Things to do when staying with us
When you stay with us at Thistle House there are many activities close by, however you may simply wish to kick back, relax and enjoy the breathtaking west coast scenery.
The two sites below are well worth a visit and have extensive information about our surrounding area:
www.visitcowel.com for the local area
www.exploreargyll.co.uk for the wider area
After a busy day encountering the activities or exploring the many forestry, coastal and mountain walks on and around our beautiful doorstep relax and enjoy the variety of wonderful food in the selection of many good surrounding restaurants:
3 Of our recommended favourites are:
Loch Fyne Oyster Restaurant
We are happy to help with arrangements or to book any of the local restaurants or activities listed above to make your stay extra special.
Sitting on the Western shore of Loch Fyne is the dreamy little picture postcard town of Inveraray which is a classic example of the Scottish Georgian style of architecture.
The town features many interesting shops including Inveraray Woollen Mill and the Loch Fyne Whisky Shop where you will find the very best of Scotland. It is the traditional county town of Argyll and ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, who founded the town in 1745, alongside his new dwelling, Inveraray Castle. Much of the town, including the church, was designed and built by the Edinburgh-born architect Robert Mylne between 1772 and 1800.
Inveraray Castle is the home of the Duke of Argyll (head of Clan Campbell) and was built between 1741 and 1758. The castle has a chateau feel to it and inside has an excellent armoury hall as well as a shop, tea rooms and woodland walks.
Inveraray Jail (the living 19th century prison) is open all year round and has beautifully restored buildings and features warders and prisoners in period dress recreating the past. The jail was closed in the 1930’s and now offers several exhibitions including a courtroom trial, the grim Old Prison and the 'modern' new prison.
The Bell Tower contains Scotland's finest bells and is a mecca for campanologists worldwide. In 1914 the 10th Duke of Argyll, Niall Diarmid Campbell, became the Honorary Colonel of The 8th Battalion of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. When the First World War ended he decided that there should be a fitting memorial to commemorate the Clan Campbell dead. To this end he commissioned architects Hoare and Wheeler to design the Bell Tower, the original idea being to link the new tower to the church.
Ardkinglas Woodland Garden:
Ardkinglas woodland garden is excellent for a peaceful walk for all ages and abilities and is host to some of the mightiest conifers in Europe. Spectacular in Spring and Autumn with the seasonal colours. The Tree Shop beside The Oyster Bar at the top of Loch Fyne sells some beautiful native and rare plants and has a tearoom/gift shop.
Auchindrain Township and Folk Museum is situated five miles south of Inveraray on the A83. It is an extraordinary attraction, which brings a historic "farming village" back to life. On entering the Museum visitors step back in time to witness how the local community lived, worked and played. The original village buildings are furnished and give a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the people who once lived and worked at Auchindrain.
Benmore Botanic Garden:
Benmore Botanic Garden is set on a magnificent mountainside on the Cowal Peninsula. It is an enchanting Garden steeped in history and surrounded by dramatic scenery. Benmore’s 120 acres boast over 300 species of rhododendron; Bhutanese and Chilean plantings and a spectacular avenue of Giant Redwoods. It also has a shop and tearoom facilities.
Stalking offers the chance to explore the wildlife in one of the most beautiful parts of the Scottish Highlands with the benefit of experienced local guides.
We can accommodate the sportsman who is interested in Red deer or Roe deer stalking or the naturalist with his or her camera for a general nature ramble throughout this wonderful landscape and habitat.
Choose from quad biking, archery and clay shooting or try more challenging adventure pursuits; gorge walking, mountain biking, rock climbing, abseiling, kayaking and sailing.
Other Useful Websites
Loch Fyne Ales »
Sea Life Adventures »
Wildlife Cruises »
The Waverley »
Loch Lomond Cruises »
Lochgoilhead Cruises »