Good bye Tjapko and hello David
VisitCowal is the website of the Cowal Marketing Group. At their AGM on 13 March 2013 we said thank you and goodbye to Tjapko Heijgelaar who was Chairman for 3 years. Tjapko is a Dutchman who loved his holidays in Cowal so much, he moved here. In his 3 year Chairmanship Tjapko innovated a number of marketing and web based projects all aimed at spreading the word about the Cowal Peninsula.
Welcome to David Marshall as he takes on his new role as Chairman. David owns and operates Quadmania, an Outdoor Adventure Pursuits Centre, as well as Stronchullin Holiday Cottages by Blairmore overlooking Loch Long. David has had a long term commitment to providing good quality activities and accommodation in Cowal. He is looking forward to carrying on the work of the Cowal Marketing Group.
The Lodge on Loch Goil celebrates its 5 Star rating
5 STAR RATING FOR THE 6th YEAR - The Lodge on Loch Goil recently had their annual inspection from Visit Scotland Quality Assurance. With a score if 97%, this is what the inspector said " As an original Arts and Crafts house with a huge amount of history and original features throughout , any additions and refurbishments have been made to the original style and quality . Throughout the public areas the quality of the fittings and decor is exceptional including the new Orangery extension. The new wooden flooring in the rear bedrooms is exceptional as all flooring , and the new light fittings and small accessories are all original Arts and Crafts pieces of the highest quality. ". Well done to The Lodge on Loch Goil.
VisitScotland's new TV advert features Loch Goil in Cowal
Watch the new TV commercial featuring The Tree House at The Lodge on Loch Goil to promote Scotland's natural beauty . This is an International promotion showing in the UK , North America , Germany & France .
The advert shows the country in all its majestic glory,, ranging from wildlife to exciting outdoor activities.
The Year of Natural Scotland campaign is also including a ticket give away . There will be 15,000 tickets available to discover Scotland by train this Spring as part of what has been dubbed "Big April Adventures" courtesy of Scotrail & Caledonian MacBrayne. Stagecoach will also be offering money off vouchers.
Skyfall helps propel Scotland to 2013's Top Travel Destinantion
Scotland has been named the no 1 tourist destination of 2013 by American broadcasting network CNN following its high-profile appearance in last year's record breaking bond film .
The 5-star Wedding venue, and VisitCowal member, The Lodge on Lodge Goil reports that a number of fashion shoots and weddings from America have booked to stay this year - Thank You Mr Bond
Congratulations to the Abbots Brae Hotel in Dunoon
In the 2013 - TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards the Abbots Brae is one of 3 Scottish Hotels in the Top 25 for Service in the UK as well as one of 5 Scottish Hotels in the Top 25 Best Small Hotels in the UK! Well done to the owners and staff.
Have your say on the A83 Rest-and-be-Thankful options
The A83 via the Rest-and-be-Thankful is a popular way to arrive in Cowal. Be you a local or be you a visitor - you now have a chance to have your say on the three task force options on how to upgrade the road. Use the email link if you want to comment: Task Force Report
New content being added to the website
Starting in November 'Members Recommended Walks and Cycle Rides' throughout Cowal are being added to the website. Be sure to check the listing so as to find out where the people who work and live in Cowal like to spend their time outdoors. Have a look at the walking routes already added. Do you have a favourite that you would ike to share with visitors? Email the webmaster and we will be happy to add it to the list.
Renewable Energy Workshop being held at the UIG Hall 24 Oct
Come and hear the latest news on Renewable Energy in the National Park and participate in the preparation of guidance for wind, biomass and run of the river hydro schemes. Open to all. Details on: Renewable Energy Workshop
The 2013 dates for the Cowal Highland gathering are announced
Thursday 29th August to Saturday 31st August are the dates to come along and enjoy the largest Highland Games in the world. Details on: Cowal Highland Gathering website.
Book a 2013 walking holiday in Scotland at 2012 rates
About Argyll Walking Holidays has launched its 2013 programme of guided walking holidays in the highlands and islands of Scotland. All holidays are offered at the 2012 rates to those people who book their 2013 hiking holiday before 1st October 2012. An additional 3% early booking discount will also apply.
