Hidden away, deep in the woodlands of Scotland lies the small town and surrounding areas of Lochgoilhead. This quaint and well hidden little town has everything you need for a perfect weekend away. From small loch-side bars and restaurants to the family house hotel and spa, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy. There is much more than meets the eye to this small town though, if you know exactly where to look.
A great starting place is inside the Drimsynie Estate lodge and caravan park, your typical budget holiday park where you can rent loch-side caravans and beautiful log cabins. Owning a lodge in such a beautiful place has its perks, one being having the chance to adventure and find new walks and places to swim. This past weekend was no exception as we ventured through hills and farmland to find the perfect spot to walk the dog.
Travelling down by the loch and up through the farm we find our way to an opening with a stunning view of the lodges, the loch and the castle below. If the weather is particularly good these hidden rock-pools are a great place to cool down, but prepare to be very cold afterwards. (I can tell you that from experience!)
If you are planning a visit to Argyll or any other rural Scottish area, there are a few specific things you must pack.
- Midge spray– If you are unfamiliar with the term “mige” (pronounced mid-gee) they are tiny flying insects similar to mosquitos that pack a painful bite. These tend to appear at dawn and dusk and are attracted to the carbon dioxide we breathe out. A wide range of midge and mosquito sprays are available in most drugstores and supermarkets. Be sure to pack some.
- Mosquito netting– Again, for the midge issue. If you are planning on staying outdoors for prolonged periods of time or are camping it is essential that you cover your face with a mosquito net. This really will save you from some terrible bites.
- Waterproof clothing– Scottish weather is renowned for it’s unpractically changeable weather. Spring and summer can be especially bad for rain. If you want to enjoy all Argyll has to offer then you have to be prepared to spend a lot of time in the soaking wet!
- Warm clothing – With summer temperatures as low as just five degrees celsius it is essential to pack long sleeved shirts, jeans, hat, scarf and gloves, all year round.
While the family house hotel is a great option for exploring, there are many other kinds of accommodation available to suit every budget and desire. The first option is camping, plain and simple. There are lots of grassy shaded areas perfect for setting up camp. Another option is renting a cottage in the village. This is a slightly cheaper and more cost effective option than booking hotel rooms. The last option is booking into one of the many pub/hotels for the night. This can be a little more pricey and a lot more busy. If you choose this option make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
How to spend your time in Lochgoilhead:
- Take a boat tour! With a range of boating expedition packages available at the local post office, take a tour. Another great option would be to hire a boat and take a ride yourself. Fishing permits are available for £15 if that’s something you happen to be interested in.
- Take a trip down to Loch Lomond or Inveraray and spend the day soaking in the culture or even take the time to indulge in some retail therapy.
- Enjoy the local entertainment. With performances nightly at local pubs and bars there’s never a boring evening.
- Enjoy a relaxing day at the spa or try a new look at the local hairdressing salon.
- Try one of the many leisure activities available such as archery, quad-biking, and mountain biking.
- Go for a swim, sauna, steam and jacuzzi at the local leisure centre.
Where should I eat whilst i’m there?
As for dinner I recommend travelling out to Inveraray, Loch lomond, Luss or Tarbet for an enjoyable meal. In my honest opinion the quality of food available from the holiday park restaurant is extremely underwhelming and can be extremely pricey. ‘The Samphire’ is a seafood restaurant right by the sea in Inveraray. All of their seafood is caught fresh on the day you eat and is great tasting value for money. Often the best places to eat are small quaint family restaurants or hotels so make sure you look out for them off the beat and track on your journey.
Alternatively, sit back, relax and take in the scenery. After all it is a beautiful place to read a book, catch up with nature and take some time to destress and unwind.
So, what are the downsides?
One of the things many teenagers around the world would consider the make or break deal of an expensive trip to Lochgoilhead is the wifi, or rather lack of it. There are several overpriced weekend wifi packages available but as someone who owns a lodge in the area I can tell you outright that it is 100% not worth it. For more information on the holiday park’s wifi supplier, please visit http://www.inkspotwifi.co.uk. Accessibility can be another issue some may consider before embarking on the trip. The town operates on a single track road, one way in, one way out. This road twists and turns on high cliffs and potentially muddy areas that can be extremely daunting for first time drivers and visitors.
Lochgoilhead is a stunning place with so much to do and see on and off the beat and track. With shopping opportunities, sightseeing, a range of specialist activities and absolutely breathtaking views, there really is something there for everyone. Happy travelling!