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If you want to get off the beaten track for a day or two, take a boat across to the Cowal peninsula. Here you will find its capital town Dunoon which is located in the south of Argyll and Bute. This guide will look at the top things to do and hotels in Dunoon

Your complete guide to Dunoon

This town has a rich history and one of the locals will be able to tell you all about its origins and feuds between the famous Lamont and the Campbell clans. 

Dunoon is the maritime gateway to Scotland’s famous Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park.

Although Dunoon is located on the Cowal peninsula, travel links to the town are reliable and well-priced. 

If you are travelling to Dunoon from Glasgow by car and ferry it will take around an hour and a half to get there. You can also take the train from Glasgow Central to Gourock and then take the ferry over to Dunoon’s Terminal. Bus trips to Dunoon are also available from Glasgow.

dunoon main street

Things to do in Dunoon

Dunoon has lots to offer day-trippers and tourists travelling around Scotland. From its large Victorian pier to its excellent selection of craft shops and galleries, spend some “you” time exploring what Dunoon has to offer. 

Benmore Botanic Garden

benmore botanic gardens is one of the top things to do in dunoon

While you are visiting Dunoon make the short trip to Benmore Botanic Gardens, here you will find one of the most popular botanic gardens in the country. 

This is an excellent day out all year round as the Garden thrives throughout all of the seasons. Once you have finished browsing through this spectacular scenery Benmore has to offer, enjoy the Courtyard Gallery, which often hosts exhibitions and events.

Puck’s Glen

puck's glen is a fantastic thing to do in dunoon

Chase the waterfalls at Puck’s Glen! 

Get your walking boots ready and head towards this secluded woodland area in Dunoon. 

This is one of the most famous tourists’ spots in the town and rightfully so – this mystical trail is picture-perfect.  

Castle House Museum

castle house meseum is one of the best things to do in dunoon

Discover the real Dunoon at the Castle House Museum. This stunning tourist attraction sits in the heart of the town. Many visitors come to Castle House Museum to learn more about Dunoon, it’s history and the people that live there.

Water sports

watersports and kayaking is one of the top things to do in dunoon

When visiting Dunoon head out and enjoy the clear waters that surround the Holy Loch Marina. This part of Scotland is a hotspot for sea kayakers and if you want to have a go, you can take a tour with Sea Kayak Argyll & Bute, a water sports company who run guided expeditions around Dunoon’s waters.

Stay Fresh Fest

stay fresh music festival

One for the music lovers.

Stay Fresh Fest is Dunoon’s annual musical festival which supports local musicians and charities! The event which hosts a range of musical acts from all different genres happens every September at the Queen’s Hall.

Accommodation and Hotels in Dunoon

Behind Dunoon’s promenade, you will find a wide range of accommodation, everything from highly rated hotels to cosy guesthouses near the coastline – there is something for everyone. 

Hotes in Dunoon Star Pick: The Argyll Hotel

the argyll is one of the top hotels in dunoon

The Argyll Hotel is My Voyage Scotland’s top pick for hotels in Dunoon. If you want to stay in unique accommodation during your stay in the town, The Argyll Hotel is based in a spectacular Victorian building with first-class views of the River Clyde.

You won’t miss it when you arrive at the hotel as its distinctive tower has become one of Dunoon’s most recognisable landmarks.

Guests can also choose from two dining options the Argyll Restaurant and Ristorante Italiano Rio – you’ll be spoilt for choice if you choose to stay here.

The Park Hotel

the park hotel is one of the top hotels in dunoon

If you are looking for a relaxing hotels in Dunoon – kick back at this tranquil hotel in Dunoon. Many guests choose to stay here as it offers guests great value, sea views, and comfortable rooms.

If you are looking to dine at the Park Hotel, the restaurant offers an excellent, traditional Scottish menu. Make sure you try haggis if it’s on the special’s menu!

Abbots Brae

abbots brae is one of the top hotels in dunoon

This luxurious mansion house is located on Dunoon’s beachfront. Guest can choose to stay in stunning king-size rooms with panoramic views over the Firth of Clyde.

After a day at the beach retire in the hotel bar – the friendly staff at the Abbots Brae will make sure you have everything you need to have an enjoyable stay in Dunoon. 

Puck’s Rest 

pucks rest is one of the top hotels in dunoon

If you are looking for somewhere fun and affordable book up at Puck’s Rest. This guest house in Dunoon is suitable for guests looking for double, twin and family rooms and it also has a dormitory section which is popular with backpackers.

This beachfront haven is highly rated for its stunning views and awesome hospitality – hosts even provide deck chairs for their guests. 

Self-catering Dunoon

Benmore near Dunoon has a great range of lodges where visitors can go to chill out and enjoy the outdoors. Many of the accommodation which is available here have self-catering facilities.

St Ives

St ives guest house dunoon

St Ive’s gets the best breakfast award for Dunoon.

 This stunning boutique hotel located on West Bay beach offers guests morning coffee with stunning seaside views. Choose between a traditional Scottish breakfast with smoked salmon from Argyll Smokery or alternatively, one of the hotel’s chef can whip up a Vegan delight.

All seven stylish bedrooms at this accommodation have everything you need for a weekend getaway – including traditional Scottish tea cakes.

Douglas Park

douglas park guest house

If you are looking for a clean and comfortable place to stay in Dunoon, rest your head at the Douglas Park guest house.

This location is perfect for those travelling around this part of Scotland by bike as guests have access to a secure garage where they can store their equipment. 

It is also fifteen-minute drive away from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. 

Ard Darach Lodge

ard darach lodge

Our top pick for self-catering accommodation near Dunoon is a bit of a wild card, but it was love at first sight when we saw Ard Darach Lodge. 

This log cabin in is 5.6 miles from Dunoon. Visitors that stay here can enjoy its stunning surroundings as it offers views Scottish mountains and untouched woodland areas. 

Suitable for six people, this hidden gem has all the trimmings, including a balcony, kitchen area with an oven and free WIFI!

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