The holiday programme includes trips all over Scotland, from Galloway in the south all the way north to the magnificent isolation of the Shetland Islands. The walks are chosen not only for breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife, but also for historical, archaeological and geological interest. The guides of About Argyll Walking Holidays take the clients off the beaten track and help them to explore Scotland's hidden corners, using their local knowledge to guide them to places often overlooked by most independent visitors.
About Argyll Walking Holidays, as the name suggests, started in Argyll in Scotland. Since 1995 it has run high-quality, essentially personal walking tours there, building up a reputation for care and quality. Deliberately small-scale, it has created a community of its client group, many of whom quickly become friends. Full details of all of About Argyll’s holidays can be seen at http://www.aboutargyll.co.uk
Lochgoil Community Council launch their new website
With over 100 pages of practical information including the Local Businesses, Village Clubs, Jobs and local links this is the must see website for anyone interested in Lochgoilhead and area. The Community Council now have a website where they can keep the villagers and many visitors to the village upto date on what is happening. See for yourself on: http://www.lochgoilhead.info/
CONGRATULATIONS to the MacLellan family
who own and operate The Creggans Inn overlooking Loch Fyne in the north of Cowal, as well as the staff, as they are celebrating being awarded the Scottish Inn of the Year. They were also awarded a Gold Medal for Hospitality at the 2012 Scottish Hotel Awards held in Glasgow last week. A truly impressive double. Look for yourself and see what makes The Creggans Inn so special: http://www.creggans-inn.co.uk/index.html
10 years Cowalfest!
Programme available online now. In 2012 we celebrate our tenth anniversary, and we hope you will be able to celebrate it with us!
We have produced an extended programme which is available much earlier than in other years. Visit our website at www.cowalfest.org to read the brochure online or request a copy.
The printed brochure is available from Visitor Information Centres and businesses throughout Cowal from April onwards. To get the most out of your Cowalfest experience, watch for our regular newsletters and website updates for new events as they are added to the programme, and find the best offers from accommodation providers.
Cowalfest gets a £2,000 cash boost from the Co-operative
The organisers of this year's Cowalfest walking and arts festival have been awarded £2,000 from The Co-operative's Community Fund, to help with the costs of brochures and a website.
The Community Fund is created by members of The Co-operative Group who elect to donate all, or part, of their twice-yearly dividend payments directly to the scheme. The funds are then shared with local community projects and groups, such as Cowalfest, across the country.
Fiona Page, of Cowalfest, said: "We are thrilled with the generous grant we have received from The Co-operative, which will help us to promote this year's event, both online and in print.
"This year's Cowalfest takes place from Friday 5 October until Sunday 14 October, and features new events including a three peak challenge, a coastal walk and ‘Riding the Marches' in Dunoon."
Co-operative members receive a payment twice a year based on the points they earn when they trade at any of the Group's businesses, including The Co-operative Food, Travel, Pharmacy and Funeralcare, as well as The Co-operative Bank, Smile and The Co-operative Insurance.
Liz Armstrong, The Co-operative's Membership Officer for Western Scotland, said: "Because our members own the business, they get a share in any of the profits we make. It's a scheme we're very proud of, not only because it gives us the chance to thank members for shopping with us, but because so many people choose to give something back to local communities.
"There is over £300,000 available in Scotland each year from the Community Fund, and we welcome applications from local groups and projects for £100 to £2,000."
Community Fund application forms are available online at www.co-operative.coop/communityfund or by phoning 0844 262 4001. Awards are allocated by local Co-operative members' committees, based on a set of values and principles such as social responsibility and caring for others. More information about Cowalfest, including how to book, is available at www.cowalfest.org
Chatters Restaurant in Dunoon are having a Nautical Night!
Friday 13th April they have guests coming along to entertain with stories from the sea, songs, jokes and highland dancing! The price is £30 per head for 3 courses and a complementary cocktail on arrival! If you fancy coming along please call the restaurant on 01369 706402 or email for reservations.
