Waulkmill Cottage is an excellent base for walking in the glens and hills of Cowal. Forest tracks can be used for walking and cycling and the more energetic might tackle the Cowal way which passes the cottage and extends from Portavadie on Loch Fyne to Ardgarten on Loch Long and from there to Loch Lomond and the famous West Highland Way. Using the Portavadie ferry to Tarbert, Loch Fyne opens up the Kintyre peninsula to the walker or cyclist and using the Colintraive ferry to Bute opens up the exploration of the beautiful island of Bute.
Bird watchers will enjoy the great variety of birds to be seen in Glendaruel and in the adjoining sea lochs where birds gather to feed on the sand banks at low tide. Seals, otters, porpoises, dolphins, basking sharks and whales can be spotted around the coastline. Watch too for eagles, ospreys, deer and red squirrels.
The garden enthusiast will find much of interest in the gardens at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute, Benmore near Dunoon and the many private gardens which are open to the public.
Cowal is an often overlooked part of Argyllshire but contains much to interest the visitor. Ancient monuments abound from ruined castles to ancient tombs and standing stones and the sites of many early Christian chapels. Any time you see a place name beginning “Kil..” such as Kilfinnan, Kilmodan, Kilmartin you will find an ancient church or “cell”.
Shoppers will find a good selection of supplies in Rothesay on Bute and Dunoon with smaller local shops in Tighnabruaich and Strachur. The local buses can be used but the service is not very frequent. A car is advised.
Good restaurants can be found at Strachur (The Creggans and the nearby Inver Cottage), Colintraive Hotel; a bistro and hotel facilities at Tighnabruaich and Kames; and, of course, a variety of choices is available in Rothesay and Dunoon. A recently opened marina at Portavadie boasts a fine restaurant in a spectacular modern building. Well worth a visit. The meals are not expensive and booking may be necessary. Wherever you eat the sea food is not to be missed. Fish is locally caught and fresh.