SCOTLAND ROAD TRIP
Argyll Coastal Route
If you’re looking for a breathtaking coastal drive in Scotland, the Argyll Coastal Route should be at the top of your list. This scenic route spans over 129 miles along the west coast, offering incredible views of rugged cliffs, tranquil lochs, and picturesque villages.
Along the way you can explore charming towns like Inveraray and Oban, stop at ancient castles like Dunstaffnage and the iconic Eilean Donan Castle, and even embark on a wildlife tour to spot seals, dolphins, and whales. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or simply in need of a relaxing road trip, the Argyll Coastal Route is sure to leave you awe-inspired.
What to see on the Argyll Coastal Route…
1. Loch Lomond and the Inveruglas Pyramid
Loch Lomond is steeped in a rich history that dates back centuries.
Scotland’s largest freshwater loch, it has been a hub of activity for centuries and played an important role in the country’s economic and social growth. With its tranquil waters and breathtaking scenery, every corner provides a new and awesome view, with the omnipresent Ben Lomond hovering over its northern bank.
Loch Lomond has always been a popular spot for fishing, boating, and swimming with various hire options available at the southernmost end. There are also lots of lovely hotels and lodge rentals (See one of our favourites here), with views across the water that will blow your mind.
The Loch was also a vital transportation route for goods and people, with the first steamship, Maid of the Loch, launched on its waters in 1953. Despite being one of Scotland’s most visited destinations, Loch Lomond has maintained its natural beauty, and its history remains an integral part of its charm.
Also on the Argyll Coastal Route, The Inveruglas Pyramid is not your typical viewing point.
Its unique and striking shape, designed by artist Malcolm Robertson, sets it apart from the standard points marked on a map, and the pyramid is custom built to frame the scenery in a wonderful way: an Instagrammer’s dream!
Located in the Scottish Highlands, visitors can climb to the top of the pyramid and take in breathtaking views of Loch Lomond, the surrounding hills and mountains, and even the Ben Lomond peak in the distance. The pyramid also serves as an information center, where visitors can learn more about the history and ecology of the area.
2. Inveraray Jail
Step back in time and uncover the fascinating history of the Inveraray Jail. This 19th-century prison, located in Inveraray itself, had a reputation for being one of the toughest in the country. It operated from 1820 to 1889 and held a variety of inmates, from petty thieves to murderers. In 1989, 100 years after the jail saw its last prisoner, the jail began its transformation into an award-winning museum, where visitors can explore the cells, learn about the harsh living conditions that prisoners endured, and even take part in interactive exhibits.
3. Auchindrain Living Museum
If you’re looking for a unique perspective into the local areas history, Auchindrain Living Museum is definitely worth visiting. As one of the last surviving examples of a Highland Township, Auchindrain is a blend of traditional farming lifestyle with fascinating insights into local traditions and customs of the past. Immerse yourself in a bygone way of life through reconstructions of houses, tools, and equipment that were once used.
This museum is not only educational, but it also provides an interactive and immersive experience that will truly transport you back in time. Inside the museum, visitors can explore traditional buildings such as a blacksmith shop and a thatched cottage. Guests are also able to get an up-close look at the lifestyle of farmers in the 19th century, and witness live demonstrations of farm activities such as spinning wool and printing cloth. The museum also hosts events throughout the year such as craft workshops, where visitors can learn how to make items like baskets, jewelry, and pottery from local materials.
4. Kilmartin Museum
The Kilmartin Museum is a treasure trove of history, spanning over 5000 years of Scotland’s rich and diverse past. Visitors can explore a range of fascinating exhibitions and displays, each telling a unique story of the area’s people and culture. From ancient standing stones and burial cairns to stunning Viking artifacts and early Christian carvings, the museum provides a truly immersive experience that will leave you awestruck.
5. Mccaig’s Tower
Mccaig’s Tower is a unique and grand structure located in the small town of Oban, Scotland, on the Argyll Coastal Route. Built over a century ago by a wealthy local businessman, it serves as a prominent landmark in the area and is truly a sight to behold.
Its turquoise exterior and circular shape may remind you of a Roman amphitheater, and its picturesque location above the town commands stunning views of the surrounding islands and seas. Visitors can explore the tower’s intricately designed interiors, which include a gallery that provides a glimpse into Oban’s rich history.
6. Castle Stalker
Perched on a small rocky island on Loch Laich, Castle Stalker is an incredible sight and an absolutle must to stop and take a picture of.
This four-story tower house, dating back to the 14th century, has both a rich history and an air of mystery. Once an important stronghold of the powerful Stewart clan, it was also the site of a dramatic siege during the Jacobite rising in 1745.
Today, Castle Stalker stands as a symbol of Scotland’s rugged beauty and storied past, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to marvel at its stunning architecture and explore its intriguing history.
Tours are limited to one per day so it can be difficult to visit the actual castle. If you are interested it’s £25 per day and you can view the availability here.
7. Glencoe Museum
As well as being an essential stop on the Argyll Coastal Route, Glencoe also has a fantastic visitor center with lots of parking and facilities like toilets, shop and a cafe.
Due to its location and historical significance, Glen Coe is a facinating place. Immerse yourself in the rich history of Scotland at Glencoe Folk Museum, with multiple exibitts including a cinema. Located in the heart of Glencoe village, this quaint museum offers a glimpse into the past with its fascinating collections of local artifacts and memorabilia.
From the tools and equipment used by the Highland farmers and craftsmen to traditional Scottish dress and weaponry, the museum has something to pique the interest of history buffs and casual visitors alike. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, happy to share their insights and answer any questions you may have.
With its charming exhibits and fascinating insights into Scottish life. There is an amazing traditionally built house on the grounds with a guide inside to tell you all about it’s construction, and we highly recommend checking it out for yourself.