Dalriada was the ancient kingdom of the Scots which included this part of Argyll. Its centre was at Dunadd, at the southern end of Kintyre. Here the kings were enthroned, in time using the famous Stone of Destiny. For history enthusiasts, there is plenty to see and experience. Kilchurn Castle, a short way up the loch, is an iconic sight and Inveraray Castle and Jail are just a short drive away. http://www.inveraray-castle.com/ http://www.inverarayjail.co.uk/
Fishing and boating
At 26 miles, Loch Awe is the longest inland loch in Scotland and is world-famous for fishing. It holds the current British record for wild brown trout, but is also popular for salmon and pike. Boats and canoes can be launched or hired just a few hundred metres from Dalriada at the Loch Awe Boat Yard. The loch also has many islands which are perfect for exploring, in true ‘Famous Five’ fashion. http://www.loch-awe.com/activities/loch_awe_boats.html
There are countless walks around Loch Awe – from adventurous hill walks to gentle woodland strolls. http://walking.visitscotland.com/walks/argyllisles/ http://www.loch-awe.com/activities/walks.html
Deer, red squirrels, foxes, pine martins, pheasants and birds of all kinds are regular visitors to Dalriada. The loch and the surrounding hills are also home to many birds of pray, including buzzards, hawks and osprey.
In winter, the Glencoe ski slopes are only 35 miles away. With 19 runs and seven lifts, they cater for snow sports at all levels. In the summer months there are lots of other adventure activities at the centre. http://www.glencoemountain.com/
Argyll Adventure at Inveraray offers brilliant horse-riding for all abilities, as well as a range of other activities – paintball, Laser Storm, climbing walls, to name a few. http://www.horserides.co.uk/
Oban is 32 miles away and offers a host of sights and activities. Ferries leave from here to many of the islands, with shorter boat trips also available. Closer to hand, the Cruachan Hydro Electric Power Station offers the chance to see inside this magnificent mountain. http://www.visitcruachan.co.uk/ http://www.calmac.co.uk
Eating, drinking and shopping
For food and drink, Arbrecknish House is just five minutes walk from Dalriada and Portsonachan Hotel is less than two miles away. Dalmally, Loch Awe village and Inverarary offer a host of hotels, cafes, restaurants and shops.