We recently returned from a wonderful short break at Argyll Holidays Drimsynie Estate Holiday Village. We love Drimsynie as it’s a great base for exploring Argyll.
On previous stays at Drimsynie we’ve stayed in their Osprey hot tub lodge and Ptarmigan hot tub lodge. Our home for this trip was a Pond View hot tub lodge for two, plus four-legged friend.
It was well-equipped and stylishly decorated throughout, with an open plan living/dining/kitchen space and an a en suite double bedroom.
Outside, we had an enclosed deck with a hot tub, seating and a pretty view.
The boy took an immediate shine to the decking. It gave him a good vantage point to survey the park.
As soon as I’d unpacked, I rustled myself up a gin cocktail and hopped into the hot tub to relax. Mr G grabbed a beer and a seat in front of the TV to watch the Euros (football) – eye roll.
Day two – exploring Argyll: Staying local
Our first full day in Argyll dawned and I did something I rarely do. I had a long lie.
Long lies are alien to Mr G. Instead of lazing in bed, he made use of his VIP Leisure Pass and played a round of golf on Drimsynie’s 9-hole course.
Here’s what he had to say about it:
Playing Drimsynie Estate Golf Course
When we’re travelling, I love to go on early morning walks. Staying at Drimsynie meant I could combine two passions – walking and golf. Whilst Mrs G and Casper had a lie in, I headed to the first tee at Drimsynie Estate Golf Course to play a round. The location was perfect, offering great views of Loch Goil and the surrounding hills.
The only company I had on the course were a swarm of midges, who stuck to me like glue. Midges LOVE me. If I hit a bad shot, they were to blame.
I really enjoyed playing at Drimsynie. The course was in good condition, had some lovely holes. Plus, I had a few pars and a birdie on the 8th which gave me something to smile about.
Some say golf is a good walk ruined – I say, nonsense.
Spa treatment – Sequoia Spa, Drimsynie Estate
Mr G returned from golfing and regaled me with tales of birdies and other golf related stuff that went right over my head. It was all very fascinating, but I had an appointment to keep.
I was booked into Drimsynie’s Sequoia Spa for a hot stone back massage.
I spend a fair bit of time hunched over a desk, which wreaks havoc on my back, neck and shoulders.
Hot stone massage can help to ease tension and promote relaxation. The treatment uses oils and smooth heated stones to give a firm, but not painful massage.
The massage was fantastic. It’s definitely a treatment I’d have again. It left me feeling relaxed and tension free.
Walk – Drimsynie Estate
Now, it was time to indulge the boy with something he loves – walking. There are a number of waymarked trails on the Drimsynie Estate, so we decided to check them out.
From our lodge, we followed a track uphill. It ran parallel to Loch Goil, offering stunning views, before turning inland towards rugged mountains and a pretty waterfall.
We ended up spending an enjoyable couple of hours exploring the hillside trails above Drimsynie.
Lunch – Slanj Loch Lomond
After our ramble we were ready for lunch. We had a table booked at Slanj Loch Lomond, a thirty minute drive away.
Slanj is a unique restaurant housed in an old church. It’s not every day you’ll find a restaurant with stained glass windows and its own cemetery.
While we were waiting for our food to arrive, owner Jane regaled us with local tales of Viking raiders and the men who brought the railway to the area. It was fascinating. I love meeting people who adore history as much as I do.
Lunch was delicious. We started with potato and leek soup, which was proper old school with big chunks of tattie in it. Then, we tucked into mozzarella and tomato toasted sandwiches with fries.
The boy had bangers with gravy and seasonal vegetables from the dog menu. My heart melted when I saw there were doggy dishes on the menu, and again as I watched him devour his posh stew.
Full and happy, we headed back to Drimsynie to spend a few hours chilling before dinner.
Dinner – The View Drimsynie
Later that evening we headed to The View restaurant at Drimsynie for dinner.
The View is dog friendly, so the boy was able to join us.
Being a spice fiend, I was chuffed to discover it was curry night. A glass of wine and curry – perfect. The curry was Thai chicken curry and came served with nan bread, rice and pakora. It was really tasty and had a nice wee kick to it.
Not being a spice fiend, Mr G played it safe with an old favourite – macaroni, with chips and garlic bread, washed down with a nice cold beer.
For pudding, I had a lovely banana and toffee cheesecake and Mr G had ice cream.
Dinner at The View was a lovely way to end the day. The restaurant had a bit of a buzz about it, which was nice after lockdown. The service and food were good and the company wasn’t too shabby either.
Day three – exploring Argyll: Argyll’s Secret Coast
Our third day in Argyll dawned and we were up and out early. We’d be spending the day exploring Argyll’s Secret Coast on the Cowal Peninsula.
We drove along the eastern shore of Loch Fyne to reach our first destination. It was a lovely morning with blue sky, fluffy clouds and boats bobbing on the loch.
Walk – Otter Ferry
After fifty minutes or so, we arrived at Otter Ferry, a small settlement on the shore of Loch Fyne. The boy stopped for a cooling paddle in the loch, then we walked along Otter Ferry’s shingle beach and onto the Oitir Spit. The shingle and shell spit extends a mile into Loch Fyne and almost cuts it in two.
As we walked, the shells underfoot made a satisfying crunch. Up close, they were beautiful, like hundreds of shards of blue and white china.
Visit – Asgog Castle
Leaving Otter Ferry, we drove towards Portavadie, stopping a mile outside the village. It was time for a proper walk and a history fix.
