Places to Visit in and around Tighnabruaich
One of Scotland’s top Shinty teams, Kyles Athletic, play in Tighnabruaich and always provides an exciting display of this fierce sport.
Shinty is a team sport played with sticks and a ball. Shinty is now played mainly in the Highlands of Scotland, and amongst Highland migrants to the big cities of Scotland.
Whilst comparisons are often made with field hockey, the two sports have several important differences. In shinty, a player is allowed to play the ball in the air and is allowed to use both sides of the stick. The stick may also be used to block and to tackle, although a player may not come down on an opponent’s stick, a practice called hacking. A player may tackle using the body as long as this is shoulder-to-shoulder as in football.
Ardlamont Coach House Square
This lovely tea room in its own unique setting has outdoor seating within the beautiful garden with a large pond for those warm sunny days and comfy sofas and tables around the open fire for cooler days. If home made savoury scones or apricot flapjack are the order of the day then you will enjoy eating here. You will also find a variety of plants, soaps and clothing to peruse. Ardlamont sits conveniently halfway along a circular 12-mile route from Tighnabruaich just at the point when you need refreshments. They also offer horse riding & carriage rides and can be contacted on 01700 811 198.
Skipness Castle and Seafood Cabin
After a short ferry ride across to Tarbert it is only a few miles to Skipness Castle. This stunning 13th century ruin has magnificent views of the Sound of Bute and the Firth of Clyde beyond and Kilbrannan Sound, which separates the Mull of Kintyre from the Isle of Arran.
For an 800 year old ruin, the Skipness Castle is in superb condition and visitors can explore the large interiors, marvel at the huge 4 foot thick walls and climb up the stairs to the roof where the views are breathtaking. Alongside the ruin of the castle is the Seafood Cabin, which is a lovely out of the way spot for lunch of freshly caught local seafood, home-baking, local beers and fine wines.
Isle of Bute
After a scenic drive to Colintraive and a very short 5-minute ferry ride, you will find yourselves on the lovely Isle of Bute. The isle offers many cycling routes with bike hire facilities available. With the isle only being 15 miles long and 5 miles wide there are many places within walking and cycling distance such as Mount Stuart House & Gardens, a magnificent Victorian Gothic Revival mansion, or Ascog Hall Fernery & Garden, a beautiful Victorian fern house.
The main town of Rothsay is home to Rothesay Castle, Bute Museum, and their famous Victorian Toilets dating back to 1899. When visiting the island, don’t forget to drive and take the short walk to Scalpsie Bay to observe the seal colonies. Read more about things to do on the Isle of Bute.
Dunoon on the Cowal Peninsula is a popular tourist destination with many activities and sights such as museums, gardens and forest walks and plenty of leisure activities in and around the town. Read more about things to do in Dunoon.
Dunoon, some 26 miles from here, is our nearest town. There is a bus service twice a day, otherwise you can travel by car and some of you may have travelled this way from Glasgow and will know the road. As most roads in this area are single track in some places, please bear in mind the local traffic and pull over to let faster traffic go by. The locals say thank you by a flashing both or a single indicator.
Loch Fyne is one of the most famous sea lochs in Scotland and provides visitors with spectacular coastal and mountain scenery, a variety of interesting indoor and outdoor attractions and activities and makes for a great day out. Read more about things to do on a day out to Loch Fyne.
Inveraray is a well known town made up of many traditional white painted buildings. The town is home to Inveraray Jail which dates back almost two centuries and gives an insight into the way life used to be. There is also the magnificent 18th century Inveraray Castle, home to the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, which has impressive displays of artwork, armour and weaponry, formal gardens and tea room.
Ardkinglas Estate is situated on the A83 at the head of Loch Fyne. This architecturally stunning building offers guided tours of the house and estate with its mature champion trees and rhododendrons and have a shop selling gifts and garden plants.
Benmore Botanic Garden
Benmore Botanic Garden is a magnificent mountainside garden containing a world famous collection of plants set in approximately 120 acres. The Garden is probably most famous for its spectacular avenue of Giant Redwoods but also has beautiful displays of rhododendrons and rare plants from Bhutan and Chile.
The huge variety of plants from around the world ensure there is always interesting plant life throughout the year from the Springtime blaze of colour, the beautiful Summer azaleas and magnolias, and the brilliant diversity of Autumn colours.
Throughout the Garden’s open season events are held for the public such as Guided Tours that run for the whole season, photo exhibitions, open days and concerts.
There is a café and shop on site and the Garden is open daily 1 March to 31 October from 10am to 5pm/6pm.
Kilbride Bay, also known as Ostell Bay, is a wonderful sweeping bay a few miles to the south of the Royal an Lochan and perfect for spending a few hours walking on the crescent-shaped sandy beach or relaxing while taking in the fantastic views of the Firth of Clyde down towards Arran and Ailsa Craig.
You can either cycle to the Bay or drive, parking in the nearby lay-by, then it’s a 10-15 minute walk across the machair to the dunes which line the Bay.
Step back in time at Auchindrain Museum 6 miles south of Inveraray to see how people lived in the period of 1750 – 1840 and view this historic farming township as a living history.