Benmore

Where we are

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

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
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 trail notice is in effect

Due to fallen trees in the upper gorge and ground slips in the lower gorge, we have no option but to temporarily CLOSE the whole gorge section of Puck’s Glen. The trail from the car park through the forest up to the forest road is open and unaffected.  We hope to have the trail open again as soon as possible. Apologies for any inconvenience.  

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
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

Cycling

Loch Eck Loop

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.

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 & access

Parking
Parking

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

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

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6600
More contact information

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