Spring is well underway and Summer will be here before we know it. If you are planning your holiday and are wondering what to do in May, you will be astounded by the choice. Argyll is rich with history and has many splendid castles to visit, now open again for the season. The glorious Gardens of Argyll are in full swing with flowers and plants putting on their best garments in the milder weather. And if you like your whisky or want to discover more about it, then there are fantastic world-renowned distilleries to visit.

loch melfort hotel oban summer things to do
In addition to the permanent attractions and activities, there are also plenty of individual events and activities in May including fairs, festivals, yachting events, whisky month, etc. Read on for inspiration.

Food and Drink

Loch Fyne Fair: a feast of local produce, from the sea and surrounding rivers and lochs, with shellfish and other seafood aplenty, as well as local venison and land produce and plenty of ale, home baking and live music – 13th and 14th May 2017 by Loch Fyne Oyster Bar & Restaurant, free admission.

loch melfort hotel oban seafood

Colonsay Springfest: from the 1st to the 21st May, there are outdoor activities, events, workshops, talks, shows and music celebrating spring and everything the beautiful Isle of Colonsay has to offer.

Campbeltown Malts Festival: celebration of Springbank, Glengyle and Glen Scotia malt whiskies, all produced in Campbeltown, with stalls, crafts, tastings, live music and much more. 24th to 26th May 2017.

Islay Festival of Music and Malt: now in its 33rd year, this is a friendly and well-established festival with a strong Gaelic influence on this beautiful island, with traditional and not-so-traditional songs and music, poetry, food and whisky, all spread out over nine days of festivities. 26th May to 3rd June 2017.

On The Water

The Scottish Series: is a fantastic weekend of yacht racing around Tarbert, Loch Fyne. Organised by Clyde Cruising Club, it’s always great fun onshore, with entertainment and activities for children, as well as live music in the hotels. The racing yachts are a great spectacle to watch. 26th to 29th May 2017.

Waverley trips: the Waverley is the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer and a beautiful ship. In the Spring and Summer months, it takes passengers on mini cruises and day trips around the Scottish isles and West Coast. It is a treat you won’t want to miss, one that will appeal across generations. The Waverley sails in and out of Oban and Campbeltown, as well as along Argyll’s Secret Coast to and from Glasgow and all the way up to Skye. Trips around Scotland run from late May to late August.

loch melfort hotel oban yacht

Lismore Kayak Challenge: what better way to explore the Argyll coastline and discover the secrets of its secluded beaches, turquoise water, white sands, sheltered sea lochs, dramatic cliffs and deserted islands. But if this sounds all too energetic, why not come along and support those who are taking part in Argyll’s newest sea kayak race – the Lismore Sea Kayak Challenge on the 27th May. The 10km race starts at Ganavan Sands (just north of Oban town) and goes out to the iconic Stevenson-built lighthouse on Eilean Musdile at the southern tip of the island of Lismore….and back. Funds raised from the Lismore Kayak Challenge are to support Oban Lifeboat.

Running and cycling

If your passion is running or you enjoy pushing yourself in new cycling challenges then Argyll has a number of events this spring and summer.

The Kintyre Way Ultra 2017: this year, on the 6th May, the event has been expanded and includes the ultra marathon (35 miles), a 73-mile cycle ride and a 35-mile relay race. All routes take in the spectacular scenery of the Kintyre peninsula as you work your way from coast to coast.

Mull of Kintyre Half Marathon: perhaps you’d like to work up to doing the Kintyre Way Ultra next year but still want to set yourself a challenge and get the miles in this year….. Then this half marathon could be just the thing. Voted by Runners World as the ‘UK’s most scenic race’, it’s got it all – a picturesque location, a fantastic atmosphere and post-race celebrations of Danish pastries and ceilidh dancing! The route is famous for its stunning beach section. There’s also a 10K race and junior racing. So even if running is not for you, come along, show your support and soak up the atmosphere. 27-28th May.

Isle of Jura Fell Race: this is a true test of steel and one of the toughest challenges in British hill racing. The race is 28km long and takes in the summits of 7 mountains, including the famous Paps of Jura. This classic race is a great test of mountain craft, fitness and technique. 27th May.