Since many of us, around the world, are doing staycations now instead of vacations, and we’re discovering more about what’s just a few hours up the road from us, Scotland’s Cove Country Store thought we’d provide you a most unusual list of peaceful, cheerful, heartfelt and fun things to do when visiting Cove, on Loch Long, on Rosneath Pennisula.
10] walk along Shore Road and check out which gardens really need their hedges cut down a bit. There’s several houses you can see, some you can’t see at all, and a few with weak spots in their hedges so that you can capture a quick glimpse of the home as you’re walking by. The key to this activity is not to look obvious, since it’s obvious that some gardens have high hedges just to hide the home and create a private paradise for the owners, while others have owners who just haven’t utilised the last lockdown to trim their hedges.
9] while taking a walk along Shore Rd. for some exercise, pay attention to the stone entrances at each home. Note: there’s one property in particular that has some unusual animal faces along their wall, so see if you can spot them. Note: one residence has amazing conch shell shaped stones, while another residence actually has standing stones in the front garden (a nice touch we have to say!)
8] instead of taking the road all the way through Cove on your walk, whenever you can see a sea wall, make it a game that you have to try and walk the entire sea wall for as far as you can. Note: watch out for brambles in places…they’re real rascals if they get a hold of you!
7] Whenever you come to a side road off of Shore Rd, you have to turn and walk up it to see where it leads. Note: there’s an amazing secret path that will treat you to a whole new adventure. But be ready to take a long stroll. Turn up Knockderry Rd, walk to the top (you’ll probably be out of breathe for a minute), but when you get to the top, there’s an old farmer’s gate, open it, walk through it, close it nicely, and begin walking along the fence line until it runs out. Then look to your left and you’ll see a stream, a beautiful stream. Walk along side of it continuing uphill, passing the old dead tree stumps, the sheep field, and an interesting little house on your left. When you get to the top of the field, you’ll reach another farmer’s gate, open it, walk through, close it nicely, and then take a right on Barbour Rd. walk all the way to the field of horses, turn right, walk down the road to the bottom which puts you back on Shore Rd. if you turn left, and walk just a tad, you’ll see our store on the left across from the Loch! Pop in, have a coffee or tea, take a little break, and then head back to your destination once rested!
6] on a walk along Shore Road, take time to admire the beautiful gardens that are visible…believe us, the owners don’t mind a bit after all the effort they’ve put into their front gardens! Even in the winter months, you are guaranteed to see some beautiful colours. Rumour has it, one resident Nigel Roberts, a retired Navy man who owns Woodside House, brought back rare seeds from far away lands (when you could still do this sort of thing in customs) and his garden is known to have as many as thirty different blooming colours in the springtime. Breathe-taking we have to say! Cheryl and Paul managed to have their wedding in his garden on a very day in May that showed every species in full bloom with the exception of the cherry tree. It had dropped its flowers just two days prior. So, those blooms lined Cheryl’s bridal red aisle as she walked to her groom Paul. It was a site out of Beauty and the …..Beauty and the ……oh nevermind!!!!! Lol
5] For those of you who really want a cardio experience, walk to Ardpeaton Rd. turn up it from Shore Road, walk upwards until you’re good and tired. There’s plenty of forest walks, nature reserve walks, and other random hidden places to discover. One will even take you to the highest point on the Pennisula which offers you a view for miles down Loch Long. Then head back downhill until you hit Shore Road. Your heart will thank you but your knees might not be as grateful!
4] Long walk towards Kilcreggan, maybe even all the way to Kilcreggan, grab some goodies there, and then turn around and walk all the way back to Cove Country Store and get yourself a Lemonada and guzzle it quickly down the hatch to quench your thirst, get some sugary loveliness back into you, and check out our shop. See if you can find one painted rock, some Scottish shortbread Scottie biscuits, one fresh vege or fruit of your choice, and something you’ve never tasted in your life. Buy them, take them back to your accommodation or home, and eat them! We hope you like what you’ve chosen, but remember you can’t eat the biscuits until you’ve eaten your vege!
3] This activity involves little to no walking! Make your way down to the beach. Bring a bag and some gloves with you. Feel the inspiration to want to make our Earth a better place and begin picking up rubbish you find along the way. All the residents will secretly thank you greatly. They don’t throw trash on their beach by the way…it washes up from the sea that carries it in during strong storm surges and other windy weather conditions. Several residents do pick up rubbish as well. After you fill your bag, you’re done. Now reward yourself and sit down wherever you are and enjoy the moment along the water. The beaches of Cove are stunning and you’ll refresh your soul for sure……even if it’s lightly raining, hang out and enjoy it!
2] Note: this activity will require waterproof shoes or boots. Instead of walking down Shore Road, take the beach route only. Challenge yourself to climb over any rock formation standing in your way. Watch out for slippery areas, but stop and make a mental note of all of the unique small seabeds you see along the way. Most are completely undisturbed, and there’s interesting rocks, shells, rusty old ship parts, pottery and seaglass to discover on your walk. Believe us, you won’t be able to resist all of these trinkets, so be sure to have some empty pockets to fill or a bag to place your treasures into for future craft or window adornment use.
1] This is our biggest bestest (we know it’s not a word!) recommendation of all. Begin in the morning after a great breakfast…make sure you’re properly dressed for warmth and dryness. Begin walking any direction with no destination in mind, either direction on Shore Rd. Take time to find all the streams and waterfalls trickling down towards the Loch, admire the lovely gardens and homes, check out the architectural roof lines, dormer windows, balconies and towers on many of the Cove homes, jaunt down on to any beach when you discover a small pathway in that direction. Each beach is completely different than its neighbour, so check out several spots. Collect some great rocks, wheels or sea glass! When you’re tired of walking, check the bus schedule to Kilcreggan, and grab the next bus that direction. Have about two to four pounds or a credit card available. When you arrive there, spontaneously take the ferry across the Loch to Gourock and go have a coffee or tea in one of their many cafes. After you’ve walked their high street, jaunt back across the Loch (probably a total of 7-8 pounds for return) and begin your mega shopping experience on the one little row of shops in Kilcreggan. Start at the Post Office if it’s still open, they have nice snacks, stationery, paints, and small home improvement items. The butcher has pies and several different cuts of meat for a nice supper, the pharmacy has a nice little selection of No. 7 cosmetics, the grocer has tons of sweeties and biscuits, and everyday grocery needs, the bank has money in its ATM to continue your shopping extravaganza! Lol Evie’s Vintage Shop has amazing dresses, outfits, photos, decorations and accessories of days gone by, the cafe offers breakfast, lunch and dinner on certain evenings, and yummy cakes, the antique shop is stunning, there’s all sorts of unexpected treasures to be found there, the barber can improve your hairstyle and the pub serves up a delectable fish and chips, and of course offers just about any drink invented! When all is said and done, get the bus back by Scotland’s Cove Country Store and treat yourself to a coffee or a nice little gift….we recommend the lovely smelling candles and diffusers. Of note: don’t miss all the friendly doggies you’ll see along the way taking walks with their owners, playing along the sea, or if they’re like Action Jackson…swimming in the Loch until their owner begs them to come in!