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Dunoon: Accessible Highlands

Because we are tucked into a peninsula in the Scottish Highlands, people often assume Dunoon is hard to reach. And whilst it is true that our unspoiled Cowal peninsula feels like it is a million miles away from the big city, Castle House Museum is well served by road and ferry. You can get here in under 2 hours from Glasgow.

If you choose to take the route through Loch Lomond National Park, it is a very scenic drive, especially the last stretch down past Loch Eck, which is a stunning inland Loch  considered by many to be one of the finest lochs in Scotland.

Alternatively you can take your car aboard the Western Ferries from Gourock, or travel by rail and passenger ferry. See below for more details.

By rail

If you’re coming to Dunoon using public transport, then you’ll find frequent Scotrail train services, to Gourock via Glasgow, from most major train stations.

https://www.scotrail.co.uk

The train journey affords amazing views over Inverclyde, and Dumbarton Rock is a favourite with sight-seers.

From Gourock it’s a short hop over to Castle House Museum, using Calmac Ferries’ passenger service. Calmac operate a regular service from early morning to late evening which links with the Glasgow – Gourock rail service. You can also buy Rail & Sail tickets. 

https://www.calmac.co.uk/

Castle House Museum ©subtle sensor-3330
The Waverley Steamer arriving "doon the watter" at Dunoon Pier opposite Castle House Museum
Castle House Museum ©subtle sensor-0566
Loch Eck is a short distance away from Dunoon. On a calm day its still surface mirrors the mountains that enclose it.

By Bus

If you prefer a more scenic public transport route into Dunoon, then you’ll be pleased to hear we are well served by bus.

From surrounding areas:

If you are travelling by bus from Loch Lomond, or within Argyll & Bute, then West Coast Motors most likely run a service that will get you here. Follow the link below to use their journey planner.

http://www.westcoastmotors.co.uk/

If you struggle to find a West Coast Service, you may be able to find a McGills bus service:

http://www.mcgillsbuses.co.uk/

McGills run the 906 service toward Largs from Glasgow Buchanan Street Bus Station.  Alight at Gourock to catch the ferry.

Car Ferry

If you are coming to Dunoon by car, from Edinburgh or Glasgow areas, then your Sat-Nav will likely bring you in by way of the car ferry from McInroy’s Point in Gourock.

Western Ferries operate a very reliable and very regular service from early morning to late evening, at least every half hour at the busiest times of the day. If you stop at Paul’s Food & Wine in Gourock, you can pick up discounted ferry tickets.

You will disembark at Hunter’s Quay.  Turn left, and Castle House Museum is a short drive along the Esplanade towards Dunoon.

Journey times from Glasgow average around 1hr 40mins and there are a number of parking options nearby. Visitors to the museum can use our wee car park for free during your visit.

Please note that it is cheaper to buy car ferry tickets in advance.  They can be purchased online:

http://www.western-ferries.co.uk

Castle House Museum ©subtle sensor-2218
Western Ferries service arriving at Hunter's Quay, Dunoon. In the background, the old Cloch Lighthouse, Gourock.
Castle House Museum ©subtle sensor-0058
Beinn an Lochain dusted with snow, towers over the road toward Rest And Be Thankful pass.

By Road

If you are travelling from North of the river Clyde, or you just want to take the scenic route out of Glasgow, then you are in for a treat! The Cowal peninsula has some amazing views, so whichever direction you come from, you are sure to be rewarded.

From Glasgow/South:

Follow signs for Loch Lomond National Park, taking the A82 over Erskine Bridge.

Follow the A82 into Tarbet, then take the A83 through Arrochar and over Rest And Be Thankful (good photo spot).

Take the A815 onto the Cowal Peninsula and follow the shores of Loch Eck, then on into Dunoon.

Journey time around 2 hrs.

By Road

From Fort William/North West:

Follow the A82 South through Glencoe and Bridge of Orchy (stunning views) then via Tyndrum take the A85, A819  and A83 through Inveraray towards Cairndow.

Finally, follow the A815 onto the Cowal Peninsula , south along the the shores of Loch Eck, and into Dunoon.

Journey time around 2hrs 30mins.

Castle House Museum ©subtle sensor-2213
A biker heading down the A815 into Dunoon. Taken near St Catherine's, with Loch Fyne in the background.
Castle House Museum ©subtle sensor-2005
Looking back over Arrochar, following the A83 toward Cowal.

By Road

From Perth/North East:

Take the A85 West toward Crianlarich, then follow the A82 South into Tarbet.

From there, take the A83 through Arrochar and over Rest And Be Thankful (good photo spot).

Take the A815 onto the Cowal Peninsula and follow the shores of Loch Eck, then on into Dunoon.

Journey time around 2hrs 45mins.

We Are Here

Castle House Museum sits on the hill directly opposite Dunoon Pier, a listed Victorian landmark.

Highland Mary greets those arriving by passenger ferry, welcoming you into Castle House Gardens and the Museum itself.

There is plenty of car parking nearby, and you can grab a bite to eat in a number of establishments right on our doorstep, including Queen’s Hall cafe which lies at the foot of our gardens.

CHM Map of Dunoon Symbolic
We're directly opposite Dunoon pier, just up from Queen's Hall.

We Are Here

Castle House Museum sits on the hill directly opposite Dunoon Pier, a listed Victorian landmark.

Highland Mary greets those arriving by passenger ferry, welcoming you into Castle House Gardens and the Museum itself.

There is plenty car parking nearby, and you can grab a bite to eat in a number of establishments right on our doorstep, including Queen’s Hall cafe which lies at the foot of our gardens.

CHM Map of Dunoon Photographic
We're directly opposite Dunoon pier, just up from Queen's Hall.
Close Menu

Closed
for the
Winter

We’ve had a great year, thanks to everyone who came and brought their friends & family to learn about the history of Dunoon and Cowal.

We’re closed for the winter now and we look forward to welcoming you again in April!

In the meantime, enjoy our website; it’s full of useful information and links.