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Walking in and around Strachur is plentiful, with The Cowal Way, Glenbranter
Forest and Puck’s Glen to name but a few. More local to home we have Strachur House and Flower Gardens. A wee walk along the shore in front of the hotel, where every stone’s a skimmer, can be shared with Oystercatchers, Herons and Cormorants, and glancing out to sea you may notice Porpoises and Seals.
Ardcastle Trails | www.forestry.gov.uk
Under 1 hours drive from Creggans Inn, on the opposite side of Loch Fyne, is Ardcastle Forest with the historic cemetery at the site of St Brides Chaple and an old sand quarry which is home to many butterflies. There are cycle trails and way marked walks through the forest and by the pebble beach where you can spot otters, seals, ducks and you may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the mighty Golden Eagle.
Puck's Glen | www.forestry.gov.uk
Puck’s Glen is one of the most famous walks on the Cowal Peninsula. It begins from the Forestry Commission car park at Puck’s Glen. The area is reminiscent of an enchanted kingdom, and leaves walkers with the impression that they may just come across a wood-sprite or other magical creature from the ancient world of Faery.
A waymarked path, originally constructed by the Younger family to lead to a folly on the hill, (now constructed in the Benmore Botanic Gardens), continues uphill, through a mixed woodland planted by the Estate in 1870. The steep, narrow gorge is interwoven with waterfalls and shallow rock pools spanned by arched wooden bridges.
The Cowal Way | www.cowalway.org.uk
The Cowal Way, originally conceived by Jim McLuckie and Colintraive and Glendaruel Community Council was a mini long distance footpath running the length of the Cowal Peninsula.The extended walk starts in the South-West at Portavadie, beside Loch Fyne, and finishes in the North-East at Inveruglas on Loch Lomond.It is 92 km (57 miles) long and climbs to 540M (1800 feet) on the way.
Glen Branter Walks | www.forestry.org.uk
Ritual Grove Walk in Glenbranter is a circular woodland walk with gentle gradients and a firm path surface. Benches have been placed at view points and rest areas along the length of the walk.
The large conifers are Sitka Spruce. In their natural habitat in North America they will live for 700-800 years and grow up to 80 metres tall. The Ritual Grove plantation was planted in 1926.
You may notice a number of bird and bat boxes as you go through the trees. These are to encourage Brown and Long-eared Owls and Pipestrelle Bats.
The Broadleaves Walk takes you through some of the the woodland planted as a backdrop to the original Estate house. Keeping right, the path winds up to a forest road past the semi-natural oak and hazel woodland, which is characteristic of much of the original woodland cover of the lower slopes of Scotland.
Good views from the high point on the forest road look south to Loch Eck and Glenshellish.
Conifer Walk - It is well worth using a litle more energy to climb further up Glenbranter to the waterfalls - these are particularly spectacular after heavy rain.
The banks of the Allt Robuic still hold remnants of ancient oak woodlands, and the high humidity has attracted an impressive variety of mosses and liverworts.
This area was selected by the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh as an outstation for its Rhododendron collection, until Benmore became available in 1925.