There’s no shortage of things to do in Loch Lomond, the bonnie banks on every Scotland bucket list. Attractions by the sea, activities on the water, nature, hikes, shopping, food and drink, you’re in for a busy trip to this national park.
Loch Lomond is an easy day trip from Glasgow. Just hop on the train to Balloch and from there, it’s all aboard the Loch Lomond boat tours!
This a large, comfortable boat with indoor and outside seating.
The seats inside are located next to big windows for unspoilt views of the loch side.
Loch Lomond stretches for 24 miles and has 22 islands and 27 islets.
Learn about the history of the national park from the tour guide’s stories told over the speakers.
Have a Pint by the Fire at The Balloch House
The Balloch House is located in an 18th century building and has a beer garden for dining and drinking.
The menu includes staters and mains including fish, grilled food like steak and stonebaked pizzas.
Brunch is served Monday to Saturday and Sunday roast is available on Sundays.
Watch a Game at Tullie Inn
TheTullie Inn is a modern restaurant and pub with screens showing football games.
There’s also outdoor seating with umbrellas.
Karaoke with Locals Friday, Saturday and Sunday
If you like a cheap drink and a bit of sing song, pop into the ‘The Lodge’ Glenroy Bar at Lomond Park Hotel.
It gets rowdy at the weekends so be prepared for spilt drinks, sweat and singing!
Cocktails at The Pier
Prefer live music and a cocktail menu?
Reserve a table at The Pier Kitchen for a contemporary setting and friendly staff.
Food also available from brunch through to dinner.
Things to do at Loch Lomond Shores
Fly Among Nature at TreeZone
Loch Lomond has an aerial adventure course strung between the trees for wee and big kids!
The 1-1.5 hour Loch Lomond attraction for daredevils includes zip wires, balance beams, hanging platforms, tight-ropes, scramble nets and all works up to a white knuckle bridge with rewarding views over the loch.
The finale is a long zip line crashing back down to the woodlands.
Spectators can watch their family from the ground.
Harnesses are provided so all you need to bring is a waterproof coat and gloves for protection.
Everyone taking part tries the beginners course first so you can test if you are comfortable with the second higher and more intense aerial route.
Instructors explain how the set up works at the start and follow the group around as they navigate the ropes.
Shop at Loch Lomond Shores
Grab a snack at a loch side stall or shop ’til you drop at Loch Lomond Shores.
Popular brands and family-owned businesses are located at this scenic shopping centre.
Enjoy a Drink with Views at Duck Bay
Duck Bay is a popular restaurant and hotel by the loch.
The outdoor seating has views of Ben Lomond and the Arden Hills.
Inside there’s a relaxed cafe selling light meals and impressive cakes as well as an upmarket restaurant with varied menu.
You can also stay at Duck Bay which means you can make your way through the wine and whisky menu then fall into bed!
Glasgow is the Scottish city with sass. Every visitor’s itinerary features the capital, Edinburgh, and rightfully so as it is beautiful and steeped in history but Glasgow is real and Glasgow is raw. It’s the big city with contrasting neighbourhoods, deadly music and art scene and most importantly, people with banter. Edinburgh is Paris, Glasgow is Berlin and here is your one day in Glasgow itinerary curated with love by me, Gemma, the Fifer who ‘grew up’ in Glasgow
I (Gemma) moved to Scotland’s Dear Green Place at the age of 17 to attend the University of Glasgow and didn’t leave until my late 20s when I moved to the dark side, Edinburgh. I now reside in Fife.
Glasgow is where I met my life-long friends, formed my political views, danced around my handbag, gained weight by eating chips n’ cheese, lost the weight running around Kelvingrove Park – when I drive into Charing Cross the same feeling consumes me, that feeling that I’m home.
Personally, I don’t think one day in Glasgow is enough to really understand why it is special but I understand itinerary time constraints, I’ve been there.
This itinerary will recommend a variety of options for your day trip to Glasgow so you can pick and choose what suits your travel needs.
Covering Glasgow’s top attractions, the appeal of the five main neighbourhoods, food recommendations, which Glasgow pubs to party at and where to get the perfect shots.
