The Portsonachan Hotel is set in over 100 acres of beautiful Scottish woodland and countryside, and of course, benefits from its position on the banks of the spectacular Loch Awe. We love to help guests get the very most of their stay with us, and our team will be pleased to signpost you to the many activities and attractions on our doorstep.
For the keen angler, there can be no better venue than Loch Awe. Known as the longest freshwater loch in Scotland, Loch Awe stretches over 25 miles end to end – so you won’t be short of space. Loch Awe has much more to offer than its famous trout fishing, though, with enchanting wee villages and some of the West Highlands’ most impressive architecture, spanning over six centuries, along its banks.
FISHING LOCH AWE
Loch Awe is 25 miles long and up to 1 mile wide, with depths of more than 300ft in places. Set in spectacular scenery, the loch attracts many visiting anglers throughout the year for both the wild trout and coarse fishing, and in recent years has become something of a mecca for anglers pursuing the Loch Awe’s famous large predatory ferox trout and pike. This Loch is a famous fishing destination where you can catch Brown Trout, Salmon, Atlantic Char along with tails Monster Pike. In 2002 the largest Brown Trout in the British Isles was caught weighing in at 311b and 12 oz.
Our guests can fish Loch Awe free of charge, anywhere from our shoreline or all over the loch from a boat. We have boats and fishing tackle available during your stay with us.
BROWN TROUT FISHING
The trout fishing season on Loch Awe runs from March 15th to Mid October. The best fly fishing for wild brown trout is to be had during the first few months of the season, before fish move into deeper water and at the back end of the season when the fish move back into shallower water. Traditional drift fishing over shallower water during these times can still produce nice baskets of hard fighting brown trout averaging 3/4lb with fish of 1-2lb not uncommon. Spinning can also be very effective in the right areas.
Trolling for Ferox trout is a very successful and popular fishing method used on Loch Awe. Ferox trout are large predatory Brown trout which spend most of their time in the depths feeding on the Loch Awe’s abundant population of Arctic Char and Roach.
Coarse fish present in Loch Awe include Pike, Perch, Roach and eels, and some very good perch can be caught whilst spinning or bait fishing in the summer. Fishing for these Pike during the summer months using lures, dead baits and fly can offer tremendous sport, though some anglers fish for them throughout the season often picking up very good fish on dead baits during the colder months of the year.
Though most anglers come to Loch Awe for the trout and pike fishing, there is also the potential opportunity to catch other less targeted species such as Arctic Char in the deeper water. There is also a chance of catching a salmon, usually whilst trolling for ferox trout or pike.
Unlike the other coarse fish, there is no close season for Pike in Loch Awe.
BARTGUILLEAN ANGUS’S GARDEN
Located a short walk from Barguillean Farm, the garden covers approximately nine acres and has been planted with many varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas, as well as other flowering shrubs and trees.
ARDCHATTAN PRIORY GARDENS
Facing south, with spectacular views over Loch Etive, one can look east to Ben Cruachan and west to the hills of Mull, the monks chose their site well to build a garden that existed at Ardchattan for over 700 years.
Interested to see a nice autumn garden? Then visit the scottish baronial house by John Starforth of Glasgow, at just three miles east of Connel. You’ll see a succession of wonderful bulbs, flowering shrubs, rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and primulas. A beautiful Woodland garden with ponds above Loch Etive.
ARDKINGLAS WOODLAND GARDENS
Visitors can follow a network of informal paths which rise from the tumbling waterfalls of the River Kinglas through richly varied areas of garden and woodland to the hillside above where there are spectacular views of Loch Fyne. The gardens spread on over 25 acres of hillside.
Arduaine Garden is a tranquil green oasis on the south slope of the Arduaine peninsula on the west coast, south of Oban, with something to see every day of the year.
Near the banks of Loch Fyne, Crarae Garden is a tranquil site, with its dramatic gorge, rippling burn, waterfalls and cliffs. It is a magical spot at any time of year, with the earlier flowers of countless rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and magnolias being replaced later in the season by the rich tints of foliage and fruit.
The historical fishing town of Inverary is located only 15 minutes drive from Portsonachan Hotel. With several tourist attractions including Inverary Castle, the Georgian Inveraray Jail in the burgh is now a museum. Other attractions include the Argyll Folk Museum at Auchindrain. The Celtic Inveraray Cross can also been seen in the town, there is plenty to see and do.
The Inveraray Castle was 40 years in construction, and the work was largely supervised by the Adam family, still renowned to this day as gifted architects and designers.
Oban, known as the Gateway to isles is situated only 30 miles from Portsonachan Hotel. The nearest largest town offers so much to see and do and has the most amazing fresh fish and seafood catches delivered to the nearby restaurants.
