
10% off two nights or more
St Munns Old Manse
Bed & Breakfast,
Enjoy the wonderful autumn colours of
Cowal together with a special stay at
Kilmun, near Dunoon
St Munns Old Manse Bed & Breakfast.
During September and October we are
[email protected]
offering a 10% discount on a stay of two
01369 840 311
nights or more plus a complimentary bottle
of wine in your room.
Kids go free on selected walks
Cowalfest 2010
Come with your family to Cowalfest 2010,
the Cowal Walking & Arts Festival that will
[email protected]
take place from 8th to 17th October. School
08707 200629
children, accompanied by an adult, can go for
free on selected walks.
Free Cappuccino or Latte
Holy Loch Coffee Shop
Spend more than £5 on food and have
Holy Loch Marina, Sandbank, near Dunoon
one free Cappuccino or Latte coffee during
September and October. Our coffee is
certified Organic and Fair-Trade and is
[email protected]
roasted in Glasgow by a top Scottish supplier.
01369 707054
We think you’ll love it.
Colours of Cowal
3 nights extra free
Lyall Cliff Self Catering,
Welcome to Lyall Cliff, two self catering
apartments with large gardens and fabulous
views. We will offer 3 extra nights free to
[email protected]
guests who wish to book a stay of 7 nights or
01369 702041
more in September or October.
Huge cosy savings
The Snug Self-catering,
• £35 discount/full week in November
Innellan by Dunoon
• £25 discount/full week in October
• £15 discount/full week in September
[email protected]
0752 8695 671
Take advantage of these huge discounts and
enjoy this cosy cottage (sleeping 2 + child)
Enjoy some HUGE savings at this cosy
in a lovely quiet location, just 5 minutes from
cottage where children & pets are most
Dunoon, with beautiful sea views from the
upstairs Paris balcony. We look forward to
welcoming you!
Special deals for retirees
Hunter’s Quay Hotel,
and are individually finished to the highest
Hunter’s Quay, Dunoon
standards of luxury. Each bedroom also has
an LCD television and WIFI broadband is
[email protected]
available throughout the hotel.
01369 707070
October 2010 to May 2011: special weekly or
Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of this friendly
monthly accommodation for retired people.
and cosy hotel with spectacular sea views,
Full board, laundry, entertainment and phone
sumptuous rooms, fine food & wines, discreet
calls included (excursions not included).
attention and a very warm welcome.
Ask for Jean-Laurent Cormerais de Germond.
The 10 bedrooms all have en-suite facilities
10% off accommodation
Ardkinglas Butler’s
accommodation in the Butler’s Quarters, a
two bedroom self catering apartment within
Ardkinglas House with the fascinating original
interior practically intact and a cosy open
[email protected]
fire for Autumn stays. Walk directly from the
01499 600261
door into the remarkable eighteenth century
garden of Ardkinglas House with spectacular
For September and October we are offering
views over Loch Fyne and total peace and
a 10% discount on the standard price of
10% off jewellery
Blairmore Gallery
& Coffeeshop,
We at Blairmore Gallery & Coffeeshop are the
best for Art, Craft, Gifts (& Coffee!), and we
Blairmore Village near Dunoon
are pleased to offer you, during September
and October, 10% off three of the exciting
[email protected]
ranges we stock:
• Linda Macdonald Designer Silver Jewellery
• Pistachio Contemporary Silver Jewellery
• Shearer Scented Scottish Candles
10% off all plants
The Tree Shop,
Help our feathered friends through the winter;
stock up on our wide selection of bird food
with special offers on selected bird food in
[email protected]
September and October. Join our discount
01499 600263
card club and get 10% off all plants when
spending £100 or more.
