A recent arrival has been the Little Camping Lodge: a cosy wooden bolthole that can sleep up to four and is a great wet-weather option, with the owners planning to pop up another couple of lodges over the next few years. More conventional campers can use the campers’ kitchen-cum-dining-shelter.
A variety of paths snake their way into the thick web of surrounding forests, with a large grass field also on hand for wee ones to run around in, and a couple of swings and a bijou playground. Cowal itself is not well-known, even among most Scots, so its quiet roads tend to be ideal for cycling and hiking, while the surrounding waters dish up a rich bounty of seafood that can be enjoyed in the local restaurants and pubs.
10 pitches. Basic toilet block, shower and laundry. Campers’ kitchen and dining shelter. Games room and shop, plus kid’s swing and playground. No campfires.
Tents, campervans, dogs, caravans, young groups – yes. Big groups – no.
Walking trails snake off into the towering forests, while a variety of circular cycle routes await around the Cowal Peninsula. The Cowal Way is a glorious 57-mile walking trail that rumbles right through Glendaruel. The impressive Kilmodan Carved Stones are just a few miles south. Dunoon is 18 miles away and has a swimming pool, leisure centre, museum, golf course, and cinema. A little nearer the Benmore Botanic Garden (01369 706261) is an essential place for tree-huggers. The nearby Isle of Bute has a host of civilised tourist attractions from the restored Victorian toilets, to the outrageous opulence of Mount Stuart (01700 503877), a Victorian gothic mansion.
Food & Drink
Creggans Inn (01369 860279) is an atmospheric old place on the shores of Loch Fyne – enjoy a traditional ale from the Loch Fyne Brewery to go with your oysters. Inver Cottage (01369 860537) is a friendly restaurant bursting with local produce such as hand-dived scallops. The Oystercatcher (01700 821229) at Otter Ferry, 7 miles away, is the nearest decent pub and restaurant, situated in a beautiful location. There are moorings, if you’re of the boat set, and folk have even arrived here by seaplane. Slightly further away, but possibly quicker to reach, is the Colintraive Hotel (01700 841207) a traditional hunting-lodge hotel with public bar and restaurant.
April – Oct.
The Owner Says
Trees, trees and yet more glorious life-affirming, oxygen-pumping trees are the main attraction at this remote, 22-acre escape on Argyll’s sleepy Cowal Peninsula. Glendaruel sits in a hollow at the foot of its eponymous glen, shrouded by woodland. The magnificent collection of mature trees and wildlife about the place makes Glendaruel family-friendly facilities and glorious location. Enjoy outdoor activities from walking, fishing and wildlife-watching in the Glen to fantastic cycle routes, sailing and water sports close by. Glendaruel is perfect for families with young children, offering outdoor freedom. It also suits those who wish to enjoy the peace or explore and experience the food, art and culture of “Argyll’s Secret Coast”.
Scenic spots for every type of tent camper in a generously sized grassy field.
ReviewsAdd Your Review
Rated ★★★★★ over 6 reviews
lovely peaceful child friendly site
Lovely campsite, lovely owner.
Just back from an absolutely Cracker Jack weekend in Glendaruel. We took one 60, one 30, one 7, one 3 and a 1year old and everyone of us had an amazing time.
The campsite itself is basic which is great for cool campers, although it does have small perks with a wee shop, launderette, recycling station, dish washing/cooking area, doesn't sound very basic now I mention it.
The kids had an amazing time it was a total adventure the grounds are fantastic and have such natural beauty, loads of space to run about daft (we did have the camping ground to ourselves)
Please please please take a wee walk up the hill to the waterfall totally enchanting and not too strenuous as it's ten minutes if your lucky from the site.
Great wee walks around the site itself which is surrounded by wildlife, gorgeous bird song to be woken up to for those of you who enjoy that sort of thing.
Have to mention the loveable wee granny who's name I forget (sorry) who runs or owns the place who could not be more accommodating or welcoming. She went out of her way to let us know about various thing to do and see locally which we are eternally grateful.
Please go and see the dunans castle which is about 8 miles north of the campsite, truly a joy. In the grounds stands the tallest tree in Britain a 90m+ Douglas fir unbelievably majestic. A great vantage point can be gained by walking around the grounds, which in itself is a lovely walk with amazing Alice in wonderland moments, you'll know what I mean when you seethe rhubarb !
Head south for some cracking wee villages with Palm tree beaches or to the west coast for a particularly pleasant otters ferry.
Also would just like to say that we encountered no cold stone floor in the showers, but the showers are a treat and free.
Glendaruel for my 40th Birthday
There are only two things that weren't perfect about this site. The first was the toilet block. This was absolutely freezing, damp and a bit miserable. The shower was fantastic, although the floor was stone cold. Nothing that could be done about that I suppose but the whole block could do with a bit of a tidy up to make it more cheerful.
We also found the large number of touring caravans that were taking up pitches on the site, without anybody staying in them, a bit of a let down. The site looked full but was actually very quiet. We were happy with the quiet but it was a little disconcerting to be surrounded by empty caravans.
Other than that Glendaruel was fabulous. The setting is spectacular with lots of scenic walks, the staff were very friendly, the shop was well stocked. We've been a little harsh with the score perhaps but I have to take into account the fact that I was eaten alive by the infamous midge.
We were very surprised to see our tent on the first photo :-) We had a very friendly welcome and could choose between the place on the picture, which is near the facilities and a large tent field (see blue tent on the second photo) a bit further away. We chose the pitch near the facilities, normally this is for tents who need electricity, but it was after high season. After we arrived, the picnic table was delivered by one of the static caravan owners and later on we found out that he and his wife were very friendly and helped on the campsite. When our daughter was ill, they called the doctor for us. Unfortunately one of the fields is occupied with static caravans for rent, but the rest was great. For the kids there was enough to do, exploring in the woods, playing at the playground, playing at the playground a bit further on the main road. The facilities are good for Cool Campers (but maybe not for luxury campers).
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