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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