Loch Awe offers a huge range of great outdoor pursuits from cycling to fishing to kayaking, as well as some great gourmet pubs and cafes to visit around its shoreline. That’s in addition to all the wonderful walks and wildlife to be discovered and the sightseeing opportunities both historic and modern.
Cyclists will love exploring Loch Awe, and especially the western shoreline, where a quiet single track road stretches almost 18 miles between Ford, at the southern end of the loch, and Kilchrenan, around three quarters of the way up. This stretch is part of the National Cycle Network’s Route 78, and although the start and end are only 111 feet apart in altitude (Ford being the lower of the two), there’s still a few climbs and descents to get the blood pumping! And even if you haven’t brought your own bike, guests renting the Blue Cottage can access its activity shed where there are mountain bikes to borrow free of charge.
If you’d rather be on the water, instead of just cycling past it, then kayak and canoe hire (as well as row boat and motor boat hire) is available from Loch Awe Boats in Ardbrecknish, a 10 minute stroll from the nearby Blue Cottage. In addition, the Blue Cottage activity shed has an inflatable 3-person sevylor kayak which can be used by guests, although we do require that you obtain permission from us first.
If that all seems a bit too energetic, then perhaps a gentle round of golf is more to your taste? Dalmally Golf Course is just 15 minutes’ drive north of the Blue Cottage, offering 9 holes, 6 of which offer alternate tee positions should you decide to play twice for a full 18. This incredibly scenic course bordering the River Orchy which flows into Loch Awe, is truly a hidden gem. For more golf opportunities in the area, be sure to read this article.
And what could be more relaxing than a day’s fishing on Loch Awe, which has an abundance of wild Brown Trout and Pike amongst other species. Both specimen sized wild or ‘ferox’ trout and pike are regularly caught in the loch, which holds the British record for the largest rod-caught Brown Trout at 31lb. Fishing permits can be obtained from Loch Awe Boats and LochAweside Marine, both of which can also supply boats and fishing equipment for hire, should you wish to try your luck off-shore. Guests renting the Blue Cottage and nearby Stable Cottage, can make free use of the basic fly fishing equipment provided in each property
However, there’s no need to catch a Loch Awe fish yourself in order to enjoy the delicious taste of this Scottish delicacy, as the area also offers a range of wonderful eating out establishments.
Visit the Kilchrenan, Ben Cruachan and Taynuilt Inns to savour the flavour of great local produce and cooking. Other hostelries around Loch Awe which offer a great pub atmosphere and bar food too include the Portsonachan Hotel Bar and Restaurant and the Ardbrecknish House Pub.
Or, if you’re in the mood for something more exotic, be sure to drop by the amazing Black Rock Curry shed on the westerly shoreline halfway between Dalavich and Kilchrenan for some ready-made takeaway curry which you can bring back to the Blue Cottage to heat; and which is paid for with an honesty box. It makes the claim to be the UK’s remotest curry shop!
And if you’ve enjoyed a shashlik from a shed, you might also like a cake from a call box! Scotland’s smallest cake shop operates from a converted red public telephone box located at Cladich on the westerly side of Loch Awe and, like Black Rock, operates an honesty system for visitors wishing to try their range of incredible cakes and jams. Stocked daily all summer. Yum!