Loch Fyne, Scotland

About Loch Fyne

Loch Fyne is located within Argyll & Bute in Scotland and is home to the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Campbell clan. It’s a beautiful and historic area of Scotland that is often overlooked. With exceptional food, culture, and heritage, Loch Fyne attracts many locals for weekend holidays. This little area of the Highlands is quite the hidden gem.

Loch Fyne in Scotland; and undiscovered gem that locals often visit.
Wading in the waters of Loch Fyne in Scotland. Wearing a very spring outfit.
A beautiful spring day in Scotland calls for a wade in Loch Fyne.
Dipping my feet in the water of Loch Fyne in Scotland. Wearing a millennial pink spring outfit.

I’ve compiled a list of things to see and do in the area on a day trip, with the help of a local bed & breakfast owner. Catriona is a regional tourism expert and owns the best place to stay in Helensburgh, Scotland. This trip to Loch Fyne is based on a day trip we did from the town on our last stay.

Scenic Stops

Rest and be thankful stop in Scotland. One of the most famous scenic lookouts in Scotland near Loch Fyne in Argyll and Bute.

On our way to Loch Fyne from Helensburgh along the A83, we stopped at the Rest and Be Thankful Commemorative Stone. Soldiers put the original stone there while creating a military pass in the 1750s, but it has since been replaced. The road and pass are one of the most scenic in Scotland.

Rest and be thankful stop in Scotland. One of the most famous scenic lookouts in Scotland near Loch Fyne in Argyll and Bute.
Rest and be thankful stop in Scotland. One of the most famous scenic lookouts in Scotland near Loch Fyne in Argyll and Bute.
Looking out at the rest and be thankful stop in Scotland. One of the most famous scenic lookouts in Scotland near Loch Fyne in Argyll and Bute.
Looking out at the old military road.

While you don’t actually get to drive on the original road, it’s a great place to take a minute and imagine the soldiers, post Jacobite rebellion, working away on this mountain pass.

Inveraray

Inveraray is the main town on Loch Fyne, complete with Inveraray castle. Its beautiful Georgian buildings stand white-washed to this day. Central to the Highlands and Islands, it was and is the seat of the powerful clan Campbell.

Inveraray, a town on Loch Fyne in Scotland. A cute town in Argyll & Bute.

Although we didn’t make it to the jail and courthouse, it’s a worthwhile stop if you’re in town a bit longer. The jail is now an award-winning museum, showcasing life as a Scottish prisoner throughout the centuries.

George Hotel in Inveraray on Loch Fyne in Scotland. A beautiful undiscovered part of Scotland known to the locals. White-washed buildings.
There are no shortage of B&Bs in the area.

The whisky shop is also worth a look, if you’re an enthusiast like me.

Inveraray on Loch Fyne. A memorial in a park. Scotland is so naturally beautiful.
There are scenic hikes that go from the castle to the top of the hill.

The town has an excellent local tourism board, and they put on many events throughout the year. You can check out the local website here.

Inveraray Castle

My favourite stop along Loch Fyne was Inveraray Castle.

Inveraray Castle on Loch Fyne in Scotland. Visiting Scottish Castle's in style.

Half of the castle is open to the public, and half is home to the Duke of Argyll and family. The gardens surrounding the estate are also available to explore.

Inveraray Castle in Loch Fyne, Scotland.

While a castle has stood here on Loch Fyne since the 15th century, this particular building is from the 18th, and was added on to in the 19th century after a fire.

Main Floor:

Inside Inveraray Castle, the Duke of Argyll's ancestral home, seat of the Clan Campbell.

Surprisingly extravagant, the dining room was designed in the latest French style. The same goes for the drawing room filled with Parisian tapestries. In my opinion, Inveraray is one of the best living castles in Scotland.

Inside Inveraray Castle, the Duke of Argyll's ancestral home, seat of the Clan Campbell.

Just off the drawing room is a wonderful collection of the most delicate china in what was originally supposed to be a library. It’s a hidden room, so make sure not to miss it!

Inside Inveraray Castle, the Duke of Argyll's ancestral home, seat of the Clan Campbell.

The armoury stands in the centre of the house in between the intended front entrance at the south of the house and at the actual entrance to the north. My boyfriend found it very impressive. The feel of the room is quite different to the formal French-style rooms preceding it.

Inside Inveraray Castle, the Duke of Argyll's ancestral home, seat of the Clan Campbell.

Upstairs:

Inside Inveraray Castle, the Duke of Argyll's ancestral home, seat of the Clan Campbell.

Upstairs is mostly themed rooms, tributing to different elements of the family’s (and clan’s) history.

Inside Inveraray Castle, the Duke of Argyll's ancestral home, seat of the Clan Campbell.

No castle is complete without its share of ghost stories. This bed belonged to an Irish harpist who was murdered in 1644. When they brought the four-poster to the new castle, the boy’s ghost remained with the bed. It is said that the harpist predicts any deaths in the family, playing his harp before anyone takes their last breath.

Inside Inveraray Castle, the Duke of Argyll's ancestral home, seat of the Clan Campbell.

In this beautifully papered room, the modern life of the Duke of Argyll and his family is shared. There are photographs of the three children, and of the Duke’s marriage to Eleanor Cadbury (yes, of Cadbury chocolate). Torquhil Campbell is the 13th Duke of Argyll and Chief of Clan Campbell, but he has more than those two titles.

