COWAL
& ARGYLL

Benmore Botanical Gardens
Ruskin Lodges holiday accommodation is perfectly located to enjoy a wide variety of activities, wildlife-spotting and discovering the best produce. Below is a just a small sample of what's on offer!

Walking and hiking 

One of the most famous walks is along Puck’s Glen, which starts directly behind Lamont Lodges. Waterfalls and rock pools are at every turn, and the deep gorge has a magical, atmospheric quality to it. There are several loops through the Glen, taking from 30 minutes to two hours. If you have a dog with you, the Ruskin Lodges are a fantastic place to stay, with many walks starting from your doorstep and no roads to navigate or cars needed! For other walks in the area, and for more adventurous hikes and climbs visit the Forestry Commission or Walk Highlands websites.

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Wildlife

The spectacular and ever-changing Benmore Botanic Gardens are a pleasant 20-minute walk or two-minute drive away. A network of paths lead you to many wonderful views of the valley and across to neighbouring mountain ranges. Highlights include the Giant Redwood Avenue, Victorian Fernery and formal garden. There is a cafe which provides tea, coffee, light snacks and hot meals, and a small gift shop selling local crafts. The area is a haven for birds of prey, red deer and red squirrels and the surrounding seas attracts seals, minke whales, porpoises, rissos, white beaked and bottlenose dolphins which you can explore on a wildlife cruise or beach walk. Rare pine marten have also been spotted locally.

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Local produce

There are a wide range of local produce that you can enjoy in local restaurants and bars or that can bought directly. You can buy free-range eggs from Marshall’s, venison from Winston Churchill, award winning ales from Fyne Ales and, of course, seafood from the famous Loch Fyne Oyster Bar & Restaurant. You can get deliveries from Aray Fish (who supply fruit, veg and other food) direct to the door.

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History and architecture

Argyll has a long and rich history and is peppered with castles, grand houses, drovers’ inns and churches. ‘Historic Kilmun’ features Argyll Mausoleum and is located next to the church in Kilmun. It was the burial place for the Dukes and Earls of Argyll, Chiefs of the Clan Campbell, from the 14th century until 1949. Robert Burns’ famous ‘Highland Mary’ was brought up in Dunoon and a statue to her was erected opposite the pier, looking back to Ayrshire, where Burns lived.

 

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Art and creativity

Argyll’s landscapes, wildlife and communities have long attracted artists to the area and there are many people keeping traditional crafts alive. As well as regular exhibitions and galleries in Dunoon and Tighnabruaich, there is the annual Cowal Open Studios, which take place in September, and showcase artists of all kinds. Many of the artists welcome visitors (by appointment) at other times of the year.

 

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