I’m a big Dunoon fan. It reminds me of my childhood, a simpler time – although weirdly I’m pretty sure we only went over on the ferry once when I was a kid, and I’ve actually been back far more times in the past few years! I also remember when I was a kid being very surprised that Dunoon was actually not an island, why would we get a boat to a place that wasn’t an island? My mum tried to explain it would take a few hours to drive around but I didn’t understand peninsulas back then, or just how many peninsulas Scotland has! Anyway, I love visiting Dunoon, in fact I love the whole Cowal peninsula, which is in my opinion a very underrated area of Scotland.
We’ve covered off a lot of the peninsula over the years, but the last few times I’d been I’d seen pictures of the Chinese Ponds and I wanted to visit them as the pictures of them looked lovely. I just couldn’t for the life of me work out where they were.
Finally, once I had actually worked out what their name was, I managed to track down the car park to visit them from – it’s a couple of miles south of Dunoon, and is called Ardyne. We headed there on a beautiful Sunday morning, and were pleased to find the car park was not too busy.
So off we popped, we weren’t sure of the exact route so headed uphill on the first path we came to – luckily that was a correct decision, as after a very short walk we found a sign that read “Chinese Pond Trail” so we were literally on the right track. The walk wasn’t long but it was very uphill, so as you can imagine the Lazy Gal here was a bit out of puff. The fact it was so warm and sunny also didn’t really help as I was also sweating away like the proverbial pig.
The views down over the Firth of Clyde were beautiful, but after walking through more wooded area we found ourselves at a sign saying, once again “Chinese Pond Trail” that appeared to point back to the way we came – we’d missed a turn-off somewhere! *facepalm* So back we headed – there’s two small paths that go off the main path between the two signs, and they form a loop, so as long as you choose one of them, you’ll reach your goal!
It was actually a lovely tranquil sight – you get to walk past the beautiful water and clamber over the two little bridges. I have no idea who made these bridges, but they’re very cute and extremely photogenic. Although on a much smaller scale, I got Glencoe Lochan vibes from the whole little area.
The whole time we were up there, we only encountered a cyclist and his dog, and an older woman, it was otherwise lovely and quiet – which is crazy for us when we’d spent the best part of the week before travelling bits of the “North Coast 500” which were absolutely loaded with tourists. Like I said, Cowal is pretty quiet though in comparison to a lot of other areas in Scotland – I’m not really sure why though!
If you are visiting Dunoon any time soon, I would definitely recommend a wee detour to take in this lovely attraction – it’s worth a visit for sure!
Have you visited the Chinese Ponds?