Argyll and the Isles: Places to Explore


  • Appin

    The little peninsula of Appin, a 20-minute drive from Oban, is a charming, well-kept secret. Just 2 miles along a narrow road from the main Fort William route (A828), the bay opens to Lismore and the sea... Read more

  • Blackwaterfoot

    A charming little village with the odd distinction of having the only 12-hole golf course in the world, Blackwaterfoot is dominated by the rather ugly Kinloch Hotel, which caters mainly to coach groups... Read more

  • Bowmore

    Compact Bowmore is a good base for touring because it's central to Islay's main routes. Sharing a name with the whisky made in the distillery by the shore, Bowmore is a tidy town, its grid pattern having... Read more

  • Brodick

    Arran's largest village, Brodick, has a main street that is set back from the promenade and the lovely bay beyond.... Read more

  • Coll

    Good birding and a number of ancient sites are among the attractions on Coll.... Read more

  • Colonsay

    Less bleak than Coll and Tiree, Colonsay is one of Scotland's quietest, most unspoiled, and least populated islands. It is partly wooded, with a fine quasi-tropical garden at Colonsay House and a great... Read more

  • Craignure

    Craignure, little more than a pier and some houses, is close to the well-known Duart Castle. Reservations for the year-round ferries that travel from Oban to Craignure are advisable in summer. The ferry... Read more

  • Crinan

    Crinan is synonymous with its canal, the reason for this tiny community's existence and its mainstay. The narrow road beside the Crinan Hotel bustles with yachting types waiting to pass through the locks... Read more

  • Dervaig

    A pretty riverside village, Dervaig has a circular, pointed church tower that is reminiscent of the Irish-Celtic style of the 8th and 9th centuries. The Bellart is a good trout- and salmon-fishing river... Read more

  • Easdale and the Slate Islands

    The Slate Islands produced more than 9 million slates in their 19th-century heyday. Today the slate villages sit a little forlornly under their gray-slate crags facing a sometimes wild sea. The islands... Read more

  • Finlaggan

  • Inveraray

    The town is a sparkling fishing village with cute shops, attractions, and the haunted Campbell Castle all within walking distance. There are lovely views of the water and plenty of fishing boats to watch... Read more

  • Iona

    The ruined abbey on Iona gives little hint that this was once one of the most important Christian religious centers in the land. The priceless Book of Kells (now in Dublin) was illustrated here, and it... Read more

  • Jura

    The rugged, mountainous landscape of the island of Jura—home to only about 200 people—looms immediately east of Port Askaig, across the Sound of Islay. Jura has only one single-track road (the A846), which... Read more

  • Kintyre Peninsula

    Rivers and streams crisscross this long, narrow strip of green pasturelands and hills stretching south from Lochgilphead.... Read more

  • Lamlash

    With views offshore to Holy Island, which is now a Buddhist retreat, Lamlash has a breezy seaside-holiday atmosphere. To reach the highest point accessible by car, go through the village and turn right... Read more

  • Loch Awe

    Measuring more than 25 miles long, Loch Awe is Scotland's longest stretch of fresh water. Its northwest shore is quiet; forest walks crisscross the Inverliever Forest here. At the loch's northern end tiny... Read more

  • Lochgilphead

    Lochgilphead, the largest town in this region, looks best when the tide is in, as Loch Gilp (really a bite out of Loch Fyne) reveals a muddy shoreline at low tide. With a series of well-kept, colorful... Read more

  • Lochranza

    The road from Blackwaterfoot to Lochranza exposes another face of Arran: muddy, rocky beaches line one side, while the other has views of the sweeping slopes up to Goatfell and Caisteal Abhail (2,735 feet)... Read more

  • Machrie

    The area surrounding Machrie, home to a popular beach, is littered with prehistoric sites: chambered cairns, hut circles, and standing stones dating from the Bronze Age.... Read more

  • Oban

    It's almost impossible to avoid Oban when touring the west. Its waterfront has some character, but the town's main role is as a launch point for excursions into Argyll and for ferry trips to the islands... Read more

  • Port Askaig

    Serving as the ferry port for Jura and receiving ferries from Kennacraig, Port Askaig is a mere cluster of cottages. Uphill, just outside the village, a side road travels along the coast, giving impressive... Read more

  • Port Charlotte

    A delightful conservation village (meaning an area of architectural or historical interest) at the head of Loch Indaal on Islay, Port Charlotte is home to the Museum of Islay Life, the charming Natural... Read more

  • Port Ellen

    Islay's sturdy community of Port Ellen was founded in the 1820s, and much of its architecture dates from the following decades. It has a harbor (ferries stop here), a few shops, and a handful of inns... Read more

  • Tiree

    Archaeological sites and good surfing make this windy island popular in summer.... Read more

  • Tobermory

    Founded as a fishing station, Tobermory is now a lively tourist center and a base for exploring Mull. The town is famous for its crescent of brightly painted houses around the harbor.... Read more