Argyll & Bute: The Best Things to Do

Argyll Forest Park

Argyll & Bute

Argyll and Bute – part of the wider Strathclyde region – is situated in the Western Highlands of Scotland. The area is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, encompassing a large portion of the west coast and many islands of the Inner Hebrides including Mull, Islay, and Jura.

The geography of the Argyll and Bute region is a blend of rugged coastlines, rolling farmland, vast mountain ranges, and a tapestry of islands. This varied topography is the result of intense glaciation during the last Ice Age which formed the region’s glens and freshwater lochs while also creating its numerous sea lochs.

The region is sparsely populated and much of it remains unaffected by tourism, though there are plenty of places of interest that make visiting Argyll and Bute an essential part of any sightseeing itinerary.

One of the most iconic historic sites is Inveraray Castle, a Gothic Revival castle that overlooks the serene waters of Loch Fyne. Visitors can explore the castle’s beautifully restored interiors, expansive gardens, and enjoy one of the best views in Scotland from the top of the Dun Na Cuaiche viewpoint.

Inveraray castle

The Isle of Mull is another must-visit destination. It’s the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides and is well known for its mountainous interior and sweeping plains of moorland as well as the charming town of Tobermory with its brightly coloured houses overlooking the harbour.

The island offers easy access to Iona – home of Iona Abbey – and another equally captivating historic site at Duart Castle.

For whisky enthusiasts, a trip to Islay is an absolute must-do. Known as ‘The Queen of the Hebrides’, Islay is famous for its peaty, smoky whiskies which are quite unlike the spirits produced by any other region of Scotland.

There are currently nine working distilleries on the island, most of which offer tours and tastings including Laphroaig and Bowmore which both have great visitor centres.

Islay Distilleries 12 of 20

Another notable attraction in Argyll and Bute is Knapdale Forest which is one of the few places in the country where beavers roam wild. During a visit, it’s possible to spot beavers in their natural habitat at Barnluasgan Forest as well as join a guided tour from the Argyll Beaver Centre near Bellanoch.

To summarise, Argyll and Bute offer a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and unmatched chances to experience Scotland’s wildlife. Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer, a history buff, or a lover of fine whisky, this Scottish region guarantees a memorable visit.

Find places to visit and things to do in Argyll & Bute with these visitor guides.

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