Once again Ardkinglas Woodland Garden hits the headlines.
In the Tree Register's 2012 newsletter just out Ardkinglas is famed as one of the places where three or more champion trees grow together. Owen Johnson states that "within falling distance of each other and alongside others almost as eminent are Common Silver Fir (Abies alba), Grand Fir (Abies Grandis), Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtuse) Patagonian Cypress (Fitzroya cupressoides) Jeffrey's Hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) and Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata)". Ardkinglas is listed alongside Petworth Park in Sussex, Doune Park near Stirling, Borden Wood in North west Sussex and West Porlock House in north Somerset.
NEW Wilderness retreats offered by Sgath an Tighe
The Lochs, glens and islands of Argyll have a long tradition of pilgrimage and retreat- we lead small groups who set out to follow in this tradition. Our trips involve spending time wild camping on small uninhabited islands, in stunning isolation. We guarantee adventure, silence, community and lots of laughter.
In 2012 we are planning two trips, The Garvellachs June 22nd-25th , McCormaig Isles August 17th-20th.
Take some time to step away from it all, and find peace. It can change everything.
For more details, see our website http://www.sgathantighe.co.uk/wordpress/?page_id=188 or take a look at our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/scottishwildernessretreat
Another Gold for About Argyll Walking Holidays
The Green Tourism Business Scheme has once again given About Argyll Walking Holidays a Gold Award for their environmental management of the business.
The company already holds a Gold Award, and during this year's audit the business received an even higher score for its performance as a sustainable tourism operation. The audit report says: "About Argyll Walking Holidays performs very well in maintaining and strengthening the GOLD Green Tourism Award. Enthusiastic owner Frieda Bos has put a lot of effort into reducing the environmental impact of the business, allowing visitors to experience Scotland in a responsible manner. The business is clearly an asset to Scottish tourism, presenting Scotland in a unique way to many overseas visitors and highlighting the cultural and environmental importance of different regions. Visitors are encouraged to be responsible during the tours which provide the opportunity to experience local Scottish produce and hospitality in the various regions, accompanied by professional guides who ensure a minimal impact on the environment. "
Frieda Bos is extremely pleased with the latest audit. "It is further proof of our commitment to preserve and promote the value of Scotland's wild areas. The Highlands and Islands of Scotland are one of Britain and Europe's last wildernesses, and we feel a responsibility to protect and conserve these fragile ecosystems. We want our clients and future generations to enjoy this unique natural environment and its biodiversity."
About Argyll Walking Holidays, as the name suggests, started in Argyll in Scotland. Since 1995 it has run high-quality, essentially personal walking tours all over Scotland, building up a reputation for care and quality. Deliberately small-scale, it has created a community of its client group, many of whom quickly become
New life for a 200 year old tree
This year's storms left their mark on the village of Lochgoilhead in the north of Cowal. A 200 year local landmark called ‘The School Tree', was destroyed. The local Community Council, with the assistance of funds provided by the Clyde Valley Harley Davidson Group, commissioned a commemorative bench to be hand made by a local craftsman using the wood from the 200 year old plane tree. The bench was officially ‘opened to the public' on Sunday, 25th March. It now sits in the centre of the village and is already providing a seating area for locals and visitors to enjoy the view looking down this most scenic loch of lochs.
Congratulations to the team at Ardkinglas
Ardkinglas Woodland Gardens in the north of Cowal have been named as the best Walkers' Garden by Scotland Outdoors Magazine. "Towering conifers and lush exotics thrive in Argyll's damp conditions at this woodland garden, part of Ardkinglas Estate at the northern top of Loch Fyne. The lower garden is home to some impressive champion trees - the tallest of their kind in Britain. Several circular walking routes meander among the plantings. For a more strenuous hike a number of paths head up Glen Fyne from the nearby walkers' car park at the head of the loch a little along the A83 towards Inveraray. This is also the starting point for bagging the 948m Beinn Bhuidhe." Scotland Outdoors Magazine March 2012
Archery, Sea-Scooters, Water-Walterz and more...