This guide will also cover Glasgow’s past which some would like to hide, its involvement in the slave trade.
In Scotland, we don’t really use the term neighbourhoods but from my extensive travel in North America, I understand categorising areas of a city is the easiest way to help visitors find their bearings.
Glasgow does have distinct areas that can be zoned off making it an easy task.
Beginning with the City Centre you will find both train stations, Glasgow Central and Queen Street at George Square, and the Buchanan Bus Station.
There are three main streets starting with Argyle Street, which runs from the West End to the East, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street.
You will find Glasgow’s main shops on these three streets along with bars and restaurants.
One of the main drags of pubs and clubs for younger revellers is located at the top of Sauchiehall Street, after the shops.
Like with all cities, you want to veer off the big streets to discover the unique pubs like the Butterfly and the Pig which features mismatched furniture from your Gran’s house.
Behind Buchanan Street is the upmarket Merchant City bars, clubs and restaurants as well as Strathclyde University.
This is the area of Glasgow most associated with its slave trade involvement.
At the end of Argyle Street to the east is the Trongate, check out the 13th Note for vegetarian food, Clutha for a welcoming local bar and the Tron Theatre for shows, which takes you along the infamous Barras weekend market, a real Glasgow tradition and passed the Barrowlands, a true Glasgow establishment which houses music gigs, and into the East End.
Don’t miss Barras Art and Design (BaAd) internal courtyard for drinks and shopping, support the local shop owners by purchasing here.
The East End is also home to Glasgow Cathedral, Provand’s Lordship (oldest house in Glasgow), Glasgow’s necropolis, Glasgow Green (park), the People’s Palace and two breweries.
Running parallel to Argyle Street is Glasgow’s Canal.
Bridges take you over to our third neighbourhood, the Southside.
The Southside has its own parks, Queens and Pollok.
Most of the bars and restaurants are found around Pollokshaws Road, check out the Glad cafe for vegan cakes and intimate gigs.
The West End of Glasgow is where you will find most of the students in the city as well as a stylish crowd.
The main street is Byres Road, which is always busy with brunchers and shoppers.
Visit Oran Mor for gigs and don’t miss the cute cobbled street, Ashton Lane, for drinks under the fairy lights.
In summer, you can find a beer garden on Ashton Lane and there is also a small cinema.
Running along the back of Byres Road is Great Western Road, which is packed with vintage shops, furniture stores and food stops.
The University of the Glasgow is found behind Ashton Lane on University Avenue.
From there you can reach Kelvingrove Park, and museum or Woodlands Road, for comedy see The Stand, down to Charing Cross and back into town.
However, we are not quite finished with the West End yet because at the bottom of Byres Road you will find Argyle Street, which runs into the Finnieston neighbourhood.
Finnieston used to be known purely for the Teuchter or Highlander Triangle because of the three pubs, the Park Bar, The Islay Inn and Snaffle Bit.
Head here to listen to trad music, especially around Celtic Connections time but this area has exploded in the past years.
If you are in town for ethically sourced food hop into the food trucks at Dockyard Social, noodles, curries, pizzas, vegan specialities, and drinks.
Finnieston Road leads to the Clyde, the Ovo Hydro, Glasgow SECC, Clydeside Distillery and the Transport Museum.
Getting Around Glasgow
Glasgow has an extensive network of bus routes, trains and also our beloved underground aka the metro or subway.
Our underground is not difficult to navigate.
It only goes around in one loop then back around the other way.
It is affectionally known as the Clockwork Orange and if you just want to spend your one day in Glasgow boozing you should play the Clockwork Orange drinking game.
The game involves getting off at each stop and having a tipple!
Kick-off with a full Scottish breakfast or stacked French toast at Café Gandolfi (Albion Street) or eggs at the trendy Wilson Street Pantry in the Merchant City.
You’re going to need the energy.
Next, it’s a visit to one of Glasgow’s points of interest, the Gallery of Modern Art on Royal Exchange Square.
This museum is located in the former Cunninghame Mansion, home of the tobacco and sugar merchant and one of the prolific merchants of the transatlantic tobacco trade, William Cunninghame of Lainshaw.
In front of the GOMA is the iconic Duke of Wellington which often has a street cone on his head.
