Find the nearest History & Heritage in Argyll and Bute
Our History and Heritage category brings all Coast Radar’s Argyll and Bute listings related to looking for something to do or a place to visit together where they offer some form of historic or heritage based activity.
Finding the best things to see and do on a Argyll and Bute day out with your family or friends is easy – simply explore the historic and heritage links below, hit the jump to my location button or use the search bar to plan your next Argyll and Bute activity.
- Castle Stalker is on its own island 25 miles north of Oban on the west coast of Scotland. It’s a romantic looking castle with the mood of the water surrounding it lending the atmosphere. The name means ‘hunter’ and originally this was a small fortified building belonging to the MacDougalls in 1320. In 1620 the castle was handed over to the Campbells as part of a wager and today it’s a family home that is only open to the public for around five weeks each year for tours. You’ll be taken to the castle by boat so no wheelchair access or large groups. The cafe is lovely and you can get a hot drink and meal before the tour.
- Carrick Castle dates back to the 12th Century and sits up high on a rocky outcrop on the shores of Loch Goil in Argyll. You can walk there if you’re feeling fit taking the route through Argyll Forest. It is believed that this is the third fortress to be built on the site with the first being a Viking fort and the second a castle. In the 13th Century the land here was owned by the Campbell Earls of Argyll and it could well have been they who built the rectangular tower house in the 1400’s. This was a Campbell stronghold for three centuries and visited by Mary, Queen of Scots and destroyed by fire in 1685. The castle is now owned by Alex Fleming and is under restoration. Even so, the ruins are well worth a visit. There are two storeys above the great hall with its walls seven feet thick and many other odd characteristics to see like the chimney in the window recess!
- Easdale Island near Oban in Argyll on the west coast of Scotland is one of the Slate Islands and is of historical interest. Easdale Island Folk Museum displays a range of topics from the slate industry, army volunteers, education, geology, boats, and entertainment. There are genealogical records for the Kilbrandon and Kilchattan parish as well as rent books, Masonic records, and a map of Easdale Island circa 1881. Image of Easdale Island by Graham Cole.
- Ardkinglas Woodland Gardens are part of the estate of Ardkinglas House which stands on the shores of Loch Fyne in Argyll with an imposing backdrop of forest and mountains. The main house is an architectural masterpiece by Sir Robert Lorimer and is full of expert craftsmanship and often used in TV dramas like My Life So Far, The Waterhorse, MaxManus and This September. The house is only open to the public on a Friday from April to October but you can arrange a tour if you book during other months. It’s well worth the visit as the gardens are superb and the rooms in the house all look over Loch Fyne! Here you’ll find the tallest tree in the United Kingdom as well a family home to explore that has not altered a bit in a hundred years! It’s a wonderful day out as the atmosphere is magical and the estate offers walks, venue for weddings, fine dining, a self catering apartment in the house itself, private tours and a superb collection of plants.
- The Inveraray Maritime Museum includes the Arctic Penguin, a 3-masted Schooner built in 1911. The history of the Western Seaboard brought to life, On-board cinema with breathtaking archive film where you get to see the bad conditions of human cargoes to the new world. Children can explore Davy Jones Locker, blow the foghorn, ring the telegraph, try the Pirate’s Ghost Illusion. Gift shop, tea, coffee available.
- The Campbeltown Cross is a medieval cross located in the centre of Campbeltown in Argyll. The cross has some fine medieval carving, with Celtic designs, dates from around 1380. The cross was erected at a church at Kilkivan before being moved to Campbeltown after the Reformation.
- Castle House Museum is a historic building set in gardens opposite Dunoon Pier. The Castle House itself was built by Lord Provost James Ewing of Glasgow in 1820’s on the site of a ruined medieval castle. Until 1975, Castle House was the Chambers of Dunoon Town Council before housing the former public library. The museum exhibits, models and photographs that tell the story of Dunoon from the Neolithic to the present day. The museum has disabled access and a gift shop.
- The Cathedral Church of St Columba is in Oban on the shores of the bay. It was originally built out of corrugated iron as a temporary solution but actually stood for over fifty years like this until the new building was erected in 1932. In 1959 the great bells were blessed which marked the completion of the cathedral. Inside, you can see the Archangels immortalised in stained glass looking out across the Firth of Lorne to Iona and the Atlantic. The Cathedral is in the neo-Gothic style and pink and blue granite are the materials used throughout making the Cathedral a tangible symbol of the sturdiness of the tradition of the faith of the people of the West Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
- Ascog Fernery and garden is part of Ascog Hall. Ascog Hall is renown for the Victorian fernery and most beautiful, fairytale gardens on the Isle of Bute. This is a wonderful spot to visit if you’re in Edinburgh or Glasgow as it’s not too far from either. The gardens here date back to 1870 and were replanted over the last two decades to feature some of the original pathways found after clearing. There is a wide selection of perennials and shrubs as well a scented rose garden and other surprises to enjoy like the famous ‘fernery’ that was uncovered as the owners cleared away the jungle like overgrowth. The fernery housed exotic sub tropical ferns – or the remains thereof – and it took a long dialogue with Hostoric Scotlnd who then awarded a grant to the restoration of the roof and restocking slowly took place under the advice of The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. It opened to the public in 1997. The house is open daily from Easter to October.