walkhighlands

The Cowal Way

The 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. 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 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 devised by Jim McLuckie of Glendaruel and Colintraive Community Council.

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 4-5.5 hours
5: Lochgoilhead to Arrochar 14.5km 4.5-5.5 hours
6: Arrochar to Inveruglas 7.75km 2.5 hours

THE CHALLENGE

The Cowal Way has been much improved in recent years and is well waymarked. It is however a rugged route crossing several exposed passes; some sections of the route can be boggy underfoot.

BOOKS AND MAPS



ROUTE PHOTO GALLERY

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ACCOMMODATION AND SERVICES ALONG THE WAY

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.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

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 Cowal Way

There are 65 Walkhighlanders who have completed the Cowal Way. To record if you have completed the route, you must register and be logged in. Our users have contributed 5 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.

Title AuthorDate walked Likes
  13/08/2015  9
  14/06/2016  4
  11/05/2016  2
  23/05/2015  2
  12/09/2013  0

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.