Next mooch through the Merchant City keeping your eyes peeled for the street art murals and more links to Glasgow’s slave trade involvement such as (Tobacco Lord, James) Wilson Street and (John) Glassford Street (tobacco plantation owner in Virginia and Maryland).
Glasgow is yet to recognise that these street names celebrate Scots who enslaved people for profit.
Other cities with similar involvement such as Bristol, England have created museums and made some changes.
Afternoon in Glasgow Itinerary
Go slightly off-piste to grab a sandwich at the chic takeaway, Piece (100 Miller St), jamming to the tunes while you wait on your ‘Jerk Off’.
Head back east via Argyle Street towards the Trongate and on to Barrowlands Park.
Count the bands you’ve seen then promise to come back to watch one live at the Barrowlands itself.
Walk towards the Barrowlands, if visiting on a weekend swing by the Barras Market to experience this Glasgow institution set up by Maggie McIver who died a multi-millionaire in 1958.
If you love music you will want to join the Glasgow City Music Tours run by music journalists complimenting Glasgow’s UNESCO City of Music status. Grab a bite to eat at BaAd or continue on to the next stop on your Glasgow itinerary.
From here you have two options – park, palace and a pint or God’s house, the graveyard and gin.
Option 1: Glasgow Green, Breweries and Lunch
Glasgow Green is where you will find the People’s Palace, which houses a really interesting exhibition on life in Glasgow throughout the ages.
Look out for the washing line poles in the Green too; these were used by locals to dry their clothes!
Take a well-deserved pit stop at West Brewery or Drygate Brewery. Both serve food, beer and other drinks.
The Palais on Duke Street (Denniston) is another hip lunch option.
Option 2: Cathedral, Necropolis and Provand’s Lordship
Walk towards Castle Street to see Glasgow’s Cathedral, tours are available (one hour long), donations are welcomed. Behind the Cathedral you will find Glasgow’s necropolis, the giant graveyard that overlooks the city.
From up on the hill you will get some of the best views of Glasgow so have your camera ready.
End this history tour at the oldest house in Glasgow, Provand’s Lordship, across from the Cathedral and since you are here it would be rude not to pop into St Mungo’s Museum to see the Egyptian mummy.
It is run by a real Glaswegian who is happy for you to ask them any question about life in the city!
Take that extra 5-minute walk to see St Mungo himself sprayed on the end gable (not the official name of this street art mural).
Head back to the Merchant City to enjoy whisky cocktails at Buck’s Bar or classic drinks and bar food at Bar Home.
For a real culture shock head to the charming Alpen Lodge (25A Hope St) for its banging jukebox and live music at the weekends, if you can squeeze in.
Sticking around for the evening? Is it Saturday?
Then get yer dancin’ shoes on because Saturday night is ceilidh night at Sloans.
Add a meal on to make a full night of it.
One Day in Glasgow – City Centre and the West End
Morning Itinerary Options
Follow the above morning itinerary but after street art spotting at the Merchant City, which continues throughout the city, there are over 22 murals to discover, make your way to Argyle or Buchanan Street underground tube station (subway/metro) to Hillhead Station arriving at Byres Road in the West End.
Alternatively, choose one of the afternoon options if you prioritise those Glasgow tourist attractions.
A few lunch suggestions here depending on when you are visiting.
At the weekend, head to the Platform food market at the Arches on Argyle Street.
The ex-dance music venue is now home to food trucks selling locally sourced food from Indian to haggis (Friday-Sunday). Image below.
I recommend the surf and turf slider burger! Drinks are also available and the venue is kid and dog-friendly.
During the week you can eat any type of food you want in Glasgow.
For mac and cheese head to Sloans.
I love Japanese and can recommend Nippon Kitchen (91 W George Stree) for traditional meals/bento boxes and Mikaku (25 Queen Street) which is a modern, neon lights with smoking sake test tubes kinda place.
Fancy tapas? Cafe Andaluz is a consistently good Spanish small restaurant chain in Scotland.
If you prefer some pizza, Nonna Said (26 Candleriggs) does Napoli style pizza and frozen cocktails if starting early…
Or hold off for lunch until you hit the West End.
