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Cowal shown within Argyll
Satellite photo of Cowal

Cowal (Scottish Gaelic: Còmhghall) is a peninsula in Argyll and Bute in the Scottish Highlands.


The northern part of Cowal is mostly the mountainous Argyll Forest Park managed by Forestry Commission Scotland. Cowal is separated from the Kintyre peninsula to the west by Loch Fyne, and from Inverclyde and North Ayrshire to the east by the Firth of Clyde. The sea lochs Loch Long and Loch Goil lie to the north-east, and the south of the peninsula is split into three forks by two further sea lochs, Loch Striven and to its west Loch Riddon. The Isle of Bute lies to the south of Cowal, separated from the peninsula by the narrow Kyles of Bute which connect the Clyde to Loch Riddon.

Much of Cowal was once held by Clan Lamont; encroachments by the neighbouring Clan Campbell and other powerful families reduced the Lamont holdings in the Covenanting Wars of the seventeenth century.

Cowal's only burgh is Dunoon in the south-east,[1] from which ferries sail to Gourock in Inverclyde. Other ferries run from Portavadie in the west to Tarbert in Kintyre, and from Colintraive in the south to Rhubodach on the Isle of Bute.

The Arrochar Alps and Ardgoil peninsula in the north fringe the edges of the sea lochs whilst the Argyll Forest Park spreads out across the hillsides and mountain passes in the north part of Cowal, making this one of the remotest areas in the west of Scotland.

The towns and villages in Cowal are:

See also[edit]

Cowal Highland Gathering


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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°1′N 5°8′W / 56.017°N 5.133°W / 56.017; -5.133