An Argyll forest adventure at Christmas!

Ah beautiful Scotland! We’re back from having spent a week over Christmas in Argyll at Loch Long, at a Forest holiday lodge. I’m a big fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books and the TV Series, and whilst it isn’t set in Argyll it has made me want to visit Scotland. Being a walking family there would be plenty of opportunity for us to discover that fabulous scenery. I knew that the Loch Lomond Argyll area would be beautiful, but after nearly four hours in the car, there was a collective ‘wow’ as we saw the first mountains.

As we pulled into the cabins at Ardgartan it was dark and raining but that didn’t take away from the magic of a single piper welcoming us in. I had tears in my eyes! Our magical Christmas was about to start.

Our two-bedroom cabin was spacious, warm, and had a real tree waiting for us to decorate. After a bit of unpacking we set about decorating our tree with handmade decorations made from the craft set left for us. I was already impressed with the place.

On the edge of the forest the cabins were a great base for us to go out walking and exploring the paths and trails. We did a few walks by ourselves, went on a cruise on Loch Lomond and booked the Forest Ranger for a couple of hours, on a forest survivor course. Andy, the ranger and his lovely little dog Ness, showed us how to make fire, evidence of the local deer (gutted I didn’t see any!) and talked to us about building shelters and hunting for food. The kids really enjoyed it, my 6-year-old daughter was the best out of the family at getting a spark from the flint and steel!

The scenery was of course fabulous, even if the weather wasn’t so great. In a big comfy lounge we could relax, see the loch and mountains from the window, and even order a room service meal of pizza from the forest retreat from our TV.

We had an incredible time, I loved the fresh air, the trees and those mountains but I don’t think we saw everything of the area. I really hope we can go back at a different time of year and discover what else the area has.

Our top tips!

We got our shopping delivered to the cabin by a supermarket which made packing the car a lot easier. The oven in the cabin was big enough for me to cook a traditional Christmas day lunch! The Forest Retreat on site does have a shop with essentials, but you can buy frozen meals there or sit in and have a meal. There’s also meals you can have delivered to your cabin. If there’s anything missing from the cabin talk to the staff at the forest retreat – they were so lovely and couldn’t do enough for us.

Take torches, waterproofs and walking boots. We invested in some thermal layers and these came in very handy on our forest walks and on the Loch Lomond cruise.

Oh, and don’t forget to pack your youngest her favourite teddy – it could prove expensive!

Read about where we walked and visited whilst we were in Argyll.

All views are honest and my own and I’ve received no incentives to write about our forest holiday.


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20 comments Add yours
  1. Wow. It looks magical. I have always wanted to travel for the holidays. The cabin looks very welcoming! #adventurecalling

    1. It was really magical, I wish the snow had come on Christmas day and not waited till the morning we travelled back! Thanks for reading.

  2. This looks so festive with all the snow around you, it looks like it made the perfect base for some Christmas time away from it all. I bet the mountains and scenery were stunning. It sounds like a perfect Christmas escape.

    I look forward to hearing more of your adventures from there.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    1. It was lovely to be away from it all with little phone signal and incredible scenery. A shame the snow waited till the morning we left but the dusting on tops of the mountains looked lovely. Thanks for reading!

  3. I must have driven through Ardgaten more than once on our way to Oban but can’t say as I remember it at all. Going to have to be more observant next time up and make a point of stopping.
    I have to totally agree it is a beautiful area and the scenery is stunning, unless you get wet miserable days with low cloud or warm weather and midges. .
    How magical to have a tree and a decoration pack to make your own decorations.

    1. I think we were lucky we had such a mixture of weather. I’ve heard about the midges, my hubby and Daughter managed to get bitten by something at the loch side. Thanks for reading!

  4. What a beautiful place to spend Christmas. Nice and Peaceful. Do you go some where every year for the Holidays. We’ve never been to Scotland, but it’s defiantly on the bucket list!

    1. It was lovely. We run our own company, so Christmas is the only time of year we get an opportunity for a weeks holiday. Now I’ve had a taste of Scotland I want to go back! Hope you get there one day.

  5. Oh wow it is amazing up there! We tend to head this way in May, hadn’t thought to go at Christmas! It is so beautiful 😀#countrykids

    1. Ooo lovely, enjoy your trip in May! I would love to go back to Scotland, it would be nice to see it at a different time of year.

  6. Oh wow, it sounds amazing! Scotland is so beautiful and I love the idea of having a tree to decorate-a real home from home! I’ve been reading about your stay and it sounds perfect, I really want to get back up to Scotland soon, just wish it was a bit closer. Thank you for sharing with us #AdventureCalling

  7. This looks like our type of break. In fact, we’ve just booked to go away in October to Gairlochy Bay, not a million miles from Fort William, so we’ll be hoping to get lots of quality outdoor time. Your accommodation looks great and it sounds like it was perfectly situated. Thanks for joining us on #adventurecalling . I hope you can tomorrow when it opens again.

    1. It was a great place but I would like to discover some more of Scotland, maybe in a different season. I’m sure you’ll have lots of outdoor fun in October!

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