The Argyll coast is stunning at any time of year with its varied scenery, native wildlife and a whole host of historical and archeological features. Spring however, is a favourite season here! By the time March arrives the signs of Spring are clear, with longer days and an array of flora brighten up the landscape with splashes of light and colour. In addition many visitor attractions begin opening for the season, offering a range of tours and activities which can be enjoyed with the added benefit of no big summer crowds. So whether you are looking for an active adventure holiday or a more relaxed retreat, here are five things to see and experience during a visit to Loch Melfort Hotel in March.
1. Fabulous flora – Neighbouring Loch Melfort Hotel are Arduaine Gardens. One of 20 gardens within the area, Arduaine offers a horticultural tour of the temperate world, with vast collections of flowering plants ranging from giant Himalayan lilies to Chatham Island forget-me-nots, and the more more familiar Spring snowdrops, primroses, magnolias and bluebells. Stretching over 20 acres an afternoon can easily be wiled away in this green oasis, strolling through the woodlands to the coastal viewpoint or relaxing in the water garden.
2. Leaping lambs – The terrestrial landscape of Argyll is a mosaic of forestry, mountains, farm and moorland scattered with lochs and rivers. With a strong agricultural interest in the form of Crofting, March is perhaps the cutest time of year to visit Argyll when the lambing season begins and a rural ramble around the area will reward you with sights of spring lambs gambolling around the fields!
3. Life’s a beach – The coastline of Argyll and the nearby islands are home to some of Scotland’s most beautiful beaches, ranging from sheltered turquoise bays to rugged shores exposed to the full force of the Atlantic’s swells. Although for most March may be a little chilly for a swim, an hour or two spent beach-combing can reveal hidden treasures, and a bracing stroll along one of the many nearby sandy stretches or a paddle in the shallows will certainly remind you that you’re alive!
4. Springtime spotting – March is a fantastic time to visit Argyll if wildlife watching is your thing. Spring is peak season for observing wading birds busying themselves along the shore including lapwing, snipe, curlews and redshank. Stretching into coastal waters, resident marine mammal species such as orca, humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins, seals and otters are joined by seasonal migrants including minke whales and common dolphins. Back on dry land, some of the last remaining and well-preserved patches of Atlantic oak woodland provide refuge for an array of native species including deer, badgers, red squirrels and pine martens. So whether you choose to explore yourself or take a guided tour with one of our local operators, you’re sure to experience a wild encounter or two!
5. Island escapes – March can often bring calm seas and clear weather, perfect for taking to the water and visiting some of our neighbouring islands. Mull and Iona are only a short ferry ride from Oban and can be visited as a day tour from Loch Melfort Hotel. These islands offer wildlife in abundance, fascinating historical features including an abbey and a castle, mountains and beaches, and of course a distillery – no Scottish island would be complete without one! With the added bonus of no crowds at this time of year, a visit to Mull and Iona offers the opportunity to get a real taste of life on the wild side (but with a few added comforts!).