Colours of Cowal
20% off groups
St Hilda Sea Adventures,
to 6 guests. She is ideal for a family sailing
Holy Loch Marina, near Dunoon
holiday but is perfect for single travellers and
couples too. The St Hilda is ideal for learning
[email protected]
how to sail and navigate, exploring sea lochs
0845 224 8612
and coastlines and for simply messing about
on the water. Join us as a group of four
Our classic vessel, the St Hilda, is a
or more in September and October with
traditional, beamy, 54ft wooden ketch,
a 20% discount!
providing roomy accommodation for up
15% off groups
Enjoy a revitalizing day out at Quadmania
Blairmore, near Dunoon
with a choice of quadbiking, archery and
clay shooting within breathtaking scenery.
[email protected]
For September and October we are
01369 810 289
offering a 15% discount for groups of four
or more. Whatever activity you choose, we
guarantee excellent personal attention and an
unforgettable day out!
20% off October cruises
The Majestic Line,
Escape to another world on our exclusive
Holy Loch Marina, near Dunoon
mini-cruises around the Argyll coastline.
Enjoy spectacular scenery, wonderful
[email protected]
hospitality and fabulous meals using local
0131 623 5012
Argyll produce. We are offering an amazing
20% off our October 2010 cruises to
experience the amazing autumn colours
of Cowal.
10% off in September and October
Upper Croitachonie,
Self Catering Cottage,
Enjoy a 10% discount on weekly lets or short
breaks for September and October in our
idyllic hillside cottage overlooking Loch Fyne
and Ardkinglas Estate. The cottage is tastefully
refurbished in a traditional style with wood
[email protected]
burning stove for cosy autumn evenings.
Our 4.5 acre garden has streams, ponds and
abundant wildlife. The cottage sleeps up to 6,
is open all year and dogs are welcome.
£150pp – 2 nights breakfast & dinner
The Creggans Inn,
Relax at The Creggans Inn during September
and October with a two night break inclusive
of breakfast and dinner at a special price from
[email protected]
£150 per person. Stay midweek (Sun – Thurs)
01369 860279
and enjoy a complimentary bottle of wine.
Prices based on 2 sharing en-suite twin or
20% off in Autumn
Stronchullin Holiday
Stronchullin self catering cottages are in
an idyllic, secluded setting within the Argyll
Blairmore, near Dunoon
Forest Park, with fabulous views over sea
lochs and hills. The four cottages are perfect
[email protected]
for exploring Cowal and Argyll, yet also within
01369 810246
easy reach of Dunoon which has excellent
facilities. Experience the magic of Cowal in
autumn with a special offer of 20% off normal
prices, minimum stay 3 nights.
Colours of Cowal
3 nights for 2
The Colintraive Hotel,
An idyllic retreat overlooking the Kyles of Bute,
we provide the very best in hospitality and
food, using local seafood and game as well as
[email protected]
produce from our own garden in our menus.
01700 841207
We are proud to be Inn of the Year 2010 and
winner of the Gold Medal Award for Real and
A warm welcome awaits you at the Colintraive
Local Food. Treat yourself to our special offer
hotel, formerly a hunting lodge for the Marquis
of 3 nights for the price of 2 in September and
of Bute, with lots of the original character.
October. Families and dogs welcome.
2 free bottles of wine
Undercliff B&B,
For two adults sharing a room for two nights
Hunter’s Quay, Dunoon
or more (Friday & Saturday or Saturday &
Sunday) we are happy to provide two bottles
[email protected]
of wine for you to enjoy. This offer is available
01369 704688
until the end of February 2011. This offer is
subject to room availability and excludes
public holidays
Free afternoon tea
Bay House Hotel,
Treat yourself to an Autumn break! Book 2
West Bay, Dunoon
or 3 nights bed & breakfast and enjoy free
afternoon tea in our welcoming family-run
[email protected]
hotel. We are located on the quiet and peaceful
01369 704832
West Bay Promenade with spectacular views
of the Firth of Clyde and the Islands of Arran,
Bute and the Cumbraes.
Email: [email protected]
Photography by Derek Prescott and courtesy of the Forestry Commission Picture Library.

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