The Loch Lomond and Cowal Way

The Loch Lomond and Cowal Way ranks as one of Scotland's most scenic long distance routes, running for around 90 kilometres along the length of the Cowal peninsula. Formerly known simply as the Cowal Way, it begins at Portavadie in the southwest, where the ferry runs from Tarbert in Kintyre, and includes forests, waterfalls, the shore of sea-lochs and hill-passes along the way to end at Inveruglas on the shores of Loch Lomond. It passes through rugged countryside rich in wildlife. From Inveruglas a ferry across the loch enables a link with the West Highland Way, so with the possible link to the Kintyre Way via the Portavadie Ferry, the Loch Lomond and Cowal Way could be one link in an epic walk through Scotland. Another option is to link from Arrochar with the Three Lochs Way which leads to Balloch.

The route was originally devised by Jim McLuckie.

Stage descriptions Length Time Done
1: Portavadie to Tighnabruaich 10.5km 3-4 hours
2: Tighnabruaich to Glendaruel 18.25km 5-6 hours
3: Glendaruel to Strachur 25.5km 6-7 hours
4: Strachur to Lochgoilhead 14.5km 4-5½ hours
5: Lochgoilhead to Arrochar 14.5km 4.5-5½ hours
6: Arrochar to Inveruglas 7.75km 2½ hours


The route is now well waymarked, but is still a rugged route crossing several exposed passes; some sections of the route can be boggy underfoot.



Click to find organised Loch Lomond and Cowal Way walking holiday packages and baggage transfer providers.


Portavadie at the start of the way has a marina with accommodation and a cafe.

Tighnabruaich and neighbouring Kames offer a good choice of Hotel and bed and breakfast accommodation. Tighnabruaich also has a shop.

The hotel at Clachan of Glendaruel has been closed for several years. There is a campsite and a bed and breakfast further along the Way up the glen.

Strachur has Hotel and bed and breakfast accommodation, as does Lochgoilhead at the end of the following stage. Both villages have shops selling supplies.

There is a choice of hotels and B&B at Arrochar. Arrochar also has a shop, cafes and a takeaway.


There is a bus service from Dunoon that serves Tighnabruaich and Portavadie, also with infrequent links along the main road through Glendaruel. Dunoon itself can be reached via ferries across the Firth of Clyde, linking with trains and buses to Glasgow.

Strachur has bus links to Dunoon, Inveraray and to Lochgoilhead.

Arrochar shares a rail station with nearby Tarbet on Loch Lomond, and is also reached by bus.

Finally, Inveruglas at the end of the way is on the Citylink bus routes between Glasgow, Fort William and points north.

Timetables for all the routes can be found on Traveline Scotland.

Users' walk reports for the Loch Lomond and Cowal Way

There are 178 Walkhighlanders who have completed the Loch Lomond and Cowal Way. To record if you have completed the route, you must register and be logged in. Our users have contributed 17 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.

Title AuthorDate walked Likes
The Cowal Way - A Summer Solo Hike  Contours 01/06/2017  13
Solo On The Cowal Way  mountainburd 26/05/2018  11
Cowal Way in a Day  smiffysmc 13/08/2015  11
Kneedeep in a bog & high on heights: Cowal Way & the Cobbler  nitamiriam 20/07/2017  8
3 days wild camping  zhickman 11/05/2016  6
A perfect walk to be alone with nature - part 1  moodytillnoon 07/08/2023  5
A perfect walk to be alone with nature - part 2  moodytillnoon 07/08/2023  4
the cowal way  johnm1615 14/06/2016  4
Loch Lomond & Cowal Way Part 2  revalation 02/09/2022  2
The Cowal Way in May  andrewl7642 23/05/2015  2
Cowal Way: Glendaruel to Glenbranter  nigheandonn 28/07/2018  2
Loch Lomond & Cowal Way Part 1  revalation 02/09/2022  1
Cowal Way in August 2020 (Part 1)  Boris_the_Bold 20/09/2020  1
Overview of a Fun-Filled Week Walking the Cowal Way  Boris_the_Bold 16/09/2020  1
Cowal Way: Glenbranter to Lochgoilhead  nigheandonn 25/07/2019  1
LLC way and Cobbler in September  Nanook 24/09/2019  1
Cowal Way  stapper 12/09/2013  0

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Walking can be dangerous and all walkers must take personal responsibility for their own safety. You should always carry a backup means of navigation and not rely on a single phone, app or map. Walkhighlands strives to provide accurate information but cannot accept responsibility for changes, errors or omissions.