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Fancy a night away in Argyll? Four of the best romantic breaks from Glasgow.

Fancy a night away in Argyll? Four of the best romantic breaks from Glasgow.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Roses and chocolates are lovely, but wouldn’t a romantic break be even better? Escape to Argyll for a short break and fall head over heels in love with the sparkling sea lochs, beautiful beaches, wonderful islands, incredible dark skies and endless opportunities for magical dining experiences. Add to that the fabulous range of luxury accommodation for couples, and you have all the ingredients for an unforgettable romantic break. And all of this is within striking distance of the Central Belt. Here are four of the best romantic Argyll destinations within a two-hour drive of Glasgow.

Find love on Loch Lomond
What could be more romantic than a weekend away on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond? Just 30 minutes from Glasgow, it marks the first rise of the Highlands and is the embodiment of scenic Scottish splendour. The Loch Lomond area is jam packed with romantic places to eat and drink. The Luss Seafood Bar sits at the heart of the village of Luss and serves up the finest selection of Scottish seafood alongside fresh seasonal produce. For sumptuous accommodation and dining overlooking the loch, head to the Lodge on Loch Lomond. Or if glamping is more your scene, how about an ‘ayePod’, clever glamping pods designed for two, at Loch Lomond Holiday Park? For an awesome experience get airborne with Loch Lomond Seaplanes. Soar high above Loch Lomond and get a bird’s eye view of Argyll’s mountains, lochs and glens. The lovely town of Helensburgh is just a 45-minute train ride from Glasgow Queen’s Street. With broad avenues, piers, promenades, shops and eateries, it’s a fabulous place to spend a romantic weekend.

Be bewitched by Bute
The beautiful island of Bute is considered the most accessible island off the west coast of Scotland. It’s just 50 minutes away from Glasgow by road or rail, followed by a 35-minute CalMac ferry crossing. With magnificent Victorian architecture, glorious gardens and beautiful beaches, it makes for a wonderful romantic island escape. What’s more, the island is awash with great-tasting produce and you’ll find an abundance of eateries serving up this local food in stunning locations, from beachside cafés to fine-dining restaurants by the harbour. In terms of places to stay, the Boathouse B&B is a great choice, offering sumptuous suites and stunning sea views. There are a some fabulous Victorian hotels to choose from, including the wonderful Victoria Hotel.

Most of Bute’s inhabitants live around the two wide bays on the island’s eastern side, so if you’re looking for peace, solitude and the best beaches, head west. Take a romantic stroll along Ettrick Bay, a mile-long stretch of golden sand with stunning views over to Arran. At the start of the beach Ettrick Bay Tearoom serves up mouth-watering cakes. Mount Stuart is well worth a visit. The spectacular Gothic house, the ancestral home of the Marquess of Bute, features magnificent Victorian Gothic architecture and design together with contemporary craftsmanship, surrounded by 300 acres of gloriously maintained grounds and gardens that are just waiting to be explored.

Get starry eyed on Argyll’s Secret Coast
Argyll’s Secret Coast is a hidden gem tucked away on the south-west tip of the Cowal Peninsula. Bordered by two beautiful stretches of water, the Kyles of Bute and Loch Fyne, it’s an area of stunning natural beauty. In his Welcome to Scotland blog travel writer Robin McKelvie writes that the Kyles of Bute is one of the top ten most romantic places in Scotland. After you've taken in the views he says '...slip down the hillside to the water’s edge at Tighnabruaich or Kames, where hideaway hotels and aphrodisiac oysters await. 'We couldn’t agree more. What could be more romantic than sharing a bottle of wine and some of Scotland’s freshest seafood? The Royal An Lochan, Portavadie, Kames Hotel and Colintraive Hotel are all excellent options for a seafood feast for two, as is Botanica Restaurant & Rooms. At Portavadie you’ll find stylish contemporary accommodation, fine dining and a luxury spa complete with infinity pool overlooking the loch. Walk to Ostel Bay, browse the art in Tighnabruaich Gallery and head to the Oystercatcher at Otter Ferry for a sunset drink.

Be seduced by Inveraray
Whisk your loved one away to the handsome town of Inveraray for an unforgettable romantic break. There’s plenty to keep you occupied in this beautifully preserved 18th century town, from exploring Inveraray Jail and Inveraray Castle to browsing the great independent shops. What’s more, the place is packed with great places to eat, drink and stay. The Loch Fyne Hotel is a fabulous choice for dining, and also has a spa. Samphire specialises in local seafood and serves up lots of Loch Fyne’s lovely shellfish. The George Hotel is another great choice. This pub in heart of Inveraray is full of character with original solid flag-stoned floors and roaring log fires. Or head to Brambles Café & Bistro for a relaxed, warm atmosphere and delicious home-cooked food. For a romantic ramble, try Crarae Gardens, just 10 miles south of Inveraray. This beautiful National Trust garden is a Himalayan-style woodland garden. The famous Loch Fyne Oyster Bar is also near Inveraray. It’s a wonderful place to share a Loch Fyne seafood platter. Further along Loch Fyne at Strachur, the Creggans Inn offers lovely rooms and delicious dining. Look out for the Tinker’s Heart, a heart-shaped arrangement of 26 quartz stones overlooking Loch Fyne. For generations, it’s where members of Scotland’s traveller community got married.

Header photo: the infinity pool at Portavadie

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Ettrick Bay Isle of Bute, MT PhotographySeafood at the Royal an Lochan TighnabrauichLoch Lomond Seaplane
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