Pets Welcome!

Pets Welcome

With so many woodland and coastal walks  it is so easy to find the perfect tranquil spot to unwind and give you that well earned peace a holiday on the West Coast can bring.

For a huge majority of us, there is always that problem of finding a place to stay that welcomes pets.

Some kennels offer a great service in taking care of your pets while you have a break, but here in Scotland there are many fabulous walks that your dog will love just as much as you would!

I decided to ask online so I could quickly gather a list of all pet friendly place to stay in and around Tarbert, so in no order of preference here is what we have so far;

West Loch Hotel, a short walk from the centre of the village on the shores of West Loch, easy access to forestry walks, you are also very close to the starting point of The Kintyre Way, a beautiful walk that criss crosses the whole of the Kintyre Peninsular.

The Kintyre Way

 

Also at West Loch are a selection of cosy lodges set on a hill they have spectacular views over the Loch.
West Loch Shores are set right beside Corranbuie, a natural woodland beside forestry land, you can follow the track all the way along to bring you back to Tarbert village.

The track is popular with other walkers, runners and dog walkers.
Although more often that not you can walk the full track without seeing another soul.
Also at West Loch you will find Kayak Majik, you can hire a canoe, try sea kayaking, even meet some of our local seal population,
A truly relaxing way to explore the lochs.

Argyll Haven also sits at the West Loch, another lodge sat in a quiet and beautiful location yet not too far from the village centre, surrounded by forest overlooking the loch. What better place to unwind!

Have you ever tried Glamping?
Well now you can, and what’s more you can bring your dogs too!
Kennacraig Camping Pods have small and cosy wooden pods , allowing you to enjoy the fun of camping outside but with the comfort of a sturdy and cosy shelter with washing and cleaning facilities.

Tarbert From The Hills

In the village The Tarbert Hotel allows pets, with a friendly bar and delicious food it is another popular place to stay!

The Mews is a pet friendly guesthouse in Tarbert village

Also overlooking the beautiful Harbour is The Islay Frigate Hotel, it has a popular bar, a harbour view restaurant and a beer garden out the back, a pretty little sun trap to sit and relax in.

Overlooking the Tarbert Church is the Cullins Bed and Breakfast, a perfect base to relax after a day of exploring.

Just outside of the village, before you come in to Tarbert are Barfad Self Catering Holiday Cottages set in farmland, surrounded by woodland and near the shores of Loch Fyne.
There are 2 Cottages Available At Barfard the underlined text takes you to their site for further details. Lesley from the Loch Fyne Gallery told me on the All Things Tarbert Facebook Page

“Years before I had my cottage in Tarbert, I stayed at Barfad Farmlands a couple of times with dogs, the cottages were lovely, and direct access to White Shore was fab for the dogs. I met people with dogs over the summer who stay regularly, so they obviously still allow them”

So much exploring for a pup to do!

Barmore Farm Holiday Cottages at Stonefield are also pet friendly, currently their website doesn’t have all the info, but there are more details and photos at Hoseasons holiday site.

Sitting right on the shores of Loch Fyne near Stonefield castle is Shore Cottage, a peaceful retreat in beautiful surroundings.

Skipness is one of my personal favourite places, you can walk there from Tarbert, see the map on the Kintyre Way Website for the specific details for the track.
Be warned you may meet livestock on some sections.

The Seafood Cabin offers freshly prepared sea food along with tea and coffee, see their website for opening times and the menu.

If you visit Skipness do visit the castle, in the Summer the tower is opened allowing you to climb up to the top for magnificent views on a clear day.

Skipness Holiday Cottages are in a fantastic location, with beautiful walks and stunning views over to the Isle Of Arran, it is breathtakingly beautiful all year round.
Contact Sophie and ask for a brochure and booking form

Scotland, it’s very cool in Winter! <3

On the other side of West Loch is The B8024, with spectacular views of Kintyre and the Inner Hebrides, Jura, Islay, Gigha, if you come all the way to Tarbert you really should take a gentle drive along this road!