Hunters Quay Holiday Park by Dunoon has joined with Hoseasons Holidays to offer exclusive GoActive breaks from April 2012. They are introducing a range of fun and engaging activities for all the family. With professional coaching this is the way to try out new sports. More information to follow but in the meantime you can have a taste of what is coming on: Hunters Quay Holiday Park Leisure Page
Wild Swimming in Scotland - The BBC film in Loch Goil
Have you ever looked at any of the many beautiful sea and inland lochs around Argyll and thought 'That looks inviting for a swim?' Wild Swimming around the UK is being featured in regional videos by the BBC. Scotland is showcased in Loch Goil, in the north of Cowal, and introduces Craig Nobes who is the Wild Swimming Organiser for Argyll. Interested in getting involved? Contact Craig on 01301 703 344. In the meantime - who would have thought that winter swimming in hail stones could be this much fun: BBC Video
5% early booking discount with About Argyll Walking Holidays
2012 brings a new programme of guided and self-guided highlands and islands walking holidays with About Argyll Walking Holidays and if you book your walking holiday before 1st February 2012, you will get 5% discount. At About Argyll Walking Holidays they spend time and care in the field to plan and prepare each holiday so that they are confident of offering each guest an out-of-the-way experience worthy of the tradition of John Muir's "natural beauty hunger". The new programme, takes inquisitive clients off the beaten track in ways and places not readily discovered by unassisted visitors, however curious.
The following holidays are based in Cowal: Guided: Discovering South-Argyll and Self-guided: Across Cowal and The Cowal Way About Argyll Walking Holidays, as the name suggests, started in Argyll in Scotland. Since 1995 it has run high-quality, essentially personal walking tours, building up a reputation for care and quality. Deliberately small-scale, it has created a community of its client group, many of whom quickly become friends. Vist the website for full details.
Filming at Ardkinlgas Estate in the North of Cowal
Another small shoot held recently at Ardkinglas was "Death in a nut". An intriguing story, the title says it all. It was produced by DigiCult who work with the UK Film Council, BBC Scotland and Creative Scotland, Screen Hi and Glasgow Film Festival, The company has established itself as one of the longest running and most successful independent talent development organizations in UK film, producing 13 live action, animation and documentary projects with emerging talent in the last three years alone
Creggans Inn Hotel in Strachur have a Christmas Dinner Offer with a difference
Make Christmas Dinner EASY with a delicious meal prepared by the award winning Creggans Inn Kitchen. Book in advance and collect your dinner fully prepared ready for Christmas Day. Full details on: http://goo.gl/lCVja
Paul Merton features Cowal on his new TV series.
Paul Merton, of Have I Got News For You fame, is launching a new six-part travel series to be shown on Channel 5 later in October. 'Paul Merton's Great Escapes' takes him to six global destinations - and Scotland is one of them. Cowal Marketing Group member Venison Insight hosted Paul during the summer for a full day of their simulated deer stalking experience filmed in the hills above Loch Striven. Paul also enjoyed a venison BBQ on the shores of the loch. After travelling to places such as India and China for previous travel shows it seems that Paul is now taking a look at holiday destinations closer to home. We are delighted he chose to feature the unique deer hunting day out that Venison Insight offers as well as enjoying a day in beautiful Argyll.
Filming going on at Ardkinglas Estate.
A short film called ‘Betrayal' written and directed by Zak Hanif has been shooting for a week in a cottage on the Ardkinglas Estate overlooking Loch Fyne in the north of Cowal. The 14 strong crew from Napier Screen Academy, Blue Iris Films and the wider film industry have also been staying on the estate. The art department came in a few days earlier and redesigned the interior of acottage to make it look more fitting for the main character.
The film is about a father, played by Matthew Zajac and son, Ewan Macdonald sharing some devastating news and reacting in very differing ways. It will be doing the festival circuits from October onwards so watch this space. Follow www.blueirisfilms.co.uk for updates and further information.
News from Gallimaufry, AKA Blairmore Gallery.
The summer is disappearing fast, but there remain a lot of visitors and locals visiting us.We will continue to open 7 days a week until mid December, the only exception being Cowal Games weekend when we closed for 2 days; from 4pm on Friday 26th August, until 11am on Monday 29th August.
