Experience the glorious castles and gardens of Argyll
When people think of Scotland, they probably think of castles. With over 50 castles and estates, including some of the oldest and most famous (or infamous!) in the world, Argyll and the Islands are bursting with romance, mystery and legend.
Each castle tells a tale woven of both myth and fact, from important clans such as the Campbells, to famous historical figures, such as Robert Bruce. Some are brooding ruins, others are remarkably restored, and some stand as museums celebrating Scotland’s long and storied past.Castles such as Inveraray and Mount Stuart Castle and Gardens on Mull offer tours where period furnishings and artefacts are on display. But, equally as compelling are ruins such as Carnasserie Castle in Kilmartin and Castle Sween near Tayvallich, where sightseers will feel as if they have been transported back in time.
For those who have always dreamed of living like a real king or queen, several castles and estates in the area offer lodging, such as Barcaldine Castle, Castle Lachlan, Isle of Eriska and Stonefield Castle. These and other castles also host weddings or other special events, providing the perfect backdrop to a fairy tale day.
Dating from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, in various gorgeous settings, castles, gardens and estates are a highlight of a visit to Argyll and the Island. Each is utterly magnificent in its own way.
Flower and plant lovers won’t want to miss checking out the Glorious Gardens of Argyll and Bute- a group of 20 stunning gardens dating from the 13th century to as recent as the 20th century, located throughout the mainland of Argyll and the islands of Bute, Gigha and Seil. From the towering redwoods of Benmore Botanic Garden to the spectacular rhododendrons and Asian flowers of Arduaine Gardens, visitors can discover native and exotic species of plants and trees and spend hours wandering the miles of landscaped paths amongst fragrant flowers and beautiful foliage. No two gardens are alike- some are more formal while others have a bit of a wild feel. Whether looking for a quiet spot for contemplation or a place to let the kids explore, visitors will be sure to find the gardens of Argyll glorious indeed! For more information, visit gardens-of-argyll.co.uk.
Some of our favourite castles for photo ops:
Castle Stalker, Appin- Best known as Castle Aarrgh in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this 15th century brooding ruin it is one of the best-preserved medieval tower-houses surviving in western Scotland. It can be viewed from the nearby café for a great photo op, and limited tours are run March to October.
Dunstaffnage Castle near Oban- This is one of Scotland’s oldest stone castles, built by the powerful Clan MacDougall lords of Lorn and held since the 15th century by Clan Campbell. There is an exhibition and gift shop on site, and wonderful views over the Firth of Lorn.
Kilchurn Castle. This 15th century beauty commands a spot on a peninsula in Loch Awe. There is a layby on the A819 that affords a great photo op, but visitors can also tour the ruins during the summer months.
Let the Imagine Alba team create a bespoke private day tour from Oban that takes in the most glorious gardens and castles of Argyll. Just bring your camera and relax in luxury as our driver guides show you the best of Argyll with many photo opps. Get in touch today to start planning your private bespoke day tour from Oban, Scotland.