Enjoy lunch at one of the many cafes/pubs such as Hillhead Bookclub or Hanoi Bike Shop.
Walk through Ashton Lane to University Avenue aiming for the University of Glasgow’s cloisters for Hogwarts vibes.
Head down the hill and take a right to Kelvin Way where you will find the Kelvingrove Museum.
Browse the 22 galleries including work by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Salvador Dali and my favourite, the Floating Heads by Sophie Caves. It’s free to enter by the way.
Love tea? Don’t miss Tchai Ovna (42 Otago Lane).
A tea-hut going strong since the year 2000. I used to spend a lot of time here when I studied at Glasgow Uni.
Iona of my heart, Iona of my love. While there are only a handful of things to do on Iona, the pace on this 3-mile long island is slow and the scenery is stunning. Whether visiting as part of a Staffa tour, day trip from Mull, to stay on the island for a couple of nights, or as part of a pilgrimage, our Iona itinerary details what to do, places to eat, where to stay and how to get there so all you need to do is make bookings and enjoy your West Coast of Scotland trip.
Things to do in Iona
1. Enjoy the Ferry Ride from Mull
The starting point for your trip to Iona will be from Fionnphort in the south of the Isle of Mull.
Since no cars are permitted on the Inner Hebrides island of Iona, there is a car park to leave your car or camper at (fee-paying), a pub, public toilets and a beach.
If you are hungry after the one hour drive from Craignure or the 1.5 hour trip from Tobermory, you can get a snack at the harbour cafe or fresh fish at The Creel kiosk which also has outdoor seating.
Getting to Iona
There are a few ways to get over to Iona, the birthplace of Christianity.
Firstly you can visit as part of a Staffa Day tour where you get off at Iona and make your own way back to Mull using the CalMac ferry service.
Staffa is well worth a trip to see the geological wonder which appears in poetry and music, Fingal’s Cave.
If you are planning a visit between May and August you will be in for a chance of seeing puffins on the cliff at Staffa!
There are so many things to do on the Isle of Mull it deserves more time than a quick hop off during a ‘Three Islands Tour’! With mountains akin to Glencoe, shorelines as stunning as Seychelles and colourful buildings like Skye, this Inner Hebrides island is a popular choice for holidaymakers in Scotland and rightfully so!
Our guide details the best things to do in Mull with a car or camper, how to get there, where to eat, where to stay and two easy, popular island hops that are unmissable, so be sure to make space for them on your West Coast Scotland itinerary.
Things to do in Mull
1. Be a Tourist in Tobermory
What’s the story?!
If your first point of interest is Tobermory, then you can’t miss Main Street with its multi-coloured buildings popping along the seafront.
Here you will find pubs, restaurants and well-stocked independent shops such as Tobermory Stores which has a better vegan selection than the whole of my home region, Fife.
There is also a handful of crafts shops if you want to pick up a souvenir that the receiver will actually like!
Look out for the unique cherub on the seafront.
By the water and next to the town clock, you will see a huge line of hungry visitors waiting on their Fisherman’s Pier fresh fish and chip van order.
If you don’t fancy fish, Tobermory has a few dining options to choose from.
I recommend Spice of Mull if you are looking for a curry, which Craig always is.
A starter, two curries, shared rice, naan and an Irn Bru came to £40.
If you prefer a meal or drink with a view, Macgochans serves pub grub on its outside deck with views over the water.
The Gallery Cafe is also a nice spot for a sunny day drink; be sure to take a look at the stunning interior of this old church building.
2. Treat Yourself to Isle of Mull Ice Cream
The next biggest line is for the Isle of Mull Ice Cream shop.
Take your cone or tub to the harbour to watch the tour boats come in.
You can do a day tour to Staffa and the Treshnish Isles, but we opted for the Staff tour leaving from Fionnphort in the south so we could also visit Iona.
Keep reading to find out more.
3. Visit Tobermory Distillery to Taste Isle of Mull Whisky
One of the most striking buildings in Tobermory is the Distillery.
Guided tours take you around the island’s only distillery, which was established in 1798, making it one of the oldest commercial distilleries in Scotland.