Dunmore Villa and Anchor Cottage sit right on the shore, totally wonderful if you love the sea!
Both are large, private self catering holiday lets with total privacy.

A short drive past the villa and slightly up the hill on your right is Dunmore Court, with self catering cottages in a shared courtyard.
Surrounded by ancient Oak woodland and wildlife with beautiful views from the hills.

Back over on the right hand side, with views over the loch, a few miles from Dumore Court is Barr Na Criche offering self catering or bed and breakfast holiday accommodation. It is a perfect get away from it all! Relax on the shores of the loch, walk miles through forest or countryside track or drive into one of the little villages for fine foods and excellent hospitality!

Standing Stones Loch Stornoway, Knapdale

Port Bàn Holiday Park is further along the road, it is set in a beautiful location and you are able to rent or buy a static caravan here.
You can also camp there with pitches for tents and hook ups for tourers and caravans.
Totally pet friendly, the whole site has poop bags and bins, making cleaning up easy, please keep all dogs on the lead on site.

Still within roughly a 30 minute drive from Tarbert Harbour is the beautiful Ellary Estate the cottages and chalets are situated on the Loch Caolisport side of Ellary Estate.
The cottages all stand in their own grounds, offering privacy and seclusion and are equipped with everything that you are likely to require on your holiday.

Just across the loch from Tarbert Harbour is the Portavadie Mariner with a superb spa and leisure centre.
The cottages and studio apartments are dog-friendly so you can bring your dog too!
The ferry trip takes less than half an hour, so it’s easy to pop over and back again.
Take a look at all the facilities on offer at Portavadie there is so much to see and do you will be wanting another holiday after your holiday! Set in beautiful surroundings with luxury accommodation.

Ferry To Portavadie. Photo by Blue Wave Services.

The George Hotel at Inveraray also accepts dogs, take a look at some of the virtual tours on their website for an excellent view of the rooms available.

Going further afield but still within easy travelling distance Mellow Melfort accepts all pets.
They have accommodation to suit a wide range of needs.

If you have holiday accommodation and allow pets in or near Tarbert please contact me and I will add your details.

If you are booking a holiday with your pets, please make sure you inform the owner you intend to bring pets, be sure you are happy and agree with any terms and conditions they may have prior to booking.
Please clean up after your pets and keep them under control around wildlife and livestock.

Thank you

Wonderful Wildlife

Sika Deer

The wildlife we see all around us could not possibly be covered in one blog post!
If you love nature and exploring the great outdoors, then Tarbert and the rest of Kintyre is a must see holiday location!
Living here I am lucky enough to be able to study at leisure.
I am not going to give a guide or a map, nor list the areas I’ve found some of the wildlife, because that takes away all the fun of a nature trail!

Just sitting here in my office I am treated to some splendid sights.
I once wasted an afternoon watching a Buzzard hunt and then feast on it’s prey after stomping all over it to tenderise it I presume!

The deer in the picture above is a regular visitor I’ve managed to capture a few photos of.
Other creatures are too fast, or too clever and you need a keen eye to see some of them.
Wherever you are in Tarbert keep your eyes peeled, the wildlife is everywhere!

Can you see me?

Usually seen when you least expect it and I have found I see much more on the days I don’t have my camera with me!

A Useful Guide For Identifying Wildlife

I was thrilled to see my first Pine Marten last year, it rushed to the top of a tree and watched me from the safety of it’s branch.
There are signs of them all over the place, but I never expected to see one so close, it was beautiful!

Adder

In the Summer months you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of an Adder, Slow Worm or a Common Lizard up on the hills.

Along the shores you will find signs of Otters, if you are quiet and still you may even see some either eating at the waters edge or playing in the water.

Explore The Rock Pools

With so many small secluded beaches you can lose yourself for hours, relaxing or taking in all the life around you, from the Eagles soaring in the skies to the many mini beasts you will find in any of the rock pools.

