A week on the West Coast of Scotland - Things to see & do
There is no doubt that Scotland is one of the most scenic countries in Europe but to be more precise it is really the western half that justifies that reputation. So if you have just a week to make the most of it where should you go?
Glasgow is a great place to start but for the purposes of this feature we will concentrate on the areas north of the central belt.
Loch Fyne is a beautiful sea loch and Inverary, its principal town and the original county town of Argyll, makes for a very interesting stop over with its beautiful Georgian architecture. Visit Inverary Castle, ancestral home to the Duke of Argyll, as well as Inverary Gaol with its 19th century courthouse and living museum. For a good lunch stop try the original Loch Fyne Oyster Bar located 20 minutes east of Inverary – whilst their main emphasis is on fish and seafood they also provide some good meat options too.
An alternative great place to base yourself on the first night or two north from Glasgow is the island of Arran off the west coast. Arran is known as Scotland in miniature as it has both lowlands and highlands and has some beautiful little villages around its coast. Brodick, the capital, has a very attractive and interesting castle well worth a visit, especially to see its beautiful gardens.
Heading further north the scenery just gets more attractive. The village of Plockton, situated just north of the Skye bridge but still on the mainland is well worth a visit. The quaint harbour front has a good pub and hotel with views from their palm fringed gardens across the harbour where you might sight porpoises or otters. If you fancy treating yourself book a table at Kinloch Lodge on the southern shore of Skye for a fine dining meal to Michelin standards.
Carrying on north you may wish to divert across to Applecross on the west coast overlooking Raasay. Take the Pass of the Cattle for a truly memorable drive up and through the highest public road in the UK. Lunch at the famous Applecross Inn is well worth the detour.
Ullapool is worth a stop, perhaps taking in lunch at one of the many restaurants. But save dinner until you reach the Summer Isles or more particularly, Achiltibuie where a meal at the Summer Isles Hotel is a delight with views looking out across the isles themselves. Walking and cycling around here is a real joy as is the stunning beach on a warm day.
There is still more to see further north but we only have a week so I have had to prioritise. And of course, we haven’t touched the islands at all – that is at least another week if not two.
I hope we have given you some good ideas for spending your hard earned weeks holiday in western Scotland.