34Argyll is a place where you can enjoy the many benefits of wild Scotland – hill walking, wildlife watching, whisky tasting, or just spending some time to slow down amongst scenery that encourages you to stop and look.

You immediately feel like you’re in the depths of rural Scotland because there are no large towns, but there are small towns within easy reach that provide all that you need.

Argyll is famous for the peaty whiskies from Islay, the wildlife of Mull, the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond and Oban, known as the gateway to the isles or the seafood capital of Scotland (depending on your taste!). There’s also plenty more to discover that’s just as good – or even better if you explore off the beaten track.

Close to the cottage

2010 December 19 - image 02Minard is located in mid-Argyll in the heart of Argyll and Bute, close to Inveraray Castle, the impressive home of the Duke of Argyll. Auchgoyle Bay Cottage is well placed for you to explore the area with Inveraray and Lochgilphead close by.

There are several walks in Minard village and Forestry Commission walks a short drive away. There are also forestry tracks accessible for off-road cycling.

Inveraray is a picturesque town with the Castle and Jail as the main attraction. You can explore the Castle grounds for free, including the walk up to the Dun na Cuaiche – the distinctive folly on top of the hill that overlooks the town. There are restaurants to suit all tastes in the town. On the way to Inveraray you will pass Auchindrain, a nationally important open air museum based on the historic township where you can see how the people of Argyll used to live.

If you venture towards Lochgilphead you find the Crinan Canal with the tow path walk/cycle route that takes you to Crinan with views out towards Jura and the Atlantic. Kilmartin is a short drive away with the ancient standing stones, burial cairns and distinctive carved cup and ring marks. You can also crown yourself as king or queen of Scotland at Dunadd fort.

There are also regular events that draw on the artistic and musical heritage of the area – for example the Artmap Argyll open studio event, the Best of the West music and food festival and Fyne Fest, the event hosted by the Fyne Ales brewery at the head of Loch Fyne.