Until the advent of the railway Scots were well used to travel by Shanks
Meer - on foot - over large distances. Today, as elsewhere, the motor car
dominates, but Walking Festivals are now becoming common throughout
Scotland. The latest such Festival will encompass the picturesque beauty
of the Cowal Peninsula in Argyll in conjunction with unique events created
for the inaugural Cowal Walking and Arts Festival. The extensive programme
commences on Friday 10 October and lasts until Sunday 19 October 2003 and
is themed "Reflective Water, Dramatic Hills", giving those participating
the opportunity to enjoy walks from gentle strolls to challenging hikes.
People can explore the wildlife, botanical and marine environments that
form Cowal's rural landscape, with the benefit of the guidance of
countryside rangers and volunteers with a variety of expertise. Adding to
the experience is a line-up of arts, musical and social events, as the
entire Cowal community embraces the Festival and visitors can be sure of a
warm welcome to the area.
Developed by the Cowal Walking Festival Association, its chairman Russell
Bruce was happy to point out to The Flag that this is no ordinary walking
event. Russell Bruce, who also sits on the board of the Loch Lomond and
Trossachs National Park, told The Flag - "During the ten day event, we
will encourage people to discover that Cowal is truly a very special place
- West Highland in character yet so easily reached from the rest of the
country and overseas. Our guided walks are the core of the Festival but we
have married this with a rich and varied programme of concerts, ceilidhs,
exhibitions. displays, talks, workshops and much more to reflect our local
heritage and culture. There will be something for everyone to enjoy
whether day-trippers or those taking a short break or longer autumn
Framed by Loch Fyne and Loch Long, Cowal is easily reached by road, rail,
ferry, bus and air. A popular area of Argyll for visitors it is only an
hour from Glasgow. Although the majority of the Festival Walks are free,
prior booking is essential as numbers participating are limited to ensure
a quality experience. The Festival strides out with a "Walkers Welcome" in
Strachur on 10 October at 8pm - a free and informal get-together for those
who want to find out more about the entire event while enjoying stories,
songs, poetry and music.
Festival highlights include a rare opportunity to visit Ardkinglas House,
the great country dwelling built by architect, Robert Lorimer, who took
his influences from Art Nouveau and the Scottish Arts and Crafts movement.
A special exhibition, "Reflective Water, Dramatic Hills", is an
interpretation of the festival theme by senior pupils from Dunoon Grammar
School. A classical music concert, fiddle workshops and ceilidhs are just
some of the musical attractions.
The full programme and booking details by contacting the Tourist
Information Centre at Alexandra Parade, Dunoon, Argyll PA23 8AB, tel :
08707 200629 or by email to
Whether walking the Cowal Peninsula or taking a stroll nearer home this
week's recipe, Nutty crunch, provides a tasty bite while enjoying the
Ingredients : 8 oz (225 g) cooking chocolate; 1 tablespoon syrup; 1/2 jar
peanut butter; 2 oz (50 g) Rice Krispies
Melt chocolate and syrup, add peanut butter and krispies. Press into tin.
Cover with melted chocolate and leave to set.