Strathclyde attractions & tourist information
Find places to visit and things to do in Strathclyde with these visitor guides.
11 Best Free Attractions in Argyll and Bute
Visiting Scotland’s tourist attractions can be an expensive business, especially for those visitors travelling with a family. In this article you will discover a list of completely free-to-visit attractions in Argyll & Bute that are suitable for all ages, including historic buildings, walking routes, museums, and public parks.
Arran Coastal Way & A841 Ring Road: Things to Do
The Arran Coastal Way is a circular cycling and walking route around the perimeter of the Isle of Arran on Scotland’s west coast. This easy-going trail rewards visitors with stunning views at every section of its 65-mile length and there are plenty of opportunities to deviate onto nearby attractions along the way.
Balloch Castle Country Park: Things to DoTag: Parks & Gardens
Balloch Castle Country Park is a 200-acre public park located at the southern end of Loch Lomond. This popular green space offers visitors easy access to the loch as well as a number of nature trails, ornamental woodland, play parks and formal gardens. The centre of the park is home to the 19th-century Balloch Castle which is the focal point of paths that run down to the waterfront in a circular route.
Ben Cruachan Dam: Things to DoTag: Mountains & Hills
A visit to Ben Cruachan (which isn’t actually a mountain – it’s a Munro) rewards walkers with some of the finest views in the Southern Highlands, especially if they make it to the very top of its summit and gaze down at the multitude of rocky satellites below it.
Bonawe Iron Furnace: Things to Do
Bonawe Historic Iron Furnace near Taynuilt, Argyll, is a restored ironworks that was founded in 1753. Although operations ceased in the 1870s it has since come under the management of Historic Environment Scotland and it is now a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can explore the abandoned smelting buildings, storehouses and ironworks for a small fee. Discover Bonawe Iron Furnace with this complete visitor guide.
Brodick Castle: Things to Do
Brodick Castle, former seat of power of the Dukes of Hamilton, is a grand 19th-century castle located a few miles north of the town of Brodick on the Isle of Arran. The castle is surrounded by an exceptionally large and well-maintained garden and country park and is currently managed by the National Trust for Scotland.
Brodick, Isle of Arran: Things to Do
Brodick is the main village on the Isle of Arran which is situated on the west coast of Scotland. The town lies halfway along the eastern side of the island where it overlooks Brodick Bay and Goatfell mountain. It is the arrival point for most visitors due to the ferry port but is popular in its own right thanks to its beaches, surrounding forests, castle and quality restaurants.
Dunstaffnage Castle: Things to Do
Dunstaffnage Castle is perched on top of a rock overlooking the Firth of Lorn. It is located close to Oban and makes an ideal stopping-off point for visitors waiting for a ferry to the west coast islands. The castle was built in 1240 AD as the stronghold of the MacDougall clan, but it’s now managed by Historic Environment Scotland. Discover Dunstaffnage Castle with this article which features an overview and 360° photos.
Forests on the Isle of Arran: Things to DoTag: Forests & Woodlands
The forests of Arran offer some of the best mountain biking routes of any of the west-coast islands and any cycle ride is almost guaranteed to include sightings of Arran’s famed red squirrels. The most popular wooded areas are; Brodick Castle, Dyemill, Glenrickard, King’s Cave, North Sannox and South End.
Glen Loin and Coiregrograin: Things to Do
This scenic walking route runs through the dramatic mountain peaks and glens of the Arrochar Alps in the Strathclyde region. At around 11 miles the route offers an enjoyable walk on paths that vary between tarmac and muddy woodland on a circuit that’s mostly level with a few minor climbs. Along the way, walkers will see Beinn Narnain, A’Chrois, Ben Vorlich, Ben Vane and Ben Lomond as well as the pretty village of Arrochar and the tranquil waters of Loch Long.
Goatfell, Arran: Things to DoTag: Mountains & Hills
Goatfell is an 874-metre mountain on the Isle of Arran on Scotland’s west coast. The mountain (designated a Corbett) is one of four on the island and is located three miles west of Brodick Castle. Although Goatfell is the highest point on the Isle of Arran the walk to the summit is quite easy with a robust staircase of boulders towards the top and a well-laid path through moorland and forest at the bottom.
Holy Isle, Arran: Things to DoTag: Islands
Holy Isle is located close to the eastern shore of the Isle of Arran on Scotland’s west coast. This small (one square mile) island has a rich religious history dating back hundreds of years and the tradition of quiet seclusion continues to this day thanks to the Centre for World Peace and Health located on the western edge of the isle.
