Tarbert, Loch Fyne

Introduction to Tarbert, Loch Fyne

Known as the gateway to Kintyre in the south west of Argyll, this idyllic Scottish village is full of charming houses and pubs welcoming you into the once entirely natural harbour – one of very few in Scotland.

Renowned for its impressive castle, charming architecture, beautiful still waters and delicious seafood, the idyllic village of Tarbert attracts visitors from around the globe and serves as a gateway to the Scottish whisky islands and the picturesque Kintyre peninsula.

A quaint Scottish village, Tarbert is a joy to explore, with its pretty houses, busy local fisheries and stunning surroundings. Whether you choose to stay within the village or venture out into the rolling hills and rocky cliffs, there are plenty of places to enjoy the engrossing beauty and traditional delights. Be sure to visit the ruins of the 14th century castle that overlooks the town or relax on the small, but very beautiful shell beach and look across the gorgeous blue water of the yacht-filled natural harbour. 

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Arduaine Garden, Tarbet, Scotland

ARDUAINE GARDEN

  • Arduaine Garden is a must-see attraction for all green-fingered enthusiasts
  • Stroll through the tranquil garden, and browse its world-class collection of plants
  • Appreciate the idyllic scenery 
Gardening Tour
Price£40.00-£50.00
DurationApproximately 4 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included

Explore the Scottish National Trust site of Arduaine, a beautiful coastal garden boasting a variety of colourful flora.

Travel north along the stunning coastline and through the heart of Argyll towards Loch Melfort, passing lush valleys and smaller lochs, before arriving at the charming National Trust for Scotland’s Arduaine Garden. The site, which was once three small farms, was purchased by James Arthur Campbell and the resulting garden was tended by his family until 1992. The Gulf Stream along this coast creates a microclimate, enabling rare plants to readily survive, and offers rare delights for gardeners.

Arduaine is home to a range of plants including water lilies, azaleas, magnolias and great trees. During your visit, you will see that the impressive 20 acre garden is also renowned for its impressive collection of rhododendrons, which include many tender species and hybrids which flourish in this mild, moist climate. 

TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017 CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that your guide will provide you with an introduction to the Garden, and then you will be free to explore independently, therefore the majority of walking on this tour is at the discretion of the individual. However, to get the most out of this tour, there is a moderate amount of walking involved. All participants must be able to board the coach unaided. Please note that winding roads will be encountered during the drive, therefore this tour is not recommended for guests who suffer from travel sickness. Please note that National Trust members and non-members will pay the same price for this tour.


Crarae Gardens, Tarbet, Scotland

CRARAE GARDEN

  • Discover the beauty of Crarae – one of Scotland’s finest woodland gardens
  • Admire the colourful flora found here
  • Marvel at the stunning surrounding vistas
Gardening Tour
Price£45.00 - £55.00
DurationApproximately 4 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

Enjoy a visit to Crarae Garden, considered one of the finest examples of a Himalayan woodland garden in Great Britain.

A drive of approximately one hour will take you to Crarae Garden, stunningly situated overlooking the banks of Loch Fyne. Created in 1912 by Lady Grace Campbell, the aunt of Himalayan plant hunter Reginald Farrer, Crarae is a spectacular 50 acre woodland garden featuring a national collection of Southern Beech Maple, Mountain Ash, Eucalyptus and Chilean flame trees.

The National Trust of Scotland acquired the garden in 2001, and during your tour today you can admire the beautiful garden, which is home to a wide variety of trees and shrubs, towering conifers, waterfalls and cliffs. You will also see that the central part of the lower area of the garden is dominated by the impressive remains of a Neolithic chambered burial cairn, which dates back to around 2500 BC. Excavation works carried out between 1953 and 1955 revealed the remains of at least three individuals. Enjoy time at leisure to explore the gardens, browse the gift shop and admire your spectacular surroundings. 

TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017 CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? For reference, you will spend approximately two hours at the gardens. Your time here will not be guided, therefore the amount of walking is at the discretion of the individual, however to make the most out of this tour, a moderate amount of walking will be required. Uneven and steep terrain will be encountered and there will be some steps to negotiate, therefore this tour is not recommended for wheelchair users. Please note that National Trust members, and non-members will pay the same price for this tour. 


Glen Scotia Distillery, Tarbet, Scotland

GLEN SCOTIA DISTILLERY

  • Discover Campbeltown, which once claimed to be the whisky capital of the world
  • Embark on a special tour of the Glen Scotia Distillery and enjoy a tasting
Activity Tour
Price£80.00-£90.00
DurationApproximately 4 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

A unique experience awaits whisky enthusiasts on this tour! Learn more about the production of single malt whisky with a visit to Glen Scotia Distillery.

