Welcome toCowal & Dunoon
Bordered on three sides by sea lochs, with excellent hill walking, wildlife, and a sculpture park.
Whether you're travelling as part of an Island Hopping adventure from Bute over to Cowal, or taking the frequent passenger service from Gourock to Dunoon - the Cowal Peninsula offers you a taste of the Highlands. The bustling town of Dunoon is steeped in history and heritage. Pop into the Castle House Museum to trace its history from Neolithic times. Perhaps you'll visit in time for the biggest Highland Games in the world - the Cowal Highland Gathering? Do make time to visit the memorable Benmore Botanic Garden - a 120 acre mountainside garden, with avenues of conifer trees of incredible stature, and plants from the Orient, Himalayas, as well as North and South America - all on our doorstep in Argyll. Give your camera a work out along Argyll's Secret Coast - with stunning views of tranquil glens and lochs, ancient forests, romantic ruins and local wildlife. Look out for Tighnabruaich viewpoint, perhaps one of Scotland's best, which is praise indeed. With that kind of backdrop, it's no surprise that the area is a renowned natural playground too - offering great options for mountain biking, walking, sailing, fishing and golfing.
Find out more about the Taste of Place Trails here.
Prior to your journey, familiarise yourself with VisitScotland's #RespectProtectEnjoy guidance and check the arrangements individual islands and locations have for managing the safety of their visitors and communities. For Argyll and Bute, please read through the area's 'Be a great Visitor' guidance.
Cowal and Dunoon is a three-pronged peninsula between Loch Long and Loch Fyne and is easily accessible from the Scottish Central Belt. There are walking routes to suit all levels among the rugged terrain and mountainous landscape that passes beautiful lochs and expansive forests where you may even see red squirrels. The Cowal Way starts at Portavadie and is a 7 stage 90 km walk that runs the length of the Cowal peninsula and for those keen walkers it can link into both the Three Lochs Way at Arrochar and the West Highland Way at Inveruglas. If you would like more information on walking in Cowal and Dunoon check out the Visit Cowal website.
Why not cycle on Cowal and Dunoon? With its quiet country roads and wonderful scenery, Cowal and Dunoon is the ideal spot for families and cyclists to get out on their bikes. There are shoreline roads in the south west of Cowal that offer a great family cycling experience and the Argyll Forest Park on the hills surrounding Lochs Long, Goil and Eck offer a great and safe opportunity to go off-road. Visit Cowal for more information. Further details of bike hire can be found at Visit Scotland .
Note: Groups of cyclists should contact us in advance advising of preferred sailings, as space on some ferries may be limited
Plan your journey at CycleStreets.
The foot passenger ferry from Gourock on the mainland to Cowal takes 25 minutes, arriving at Dunoon. No advance booking is necessary. Simply turn up at the port of departure, buy a ticket, and go on the next available sailing. Alternatively, you can purchase a Rail & Sail ticket direct from Glasgow Central Station.
Looking for the best form of travel to and from our ports? Our Public Transport Journey Planner can help you plot your journey from anywhere in the UK, using a wide range of public transport options e.g. ferry, train and bus.
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