Cruise around Villages and Gardens of South Argyll where the coastline and climate results in some of the best gardens in the UK alongside fascinating, traditional communities. Although a good time to visit the west coast of Scotland gardens is in spring with fabulous displays of Rhododendron and Azalea, there is something of interest all year round, especially in the woodland gardens we visit.
Mount Stuart House
which includes five acres of exotic plants from Latin America and Australasia
with an impressive display of exotic plants and shrubs found in the walled garden and the Victorian woodland garden. Don’t miss the Bavarian summerhouse.
Stonefield Castle Hotel
A stroll through the gardens packed with Rhododendron and Azaleas with the temptation of a gin & tonic in the hotel bar.
Be transported to a Himalayan mountain gorge in this fabulous woodland garden centred on the Crarae burn, which is spanned by several bridges and tumbles down to Loch Fyne through a series of cascades and runs.
A great place for a walk through glorious woodland and riverside settings with red squirrels in abundance and a chance to hug Britain’s tallest tree.
Other potential stopovers include:
- An overnight stopover at Carrick Castle in Loch Long
- Watching out for red squirrels in a woodland walk at Lochgoilhead
- The Norman Castle at Rothesay
- Tarbert village with its working fishing quay and the evocative ruins of Bruce’s castle
- A Napoleonic Gaol and the Duke of Argyll’s Castle and Gardens at Inveraray
- The magnificent Norman Castle, Kilbrannan chapel and views of Arran at Skipness
- A tour of Springbank Distillery at Campbeltown
- Anchor at Lamlash on Arran and visit Holy Isle, home to the SamyèLing Buddhists for a picnic on the beach
- Visit Brodick Castle and Gardens and the wonderful Heritage Museum at Rosaburn
- Look out for eagles on a walk to the Arran distillery at Lochranza
- Cycle 10 miles around the island of Great Cumbrae and visit the Cathedral of the Isles
Join Splendour in the Holy Loch Marina at 1600hrs. Enjoy a short cruise up Loch Long and into Loch Goil, watching out for porpoises and seals. Anchor off Carrick Castle for dinner and a peaceful nights sleep.
Travel south to the Island of Bute for an unforgettable visit to Mount Stuart House and Gardens, ancestral home to the Marquis of Bute. Relax on deck as Splendour cruises up the Kyles of Bute to her overnight anchorage in Loch Riddon.
Walk part of the Cowal Way into the idyllic village of Tighnabruaich with stunning views over the Kyles of Bute to the islands beyond. Cruise round Ardlamont Point admiring views of Arran to the south and onto the historic fishing village of Tarbert for art galleries, Bruce’s Castle and the fishing quay. Cruise up Loch Fyne to anchor in the north bay at Stonefield Castle Hotel for a peaceful evening and overnight.
Go ashore to walk the gardens and grounds of Stonefield. Cruise up beautiful Loch Fyne to Carae where the gardens will transport you to a Himalayan mountain gorge packed with Rhododendron and Azaleas on the banks of the cascading Carae burn. Overnight at Otter Ferry watching porpoises hunting for their dinner.
South to Brodick on the island of Arran for a visit to Brodick Castle and Gardens or the wonderful museum of country life. On the way back to the jetty lookout for the chocolate factory. Cruise to the overnight anchorage between Lamlash and Holy Isle.
Cruise round the Holy Isle home of Samye Ling Buddhists, spotting feral ponies, goats and sheep. Head north to Millport on the island of Great Cumbrae with its grey seal colony, the cathedral of the isles and homemade Italian ice-cream, overnight in the bay.
A final cruise up the famous Firth of Clyde to the Holy Loch Marina for disembarkation at 1100hrs.