04 Jan Cowal, South Argyll
The remote Cowal Peninsula is cut off from the rest of the country by the lengthy fjords of Loch Long and Lough Fyne – it’s an area more accessible by boat than by car. It is comprised of narrow hills and rugged lochs with only a few small villages; the scenery around Lough Riddon is particularly enchanting. The only town on the mainland is old-fashioned holiday resort of Dunoon.
From Arrochar, the A83 to Inveraray loops around the head of Lough Long and climbs up Glen Croe. The pass at the head of the glen is called the Rest and be Thankful – when the originally military road through the glen was repaired in the 18th century, a stone was erected at the top inscribed “Rest and be thankful. This road was made, in 1748, by the 24th Regt… Repaired by the 93rd Regt. 1786”. A copy of the stone can be seen at the far end of the parking area at the top of the pass.
Theres a Forest Enterprise at the foot of the glen, with information on various walks in the Cowal Peninsula. As you descend Glen Kinglas on the far side of the Rest and be Thankful, the A815 forks to the left just before Cairndow; this is the main overland route into Cowal. From Glasgow, the most direct route is by ferry from Gourock to Dunoon.
Cowal is a must see attraction on your tours of Scotland.