Things to do
There are many ways to enjoy your stay with us and you can be as energetic or relaxed as your mood takes you.
If walking is your thing then you may hardly need a car for the duration of your stay.
Puck's Glen is directly behind the lodge and from there a network of paths and forest roads connects you with Kilmun Arboretum, Kilmun Hill (fabulous views over Loch Long, the Holy Loch and the Firth of Clyde) and Benmore Botanic Garden. It is also possible to do a circuit of Loch Eck with minimal contact with public roads.
Argyll is justifiably well known for its gardens and the world renown Benmore Botanic Garden with its magnificent avenue of Giant Redwoods and collections of Rhododendrons, conifers and flowering trees and shrubs from both hemispheres is only a short walk away.
You will find Rhododendrons flowering from the beginning of March right through until late June- don't be late, many flower earlier than most people imagine!
Look out also for the newly restored Victorian fernery which reopened in september 2009 after 100 years of neglect.
There are many other gardens to visit, information can be found at the Glorious Gardens of Argyll & Bute web site.
The Cowal Peninsula has an extensive network of forest roads and dedicated cycle tracks some of which are accessable directly from the lodge.
A metal rail is fixed to the exterior wall of the lodge for secure parking of bicycles.
A child's bicycle with stabilisers for youngsters up to the age of 3 and one without stabilisers for age group 4 to 6 can be provided free of charge if requested at the time of booking. Please bring your own cycling helmet.
An old now disused section of the A815 connects the lodge with Benmore Botanic Garden, it is mostly level and has a very good Macadam surface which is ideal for kids to learn to cycle or to brush up on their skills away from the danger of traffic.
Stob Binnein from Ben More Drochaid Ghlas
If you are into more serious walking then your nearest Munro, Ben Ime is only a 30 minute drive away.
There are 11 Munros within a 60 minute drive and 22 within an hour and a half.
Ben Lomond Beinn Eunaich
There is a wealth of wildlife in the area, some of which you may see from the window of the lodge.
Red Squirrels feed on the nut baskets, both Roe and Red Deer can be seen in the local grasslands and forest margins, Porpoises and Seals are common in the sea lochs and you may even be lucky enough to spot an Otter or Pine Martin.
Red Squirrel Siskin
Although Scotland has a relatively low number of native flowering plants the west including Argyll is a global hot-spot for mosses, lichens and ferns- they are a marvel of shapes, colours and textures thriving in the mild maritime climate.
Mosaic of mosses Heron at Uig Hall bridge
There is angling to suit all tastes be it on the river, in freshwater lochs or the sea.
Boats can be hired and permits purchased for Loch Eck at the Coylet Inn.
For more information visit the Dunoon & District Angling Club web site.
Places to see
Take the ferry for the short crossing from Colintraive to Rhubodach and spend a day on the island of Bute, it is compact enough to drive around in a day and there are lots of delightful places to visit. Spend some time in the main town of Rothesay with its ancient castle, call in at Ascog Victorian Fernery or Mount Stuart house and gardens.
The Kingarth Hotel is a pleasant place to have a bar lunch then why not visit some of the beautiful beaches on the west coast with views across to the island of Arran with its skyline of jagged peaks.
Take the scenic drive up the shores of Loch Eck, enjoy the fabulous views down Loch Fyne from Strachur Bay and across the loch from St. Catherines to Inveraray.
On-route to Inveraray you shall pass Ardkinglas woodland garden (open to the public), Loch Fyne Ales (tours by appointment) and the famous Loch Fyne Oyster Bar where you can sample the renowned local sea-food.
Inveraray is a very picturesque town and a popular tourist spot where you can take a stroll along the sea front, peruse the local shops, visit Inveraray Castle (the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Argyll) or the Inveraray Jail Museum.
There are a number of local establishments to take a spot of lunch or an evening meal including the very popular George Hotel.
The delightful bustling port town of Oban is the gateway to the Inner Hebrides.
To get there take the road to Inveraray then follow the A819 signed for Dalmally.
On your left you shall pass Kilchurn Castle (which has graced the lid of many a tin of shortbread) when you reach the junction with the A85 turn left (west) for Oban.
At the foot of Ben Cruachan on the shore of Loch Awe (Scotlands longest loch) you can take a journey into the bowels of the mountain and discover the marvels of engineering that produce hydo-electric power.
A little further along you can visit Inverawe Fisheries and Smokery to see smoked salmon being produced.
Oban has a good variety of shops, places to eat and local attractions.
On your return journey it is well worthwhile to allow enough time to take the alternative route south via the A816 and A83. This shall take you past Loch Melfort, Arduaine Gardens and through Kilmartin with its rich history and plethora of ancient standing stones, cairns, cup and ring marked stones and burial sites.
Shopping and eating out
There are two supermarkets in Dunoon to get all of your essentials, the main street has several butchers, a fishmonger, a baker and several greengrocers- please support the local traders.
The petrol station less than a mile from the lodge has a well stocked mini-market.
The Coylet Inn
If you don't fancy cooking for yourself then there is a choice of local establishments to try.
The Coylet Inn and the Whistlefield Inn are both on the shores of Loch Eck, The Ardentinny Hotel is on the shores of Loch Long and there is a variety of other hotels, restaurants, and take-aways in the area.