Gifts & Crafts; we have a wide variety of good quality gifts. Local crafters from Dunoon, Ardentinny, Hunters Quay, and Kirn, amongst other areas, provide us with items to offer to the public.In addition we look for the best of items from around Argyll and further afield to compliment the ranges.We are please to stock Linda McDonald designer jewellery, made near Loch Lomond, and currently on offer at 25%off.
Fairtrade Gifts; we support Fairtrade, and we spend a lot of time sourcing interesting gifts.We are members of BAFTS (the British Association for Fairtrade Shops), and house Dunoons Fairtrade web pages on our website.Buy a Fairtrade gift and know that the producers get a fair deal.
Art; We have the space to have a wonderful range of prints, plus lots of art on the wall. We select paintings to display to provide an interesting range of styles and subjects, for our customers to appreciate and buy. We offer our layaway system, whereby a picture is red dotted, and then paid off over an agreed amount of time...why not treat yourself or a loved one to agift that will adorn your walls and give you pleasure for years to come.
Exhibition;Pam Glennie artwork now on show at the gallery.We are pleased to have a good relationship with Pam, and are the only gallery in Argyll to show her work.The following paragraph gives a little background to thid prize winning artist. All the work is available to see on line at www.blairmoregallery.com.
"Born in Ayrshire, I attended Glasgow School of Art 1982-1985 and graduated with a Degree in Design. After selection by the Design Council, London, I exhibited at international design events and then went on to work as a freelance designer selling internationally. I gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in 1992, and taught for a number of years progressing to painting full time. I work mainly in pastels and acrylic in an expressive and painterly style allowing my distinctive ‘floating' colour palette to emerge." Pam
Coffeeshop; still great value, simple good quality light meals, tasty scones and the best Fairtrade coffee.
Hope to see you soon!
Local Radio comes to Cowal
June 17th saw the first live broadcast of a brand new local internet radio based in Dunoon. AIR Scotland will be broadcasting, mainly on the weekends, from their base in the Music Shack. If you are a fan of local radio, if you are a fan of Dunoon and Cowal, now, no matter where you are in the world, you can listen in on the internet. Local radio is great fun. It gives a real flvour of what is going on. Everyone here at VisitCowal wishes the presenters Bobby B Good, Cuddles with Kim, Arthur, Jodie and Treble Bass and the whole AIR Scotland team every success in this new and exciting venture. Tune in on www.airscotland.org
News from the Ardkinglas Estate.
News from the Blairmore Gallery
Our print selection expands. We are pleased to stock prints by renowned Scottish Artist Pam Carter, Only £125 each. We also exhibit originals up to £4000.
Send an e card to a friend or loved one. Some of Argyll's finest artists have agreed to support this free service by supplying images of original work. Visit http://www.blairmoregallery.com/
The Tighnabruaich Gallery launches their new website.
The Tighnabruaich Gallery is pleased to anounce the launch of their new website. This is the place to check for the latest news on upcoming exhibitions as well as learn more about their featured artists. The gallery lies in the heart of Tighnabruaich backing on to the beautiful Kyles of Bute, just one and a half hours west of Glasgow. They specialise in contemporary Scottish Artists and host a series of exhibitions throughout the year so the walls are constantly changing. Visit the new website on: The Tighnabruaich Gallery.
'Hold-up 'in the glen...
Film directors know a thing or two about impressive scenery and eye-catching locations. Turning off the Rest-and-be-Thankful, in the North of Cowal, on the approach to Lochgoilhead last night, cars were pulled over by the police to allow for ‘filming taking place'. The well known directors Ken Loach was shooting a scene in his new Scottish movie The Angels' Share. More Ken Loach info on the new film available on: http://goo.gl/UMmS9 You'll have to wait until 2012 to see the movie, but you don't have to wait to see this spectacular access route to Loch Goil. Come and stay with us on http://www.lochgoilheadholidays.com OK, that's the commercial over. Other filming hold ups on the glen road have included Jeremy Clarkson for Top Gear, Sir Jackie Stewart filming a scene in an autobiography TV documentary and commentating that he always comes to the Rest-and-be-Thankful when he is ‘home' in Scotland to be inspired by the view. The Rest was also included in the opening sequence for the long running series Take the High Road.