Onsite two whiskies are made, a non-peated Tobermory and a heavily-peated Ledaig.
This Mull tourist attraction also produces gin, so if you prefer to learn about this phenomenon in Scotland, check out the gin tour options.
Next to Tobermory Distillery is the Post Office which has had a bright paint job to match the pastel-coloured buildings along the street.
4. Tobermory Lighthouse
We only managed to see Rubha nan Gall, Tobermory Lighthouse from the ferry ride on the way to Oban but there is a recommended 3.5-mile hike if you can set aside 1.5-2 hours.
Keep an eye out for otters and wave over to Ardnamurchan if you do this hike.
5. Enjoy Coffee at the Isle of Mull Cheese Glass Barn
Nestled among the farmlands of the B8073, Sgriob-ruadh Farm is home to the Insta-famous Isle of Mull glass barn cafe.
Look out for those floor to ceiling windows, lush greenery and rustic decor; what’s not for your camera to like!
We popped by for a scenic coffee and couldn’t resist a Nutella swirl to accompany the hot beverages.
One tea, one coffee and one tasty chocolate pastry cost £11.90.
Surrounded by shrubbery and entertained by the cafe dog, this slow breakfast was one of the highlights of our Mull trip.
Obviously, if you want to pick up some Isle of Mull cheese this is the place to do it.
They have a farm shop inside the glass barn, so if you just want to have a look at the cafe without sitting for coffee, you can pick up the famous cheese here then head out.
Look above your head as you pay. Can you guess what the hanging structure is?
The next tips on what to do in Mull are outside of the main area in Tobermory so here is a map to help navigate.
First, we head to Devaig and Calgary Bay then over to Craignure before driving south to catch the ferry to Staffa and Iona from Fionnphort.
6. Swim at Calgary Bay
When people ask about Tobermory Beach they tend to be referring to the most popular bay on the island, Calgary Bay.
This huge, sandy beach is popular with families, dogs, water sports enthusiasts and visitors.
I swam in the clear sea and it was… cold. As to be expected!
There are a number of car parks close to Calgary Bay.
There is one across the road from Calgary Art in Nature. See below for more information on this art trail.
Another can be found at the Calgary Bay Farmhouse. Both are about a 5-minute walk to the beach.
There is also a car park near the public toilets which doubles up as a wild camping campsitefor cars only.
The most popular car park is the one with direct access to the beach next to this sweet treat…
7. Enjoy Ice Cream at Robin’s Boat
Robin’s Boat kiosk sells Isle of Mull Ice Cream at the edge of Calgary Bay and is made from a real boat!
There is also a board outlining the wildlife that has been spotted in the area recently.
8. Wander Through Woods at Calgary Art in Nature
Just before you enter Calgary Bay you will see a wicker figure with birds welcoming you to an art trail in the woodlands called Calgary Art in Nature.
This donation-based art walk includes mosaics, wooden structures and a flying fox!
You also get incredible views over Calgary Bay from the top of the walk.
9. Check Out Other Isle of Mull Beaches
If beach life is your kind of trip there are other beaches aside from the most photographed, Calgary Bay.
Craignure Bay is located on the east coast of the island.
If you stay at Shieling Campsite at Craignure you will have access to your own pebbled beach to watch sunsets like these pictured below.
You can also set off with your kayaks from this point.
In the south, Fionnphort Beach is the first, among many, things you’ll be amazed at during a day trip to Staffa and/or Iona.
See below for full details about this jam-packed day trip from Mull.
A cluster of houses sits at the top of the beach and sheep casually hang around the car park.
There is a pub across the road from the car park and The Creel seafood kiosk sells take out food and offer outdoor seating at the harbour.
There are coin-operated public toilets across from The Creel.
10. Buy Cakes at Bus Stop Bakes
Pick up some fresh cakes and scones at the pop-up Bus Stop Bakes on the road out of Calgary Bay.
This kiosk works on an honesty payment system so you will need coins.
11. Enjoy the Ride Between Calgary Bay and Tobermory
If you like driving the Bealach Na Ba in the Highlands, you’ll love the road between Calgary Bay and Tobermory.
This route has hairpin vibes without a cliff drop!
There’s a viewpoint at the top of the hill at Dervaig where you can take a breather.
