One of five great
Your Next Adventure.
The Shiel is where the west coast’s seaside towns and maritime heritage meet the wild and romantic landscape of Clyde Muirsheil. It is also often known as the gateway to the islands of Bute, Arran and Cumbrae.
With hills, waterfalls, moorlands, forests, lochs and an abundance of wildlife, it is impossible to appreciate everything that this area has to offer in one day. Single track roads, passing places and viewing points offer drivers opportunities to relax and recharge, whilst for cyclists or walkers there are various places to take bikes off-roads or picnic among The Shiel’s breathtaking scenery.
With such an assortment of landscapes and habitats, there is much to offer wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers. Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park is a sprawling complex combining nature reserves, woodlands, lochs and waterfalls, with a visitors’ centre located at Greenock Cut and outdoor and water-sports activities based at Castle Semple.
Another of The Shiel’s faces is its collection of seaside towns, secret bunkers and formidable castles. At Kelburn Country Park, a fusion of modernity and history finds expression in the vibrantly painted Castle, with the estate’s rolling woodland home to secret gardens, nature trails, and adventure parks. Explore the ‘Three Toons’ of Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Stevenston, which are packed with heritage trails, harbours, wild dunes and rock pools, and local shops and eateries promoting traditional local fare. Stop off at West Kilbride, Craft Town Scotland, and explore a traditional village filled with creativity, working studios and refreshments. Largs is not only famous for its delicious ice-cream and picturesque promenade, its Viking connections can be unearthed as visitors learn about the town’s role in one of the most important battles in Scotland’s history, ‘The Battle of Largs’.