Inside Inveraray Castle, the Duke of Argyll's ancestral home, seat of the Clan Campbell.
Inside Inveraray Castle, the Duke of Argyll's ancestral home, seat of the Clan Campbell.

The Basement:

In the basement, Inveraray castle has a beautiful display of copper pots, as well as an assortment of traditional cooking tools. It’s easy to imagine a bustling castle kitchen (just like in Downton Abbey!).

Inside Inveraray Castle, the Duke of Argyll's ancestral home, seat of the Clan Campbell.

Speaking of Downton Abbey, the show’s 2012 Christmas episode was shot here. In the special, the castle was referred to as Duneagle Castle, home to the Marquess and Marchioness of Flintshire. The episode makes full use of Inveraray Castle and grounds, particularly showcasing the South Entrance pictured below.

Inveraray Castle, this entrance was used for the Downton Abbey Christmas special.

The Gardens:

The South Entrance opens to the gardens. Inveraray’s gardens are well-maintained, and are supposed to be beautiful any time of year. We were lucky to go in May, when a lot of the flowers were in bloom.

Exploring the gardens of Inveraray Castle in Scotland.
Outside the Duke of Argyll's home at Inveraray castle, Scotland.

There’s also a Tearoom and many places to wander over the sixteen acres. Inveraray is the best place to spend a day on Loch Fyne.

Outside Inveraray castle in Scotland.

The best view of the castle is from this bridge, over Loch Fyne. The architecture and history is a true gem. I would say it’s a must-see when in the Highlands.

The Bridge over Loch Fyne in Inveraray, Scotland.
Inveraray Castle on Loch Fyne in Argyll & Bute, Scotland.

You can check out their website and purchase tickets in advance here.

Crarae Garden

Another place my boyfriend and I stopped along Loch Fyne is Crarae Garden. They are open to the public year round, and are home to many interesting plant species.

Visiting Crarae Gardens in Scotland. What to do in Loch Fyne. Looking wistfully on a bridge, reminds me of playing Pooh sticks.
Visiting Crarae Gardens near Loch Fyne in Scotland. Beautiful pink flowering tree.
View of Loch Fyne from Crarae Gardens in Scotland.

My boyfriend and I love gardens of any kind, that’s why we decided to go. I personally wouldn’t recommend them to any Scotland first-timer’s, as they’re really nothing too spectacular. They definitely do not reflect the native forests or plant species of Scotland.

Exploring Crarae Gardens near Loch Fyne in Scotland. A bamboo forest.
Eucalyptus tree in Scotland.

Where to Eat

As per our B&B host’s recommendation, we stopped for lunch at Loch Fyne Oyster Bar Restaurant.

The original Loch Fyne Oysters in Scotland.

Although it’s a chain throughout the UK, this particular location on Loch Fyne is the original restaurant. Its also the best. They use fresh Scottish seafood and have an aesthetic that just can’t be replicated in chains.

The original Loch Fyne Oysters restaurant in Scotland.
A little bubbly for dinner.

We had the best baked clams ever, as well as some pretty delicious mussels to share.

Baked clams at the original Loch Fyne Oysters in Scotland.
Scotland has the best mussels in a white wine cream sauce.

Loch Fyne Oysters is also a Deli, where you can purchase local seafood and meats.

Loch Fyne Oysters in Scotland. The original restaurant looks gorgeous and has amazing food.
Loch Fyne Osyters restaurant and seafood shop in Scotland. The original.

Where to Stay

Our favorite place to stay in the Argyll & Bute area is at this sweet little B&B in Helensburgh. I’ve written a couple of posts on it, check them out!

The coziest bed decorated in a rustic Scottish decor, at Scotland's best bed & breakfast.

Read more Scotland Adventures

Looking out at Loch Fyne in Scotland. It has the most beautiful bridge over the water.

11 Comments

  1. Haley
    February 22, 2019 / 4:25 pm

    Literally stunning. I’ll be honest Scotland has not been at the top of my list, but your posts are absolutely sending it right up there. Thank you for sharing.

    • catekittlitz
      Author
      February 22, 2019 / 6:55 pm

      Oh I’m so glad! Scotland has stollen my heart <3

  2. February 22, 2019 / 5:12 pm

    The view is incredible! Must be a nice feeling to dip your toes in the water 🙂

    • catekittlitz
      Author
      February 22, 2019 / 6:55 pm

      It’s a really beautiful place to visit!

  3. February 22, 2019 / 6:38 pm

    I love your posts for all things Scotland! AND OMG THAT CASTLE! Definitely hitting you up again once I start planning my Scotland trip in 2020!

    • catekittlitz
      Author
      February 22, 2019 / 6:59 pm

      Thank you! Isn’t it gorgeous?? AHH YAY that’s so exciting! Of course!!

  4. February 23, 2019 / 12:46 am

    How did your feet not freeze off???? But other than that, BEAUTIFUL! Those clams have me droolingggg….

    • catekittlitz
      Author
      February 26, 2019 / 2:00 am

      Well it wasn’t nearly as cold as these icy mountain fed springs that we have here in Canada! Thanks!! MMM food 😀

  5. February 24, 2019 / 4:00 pm

    The castle and of course, your photos, are gorgeous! Hope to visit the place one day 🙂

    • catekittlitz
      Author
      February 26, 2019 / 2:01 am

      Thank you so much Eunice! I hope you do too, it’s such a wonderful place 🙂

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