There is a hidden gem in Scotland that is often passed by because it’s relatively new and unknown to most (established circa 2000). We’ve spent a lot of time scouting Scotland wedding locations and until we dug in trying to find more offbeat and less touristy locations, we didn’t know about it either. Allow me to introduce you to The Cowal Way. It’s deemed one of Scotland’s Greatest Hiking Trails at 75 miles long. You’ll find this stunning area on the Loch Lomond side crossing Argyll and Bute. It’s meant for hiking, mountain biking, and along the way you’ll find amazing spots to do coasteering or sea swimming, kayaking, and SUP. Please come along with us today as we take you on a tour of the Cowal Way. Maybe you’ll even fall in love with one of the places or views for your destination wedding or elopement in Scotland!
There are many different access and entry points to begin hiking all (or just a section of) the Cowal Way. They paths are clearly marked by the below symbol.
For the most part, we found the trails to be nicely maintained and moderate hiking skills are needed. It’s not flat or easy all along the way as there are large steps over boulders, mud, and other nature items to dodge, so we highly suggest bringing along a pair or walking sticks, especially if you’re getting Scotland wedding photos taken along the way.
It was nice to be pleasantly surprised by picture perfectness of the scenery. It many items reminded me of little quaint Northeastern fishing towns in Canada or the US because of the rock textures, boat houses, and random lighthouses. There was a nice mix of historical and rustic too that amped up the charm. It seemed like every house was white and had an adorable boat house on the property. Or we’d find the random old red telephone booth strategically placed (or so it was at some point in time) which now acts as beautiful historical relic! Imagine having some of your Scotland wedding photos taken alongside of these lovely landscapes! The fog and the rain even make it more dramatic!
One of my favorite things about this hiking trail in Scotland is that at any point, you can partake in something adventurous if you organize it ahead. For example, at one of our break points, we met a local Scotland guide to do some kayaking with! Having kayaking, coasteering, sea swimming, or SUP are all amazing activities for your Scotland adventure wedding group to partake in! What an unforgettable bonding experience to share during your Lake Lochmond wedding weekend in Scotland!
When you think about having an adventure wedding in Scotland, what sorts of landscapes come to mind? Do castles? Ruins? Sweeping mountains? Textured rocks? Endless trees? Rolling hills? Dark clouds? Sweet waterfalls? Rocky beaches? Amazing hikes? Little fishing villages? The options are endless for Scotland wedding locations! See a few of our recent favorites of a wedding couple along the Cowal Way below…
So when you start planning your destination wedding in Scotland, what do you need to think about? IE, what sort of challenges might you face? Well… If we are your adventure wedding planner for your Scotland elopement / wedding, we will fully educate you on all of the things to expect, best time of year and areas, etc. Weather may be one of your biggest challenges, so you need to just come to the realization that it will likely rain on your Scotland wedding day and just embrace that dynamic. After all, you’ll end up with really lovely moody Scotland wedding portraits too!
The roads within the Cowal Way (and within Argyll and Bute), were of stone or dirt texture, and frankly it added to the adventurous charm. Before finding the Cowal Way, we had an image of the Lake Lochmond area as being a pretty generic Scotland wedding location. And by generic we just felt it didn’t offer the true adventure wedding style we at Your Adventure Wedding strive for… Which is offbeat and non-touristy. But when found the Argyll and Bute areas, we were blown away by the amount of beautiful options! There is a sense of untapped mystery and calmness about this area that speaks to our hearts. We even found our way to a secret waterfall to explore! Imagine your Scotland adventure wedding photos having this super cute waterfall as an exploration spot!
To our surprise, there were also many castles in the area… Some in ruins, others in full glory, and a few going over restoration. They all held their own beauty as we did our Scotland wedding locations scouting throughout. Isn’t like every little girls dream (at some point in time) to have a wedding in a castle? Scotland would be the perfect place with countless options to explore for your adventure wedding day!
The textures, tones, and colors were moody as we scouted the adventure wedding locations in the rain. We went from super green to very brown in some points. The amount of moss was also a nice surprise to see (felt like a little piece of Iceland came with us!)! Incorporating the nature into your Scotland wedding reception plans can be a lovely feature too. Did someone say, woodland fairy tale theme for their Scotland elopement?! Yes please!
It seemed like everywhere we went, there was an incredible Scotland wedding photo opportunity or an adventure to be had. Throughout every area there were castles that offered unique accommodations, hotels, and lovely Bed and Breakfasts. Our only complaints we had were the “midges” these annoying little bugs that bite when you go deep into the woods. We highly recommend the Cowal Way, Argyll and Bute for offbeat Scotland wedding locations. If you’re looking for less touristy but still stunningly beautiful, there are many locations within these areas we (as Scotland Adventure Wedding Planners) would love to introduce you to for your Scotland destination wedding or elopement! Stay tuned next time, when we feature an unforgettable Scotland wedding location within this amazing area… Dunan’s Castle!
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