News from the Tree Shop at the head of Loch Fyne
This Spring the Tree Shop is celebrating its 21st birthday! So, as we are all grown up,we have finally moved with the times and launched our online shop. Accessible from the Tree Shop website, it is easy to use and is attracting orders from all over the UK. In addition, we are now on Facebook and Twitter, have a new regular blog that details all that is happening at the shop. We are also compiling a Flickr site for all images of the shop, plants and the outstandingly beautiful area that we are located in. A new look
website is planned for late Spring and we are in the process of re-branding our stationery and signage.
We have also introduced our Summer menu for the café, which is proving extremely popular, especially the home-made soups and cakes!
The Tree Shop www.thetreeshop.net Tel 01499 600 263
Benmore Gardens joins the social media
Benmore Botanic Garden now has its own Facebook page! Keep up to date with what's in flower and unique behind the scenes updates at this magnificent mountainside garden. Visit Facebook.
News from Tighnabruaich on this years sightseeing and angling boat trips
The converted fishing boat MORAG is launching in early April, after her winter refit ready to start her season of carrying visitors around the Kyles of Bute for sightseeing and angling trips. Carrying up to 10 passengers trips are usually 1 or 2 hours long and give guests the opportunity to see the spectacular scenery as well as the plentiful wild life including seals and porpoises. For more information go to www.dcmarineboattrips.co.uk/ or contact Donald on 01700811538 or 07799661493.
Aqua aerobics come to the Drimsynie pool in Lochgilhead
Aqua aerobics exercises classes will be starting at Drimsynie Leisure Centre on Thursday 7 April at 10am and Monday 11 April at 7pm. They will continue on a weekly basis same time and day. Register at the leisure reception. The class is £3 in addition to the normal pool entry.
Deerstalking and Hunting - two new family packages announced.
Insight - a company based in Cowal offering Deerstalking and Hunting experiences, has just added two NEW packages for 2011. Designed for families and groups of friends, the Wildlife Safari and Taster Experience packages are ideal for getting a taste of what a day on the hills can be like. Educational and fun. View their page.
Across Cowal self-guided walk.
For 2011, About Argyll Walking Holidays has designed an independent, self-guided itinerary with you in mind. Tricky forests? Boulders and cliffs? Rivers in the way? Horrible boggy bits? Cowal has them all as you'd expect, but they won't bother you in the slightest. By careful selection of good paths, quiet forest tracks and unfrequented lanes About Argyll has created and clearly described a five-day route Across Cowal that avoids difficulty underfoot, ensures ease of navigation and still leaves you the joy of discovering the best that Cowal has to offer. And that best is magnificent. More details at: www.aboutargyll.co.uk/pages/acrosscowal.htm
Blairmore Gallery is back to 7 day opening ready for the season.
Featuring lots of new art, craft, and gifts. We are especially pleased to exhibit the works of some of the best Scottish Artists including Pam Carter, Davy Brown, Deborah Phillips, John Wetton Brown, and Jolomo Award winner Keith salmon.In addition we have the best of Argyll art with original oils and framed prints from David Morrison and lots of others.
Trading hours Mon-Fri 10am until 4pm Sat & Sun Noon-4pm
Located in the heart of Blairmore Village on the shores of Loch Long, a warm welcome awaits from Stephen, Sylvia & Bex and the team
Fyne Ales Beats Household Names To Win Best Brand Award
A brewery that employs just seven people on the banks of Loch Fyne in Argyllshire has been named as one of the UK's most effective brands. A campaign to rebrand a range of speciality beers produced by the Fyne Ales beat competition from a host of household names such as Guinness, Cadbury's Buttons and Fairy Liquid to win a prestigious gold award at the Design Business Association's awards for design effectiveness. Fyne Ales website.
And the winner is...
