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We look forward to welcoming you this summer. To enjoy your visit safely please plan ahead, follow local signage and park considerately.

Benmore

Where we are

COVID-19 update

Enjoy your visit safely:

  • Read our Covid-19 Information in advance of your visit.
  • Most of our forests and facilities are open, but use our website to check before you travel.
  • Do not light campfires or use disposable barbecues.
  • Park considerately, taking care not to park on verges or block gates or roads.

Latest forest information

Please note that due to road building and tree felling works, the Big Tree Trail is Diverted and the Black gates Trail is Closed.

There is no access along the forest road between Inverchapel and Kilmun Arboretum.

About

Walk between colourful plants and giant conifers

Benmore boasts some of Scotland's most impressive specimens of really big conifers. The trails take you amongst giant Californian redwoods, Douglas fir and Western hemlock. In spring and early summer Benmore bursts into colour when its remarkable collection of rhododendrons comes into bloom.

Benmore Estate was given to the nation in 1928 by the Youngers, a well-known Edinburgh brewing family. In the 19th century it was planted with many north American conifers, which have now matured into an impressive and beautiful forest. The estate includes Puck's Glen to the south and the beautiful Benmore Botanic Garden.

Guide map to Argyll Forest Park (PDF 4.6MB)

Walking trails (2)

Walking

Big Tree Trail

Walk beneath (and indeed over) some towering Douglas firs, cypresses and silver firs planted in the nineteenth century. Some great views from the top.

Uneven gravel and earth paths with exposed tree roots and muddy sections. Some long steep slopes and low trees to duck under.

Strenuous trail grade icon
1 ¼ miles / 1.9 km

Allow
1 hour

More information

A great way to see Benmore's colossal conifers. Rest and enjoy the experience on benches along the way: sit quietly and you may see roe deer and red squirrel too.

Walking

Black Gates Trail

A full tour of Benmore Forest that combines the giant conifers of Benmore with the spectacular gorge of Puck’s Glen and provides great views across the valley.

Narrow and rough rocky sections in Puck’s Glen that may be wet. Several steep slopes with long flights of uneven steps. Includes a number of bridges.

Strenuous trail grade icon
3 miles / 4.8 km

Allow
2 hours

More information

From Benmore's Black Gates, climb up through majestic big trees and catch amazing views over Glen Massan and the River Eachaig before dropping into the deliciously atmospheric Puck's Glen, with its twisting path, waterfalls and bridges. A gentle road brings you back to the car park at Benmore.

Cycling trails (1)

Cycling

Loch Eck Loop

A trail notice is in effect

  • As of July 12, please be aware of tree felling taking place near the water works by Benmore Botanic Garden. The Loop remains open but access may be subject to short delays. Please follow all onsite safety signage and instruction.

A treat for cyclists with a day to spare.

Forest road and paths, with a short section on public road. Some very steep slopes with occasional loose material on the paths.

 Cycling post icon
21 ¾ miles / 35.0 km

Allow
6 hours

More information

A rewarding day out for fit and determined cyclists. The circular loop climbs high above beautiful Loch Eck on the east and hugs the shoreline on the west. Most people start and finish at Glenbranter and cycle clockwise to get the main climb out of the way early in the day. Either way you'll have magnificent views over the Clyde and out to west coast and islands.

Activities

Cycling

There is easy access to the 21 Mile Loch Eck Loop cycle trail from Benmore. Download the route card from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking

There are public toilets and a café in Benmore Botanic Garden.

Car parking information

There is no charge to park in this car park. Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates.

More about parking

Getting here

The forest trails begin on the opposite side of the main road from the free car park at Benmore Botanic Garden, which is 6 miles north of Dunoon on the A815.

Using SatNav?

PA23 8QU is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

Buses between Dunoon and Inveraray stop at Benmore Botanic Gardens. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

Nearby forests

Family of four walking up narrow path besides small stream in a steep sided gorge covered in green trees, bushes, moss and lichen.

A deep, woodland gorge with cascading waterfalls

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Benmore': 0.94 miles
Autumnal oak leaves at Kilmun Arboretum

Hillside arboretum with over 150 tree species

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Arboretum
Arboretum
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Benmore': 2.12 miles
Two women walk with young girl running ahead on leafy path, beside beach at Ardentinny, on the shore of Loch Longt Ardentinny

Cowal's longest sandy beach

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking icon
Parking
Cycling
Cycling
Picnic area
Picnic area
Campervan parking
Campervan parking
Distance from 'Benmore': 2.65 miles

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6600 (option 2)
More contact information

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