The beautiful Argyll coast offers stunning year-round scenery, amazing wildlife and a plethora of fascinating historical and archeological sites which means that even in winter there is plenty to see and do. Dramatic skies and seas help create wonderfully moody scenes, brought to life by the rich flora and fauna of the area. For the more adventurous souls there are a huge array of outdoor activities on offer, or if you fancy a more sedate escape why not curl up in one of our cosy armchairs with a good book in front of the fire. Whatever your interests, here are ten reasons to visit us at Loch Melfort Hotel in February.

1. Winter wildlife – A real biodiversity hotspot, the area surrounding Loch Melfort is home to a huge variety of wildlife on land, sea and in the air. From our native Highland cows and new-born lambs to soaring white-tailed and golden eagles, regal red deer roaming the surrounding hills, and otters hunting along the shore you’re sure to spot something special! Explore yourself or take a guided tour with one of our local operators. Wildlife watching sea trips are offered year-round too, with opportunities to spot resident porpoise, dolphins and whales, as well as seals and a variety of seabirds.

Loch Melfort Hotel Oban Nature Stag
2. Walks and wanders – Enjoy a relaxed stroll around our 17 acres of gardens and beach, or if you’re in need of a proper leg stretch pull on your hiking boots and spend a day exploring the hundreds of miles of walking paths and trails in Argyll. From easy family rambles to rugged mountain ascents, you’re sure to find a walk nearby to suit your abilities.

3. Gone fishing – If walking is not your thing then why not test your sea legs instead? Winter fishing trips are available on sheltered sea lochs where you can catch any number of species including cod, pollack, thornback ray and mackerel. If you’d rather keep your feet on dry land, there are also plenty of options to fish within local moorland lochs where trout, salmon and char can be caught. Fishing permits are available and if you’d like the help of a fishing guide, our local guide Duncan Pepper will pick you up from the hotel and show you the best spots. Line fishing in the sea just outside the hotel is also possible.

loch melfort hotel oban sea fishing rod
4. Picture perfect – The low sun and changeable winter weather creates incredible light, which together with our mixed landscapes of lochs, glens and mountains make our corner of Scotland a photographer’s paradise. Argyll is also one of the best places in Scotland to admire the night sky, with very little light pollution. Cold clear February nights offer the perfect opportunity to marvel at the milky way and take in one of nature’s greatest shows – the northern lights!

5. A foodie’s favourite – Winter is the season to indulge, and what better way to do that than by enjoying Scotland’s finest and famous local produce. We take pride in serving home-prepared locally sourced seafood, beef and game in our 2AA rosette fine dining restaurant and relaxed bistro, where we also offer and exciting wine list specifically designed to enhance your dining experience.

loch melfort hotel oban dining experience scallops
6. Whisky warmer – Known as the ‘whisky coast’ it would be rude not to sample a tipple or two during your stay! With multiple world-class distilleries along our stretch of coast and neighbouring small islands there are plenty of guided tours available, many of which demonstrate the full process from malting of the barley to bottling the final product. So if you catch a winter chill during your visit, there are lots of opportunities to warm up with a dram or three!
Whisky Adventures in Argyll: Distillery Tours, History & Beyond

7. Wild water – If you’re keen to get closer to the water, or even in it, there are opportunities to go kayaking, paddle boarding, diving and sailing on the nearby sea lochs. On calm days there is no better way to explore the area and get close to wildlife than from the water, and at this time of year underwater visibility is at its best, allowing divers to enjoy the diverse and colourful reefs, wrecks and best underwater scenery Scotland has to offer.

Loch Melfort Hotel Oban Sea Kayakers
8. Horsing around – A fantastic low-impact way of exploring the local area is on horseback. Several local stables offer trail rides for all abilities along the shore, on forestry tracks, or to the summit or nearby hills where you can enjoy panoramic views from atop your trusty stead that stretch all the way to Ireland. So why not embrace your inner Outlander by taking a trek through the wild wintery landscapes!

9. Travel through time – Argyll is a treasure trove of historical and archeological sights. Castles, cairns, stone circles and cleared townships as well as folk museums can all be found on the doorstep of Loch Melford Hotel and can be visited year-round. Discover the culture, language and history of this area, and how human influences have shaped the landscapes we see today.

Loch Melfort Hotel, Whisky, fireside, Oban
10. Relaxing retreat – Loch Melfort Hotel offers spectacular scenery, luxury rooms and relaxing lounges so if none of these suggestions appeal, why not just be lazy, indulge and do absolutely nothing this February!