Inveraray is in the Argyll and Bute region of Highland Scotland, on the north shore of Loch Fyne. It's dominated by its castle, built by the 3rd Duke of Argyll - but the 5th Duke went further and rebuilt the entire town 1772-1800. The result is a remarkable early "planned town", with unity of architectural style, and its parish church perched on a traffic island.
The town is on the busy A83, leading from Loch Lomond west to the Argyll peninsula. Citylink buses run six times a day from Glasgow Buchanan Street via Tarbet and Arrochar, taking 1 hour 45 mins. Bus 926 continues southwest to Lochgilphead, Tarbert (Loch Fyne) for ferries to Islay, and Campbeltown; Bus 976 goes north to Taynuilt and Oban.
The town can easily be explored on foot, but a car or bike is useful for sightseeing out of the town.
- 1 Inveraray Castle, Inveraray PA32 8XE. April-October daily 10:00-17:00. Stately mansion, home to the Dukes of Argyll, chiefs of Clan Campbell, built in Gothic Revival style from 1743. With extensive gardens. Adult £11.50, conc £10, child £7.
- 2 Inveraray Jail, Inveraray PA32 8TX, ☏ . Apr-Oct daily 09:30-18:00, Nov-Mar daily 10:00-17:00. Jail and courthouse opened in 1820, now a museum recreating the miseries of a felon in that era. Adult £12.25, conc £11, child £7.50.
- The Bell Tower in town centre belongs to All Saints Church. It's open July to mid Sept M-F.
- 3 Auchindrain Museum, Furnace, Inveraray PA32 8XN (6 miles south of Inveraray), ☏ . Apr-Oct daily 10:00-17:00, Nov-Mar M-F 10:00-16:00. Skansen-type recreation of a farming township circa 1800, on a 22 acre site. Adult £8, conc £7.50, child £5.50.
- 4 Crarae Garden, Minard, Inveraray PA32 8YA (10 miles south of Inveraray). Daily 09:30-16:30, Apr-Aug to 17:30. Woodland garden with Himalayan plants and waterfalls, run by National Trust for Scotland. Adult £7.50, NTS / NT free.
- Inveraray Highland Games are held at the castle in mid-July. The next event is on Tues 21 July 2020.
- 1 Argyll Adventure, Dalchenna Farm, Inveraray PA32 8XT (2 miles south of Inveraray on A83), ☏ . Daily April-Oct. Scenic treks, riding lessons, pony rides, and fast rides if you're competent to gallop over uneven ground. Plus various others (paintball, bungee trampolines, climbing walls, laser clay pigeon shooting etc), but it's really all about the horses here.
- BOWfest was a music festival held at the castle in mid-Sept, last held in 2018. The 2019 event was cancelled and it's unlikely to resume in 2020.
There is a small selection of independent shops on the main street.
- 1 Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, Cairndow PA26 8BL (10 miles northeast of Inveraray at head of loch), ☏ . M-Sa 09:00-18:00, Su 09:00-17:00. Renowned seafood restaurant, book ahead if you know you're coming. With shop and deli.
- Ban-diùc on Quay Close serves good fresh local fare and is no longer an Indian restaurant. It's open daily 12:00-15:00 and 18:00-21:00.
- Samphire at Arkland is another good seafood restaurant, open daily 12:30-14:30 and 17:30-20:45.
- 1 Fyne Ales, Achadunan, Cairndow PA26 8BJ (Up lane off A83 at the head of Loch Fyne, 10 miles northeast of Inveraray). Daily 10:00-18:00. Small brewery with tours daily at 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30 & 15:30. It brews a range of ales which are sold in bottles and on draught.
- The George Hotel (see Sleep) has an atmospheric bar.
- Inveraray Hostel, Dalmally Road, Inveraray PA32 8XD (by main road junction), ☏ . 21 bed independent hostel open April-Oct, clean, friendly and well-run. Dorm £20 ppn.
- Argyll Caravan Park is 3 miles south on A83. With camping pods.
- Several B&Bs in the village.
- 1 Loch Fyne Hotel, Inveraray PA32 8XT (south end of village), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Gets great reviews for comfort and ambience, and usually also for service. No lift to upper floors. With restaurant, leisure and spa facilities. B&B double £160.
- George Hotel, 1 Main Street, Inveraray PA32 8TT, ☏ . Charming old coaching inn with bar and restaurant. 17 rooms in the original building and 8 in the adjacent First House. B&B double from £95.
- 2 Inveraray Inn (formerly Argyll Hotel), Front Street, Inveraray PA32 8XB, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 36 ensuite rooms, many overlooking Loch Fyne. Building was designed by John Adam and opened in 1755; he forgot to install lifts, so you access upper floors by a spiral staircase. With Argyll Bar. B&B double from £100.
- The main road A83 continues southwest along the loch shore to Lochgilphead, Tarbert (Loch Fyne) (for ferries to Islay), and down the Argyll peninsula to the Mull of Kintyre.
- A819 winds over the hills north to Loch Awe, to join the roads for Oban, Glencoe and Fort William. Near Taynuilt see Kilchurn Castle and the "hollow mountain" of Ben Cruachan.
- Cowal: most visitors don't even know it's there. It's a peninsula reached by A815 which branches off A83 at the head of the loch, by Cairndow.
- A83 east climbs over the hills to Arrochar and Tarbet on Loch Lomond.