Most visitors' approach to Argyll is west from Glasgow. At Dumbarton there's a choice of route: the more popular one is north on the busy A82 along the west bank of Loch Lomond. The other route is along the north shore of the Firth of Clyde, through Helensburgh and along the shores of Gare Loch and Loch Long. Both routes converge at Arrochar, the gateway to the real Argyll. The latter road is much quieter but is not exactly a scenic alternative, as it passes through an industrial wasteland that includes the submarine base at Faslane and the oil tanks at Finnart.
During the peak summer months it's essential to book ferry tickets in advance.
Public transport is limited in much of Argyll, though the main towns are served by buses. The main bus operators are Scottish Citylink, Tel. 08705 50 50 50, and Oban & District Buses Tel. 01631 570500.
The Oban to Glasgow rail line passes through the northern part of the region. For rail enquiries, Tel. 08457 48 49 50 . For general public transport enquiries contact Argyll & Bute Council, Tel. 01546-604695. Times of local buses and trains can also be checked at local tourist offices.
Ins and outs
Most ferries to the islands and remote peninsulas are run by CalMac, Tel. 08705-650000. If you're planning on taking more than 1 or 2 ferries, especially with a car, it may be more economical to buy an Island Hopscotch ticket. They can be used on a variety of route combinations and are valid for 1 month. They require advance planning but are better value than buying single tickets. For example, the Bute-Cowal-Kintyre Hopscotch ticket allows you to travel by ferry from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay, from Rhubodach to Colintraive and from Portavadie to Tarbert.
Most of this chapter is covered by the Argyll, the Isles, Loch Lomond, Stirling & Trossachs Tourist Board, Tel. 08707 200 607 Argyll, the Isles, Loch Lomond, Stirling & Trossachs Tourist Board Website The main offices, which are open all year round, are in Oban, Inveraray, Dunoon, Rothesay and Campbeltown. There are smaller seasonal offices in Lochgilphead, Tarbert, Ardgarten and Helensburgh. The island of Arran is covered by the Ayrshire & Arran Tourist Board, Tel. 01292-470 700. For more details about Argyll Tours Click here.