Things to do

Activities

There are a wide range of activities possible in the area and surroundings. We will detail the important ones here but check with Dunoon Tourist Office for specific events or activities occurring during your stay.

 

Walks
A definite must-do if walks are your thing is Puck’s Glen, a small wooded gorge situated in the forest right behind the lodge which both adults and children seem to love. A lovely riverside walk along Glen Massan is also just a few minutes away on foot. It’s also possible to walk around Loch Eck in a few hours. The spectacular Benmore Botanical Gardens are also close by and are in themselves worth at least a half-day visit.

Gardens

Argyll is well known for it’s beautiful gardens which boast a wide range of plants due to the high rainfall and mild winters, allowing some unusual species to grow here. Benmore Gardens are just a mile up the road and can be reached in three minutes by car or on foot along an old disused section of the A815 that runs along behind Lamont Lodges. As well as an avenue of giant Californian redwoods there is the recently re-opened Victorian fernery, a large variety of rhododendron species and an affordable but quality cafe/restaurant and gift shop. If you fancy seeing the tallest tree in the UK and a few other record breaking specimens then it’s only a 30-minute drive north to Ardkinglas Woodland Garden at Cairndow. Down the road in the opposite direction towards the Holy Loch is Kilmun Arboretum. Further still on the isle of Bute, which is a definite must-see, are the beautiful surroundings of Mount Stuart House and Gardens.

Cycling and Mountain Biking

There are a variety of cycle networks and mountain biking routes throughout Argyll Forest Park some of which are accessible from outside the lodge. See the Visit Cowal website for more info.

Hill-walking

From the lodge you are just 30 minutes away from the nearest Munro, Beinn Ime, and the rest of the “Arrochar Alps”. In total there are 22 Munros within an hour and half drive. One of the most impressive and scenic of these climbs is the ridge-walk (“The Cruachan Horseshoe”) around the Cruachan massif; the remains of an old volcano which takes in five peaks including two Munros that encircle a reservoir in the centre. If that doesn’t excite enough then built inside the mountain under the reservoir is a large power station which you can reach by bus which runs from the visitor centre to deep into the mountain. The summits  themselves offer breath-taking views of Glen Noe, Loch Awe and surrounding Munros.  http://visitcowal.co.uk/walking.html

Wildlife

The are a wide variety of birds and animals in the area.  Deer are a common sight throughout the year and it is one of the few areas where red squirrels have not yet been driven out by the American grey squirrel. You will often see them clambering up the bird-feeder to get some nuts. Likewise the bird-table will have regular visits from finches, all types of tit, chiffchaffs, siskins, robins and sparrows while the rivers and lochs are places where you’re likely to spot herons, kingfishers, swans and other marine birds.

Fishing

The rivers, lochs and sea lochs provide plenty of places for angling and fly fishing. Nearby on Loch Eck boats and permits can be hired from the Coylet Inn. Likewise Rivers Massan, Cur and Ruel all provide a good day’s fishing. For more information visit the Dunoon & District Angling Club or see Visit Cowal’s ‘Fishing and Game’ pages.

Sailing

Sailing is a great way to see the Scottish highlands and islands. Berths can be hired at the Holy Loch Marina.

Shopping and eating out

The Coylet Inn is just a few minutes drive up the road. Situated on the eastern bank of Loch Eck and commanding great views over the loch the Inn comes highly recommended both as a place for dining or having a drink in the bar.

Further north in Strachur is Creggan’s Inn overlooking Loch Fyne and also recommended. Further still, near the top of Loch Fyne is the world-famous Loch Fyne Oyster Bar if you want to treat yourself.

If you’d like to go for a scenic drive over to the “Secret Coast of Argyll”, namely the less travelled west coast of Cowal then this route takes you past the scenic Kyles Of Bute, Tighnabruich and finally to Otter Ferry before heading north on the single-track road to Strachur. At Otter Ferry is the great Oyster Catcher Restaurant. Consistently good food!

In Dunoon itself is Livingstone’s Restaurant.

Supplies can be picked up in Dunoon at a large Morrisons on John Street or the Co-Op on Queen Street. The petrol station just a mile south of the lodge also has a mini-market where you can get the majority of bare essentials.