12. Aros Park
If driving between Tobermory and Craignure be sure to set aside time to visit Aros Park.
There is a quick yet rewarding 30-minute stroll around Lochan a Ghurrabain which looks like Canada from one side and Japan on the other.
This isn’t the only Mull hike in the area.
If you have more time you can do the Waterfall Trail in the park or Coastal Trail to Tobermory.
There is free parking and a BBQ area which is also free for visitors to use.
Back on the road driving from Aros Park to Craignure, look out for light aircraft soaring above.
13. Cakes at Arlene’s in Craignure
We were intrigued to try Arlene’s at Craignure because a friend told us the food is superb but reviews always mention how crabbit the person behind the register can be!
Well, that member of staff must have been on their day off, twice, because the staff member who served us both days was bubbly and welcoming.
During our first visit, we bought two hot drinks, a breakfast roll and two cakes (£11.30) and ate them by the port watching the huge CalMac ferry beasts come in.
On our way out of Mull, we got sandwiches and Isle of Mull Ice Cream from Arlene’s.
I couldn’t decide between flavours so the friendly server gave me half and half.
Here is a slightly melted version!
The Craignure Ferry Terminal, where you exchange your voucher for tickets, is located near Alrene’s.
There is also a free public toilet.
If you are looking for a sit-down meal, the Craignure Inn does decent pub grub with outdoor and inside seating.
This is very close to Shieling Campsite where we stayed two nights.
Note: Some rural restaurants close their kitchen between lunch and dinner.
14. Duart Castle
If you are taking the ferry from Craignure to Oban, you will pass Duart Castle on the right-hand side and Tobermory Lighthouse on the left.
On dry land, you can visit this 700-year-old home to Clan MacLean and its tearooms.
Visitors can access The Great Hall, State Bedrooms, and learn more at the clan exhibition.
Duart Castle features in the 1999 film Entrapment, starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
15. Enjoy a Unique Coffee at Pennyghael
There’s nothing unusual about the mug of coffee you get from Pennyghael Stores, but there is something very special about the location where you can drink it.
Head down to the benches which overlook Loch Scridain and enjoy a scenic sip.
While driving south keep your eyes open for wildlife such as otters and deer.
The road from Craignure to Fionnphort takes a good hour and it is very pretty so consider lots of photo stops.
Remember to be cautious of passing places that allow drivers to pass on single track roads. See below for more details.
If heading to Fionnphort for an island-hopping day trip, leave plenty of time and use the bathroom before you set off.
16. Isle of Mull Tours to Staffa
There are two reasons for visiting the Isle of Staffa.
Firstly, to step inside the geological attraction, Fingal’s Cave, an uninhibited sea cave with an interesting backstory.
Secondly, to see the puffins which is a seasonal experience and we were lucky to catch them during our visit in June!
In addition to the above, you also get a free drop off at the Isle of Iona so factor time into your Mull itinerary to visit the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland.
Mull is quite a large island so there are plenty of walks at various difficulty levels.
An easy hike around the loch at Aros Park is recommended for those with 30 minutes to spare.
A longer coastal walk from Aros Park to Tobermory would require transport being left at one side or a return walk.
A popular hike is a walk to Tobermory Lighthouse from Main Street.
Mull has its own Munro called Ben More at 966 m (3,169 ft), not to be confused with Ben More at Crianlarich.
The hike covers the distance 9.25km / 5.75 miles and takes around 5-6.5 hours starting at Dhiseig.
21. Take a Ride on the Isle of Mull Ferry To Ardnamurchan
Ardnamurchan, a hard word to say, an even harder place to leave!
However, if you are short on time and just want a taster of the peninsula which features the most westerly point in mainland Britain, you can get a ferry from Tobermory to Kilchoan that takes 35 minutes or from Fishnish to Lochaline in 20 minutes.
See CalMac’s website for the most up-to-date details and times.
Kilchoan is the closest entry point to the famous Ardnamurchan Lighthouse and Sanna Bay beach.
You will need transport to get to both.
If you have time to take a West Coast road trip, definitely add the Ardnamurchan Peninsula to your itinerary for relaxed hikes, stunning beaches and crowd-free beauty spots.
