Lochgilphead

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As the name of the place would suggest, the town of Lochgilphead lies at the apex of a small loch known as Loch Gilp, which is considered an off shoot from the much larger Loch Fyne. It is a town that mostly dates from the eighteenth century and grew up around the road which was constructed to run from Inverary through to Campbelltoen. The town grew in stature with the opening of the Crinan Canal and has for a long time been considered something of a staging post for exploring the west coast of Scotland. It is in the ideal location for exploring the Isles of Skye and Mull as well as making the most of the great outdoors. Though the region is called remote to some it is a very popular place for festival events and during these times accommodation can be hard to come by. Amongst the festivals that take place here every year are the Highland Games, the Scottish Series Yacht Races and a number of music festivals.

Photo by Forbes Johnston
Photo by Forbes Johnston

Places to Visit

This part of Scotland is warmed by the Gulf Stream which makes the gardens here quite spectacular. The climate maintained by the influx of warm air makes it the perfect environment for growing magnolias, azaleas and rhododendrons. There are a number of beautiful gardens to explore in the area including the Arduaine Gardens, Crarae Gardens and the Kilmory Woodland Park. If gardens and plant life are not for you there is always the Springbank Distillery around which you can take a guided tour.

There are also plenty of sites of historical interest in the region including castles and standing stones. Take a trip out and discover Inveraray Castle with its wonderful collection of French tapestries and incredible armoury collection. Visit the ruins of Carnasserie Castle and Tarbert Castle and imagine how life here must have been centuries ago. The historic site of Kilmartin Glen is more than five thousand years old and contains massive standing stones as well as stone circles and its own castles.

Things to Do

This is an area where you can have your pick of activities, and as well as enjoying the history and culture of the region through its castles and museum you can also indulge in some sporting activities too. This is a fabulous area for fishing and permits are available for visitors who want to fish here. You can even hire a boat and head out onto the loch to fish if you so wish. There are a number of boating hire and cruise companies located in the area that will take you on whale watching trips, and cruises around the isles.

Scuba diving is also a very popular activity here, and there are a few companies that hire dive equipment and offer boat charters to divers. There are a number of wrecks along the coastline that attract divers to these waters from all over the world.

If you like your waters a little more confined Lochgilphead has its own public swimming pool. You could always discover the local marine wildlife on a seafari or make the most of the stunning remote beaches that the region has to offer.

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