Scotland's largest ferry operator, Caledonian MacBrayne, or CalMac Ferries as they are known locally, operate an extensive service from Oban. During the summer months the company offer a range of Day Trips from Oban including whale watching and a wildlife adventure tour.
The Oban Visitor Information Centre, operated by VisitScotland (formerly the Scottish Tourist Board), is the national tourism agency for Scotland, is located in the Columba Buildings on the North Pier.
Glenorchy Parish Church stands on an island site between the rivers Orchy and Orchy Bheag near the village. The category a listed building, constructed 1810-11 on the site of at least two earlier churches, is a rare example of an octogonal plan with adjoining tower. The little-altered, white-harled (roughcast) church has been restored to its original appearance in recent years. The site is probably early Christian in origin, and is associated with Saint Conan. The large churchyard contains examples of medieval grave-slabs in the 'West Highland' style, which may have originally covered the graves of early chiefs of the Clan MacGregor and their relatives. They show warriors in contemporary armour, interlace and other motifs.
6 miles from the hotel is a stunning Forest Drive. Taking you from One Valley over the top of the nearby hills, and down in to Loch Awe. The views from the top are breathtaking.
It is not unusual to come across a family of Red Deer whilst out exploring the grounds at Portsonachan Hotel.
Bird watching in Argyll
Argyll is not particularly big, but offers many superb birdwatching opportunities in habitats ranging from tiny offshore skerries, islands with sweeping sandy bays backed by machair grassland, fertile lowland glens, fantastically rich ancient woodlands, extensive conifer plantations, freshwater lochs, great tracts of moorland and peatland as well as dramatic mountains.
There exists a viewing wildlife hide, stocked with binoculars and note pads, overlooking Loch Sidheannach, and can be found half way round the Forest Drive. The small Loch is packed with comings and goings of all sorts of creatures, anything from Otters, Golden Eagles, Ospreys to Damselflies.
Located in beautiful Argyll and Bute, Saint Conan’s Kirk is one the most popular things to visit in Argyll.
St Conan’s Kirk in the village of Lochawe attracts visitors from all over the world with its magical lochside setting and easily reached location. From the road the Kirk gives few clues about the amazing architecture both inside and out. It is exceptional both in style and surroundings, with a strong sense of peace and inherent spirituality. Although one of the most popular visitor attractions in Argyll, the surprising size of the Kirk means that there are days when you can feel you have the place all to yourself.
The Connel Bridge was completed in 1903 for the Caledonian Railway, and lies about 6 miles north east of Oban on the A828, north of the A85. The bridge features a number of interesting points. Although it was built as a single track railway bridge,
it also carried a single track road, which allowed both forms of transport to utilise its span to cross the narrows between Loch Etive and the Firth of Lorne.
Originally, the bridge carried just the railway (a single track). In 1909, however, an additional train service started running between Connel Ferry station and Benderloch on which road vehicles could be transported over the bridge.
Kilmartin Stones are a collection of 79 ancient graveslabs (one exception being a side-slab of a tomb chest) at Kilmartin parish church in the village of Kilmartin, Argyll, Scotland, about 30 km due south of Oban (about 46 km by road).
The earliest stones date back to the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries, with the most recent ones dated 1707 and 1712. Kilmartin Glen is a must if you are interested in finding out about the ancient inhabitants of Scotland. This glen has around 350 ancient monuments, 150 of which are pre-historic chambered cairns, round cairns, rock carvings, cists, and standing stones. Human history in this area can be traced back 5,000 year.
A woodland wonderland. Taynish National Nature Reserve (NNR) lies at the end of a hidden peninsula. The peaceful oak woodlands are interspersed with grassland glades, heath, saltmarsh and shoreline. The reserve provides a truly amazing landscape that’s teeming with wildlife.
Trees have stood here for more than 6,000 years. A magical mosaic of mosses and lichens drapes from the trees and carpets the ground. You might see roe deer, red squirrels and otters. Butterflies, beetles, dragonflies and moths flourish in flower-rich grasslands.
Deservedly the most popular short walk in the region, Puck’s Glen is a dark and atmospheric defile. A tumbling burn, criss-crossed by bridges, is enclosed by rocky walls heavily hung with mosses and overshadowed by dense trees.
It comes under Forestry and Land Scotland which has highlighted it as a feature of the Argyll Forest Park and described it as “One of the most magical forests in Scotland, with a delightful trail along a rocky gorge.”
A mobile Bird of Prey educational business with wildlife conservation at its core. Utilising awesome birds of prey in stunning locations around North Argyll.
Falconry is the sport of using trained birds of prey to catch wild quarry in the natural environment.
We use falconry methods and techniques to train and exercise our birds. Sometimes though, particularly on Hawk Walk Experiences the Harris Hawks will occasionally catch things. This is done accidentally as we’re not trying to catch anything, but this is totally natural for them.