The Ardnamurchan Peninsula is a stunning, secluded and remote region on the West Coast of Scotland. Surrounded by hills and mountains including the UK’s biggest, Ben Nevis, discovering this lesser-known corner of the country will quickly become a Scotland bucket list highlight. This guide details the best things to do in Ardnamurchan with a car or camper, how to get there, where to eat, where to stay and an easy, popular island-hop that’s worth tacking on two days to your Scotland road trip for!
Fun Things to do in Ardnamurchan
1. Fill Up at the Most Scenic Petrol Station in Scotland
Is this the most scenic petrol station you’ve seen in Scotland or what?
Sure, the more remote you get, the more expensive fuel gets but we didn’t mind paying an extra penny for these views of Loch Sunart in Strontian.
Payment for fuel is made in the equally scenic Post Office shop to the left.
Look at the echoes of the hills in the background. So beautiful.
If stopping by to see Loch Sunart at dusk, come equipped to take on the West Coast midges!
2. Dine at Cafe Sunart (Centre) or Hotel Strontian
Swing by the Sunart Centre for lunch at Cafe Sunart or to pick up snacks from the local shop that sells everything.
Looking for dinner? Pre-book a table at Hotel Strontian which has views over Loch Sunart and a bar at the back.
I had the fish and chips.
Alternatively, enjoy a special lunch at the historically rich, Kilcamb Lodge Hotel.
In 1746, this luxury hotel was headquarters to 100+ militiamen who hunted the leaders of the Jacobite Rebellion.
In 1752, it became a garrison that enforced the prohibition of tartan.
Today it is a boutique hotel with a 3AA Rosette restaurant. Locals recommend the Sunday roast.
You can either drive to the beach and park up or do the short hike from Portuairk, parking at the car park at the top of the hill across from the holiday homes, before the drive into the tiny village by the sea.
You can’t park in Portuairk so if you make it that far, do a turn and head back up the hill.
The black sign below is for the car park. The image to the right is your end destination, Sanna Bay.
The walk is well sign-posted at the start then it gets a little off-track as you walk along the path.
Have you even done a West Coast road trip if you’ve not island hopped?
There’s something absolutely magical about boarding at one destination and arriving at a new one and there are a few points around Ardnamurchan where you can sail with your vehicle or as a foot passenger to the Isle of Mull.
From Kilchoan you can take the 35-minute ferry ride to the colourful town of Tobermory.
There are public toilets and parking at the Kilchoan ferry port.
Note: The port is not next to Kilchoan Ferry Stores, don’t assume this as we did when we went to buy ice cream while waiting on the next ferry!
When on Mull you can drive south to Fionnphort and island-hop to Staffa to see the puffins and Iona, the sacred birthplace of Christianity.
Even as experienced campervan drivers, we faced challenges driving.
Firstly, we forgot to fill up with fuel at Strontian so we had to turn back after breakfast at the Ariundle Centre before continuing around the peninsula.
However, this was a blessing as it meant I got to chat with the lovely workers at Scotland’s most scenic petrol station!
The second challenge was getting parked at Arivegaig (Singing Sands) as there are only six small spaces.
If they are full don’t try and drive further or may get stuck.
Anything bigger than a VW Crafter will struggle to get parked.
Similarly, when we returned to our camper after our Sana Bay hike, the small car park at Portuairk was full.
How do you say Ardnamurchan?
Ardnamurchan is pronounced aard·ner·muhr·kn. My Grandad’s top tip is to say it really fast.
Interestingly, we met quite a few expats with Yorkshire accents in Strontian!
When choosing where to stay in Ardnamurchan consider what your trip needs are.
For example, will you be dining out? Do you plan to stay in one area and day trip? Would you prefer to move around the region and stay in different parts of it? Do you need an early start to get the ferry to Fort William or Mull?
We stayed at Sunart Camping which is a small, family-run campsite with pitches, hookups and glamping huts.
There is a separate toilet block for men and women with one shower in each.
You will need midge nets for your camper and face, welcome to the West Coast in summer!
This is the first time that we’ve worn face nets, it was 100% necessary and we were not alone in wearing them!