Inveraray Castle: Things to Do
Inveraray Castle in Argyll is situated on the shore of Loch Fyne in western Scotland where it has been the home of the Dukes of Argyll since the 18th century. The castle is open to the public for self-guided tours and visitors are welcome to walk around the beautiful gardens during their visit. Discover this spectacular castle in this complete guide which includes an overview and helpful visiting advice.
Isle of Arran: Things to DoTag: Islands
The Isle of Arran on Scotland’s southwest coast is home to popular attractions including Goatfell mountain, Brodick Castle, Brodick town and Machrie moor. Discover this stunning island with this comprehensive guide and learn why it truly lives up to its nickname ‘Scotland in miniature’.
John Muir Way, Balloch: Things to Do
This walk on the John Muir Way takes you on a journey through Balloch Castle Country Park, past the fantastic views of Loch Lomond, and over the Kilpatrick Hills to Strathblane. Along the way you’ll get to experience a real sense of the wildness that this part of the country is famous for. Discover this beautiful and under-appreciated region of Scotland with this complete visitor guide.
John Muir Way, Helensburgh: Things to Do
The walk from Helensburgh to Balloch is a perfect opportunity to appreciate Helensburgh with its lovely beach and numerous cafés, as well as the countryside that extends across this stunning area of the Trossachs in South-West Scotland. Discover this beautiful and under-appreciated region of Scotland with this complete visitor guide.
Loch Lomond: Things to DoTag: Lochs & Rivers
With a surface area of 27.5 square miles, Loch Lomond is Britain’s largest body of freshwater. This immense loch is situated within the beautiful Trossachs National Park, surrounded by forests, quaint villages, and soaring mountain peaks. The loch is one of the most-visited natural attractions in Scotland due to its proximity to Glasgow. It is also a haven for thrill-seekers looking to take part in water sports as well as nature lovers who visit Loch Lomond to see golden eagles, red squirrels, otters and other iconic Scottish animals.
Lochranza, Arran: Things to Do
The village of Lochranza on the Isle of Arran is located in an exceptionally picturesque area on the north of the island. Although it is mostly visited for the small ferry terminal that connects the island to Claonaig on the mainland, Lochranza is also worth visiting for its tourist attractions. The village lies at the foot of dramatic mountains that encircle it to the south while a small scenic bay opens up to the Firth of Clyde and the Campbeltown peninsula to the north.
Luss, Argyll & Bute : Things to Do
Luss is an attractive conservation village situated on the shores of Loch Lomond in The Trossachs National Park. The village has a long history dating back to the early 6th century but it wasn’t until the 1980s that it became a tourist destination when the popular Scottish TV drama Take The High Road was filmed there. There are 24 listed buildings in the village, as well as boat cruises, a beach, and watersports hire.
McCaig’s Tower: Things to Do
McCaig’s Tower is situated on a hill overlooking the centre of Oban, where visitors are rewarded with panoramic views across the town and the islands beyond. The ‘tower’ is actually a circular wall ringed with open windows that was built as a monument to the wealthy McCaig family in the early 1900s, but today it’s best known as a landmark and a point of interest for tourists.
New Lanark World Heritage Site: Things to Do
New Lanark is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on the banks of the Falls of Clyde in Lanarkshire. The now-restored 18th-century cotton mill was revolutionary at the time it was built due to its use of modern machinery and the social care given to the mill’s employees. Today, New Lanark World Heritage Site is a popular tourist attraction featuring guided tours of the mill buildings, a hotel, a restaurant, and shops.
Oban Travel Information – Essential Advice for Visitors
Oban is a resort town within the Argyll and Bute council area of Scotland which is the unofficial capital of the West Highlands. It’s well-known for its ferry services to the Hebrides which has given the town the nickname ‘The gateway to the Isles’. Discover how to travel to and around Oban with this concise guide.
Oban: Things to Do
Nestled on the west coast of Scotland, the charming town of Oban has long been a popular destination for visitors. Its picturesque harbour and stunning natural surroundings make it a must-see stop on any trip to Scotland. Whether savouring fresh seafood on the pier, enjoying a wee dram of whisky at the distillery, or exploring the rugged coastline, Oban offers something for everyone. In this article, we will delve into the many activities and attractions that draw visitors to the ‘gateway to the islands’ year after year.
St. Conan’s Kirk: Things to Do
The privately-run St. Conan’s Kirk near Loch Awe offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. The stunning architecture both inside and out of the church is the perfect backdrop to the intricate carvings that are reminiscent of Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian. St. Conan’s Kirk is currently free to visit but donations are accepted.
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