Tourist Information in Argyll & Bute
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Argyll & Bute Tourist Information

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Blessed with some of Scotland's finest scenery, the region of Argyll and Bute covers a vast area including dramatic mountains, long-forgotten castles, prehistoric ruins and a chain of islands that form the Inner Hebrides.

Noted for its wide open spaces, distilleries, sumptuous gardens and awe-inspiring landscapes, it is a haven for lovers of the outdoors, from walkers and anglers to sailors and golfers.

And with a fauna that includes golden eagles, Scottish wildcats and weir-leaping salmon, it's hardly surprising to learn that the district is one of the largest administrative areas in Scotland - boasting more than 3,000 miles, or 4,800 km, of coast if you include its islands.

One of the first areas to be settled by the Scots who came here from their native Ireland to create the kingdom of Dalriada, it acted as a crucible for the spread of Christianity thanks to the timely arrival of St. Columba on the tiny island of Iona.

Much later the region was ruled by the Vikings whose descendants became the Lords of the Isles. The MacDonalds were the first chiefs but they had lost out to their bitter rivals, the Campbells, whose leaders became the dukes of Argyll.

The port of Oban is the largest settlement in northern Argyll. Founded in the 18th century as a fishing village, it is known as the 'Gateway to the Hebrides' and was home to the Lords of Lorn.

The town of Inveraray is famous both for its castle - seat of the Dukes of Argyll and its architecture. As well as a maritime museum and the Falls of Aray, the town is home to the remains of Rob Roy's dwelling.

Helensburgh was the birthplace in 1888 of John Logie Baird, inventor of television, and is home to the remarkable art nouveau building 'Hill House' designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for the publisher Walter Blackie. The town was also the birthplace of artist and teacher, Reyner Holder, without whose influence this website would never have existed.

Dunoon lies on the Cowal Peninsula and has a statue of Robbie Burns' sweetheart, Mary Campbell, poetically known as Bonny Mary O' Argyll.

In central Argyll, the glen of Kilmartin boasts Scotland's richest prehistoric landscape containing cairns and standing stones dating from 3,000BC.

Top destinations in these parts include the Mull of Kintyre -immortalised in a Paul McCartney song - on the beautiful 40-mile Kintyre Peninsula, and the nearby islands of Mull, Islay, Iona, Colonsay, Bute and Jura.

The small, 15-mile long Isle of Bute in the Firth of Clyde is separated from the mainland by the narrow Kyles of Bute - a haven for boats of every description. Close to its main town of Rothesay is the Victorian, Gothic-style castle Mount Stuart, seat of the Marquises of Bute. Rothesay Castle, which dates from the 13th century, was largely destroyed by Oliver Cromwell's army in the 17th century.

Scotland's first cotton mill was built on Bute by the Scottish industrialist David Dale in 1788. The main town on the wild Isle of Mull is Tobermory, now famous as the fictional 'Balamory' in a popular children's TV series. The island was also the backdrop to Robert Louis Stevenson's novel 'Kidnapped'.

Nearby Iona was where St Columba landed in 563AD to bring the message of Christianity from Ireland to Britain and the rest of Europe. The island is arguably Britain's most sacred place.

The uninhabited island of Staffa has a cathedral-like sea cave better known as Fingal's Cave by devotees of the composer Mendelssohn. Created by a volcano, this unique structure is comprised of hexagonal columns of basalt rock.

Jura has its own dramatic caves and is a rugged holiday destination, with the peaks of 'The Paps of Jura' dominating a wild landscape.

The most southerly of the Inner Hebridean islands, Islay has earned worldwide fame for its whisky - but it's also noted for fine beaches and wondrous colonies of seabirds.

Images (CCL):

Oban Bay - Alan Stewart
Inveraray - Gary Caudwell
Kilmartin Castle - Patrick Mackie
Rothesay Pier - William Craig
Tobermory - Iain Lees
The Abbey on Iona - Dave Logan
Fingal's Cave, Staffa - Keith Williamson
Sunset from the Kintyre Peninsula looking across to the Isle of Gigha and Jura - Malcolm Winder


Tourist Information Centres

Tourist Information Centre, Forestry Car Park, Glen Croe, by Arrochar, Dunbartonshire, Ardgartan, Strathclyde, Scotland, G83 7AR
Tel: 08707 200 606    Fax: 01301 702432

Tourist Information Centre, Albert Road, Ballachulish, Argyll and Bute, Strathclyde, Scotland, PH49 4JB
Tel: 01855 811 866    Fax: 01855 811 866

Tourist Information Centre, Balloch Road, Dunbartonshire, Balloch, Strathclyde, G83 8LQ
Tel: 08707 200 607    Fax: 01389 751704

Tourist Information Centre, MacKinnon House, The Pier, Kintyre, Campbeltown, Strathclyde, Scotland, PA28 6EF
Tel: 08707 200 609    Fax: 01586 553291

Tourist Information Centre, The Pier, Isle of Mull, Craignure, Strathclyde, PA65 6AY
Tel: 08707 200 610    Fax: 01680 812497

Tourist Information Centre, Drymen Library, The Square, Dunbartonshire, Drymen, Strathclyde, Scotland, G63 0BD
Tel: 08707 200 611   Fax: 01369 660751

Tourist Information Centre, 7 Alexandra Parade, A82 Northbound, Dunbartonshire, Milton, Strathclyde, Scotland, G82 2TZ
Tel: 08707 200 629    Fax: 01369 70685

Tourist Information Centre, Clock Tower, The Pier, Dunbartonshire, Helensburgh, Strathclyde, Scotland, G84 7NY
Tel: 08707 200 615    Fax: 01436 672642

Tourist Information Centre, Front Street, Inveraray, Argyll and Bute, Strathclyde, PA32 8UY
Tel: 08707 200 616    Fax: 01499 302269

Tourist Information Centre, The Square, Main Street, Isle of Islay, Bowmore, Strathclyde, Scotland, PA43 7JP
Tel: 08707 200 617    Fax: 01496 810363

Tourist Information Centre, Kilchoan Community Centre, Pier Road, Acharacle, Kilchoan,  Argyll and Bute, Strathclyde, Scotland, PH36 4LJ
Tel: 01845 22 55 121

Tourist Information Centre, Lochnell Street, Lochgilphead, Argyll and Bute, Strathclyde, Scotland, PA30 8JN
Tel: 08707 200 618    Fax: 01546 606254

Tourist Information Centre, Church Building, Argyll Square, Oban, Argyll and Bute, Strathclyde, Scotland, PA34 4AR
Tel: 08707 200 630    Fax: 01631 564273

Isle of Bute Discovery Centre, Winter Garden, Isle of Bute, Rothesay, Argyll and Bute,  Strathclyde, Scotland, PA20 0AT
Tel: 08707 200 619    Fax: 01700 505156

Tourist Information Centre, Acharacle, Strontian, Argyll and Bute, Strathclyde, PH36 4HZ
Tel: 01845 22 55 121

Tourist Information Centre, Harbour Street, Tarbert, Argyll and Bute, Strathclyde, Scotland, PA29 6UD
Tel: 08707 200 624    Fax: 01880 820082

Tourist Information Centre, Main Street, Loch Lomond, Tarbet, Argyll and Bute, Strathclyde, Scotland, G83 7DE
Tel: 08707 200 623    Fax: 01301 702224

Tourist Information Centre, Main Street, Isle of Mull, Tobermory, Strathclyde, Scotland, PA75 6NU
Tel: 08707 200 625    Fax: 01688 302145


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