We followed a private road, passing boggy ground and woodland. It led us to Loch Asgog.
On the shore of the loch stand the picturesque remains of Asgog Castle, a one time Clan Lamont stronghold. The shattered walls of the 15th century tower have been enveloped by greenery, giving it a fairytale like appearance.
Maybe the occupants fell asleep for 100 years and the place became overgrown, but no handsome prince arrived to break the spell – who knows.
Actually I do. In 1646, Asgog Castle was attacked by the Marquess of Argyll, during the civil war which saw King Charles I deposed. Argyll killed the castle occupants, then destroyed the building by setting it on fire.
Clan Lamont had the last laugh though. The monarchy was restored in 1660 and King Charles’s II soon caught up with Argyll. He had him executed for treason and displayed his head on a spike at the tollbooth in Edinburgh.
Lunch – Portavadie Marina
Castle exploring done, we popped into Portavadie for lunch. Portavadie Marina is dog friendly and the food is good. Plus, who could resist the coffee?
I had a lovely veggie gnocchi dish for lunch and Mr G stuck with his lunchtime staple of soup and sandwiches.
Walk – Glenan Forest Nature Reserve
After lunch, we headed to Glenan Forest a stone’s throw from Portavadie Marina for an afternoon ramble. The are two trails in the forest – the shore path and the forest path.
We took the forest path, which meandered uphill, through a forest alive with birdsong and full of pretty wildflowers. The path was nightmarishly wet and boggy, but oh so, pretty.
After around thirty minutes, we crossed a burn and reached the site of an abandoned village.
The last resident left Glenan village at the beginning of the early 20th century, bringing to an end 700 years of human occupation at the site.
The village is now silent and the cottages are ivy-clad ruins, but rather than feeling sad and melancholy, Glenan Village feels serene and peaceful.
We returned via the shore path to complete our walk. We were keen to avoid some of the boggier patches we’d squelched through on our way to the village.
The shore path was ankle-breakingly rocky and uneven. A pretty view of Glenan Bay made up for the rough ramble, until Mr G fell, skint his knee (barely) and took the huff.
We finished the walk in silence, him brooding about his sore knee and me biting my tongue, knowing he’d massively overreacted. We laughed about it later though, and for days to come.
Leaving Portavadie, we made a final stop at Tighnabruaich Viewpoint, before heading back to Drimsynie for a lazy night in.
Day four – Exploring Argyll: Western Loch Fyne
Our last day in Argyll arrived way too quickly. We’d planned a fun-filled itinerary, covering the western shore of Loch Fyne.
Visit – Crarae Garden
The sun was shining when we arrived at Crarae Garden south of Inveraray. The woodland garden is managed by the National Trust for Scotland.
It was right up my street, as there’s a Neolithic burial cairn inside the garden.
I was in my element.
When I finally tore myself away from the cairn, we followed a path uphill. It led us along the top of a tree-fringed gorge with a bubbling burn inside it.
Crarae Garden was laid out in 1912 using trees and plants from Nepal, China and Tibet, creating an exotic, paradise in the heart of Argyll with a positively Himalayan feel.
Visit – Auchindrain Township
Leaving Crarae Garden, we drove north to visit Auchindrain Township. Auchindrain is a well-preserved Highland farm village. It was occupied until the 1950s and is now a fascinating living-history museum. The museum, really brings to life what it was like to live and work in a Highland village.
The boy was delighted when we entered the first cottage and met some ladies making griddle scones on a peat fire. After charming said ladies, he got to try the scones, while Mr G and I looked on salivating.
In the next cottage, butter was being churned and he got to try that too.
He was in his element and reluctant to explore the village further. His finely-tuned nostrils told him, no one would be making goodies in a cow byre or tractor shed. Eventually, we persuaded him to do a loop of the village.
I’ve visited Auchindrain many times over the years and it always gives me a thrill to step back in time there.
Lunch – The George, Inveraray
We arrived in Inveraray at midday, ready for lunch. The town was full of day-trippers, which was nice to see after spending so many months in lockdown.
We were lucky enough to get a table at The George Hotel – a favourite haunt of ours. The ambiance at The George is always good, as is the food.
I had a tasty veggie pasta dish for my lunch. And Mr G, no prizes for guessing what he had.
Walk – Dun na Cuaiche
After lunch, we walked towards Inveraray Castle, the ancestral seat of the Campbell Dukes of Argyll. It was a gorgeous day, so we decided to visit a favourite viewpoint of ours. Dun na Cuaiche is a steep, wooded hill topped by a tower. It takes around forty minutes to reach the summit, via a decent path.
When you emerge from the trees at the summit, you’re rewarded with a spectacular, bird’s eye view of Loch Fyne and Inveraray. The town looks like a perfectly laid out, model village from above.
The boy and I sat quietly, enjoying the view while Mr G went off to do what he always does – look for something steep and scary to climb. We spent a blissful half hour alone at the summit as Inveraray bustled below us.
Ahhhhh – bliss.
A relaxing end to another wonderful Argyll escape
Back at our fab wee Drimsynie lodge, we popped open a bottle of fizz and slipped into the hot tub. There we spent a lazy, last night chatting, sipping champagne, enjoying the view and breathing in the fresh Argyll air.
It was the perfect end to another wonderful stay with Argyll Holidays.
You can read about our other stays at Drimsynie Resort Holiday Village below:
Our accommodation, dinner at The View, my spa treatment and lunch at Slanj were provided on a complimentary basis, however all opinions are my own.
Until next time …