Located approximately one hour south on the scenic Mull of Kintyre, the quaint town of Campbeltown was once considered the whisky capital of the world, with 28 distilleries by 1851. Today only three remain, one of which is Glen Scotia, considered one of the finest distilleries in Scotland.

Founded in 1832 close to Campbeltown’s ancient parliament square, Glen Scotia produces single malt whisky. Upon arrival at the distillery, enjoy a special tour led by manager Iain Mcalister or a member of his senior staff. Next, continue to the dunnage warehouse where you can enjoy a tasting of three expressions and a dram which you can pour yourself straight from the cask! Relax, soak up the atmosphere or take time to browse the distillery shop before re-boarding your tour coach for the return journey back to your awaiting ship.

 

TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017 CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a limited amount of compulsory walking, however all guests must be able to board the coach unaided. For reference the drive from the quayside to the distillery takes approximately one hour each way.

 


Inveraray Castle, Tarbet, Scotland

INVERARAY CASTLE

  • Visit the family home of the Duke of Argyll
  • Admire the impressive Inveraray Castle, with its fairy tale-like turrets
  • Browse the castle’s treasures, which include tapestries, armoury and portraits
Activity Tour
Price£50.00-£60.00
DurationApproximately 4 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included

Step back in time with a visit to one of the most famous castles in Scotland, home to the Dukes of Argyll, the chief of Clan Campbell.

Leaving the pier in Tarbert, embark on a drive along the length of Loch Fyne, admiring the stunning scenery en route to the imposing Inveraray Castle. In 1743, Archibald – Earl of Islay – became the 3rd Duke of Argyll and initiated one of the most imaginative restoration projects ever undertaken in the Highlands. The present castle replaced a 15th century tower house, and the Royal Burgh of Inveraray was re-established a kilometre (half a mile) to the south. The present castle was designed by London architect Roger Morris, and it is believed that the design of the building may have been inspired by Sir John Vanburgh, the architect behind Blenheim Palace. The magnificent interior was completed between 1770 and 1789

Enjoy a visit to this splendid castle, one of west Scotland’s most popular attractions. As you explore this estate, view the magnificent displays of weaponry, tapestry and art before enjoying a stroll through the delightful gardens.

TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017 CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking at the castle, and there are approximately 20 steps to negotiate to access the first floor, therefore unfortunately this tour is not recommended for wheelchair users. The drive takes approximately one and a quarter hours each way – a toilet will NOT be made en route. Please note that winding roads will be encountered during the drive, therefore this tour is not recommended for guests who suffer from travel sickness.


Kilmartin Glen, Tarbet, Scotland

KILMARTIN GLEN – SCOTLAND’S STONEHENGE

  • Discover the most prehistoric site on the Scottish mainland
  • Step back in time as you visit the Kilmartin House Museum of Ancient Culture
  • Uncover the ancient funerary and ritual site of Temple Wood Stone Circle
Activity Tour
Price£50.00-£60.00
DurationApproximately 4.5 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

On this tour, explore the area surrounding the village of Kilmartin in Argyll, which is rich in ancient monuments and is often referred to as ‘Scotland’s Stonehenge’.

Leaving the pier, head north, passing stunning scenery including Loch Gilp and the pretty town of Lochgilphead, en route to Kilmartin Glen. Upon arrival, travel back more than 5,000 years in time to discover the mysteries therein. The area is home to hundreds of monuments including cairns, megaliths, inscribed stones and hilltop forts. Although their origins and meanings remain uncertain, in many cases their alignment and orientation cause people to link them with the cycle of the seasons and the movements of the sun, moon and stars.

Enjoy a visit to Kilmartin House Museum which, with its excellent displays, will set the scene and provide you with an insight into the life of the inhabitants of the Glen. Next, you will walk to visit three prehistoric monuments in Kilmartin Glen – the Nether Largie standing stones, Temple Wood with its stone circles, and the Nether Largie South Cairn. Learn of the history and theories behind these remarkable monuments and their place in this unique landscape.

TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017 CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, some of which will be over uneven ground. For reference, the walk at Temple Wood can be over wet and muddy terrain. Unfortunately this tour is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Please note that winding roads will be encountered during the drive, therefore this tour is not recommended for guests who suffer from travel sickness. The tour may operate in reverse order.


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