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  • Abigail Daly

When is the best time of year to stay at Ruskin Lodges?

We get visitors to Ruskin Lodges throughout the year and for good reason: no matter when you stay, there will always be something to enjoy. When we're asked when is the best time to visit Cowal, the answer really depends on you and what kind of holiday you're into. Here is our guide to what you can expect in each season, and how to get the most out of your stay.


 

Spring (March-May)

Bluebell woods by Christine McIntosh licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Bluebell woods by Christine McIntosh licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Cowal's landscape changes dramatically over the course of a few months in spring. Snowdrops make way for incredible banks of bluebells, daffodils, crocus and tulips. Pea-green leaves emerge on trees and ferns push through the dead bracken and unfurl. May and June can be quieter months to visit, falling between school holidays, and the weather tends to be dry and warm.


Highlights

  • Walk at Glenbranter to see spectacular banks of bluebells

  • Spot new-born lambs in the surrounding fields

  • Visit Benmore Gardens to see the displays of azaleas and rhododendron


Summer (June-August)

Beaches just north of Portavadie, less than an hour's drive from Ruskin Lodges.
Beaches just north of Portavadie, less than an hour's drive from Ruskin Lodges. By ikeofspain licensed under CC BY 2.0

The longest day of the year, towards the end of June, sees sunrise at around 4.30am and sunset at 10pm. This means you can make the most of each day and enjoy hanging out on the veranda back at the lodges well into the evenings or go for an stroll after dinner. Lots of events and activities run during the summer so there is plenty for families to do. Because of the long days, it is also a great time of year to do day trips as you won't be driving in the dark and the evening light is glorious.


Highlights

  • Many events run in the summer months, including the Cowal Highland Gathering, the Argyll Rally and Fynefest.

  • Activities like canoeing, boat-trips, horse riding and quad-biking are particularly popular, so book in advance if you want to guarantee your places.


Autumn (September-November)


Autumn colors in Cowal by Christine McIntosh licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Autumn colors in Cowal by Christine McIntosh licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The forests become a riot of colour with autumn leaves providing a patchwork of yellows, oranges and reds. Birds and red squirrels are particularly active at this time of year, and you'll see many around the lodges, gathering food and stocking up for the colder winter months. Brambles are a valuable source of food for other wildlife and many verges in the area are bursting with fruit - take a bag with you on your walks and fill up on produce!


Highlights

  • Visit artists' studios and galleries for Cowal Open Studios

  • Go bramble picking


Winter (December-February)


Benmore Gardens in winter
Benmore Gardens in winter

Winter might not seem the obvious time to visit Cowal, but the lodges are perfect for a cosy relaxing holiday. You can hunker down to watch classic films or play board games or go for a bracing walk through forests and glens. Puck's Glen is especially dramatic after rain and so winter is a great time to enjoy this magical site.


Highlights

  • You don't need to go to the Continent or big city for Christmas markets - Dunoon Burgh Halls host craft stalls featuring local makers and artists. There are also workshops for making Christmas wreaths and gifts so you could go home with all your shopping done!

  • Benmore Gardens is technically 'closed' but in fact remains open and is free to visit. As you can see from the photo above, the gardens change throughout the year and winter offers beautiful scenes.

  • There are several traditional inns in the area, many dating back to the 17th century, offering delicious meals by an open fire and traditional live music. What better way to while away a winter's evening?

 

As you can see from this list, whenever you decide to stay at Ruskin Lodges, there will be something for you do an enjoy. Visit the Availability page to check the calendars and remember to book directly for the best prices.

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