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Overview of a Fun-Filled Week Walking the Cowal Way

Overview of a Fun-Filled Week Walking the Cowal Way

Postby Boris_the_Bold » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:33 pm

Route description: Loch Lomond and Cowal Way

Date walked: 16/09/2020

Time taken: 6 days

Distance: 85 km

Ascent: 3100m

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This was a one-week family walking holiday in August 2020, planned and undertaken as the Scottish tourist industry was starting to get going again, following the Covid-19 pandemic lock-down earlier in the year.

We drove to Arrochar on the Saturday and back to Glasgow via the Dunoon-Gourock ferry on the following Saturday.

We excluded the Arrochar to Inveruglas section, as we had previously completed that as part of the 3 Lochs Way, so our walk started at the intersection of the 3 Lochs Way and Cowal Way, 1Km north of Arrochar.

I walked it all, accompanied on various sections by my wife and/or adult son. My wife also provided the invaluable logistical support, by keeping the car moving south with us, sitting in traffic jams caused by the land-slips on the A83 (Rest & Be Thankful), dropping me off &/or picking me up at start and end of various sections, checking in and out of the various hotels, buying provisions etc etc.

As a result, the trip was probably more of a holiday for me than it was for her, so can I include a big shout-out to Mrs TheBold for this - maybe next year we'll get that Italian villa holiday that she craves/deserves?

The original plan was to walk the whole route north-to-south, but I ended up walking from Arrochar to Garvie farm (on the A866, half-way between Strachur and Ormidale) on Days 1-4 (with a Rest Day on Day 2), then from Portavadie back to Garvie Farm on days 5 and 6, so I propose to describe those two as separate Walk Reports, to make it less confusing from the reader.

I also bagged 4 Corbetts on the way past, Cnoc Coinnich and The Brack on Day 1, Ben Donich on Day 2 and Beinn Bheula on Day 3, which I have described in three stand-alone walk reports in the 'Walk Reports - Scotland' forum. I will therefore not repeat the details of these various excursions off the main Cowal Way here.

In summary, I really enjoyed the whole week, though the first day (with its double Corbett extensions) was quite a long tiring day for an old man like me and I won't be in any great rush to repeat the long rather-dull section between the nice bit of Glen Branter and the Clachan of Glendaruel.

We stayed in 4 Inns/hotels along the way (Village Inn in Arrochar, Drimsynie House Hotel in Lochgoilhead (x2), Creggans Inn in Strachur and the Royal An Lochan in Tighnabruaich (x3). Here is not the place to provide feedback on these, but suffice to say that if I was planning this walk again and still had access to a willing car-driver, then I would definitely re-use all four of these establishments. The Inn in the Clachan of Glendaruel appeared to be being refurbished, so when it reopens it will presumably provide a good alternative base for one of the nights, especially for those who do not have the luxury of an obliging car driver providing a drop-off/pick-up service (and would prefer not to carry camping stuff). This would also allow the Strachur to Glendaruel section to be crammed into one long (quite dull) day.

When I work out how to include links to the two detailed write-ups (and my Corbett-bagging diversions), I'll insert them here, but that's probably enough of an overview for now.

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Re: Overview of a Fun-Filled Week Walking the Cowal Way

Postby nigheandonn » Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:08 pm

I walked from the junction at Glendaruel through to Glenbranter in one longish day, just because that's when you next find a bus stop - I don't remember it being particularly dull, although some of it was quite wet!

I'm glad to hear that about the pub - it looked a bit sad when I was there, but it seemed like a location you should be able to make a go of, between the Cowal Way and the village and the stones...
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