Across Cowal

Relaxed Walking in a Secret Corner of the Scottish Highlands

This is a new walk in a part of Scotland you may never have heard of. Cowal is a quiet part of the country - a bit off the beaten track if you travel by road, but easily reached by train (or car) and boat, in not much more than an hour from Glasgow.

At 55 miles (88 km) long, the walk is not overly long, but every day's walk is an exhilharating new experience, and you will get a great sense of achievement by following this typically Scottish river all the way from its mouth to its source. The walk is brimming with wildlife, and your overnight stops will let you enjoy the local culture and offer glimpses into the history and hidden secrets of this tranquil and relatively undisturbed area of Scotland.

The published itinerary is for 6 nights (5 days walk) in good B&Bs but, as always, we can adapt the itinerary and accommodation to suit your own particular requirements.

What's Included

  • Accommodation with breakfast and packed lunch for 6 nights in B&Bs or small Hotels
  • Door to Door luggage transfer
  • Packed lunches every day
  • Free bus pass for the Cowal area
  • Comprehensive Tour Pack with route notes, maps, and details on accommodation and transport

Optional Extras

  • Extra days en-route to relax and enjoy the calm surroundings
  • An extra night in Glasgow at the end

Price - £390.00 per person

For 2 people sharing a room for 6 nights - single occupancy supplement is £72.00 (as part of a bigger group). We cannot accept lone walkers on this route.

To Book - Click Here

Getting There

From Glasgow you can take a train or bus to Gourock (less than an hour), then take a ferry to Dunoon (about 20 minutes). Coudn't be simpler. We transfer you back to Glasgow at the end by private car.

The Whistlefield Inn

Loch Fyne (David Fiddes)


Itinerary (6 nights)

Total Distance - 41.5 miles, 68.5k
Longest Day - 10 miles, 16k
Average Day - 8miles, 12k

Available from April to end of September

Day 1 - Arrive Dunoon

Its possible to get to Dunoon by road, but the traditional (and best) way to reach it is by boat (not much more than an hour from Glasgow by train and ferry). Originally an iron age fort, the town reached the heights of popularity in the late 19th and 20th centuries as a holiday escape for Glaswegians going "doon the watter." Now, its a peaceful town, with some fine Victorian architecture and - a legacy from its days as a holiday resort - some great Italian ice cream. Overnight Dunoon

Day 2 - Toward to Dunoon - 9 mls, 14k

After a short transfer on the local bus, you start your walk from the ruins of the mediaeval Toward Castle. The start point is significant, being close to the major geological fault line that marks the boundary between the Scottish Highlands and the lowlands. Your walk takes you along and above the coast, looking out towards the wide expanse of the Firth of Clyde and the Isle of Bute and the grand mountains on the north of the Isle of Arran. Overnight in Dunoon

Day 3 - Dunoon to Benmore Botanic Gardens - 10 mls, 16k

A gentle climb from Dunoon takes you to the summit of Dunan (the Camel's Hump), with fine views over the Holy Loch to the north-east, and northwards towards the big expanse of highland mountain tops that flank Strath Eachaig. Heading back to the coast, you reach Ardnadam, where there are traces of a Neolithic settlement from 5,000 years ago. Another 5 km of gentle walking, mainly through woodland, takes you to Benmore, where your finish point is at the wonderful Botanic Gardens at Benmore. This is managed by the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens, and has the finest collection of Rhododendrons and Azaleas in the country, at their best in May and June. A short bus ride back to an Overnight in Dunoon

Day 4 - Benmore to Whistlefield - 8 miles, 13k

Quite a short day begins by entering Puck's Glen, a wooded gorge in the midst of a fine country estate. You ascend out of Puck's Glen above Srath Eachaig; and as you reach the Argyll Forest Park, you are rewarded with highland scenery as grand as anywhere in Scotland, with view down to Loch Eck and across to the dramatic ridges and hollows of Ben More. The end of your walk is at the welcoming Whistlefield Inn, where you can refresh yourself with a beer or a swim in Loch Eck. Either option is a joy after a hot day on the hills. Overnight Whistlefield

Day 5 Whistlefield to Strachur - 8.5 miles, 14k

You start off towards the quaintly name Drip (aka Driep or Invernoaden), and then into the forest of Glenbranter (look out for deer and red squirrels). One highlight of the day is stretch of oak wood with a fine waterfall. You should reach Strachur in time to enjoy pottering around this quiet and pretty village close to the shores of Loch Fyne, and with a lovely little museum at the Old Smiddy.

Overnight Strachur

Day 6 Round Inveraray - 6 miles, 10k (max)

Inveraray is one of those picture postcard villages that you'll never forget. Built as a planned village in the 18th century, Its location by the banks of Loch Fyne is stunning, and its white painted houses look stunning on a fine day. Its a short bus ride to Inveraray from Strachur, and you will have time to explore the village, and possibly to visit the museum (located in the old jail), the castle (home of the Duke of Argyll), as well as taking in a fine walk on the hills above the village. The walk we suggest takes you to the summit of Dun na Cuaiche, at a height of 400 metres, and with fabulous views.Another short bus trip by the lochside takes you back to Strachur for your last night.

Overnight Strachur

Day 7 Depart

Return to Dunoon and Glasgow for onward travel