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Scotland’s Latest Tourist Route – The Coig

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On the back of the success of Scotland’s current tourist routes, like the world famous North Coast 500, The South West Coastal 300 and The North West 250, The Coig is the latest to have been launched in Scotland.

Gaelic for “five”, The Coig is in fact a series of five tourist routes across the Clyde Coast and Islands designed to showcase natural beauty, history, food and drink and activities on offer. During these breath-taking journeys, tourists are promised to find an unexplored melting pot of secret places and fresh discoveries and be able to delve into a fusion of contrasting landscapes, charming locals and colourful communities.

Here we provide a short insight into each of the five routes:

Route One – The Shire
Explore the towns and villages of The Shire, situated in the south-west of Scotland. There is a clear legacy upon these lands of traditional industries such as fishing, mining, and farming, but perhaps unexpectedly The Shire also boasts an explosive, romantic and ancient cultural heritage.

From stately homes and ancestral castles to the untamed glory of its rolling hills, plunging glens, cascading waterfalls and formidable cliff-tops, the Shire has many geographical connections to William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, whose lives have been immortalised in folklore of the area. The area is globally renowned for its picturesque golf courses at Troon and Turnberry. Quirky independent boutiques and bars sit alongside larger leisure and retail attractions as visitors pass between the Shire’s smaller villages, and towns nearer commuter centres.

Route Two – The Shiel
The Sheil 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 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. Another of The areas faces is its collection of seaside towns, secret bunkers and formidable castles. 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. 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’.

Route Three – The Arran.
Popularly known as Scotland in miniature, Arran is rich in everything that this beautiful country has to offer. As well as its striking scenery, compelling heritage and thriving local culture, the island is renowned for being a haven to many species of unusual Scottish wildlife, ranging from otters to basking sharks and dolphins, golden eagles and white deer.

Arran’s circular coastal road is also very popular with cyclists, while more adventurous visitors can indulge in kayaking and diving at the marine-protected area on the island’s southern coast. Rest and relaxation are also amply catered for on Arran. Visitors can immerse themselves in the island’s vibrant music, arts and culture scene while enjoying a tipple fresh from the Arran Brewery, or from one of the distilleries at Lochranza , Lagg, or Arran Gin.

Route Four – The Bute
Once the beach resort of choice of fashionable mainland Glaswegians, the Isle of Bute remains a popular seaside destination, enhanced by the preservation of its authentic Victorian promenade. As Bute’s main town, Rothesay presents a well-manicured waterfront with glorious gardens and grand architecture – epitomised in the architectural masterpiece of Mount Stuart House and Gardens.Victorian shops have been turned into stylish boutiques and upcycled furniture emporiums. A vegetarian cafe offers an alternative menu composed of local fare, as well as selling guitars and books. There are also plentiful sea-front ice-cream parlours, as well as traditional old-style pubs.

The West Island Way runs the length of the island providing waymarked footpaths through the hills, whilst Bute’s many beaches offer ideal picnicking or rest-spots with breathtaking views across to Arran.

Route Five – The Cumbrae
Great Cumbrae is a tiny island which is enormously memorable! Merely four miles in length and two miles wide, the island is reached by ferry crossing from Largs, with Great Cumbrae as a whole often conflated with Millport, its only town. Millport itself is gloriously busy and cheerful, with a collection of seaside-themed boutiques, pubs, ice cream parlours and eateries populating the main promenade. Cumbrae is famously popular for cyclists of all ages thanks to a safe 10 mile, mostly flat, circular loop around the island. For a quieter pace the best beaches are on the western side of the island, with gorgeous views over to Arran and Bute.

The island is a paradise for nature-lovers and wildlife watchers with over 125 species of birds, seal colonies, porpoises and basking sharks. Enthusiasts can visit the Field Studies Council in the south-east of the island, which offers information and educational experiences for families and school groups teaching about Cumbrae’s native vegetation and marine life.

Little’s are experts in designing unique and exciting private tour itineraries around Scotland, from 1/2 a day in the capital city to a six day tour of the Highlands & Islands. You will be accompanied by a highly knowledgeable and entertaining touring chauffeur, who will be your guide throughout your trip. To find out more about our chauffeured tours of Scotland, contact us: EMAIL: tours@littles.co.uk  CALL: +44 (0) 141 883 2111