How long is the Cowal Way?
57miles / 92km
How long does it take to walk the Cowal Way?
Around three to five days, depending on your fitness levels, ability and leisure time available
Why is Cowal Way the most diverse long distance walk in Scotland?
Our tagline “Scotland in 57 miles” is used to try to portray our diversity. In 57 miles you will get to view what Scotland has to offer. Stunning coastlines, tranquil glens and forests, and hillsides with views as far as the eye can see. There is also an amazing range of wildlife, including the red squirrel, golden eagle and red deer – to name only three! The actual walking surface constantly changes too.
Does the Cowal Way ever get busy?
Many of our accommodation providers and other tourist businesses call this area the “Secret Coast”. This is because this Highland area is undiscovered for many. It is possible to walk all day on many parts of the Way and not see anybody! Compared to other walks such as the West Highland Way, this walk is very quiet.
Do I need to bring a map and compass?
Over the next six months we will be erecting circa 150 new waymarkers. When this is complete a map should not be necessary. However, we do recommend the Cowal Way Guide by Rucksack Readers. Also, the walk reaches a height of around 500m between Lochgoilhead and Arrochar, and if bad weather occurs visibility can be poor for around 2km, so a compass can be a good idea
When is the best time to walk the Cowal Way?
This is a personal choice. April to June and September to October are popular months, though many people prefer the summer months. Walking the whole path in winter is only advisable for very experienced walkers, especially the Lochgoilhead to Inveruglas section
Is wild camping allowed on Cowal Way?
Under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code wild camping is allowed. We ask people to be responsible. For example do not camp in crop fields, or next to farm animals and buildings. Also, please do not leave any litter. Help us to keep our path tidy, so others can enjoy it too. If you want to camp at a camping site, please see our “see, eat, enjoy, stay” section or look for the camping symbol on the map
Can I cycle the Cowal Way?
We have many cyclists who have completed the Cowal Way, some in one day! You will be able to cycle between 85% and 95% of the path, depending on your fitness levels and cycling abilities. For example there is small part between Tighnabruaich and Glendaruel where you will have to push your bike along the beach, and also a short section in the woods where you will have to carry your bike. If you follow this link it will take you to a local cyclist’s blog, who recently completed the Cowal Way. Hopefully his experience will be helpful http://explorecowal.com/2015/08/14/cowal-way-in-a-day/
Should I book accommodation in advance?
This is always advisable, especially in the summer months. Some parts of the Way do have limited accommodation choices.
Do you have baggage handling services?
Yes we do. The company that provides this dedicated service is called Balliemeanoch Baggage and they are located on the Cowal Way at Strachur. For more details check www.balliemeanochbaggage.co.uk
Is there a regular public transport service?
The Cowal Way is located in a very rural area of Scotland, but it is easily accessible from the central belt of Scotland. It is easier to bring your own transport. Alternatively, you can get a train to Gourock, take the 20 minute ferry to Dunoon, where you can pick up a bus at the ferry terminal to take you to Portavadie, passing Glendaruel and Tighnabruaich on the way. Bus services also run to Strachur and Lochgoilhead. Check out timetables on the ‘travel & transport’ page. There are also quite a few taxis in the area, and the majority are located in Dunoon. (Taxis are listed on the ‘travel & transport’ page).