Places to visit
The Pierhouse is perfectly placed to explore Argyll, Lochaber and the islands on a sightseeing day out from the hotel. Take a look below for some itinerary ideas to make the most of your day trips from The Pierhouse.
For the more adventurous, click on the link to read about the extensive range of organised adventure activities we will be pleased to arrange for you upon request. If you prefer to stay local and simply relax - there are also plenty of local attractions.
However you choose to spend your break at The Pierhouse, relax and enjoy!
Oban, Gateway to the Isles
The harbour town of Oban, known as the Gateway to the Isles and the Seafood Capital of Scotland, is a short 30 minute drive away. Visit McCaig's Tower, the replica of the Colosseum that is such a distinctive feature on the Oban skyline, to take in the view across Oban Bay to Kerrera and Mull. Take in Oban Distillery, where the Visitor Centre is open most days. Car ferries depart from the bustling Railway Pier for Mull, Colonsay and the other West Coast islands of the inner and outer Hebrides.
Your route to Oban takes you past many other attractions, so why not stop off at the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary, Argyll Pottery, the white sands of Ganavan, just outside Oban, or Tralee Beach, 1 mile from Benderloch?
Port Appin to Oban - 20 miles
As if the beauty of Loch Etive itself wasn't enough, there are also many interesting places to visit around its shores.
Bonawe Historic Iron Furnace, on Loch Etive at Taynuilt. This open air museum has displays that bring to life the industrial heritage of the area and illustrate how pig iron was made.
Dunstaffnage Castle, the mighty stronghold of the MacDougalls built in 1275, has a commanding position looking out to sea. Tour the castle and see where Flora MacDonald was held captive in 1746.
Ardchattan Gardens on the north shore of Loch Etive have been in existence since the 13th century when a Priory was founded by monks. Today’s gardens are in the care of Historic Scotland and are open to visitors.
Port Appin to Taynuilt - 22 miles
Kilmartin Glen & Crinan Canal
Kilmartin Glen is considered to be one of Scotland’s richest prehistoric landscapes with more than 800 ancient monuments within a 6 mile radius. Visit the Museum in Kilmartin before exploring the fascinating sites with their standing stones, burial cairns, forts and duns.
Described as ‘Britain’s most beautiful shortcut’ the Crinan Canal links Loch Fyne at Ardrishaig with the Sound of Jura, creating a vital waterway through the Kintyre peninsula. Spend a lazy afternoon watching the yachts go through the locks before heading out to sea.
Port Appin to Crinan – 55 miles
Inveraray has much to offer the day visitor. Inverary Castle and gardens is the ancestral home to the Duke of Argyll. The town’s Jail and Maritime Museum are popular – all within a gentle stroll of each other on the shores of Loch Fynne. Nearby Crarae Garden is a sheltered oasis with a wonderful range of plants growing on the side of a rocky gorge. On the way back to Port Appin, look out for Kilchurn Castle on Loch Awe.
Port Appin to Inveraray 47 miles
"The Jacobite" steam train
Described as one of the great railway journeys of the world this 84 mile return trip from Fort William to Mallaig takes you past a list of impressive extremes. Starting near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, it visits Britain's most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis!
Travelling through stunning scenery, including the now legendary Glenfinnan Viaduct featured in Harry Potter's Hogwarts Express, on a clear day you can see right out to the "Small Isles" of Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna and over the water to the southern tip of Skye. The journey also passes Morar and the silvery beaches used in the films "Highlander" and "Local Hero". With Fort William station just 45 minutes drive from The Pierhouse it's a "must" for any visit here!
Port Appin to Fort William - 30 miles
Take the Nevis Range gondola to a height of 650m on the slopes of Aonach Mor. From there enjoy a walk on the mountain trails, take in the views and visit the restaurant and bar. The Nevis Range also has a High Wire Adventure in Leanachan forest.
While in the Fort William area, stop at Neptune’s Staircase at Banavie. A set of 8 locks on the Caledonian Canal, it was a feat of 19th century engineering when it was built, raising the canal 19 metres in a quarter of a mile. Nowadays it's a great place to while away an afternoon, watching the boats going through the locks and onto the canal.
Port Appin to Nevis Range – 35 miles
Heading north from The Pierhouse, the world famous and spectacular Glen Coe is only half an hour's drive away. You can take in the geological and human history at the National Trust for Scotland's visitor centre, or there are gentle walks through the woods in Glen Coe village from where there are stunning views up to the Pap of Glencoe and along Loch Leven. Be sure to drive through the Glen up on to Rannoch Moor stopping frequently to take in the ever-changing view. A very atmospheric place!
Port Appin to Glencoe - 20 miles
Mull & Iona
With regular ferries from Oban, spend a day touring the beautiful isle of Mull. Duart Castle, ancestral home of the Clan Maclean is close to the ferry port at Craignure. Make the scenic journey across to the West of Mull and after a short ferry crossing, explore the isle of Iona – an island steeped in the history of Scotland and Christianity. Alternatively, visit Mull’s main town and harbour at Tobermory - also know as Balamory if you have children! - and take a drive along the north coast (looking out for sea eagles) to the stunning beach and woodland trail at Carsaig Bay.
Craignure to Iona – 36 miles
Craignure to Tobermory – 21 miles
The Pierhouse Hotel Massage & Aromatherapy
Wherever you go, whatever you do through the day, afterwards take advantage of one of our excellent relaxation, therapeutic, aromatherapy or sports massage treatments in the comfort of your own room or just relax in our Finnish sauna. Ask our Reservations team for booking details.