7 May 2021
Scotland is filled with spectacular sights and scenery, and one of the best ways to witness the amazing Scottish landscape is by car. There are so many road trips to be taken around the country, with lots of sights to see, however admiring the rugged west coast is definitely one for the top of your Scottish bucket list. Known as the Argyll Coastal Route, this road trip is a long drive that hugs various shorelines along the way. Stretching over 200 kilometres, this route follows many lochs and coastlines between Loch Lomond and Fort William, avoiding the more crowded and remote North Coast 500 Route.
If you’re looking for a road trip that boasts incredible scenery, vast lochs and island spotting, this is the perfect road trip for you. The Argyll Coastal Route also allows you to immerse yourself in rich Scottish culture, learn more about the country’s history, see some iconic wildlife and experience warm, welcoming hospitality. Plus, one of our favourite aspects that we’re sure you’ll witness, is the breathtaking sunsets that fall below the horizon on the west coast - if you get lucky with the Scottish weather!
With a sight to see around every corner, discover some of our favourite stops along the way, which are also home to some of our idyllic Scottish hotels.
Stop 1 - Loch Lomond & Inveruglas Pyramid
The first stop and starting point of your adventure is on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. This is one of Scotland’s most known lochs and stretches across 24 miles of water, with 30 small islands dotted throughout the loch. Although this is the starting point of your road trip, we would still recommend taking the time to appreciate the natural beauty of the loch and national park. Built as part of the Scottish Scenic Routes Project, the Inveruglas Pyramid is a viewpoint which has 31 steps to the top where you will be welcomed by panoramic views over Loch Lomond and its mountainous backdrop, including the Arrochar Alps and Ben Lomond. You can even use the telescope to spot the smaller details over the water, such as wildlife and boats. This is the perfect place to kick-off your road trip before heading off to your next stop.
Stop 2 - Inveraray & Loch Fyne
Less than an hours drive north-west from Loch Lomond is the traditional county town of Argyll, Inveraray. Overlooking the waters of Loch Fyne, there’s so much to see and do within the town and the surrounding area, giving you the perfect day trip itinerary for the next stop on your coastal road trip. Immerse yourself in rich Scottish heritage and learn about the amazing history of the area by visiting the fascinating Inveraray Jail, the enchanting Inveraray Castle or exploring the area with the endless woodland walks on offer. Following a day of discovering Inveraray and admiring the beautiful vistas of Loch Fyne. We have a welcoming hotel and spa that offers panoramic views over the water and an award-winning seafood restaurant, providing you with the perfect resting point on your Argyll adventure.
Stop 3 - Kilmartin Glen
Following the west banks of Loch Fyne on its way to the Atlantic, double back northwards and head towards Kilmartin Glen, where you will find yourself going back in time. Home to around 800 ancient cairns, monuments, standing stones and ruins, you’ll find the impressive collection of rock art that have been in the glen for almost 5,000 years. Located between Lochgilphead and Oban, this is a great place to explore en route to Stop 4 of your road trip. Jump out of the car, stretch your legs and explore the ancient archaeological remains. And, if you have a bit more time, the Kilmartin Museum excellently exhibits the main finds from Scotland’s Neolithic and Bronze Age.
Stop 4 - Oban & The Isles
Just 30 miles north along the coast from Kilmartin Glen is the charming coastal town of Oban. Known as Scotland's Seafood Capital and the ‘gateway to the isles’, this is a must-see stop off point on the Argyll Coastal Route. Oban links mainland Scotland to the islands offering you the perfect opportunity to explore the inner and outer hebrides and discover the west coast on water. Oban is a fascinating place to visit with world renowned restaurants, a historic whisky distillery, and even its own coliseum, McCaig’s Tower. Our bayfront hotel in Oban offers you a great resting point on your road trip and offers a fantastic base to explore the west coast if you decide to stay a little longer.
As well as exploring Oban itself, the town also acts as a ‘gateway to the isles’, linking the mainland to the Hebridean Isles. This is the perfect way to extend your trip and go on an island hopping adventure. Our hotel & spa on the Isle of Mull is an ideal base for your island escape, allowing you to discover the local culture, spectacular wildlife, and historic sights off the west coast of Scotland.
Stop 5 - Castle Stalker
Following your Oban adventures, head north along the scenic coastal roads of the west coast and continue for 30 minutes before you are met by one of Scotland’s most iconic castle settings. Situated on an island of its own is the breathtaking Castle Stalker. Built in the early 14th century, Castle Stalker is filled with rich history surrounding clan rivalry and royal connections. Limited tours of the castle can be booked in advance, however we recommend viewing the picturesque landmark from the Castle Stalker viewpoint and cafe, which offers a good resting point for a coffee and a snack, whilst affording stunning views of the castle, Loch Linnhe and beyond to the Isle of Mull.
Stop 6 - Glencoe
Home to some of Scotland’s most spectacular landscapes, Stop 6 on your roadtrip is the Highland hub of Glencoe. Filled with towering mountain peaks, deep glens and picturesque lochs and waterfalls, Glencoe is full of adventure. Whether you want to explore the scenery and admire your surroundings with a low level stroll, or get the adrenaline pumping with a hike around the multiple munros in the area, this is the perfect location to witness Scotland in all its splendour. Whether you would like to stop off for the night or stay longer and venture further afield, our boutique inn in Glencoe offers an ideal base for you, your friends, and your family.
Stop 7 - Ben Nevis & Fort William
Stop 7 is where your Argyll Coastal Roadtrip comes to an end. As your final stop and destination, the stunning surroundings of Fort William ensures your trip ends on a high. Home to Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, you can either admire the towering peak that dominates the skyline or take on the challenge to reach the summit yourself. If you’d prefer to give the 1,345 metre climb a miss, you can take the gondola up the Aonach Mor which affords breathtaking views of Ben Nevis in all its glory - the perfect ending to an incredible Scottish Adventure!
Accommodation on The Argyll Coastal Route
To get the most out of this trip, it’s good to break it down to ensure you soak up every sight and immerse yourself in everything that the west coast has to offer. Three of our hotels are located along the route including a hotel and spa in Inveraray, a bayfront hotel in Oban, and a highland boutique inn in Glencoe. All three of these hotels offer a relaxing retreat for your west coast road trip and showcase award-winning menus and warm, friendly Scottish hospitality.