Dunoon is the largest town on the Cowal Peninsula and is built around two bays, West Bay and East Bay (with East Bay being, confusingly, north of West Bay).
|Between them is a hilly nose of land sticking out into the estuary. This is the site of Dunoon Castle. This was once a major stronghold and was built some time around 1050.
But it had been abandoned by 1650 and today nothing remains beyond a few grassy lumps on top of the hill that provides such an excellent viewpoint over the town and the Firth of Clyde.
|In the 1820's Dunoon started to become a place for wealthy Glaswegians to build their villas and for the less wealthy as a holiday resort.
The Victorian pier is still there today and is a nice eye catcher and is situated close to Argyll Street (the main shopping street) in the centre of town.
Travellers usually enter the town using either Western Ferries or Caledonian Macbrayne, although one can drive round "Rest and be thankful", past Loch Lomond for a scenic tour. The traveller coming into Dunoon pier on the ferry from Gourock will pass a reef called the Gantocks rock, on which numerous ships have come to grief, most notably the Swedish ore carrier Akka, the wreck of which yielded the British record cod some years ago.
|Dunoon's centre and specifically Argyll Street have been extensively redeveloped to provide a more pedestrian friendly environment.
Plenty of space to walk about, enjoy some shopping or just to sit in the sun and enjoy the view.
|In 1961 a large American Naval base was built in Holy Loch just to the north of Dunoon. A quarter of Dunoon's population was American for a time until the base was closed in 1992. This was quite the blow for the local economy.|
In recent years Dunoon has been able to reinvent itself and has been rediscovered as the alternative gateway to the highlands due to its attractive seaside location and mountainous countryside. Popular with Tourists and outdoor enthousiasts, Dunoon is worthy of spending a couple of days to take in all the local sights and sounds.
One of the largest events of the area which is organised in Dunoon is the annual Cowal Highland Gathering which is a long weekend of festivities, parades, highland dancing, athletics, highland games, fair and pipeband competition which attracts thousands of spectators ensuring that the weekend is full of activities and fun. The Cowal Gathering is the largest of its kind anywhere in the world and has been going strong for over a 100 years now. Always at the end of August, it's definately worth a visit and a great family day out.