Argyll Holidays have announced the winner is...John Brown from Glasgow
Look out for the new Cowal Visitor Map
The Cowal Marketing Group currently are in the final stages of designing a brand new illustrated visitors map for Dunoon and Cowal. Scheduled to be distributed throughout Cowal by Easter 2011. The original map has proven to be a big hit for helping visitors get the most out of their time touring the area. It promises to be packed full of the really practical information like petrol stations and toilets, as well as what we all love about this area, the best view points, the best walks and truly, a wealth of visitor attractions and places to go. If you just can't wait to get your hands on a map then email us with your name and address and we will send one out to you.
Cowalfest announces their 2011 dates
Catch up with all the plans for the October 2011 Cowalfest Walking and Arts Festival. Cowalfest website.
Swimming classes come to Hunters Quay
Starting on 21st February 2011 swiming classes will start at the Dolphin Leisure Complex. For visitors to the area they will be offering individual lessons. Classes will be available for all ages and abilities. Children's, adult & baby, adult & child as well as adult lessons will be on offer. Contact the leisure complex reception on 01369 707771 for details or view their blog details.
New Year Ne'er Day Dip in Loch Goil
Over thirty hardy visitors and locals took to the waters of Loch Goil on January 1st in the second annual charity dip. More information and images are available on their blog report.
Loch Goil DVD launched
For all the visitors who have come to love the scenery and surroundings of the North of Cowal we are pleased to report that a new twenty minute DVD called Loch Goil Past and Present has been produced by Derek Prescott from Lochgoilhead. For more information and how to get your hands on a copy click here.
Visit Cowal Competition Winner
Edgar Mitchell and his wife, of Rothes, Moray, were over the moon to hear they had won a 6-night cruise for two on The Majestic Line, and will be sailing the Argyll Coastline in style next April. Congratulations to Edgar and commiserations to everyone else who entered!
The Majestic Line wins another Award
The innovative Cowal Cruising Company, The Majestic Line were particularly pleased to to be announced winners for the Best Employers in Hospitality 2010 on September 28th - because they were nominated by their staff and crew! The Majestic Line was recently shortlisted for A Visit Scotland Thistle Award, a Highland and Islands Food Award and a Highlands and Islands Customer Care Award
Special offers at Portavadie Marina
Portavadie Marina is offering a 2 night midweek getaway in their exciting new marina accommodation. Starting from £195 for 2 nights, the offer is based on a cottage rental sleeping 4/5 people. Find out more at www.portavadiemarina.com
Can Squirrels Swim?
There is a very healthy population of red squirrels in Cowal and it is often possible to see them, but the guests on board a heritage and wildlife cruise by local company The Majestic Line were delighted and overwhelmed to find they actually had one on board as an extra, if univited guest! Local squirrel expert, Jan Ferguson, Chair of the Cowal Red Squirrel Group advised that Squirrels can swim short distances and it had probably been fighting with an other squirrel or escaping a predator to end up on the Majestic Line Vessel, the Glen Massan. To see red squirrels in Cowal, Jan recommends Toward Point and Benmore Gardens in South Argyll, but they are seen throughout the Peninsula
Quadmania awarded 5 star status by Visit Scotland
Quadmania, based in Blairmore, is the first Quad Centre in Scotland to win the coveted 5 star status as an outdoor centre. The award is based on the quality of the visitor experience and the standard of tuition and equipment as well as other rigorous criteria. Quadmania offers a range of quad trekking options as well as clay shooting, archery and multi activity days with the opportunity to engage in other adventure sports.
2010 Scottish Hotel Guide Awards
The Colintraive Hotel won two prestigious prizes at the 2010 Scottish Hotel Guide’s awards ceremony. The hotel was named as Inn of the Year 2010 and was also presented with a Gold Medal for Real and Local Food.
Colintraive Hotel’s Patricia Watt said: "I am so happy that the Colintraive Hotel and its staff have been awarded this recognition for all our hard work over the past six years since I took over the hotel. The wonderful setting of the village by the Kyles of Bute, the friendly locals, and the fantastic availability of local produce all contribute to making this a special place."