If you look out to sea you could be lucky enough to spot one of the many seals that visit the lochs, quite often when we are out on our kayaks they will come and join us and follow us on our journeys.

If you want to really explore the secluded beaches and get quietly close to the marine life you can hire a canoe, kayak  or paddleboard from Kayak Majik.

If you hear a splash it could be a playful Porpoise, or a Gannet diving for it’s food.
Back on land, be careful where you tread in the spring as many birds nest along our shores and some eggs look just like pebbles!
If you love bird watching then you are really in for a treat! So many different species to see, I’m still trying to learn who is who, but when you see an eagle for the first time, you know it! Such beautiful birds, and so big you cannot be mistaken!

Tern Eggs

To get an idea of the fantastic variety of birds that live on and around the Tarbert forests, hills and shores take a look at the fantastic photographs on the Machrihanish Seabird And Wildlife Observatory Website!

Oyster Catcher

Where To Start?

West Loch Shores Log Cabins From The Loch

I am sitting here, gazing out over the
West Loch wondering where to start!

What is there to see and do in Tarbert?
We have fine dining, beautiful,
historical hotels, pubs, diners, numerous festivals, golf,beautiful walks,
pony treks, running and cycling events, boating, sailing, including
the Scottish Series, fishing, wind surfing, kayaking, canoeing,
artists and galleries, crafts of all kinds.
Ancient ruins, standing stones and all
of this among breathtaking scenery and beautiful wildlife.
As this site builds I will cover it
all, but it is going to take some time!

Tarbert Golf Club
For now, I’m sitting here watching a
butterfly fluttering over the long grass by the loch, some birds too
far for me to identify, wading in the tidal water, watching sheep
grazing over the other side on the hills of Kintyre, today I can see
them, but it really does depend on the weather.
Every now and then I am lucky enough to
see an Otter dash out, Deer grazing, and I am entertained by the
social interactions between the many birds that live here.
Another thing I love, the weather, it
can change every 5 minutes, I love the low clouds that rest on the
hills or sit quietly on the lochs.
The rain that brings the burns alive
from trickle to roar as the water gushes down the hills and into the
loch.
If you love the great outdoors, you
really are spoilt for choice here, there is
so much to see and do. Be prepared, you will get wet.
If you enjoy hiking, you can walk all
the way from Tarbert to Cambeltown along the Kintyre way, taking you
along stunning woodland and coastal paths, the route is signposted,
do wear high visibility clothing as some of the route is along the
A83.
There are more details on the Kintyre Way Website.

Kintyre

I’m not quite that adventurous, but I
do enjoy a walk, there are numerous routes you can take that don’t
lead you too far from your base.
Up at Tarbert castle there is the Community Woodland with the recent addition of the Artistic Sculptures….
If you are staying at West Loch Shores self catering log cabins or West Loch Hotel there is a beautiful long walk you can do from
Corranbuie up to the village then back down to West Loch.
You can either stay on the forestry
track or walk up through the pathway in the woods.
There are some very boggy places along
the way in the forest so wear good boots. It’s lush and green with
various mosses, liverworts and lichens living on the trees and the
rocks, if you have time to stop and sit, do.
If you are still and quiet you are sure
to see plenty of wildlife.
As you continue through the woods you
end up back on the forestry track and leave the Oak, Hawthorn, Birch
and more behind as you head through the Pine.
Don’t turn right where the path heads
off in another direction if you are wanting to get to the village,
the right turn takes you through more pine until it comes to an
abrupt end by a massive water fall! There is a narrow steel bridge to
take you over the head towards Kennacraig farm, but I wouldn’t
attempt to cross it, it’s a huge drop onto rocks. I’m clumsy at the
best of times, so it’s a U turn there for me! 🙂
Back on the original path, just keep
going up the hills, stay on the track and you will eventually come to
Tarbert.

Spectacular views!
Stop for a breather at the picnic bench
by the Millennium Cairn and take in the beautiful views before you,
once down and back in the village there are plenty of places for you to stop
for refreshments.