Trip to Dunoon 2024


John, Ryan and I returned to Dunoon once again for a weekend trip. It hadn’t been planned and we had booked for a weekend self-catering in Oban. However, at the last minute we were informed that they had made the booking for 2025! So we instead we opted for the Argyll Hotel in Dunoon.

Ryan Argyll Hotel

Ryan Argyll Hotel

It was a very busy weekend as there was a Punk Festival on. The festival centre was right beside the hotel so we had a loud, fast and furious soundtrack all weekend and Dunoon played host to more people sporting Mohicans than you would normally expect to see. It was colourful, fun and different.

punk festival

My Punk Pals


More punks in Dunoon

More punks in Dunoon

The hotel is situated in a great spot right in the centre of Dunoon with lovely views over the River Clyde. It’s very handy for the passenger ferry to Gourock, with the terminal just a five minute walk from the hotel.

view from hotel window

View from Argyll Hotel

A big attraction in Dunoon for us is that we have friends and family there.  We enjoyed meeting my great nieces Ashlyn and Kayla for breakfast at The Swallow Cafe (very popular eaterie with varied menu (including Vegan) and great coffee). There was quite a gang of us with mum, Val, big Brother Calum, Ashlyn’s boyfriend, also Calum, and baby Ollie.

Ashlyn and Kayla

Ashlyn and Kayla, Ashlyn’s 18th birthday

We enjoyed a lovely get-together and nice to have a catch up after Ashlyn’s recent 18th birthday celebration in Glasgow.


Holy loch ferry

Holy Loch from Kilmun

We spent an afternoon with Mary and James O’Neill, Ashlyn and Kayla’s gran and grandad. Mary came and picked us up and drove us to their lovely, quaint cottage in Kilmun, further round the Cowal Peninsula on the banks of the Holy Loch. They treated us to a delicious lunch and we enjoyed a good blether.  I had visited their home before but it was a first time for John and Ryan and they were fairly taken by James’ work studio where he designs and creates wonderful picture frames and mirrors.

James O’Neill’s Wonderful Designs


james o'neil frame

Dunoon – Eating Out

Val Ollie and Calum

Val, Ollie and Calum

I already mentioned The Swallow Cafe and that was perfect for meeting up with family for a relaxed lunch. We had been advised to try The Lorne but it was difficult to get booked. We enjoyed a decent Italian Meal, in the restaurant attached to the Argyll Hotel and had dinner in the hotel dining room but the winner definitely was on our last night when we successfully booked to dine at The Lorne, 249 Argyll Street, Dunoon.  The food was absolutely delicious, and although the restaurant was very busy, the service was great and there was a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.  I had the best sausage and mash ever, with delicious onion and rosemary gravy. Check out the menus

Shopping in Dunoon and the Cowal Peninsula

shop entrance cc

Argyll Street is the main. shopping street in the town centre and has  a mix of small independent shops selling toys, clothes and gifts. I particularly liked Doon The Watter, which has a great range of locally produced gifts. Allsortz is a small family business selling a mixture of homeware and gifts – they have a good selection of toys and games and lovely crystals.  Blacks is a very popular bakery. There’s also a garden shop, Boots the Chemist, a smattering of charity shops and a Christmas Shop.  Whilst Argyll Street has plenty to offer the real shopping delights are situated higher up behind the centre.

Argyll Abode Studioco

argyll abode crafts dunoon

Mary introduced me to two fantastic shops: Argyll Abode, 62 Hillfoot Street,  is a beautiful shop selling handcrafted home accessories and gifts. The owners are Kirsty, whose fantastic Macrame designs are unique and very temping, and Chris, wonderful shells from his diving expeditions have been used to create beautiful lamps.

Apart from combining their talents and interests to create a wonderful selection of goods for the shop, Argyll Abode also offers wellbeing workshops and Kirsty runs macrame classes.

Kirsty Cottiers Night Market

Kirsty Cottiers Night Market

(I was delighted to run into Kirsty and Chris recently when I went along to the Night Market at Cottiers in Glasgow West End. I spotted their stall immediately as their unique products are so recognisable).

The Curious Crow, Achamore Road

jan shopkeeper

Jan The Curious Crow

The Curious Crow is just round the corner  from Argyll Abode on Achamore Road.  Owned by Jan Harper, it is a treasure trove of strange, whimsical and wonderful creations.

If you are searching for something completely unique then this is the shop for you. Everywhere you look something original and lovely will catch your eye.  You will also find a selection of vintage curios and jewellery. And you can chat to Jan about special commissions. The Curious Crow is one of the most fascinating shops I’ve visited in recent years.

Journey Home

yacht on the clyde

Yacht on the Clyde

I’ve been to Dunoon several times before and always in the car – Jim had dropped us off at the ferry in Gourock when we travelled to Dunoon but we made our own way home. We caught the passenger ferry in Dunoon and in quarter of an hour or so we had arrived in Gourock. Then it’s just a five minute walk to the train station. Trains run regularly to Glasgow Central and the journey takes just over 50 minutes.

Pat Byrne, June 2024

More about Dunoon

Bob Law – walking and photography Trip to Gourock and Dunoon

Wullie Davidson’s Bus Pass Rambles, Benmore Gardens and Puck’s Glen

Find out more about Dunoon attractions at Visit Scotland – Dunoon


Accommodation: The Annex, Kilbride Farmhouse, Dunoon

This section: Travel

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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