I achieved the almost impossible this weekend and managed to extract Niall from the estate, all be it for just a day. We’d been promising the kids a visit to Portavadie since the schools broke up and only had three days left to keep our word.
For those not in the know, Portavadie is a marina on the Cowal Peninsula, just a hop over on the ferry from Tarbert. It has been well established as one of the UKs best modern marinas and boasts fantastic facilities for visiting yachties, including top class restaurants, plush bathroom facilities and excellent on-shore accommodation.
Recently they have added a fabulous spa facility which includes a sizable indoor swimming pool, hydro pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and best of all, a heated outdoor infinity pool which has spectacular views down Loch Fyne. You can also book in for various treatments to really make the day special.
It’s a wonderful day trip from Torrisdale, and feels like a holiday within a holiday. We left the estate just after 10am to mosey up the wee road in time to catch the 11.15 ferry. As the marina is just a short walk from the ferry at the other side, there is no need to take the car and you can leave it safely parked at the quayside in Tarbert. We arrived just before 12 noon and decided to have an early lunch before taking the plunge. There is an excellent cafe at the spa which serves a variety of tasty sandwiches and also delicious homemade pizza if you are really hungry.
We spent nearly two hours splashing around, mostly in the 34 degree outdoor pool. It really is heavenly. Especially compared to swimming in the sea which I’m still doing regularly. On a cloudless sunny day, it feels like being abroad. I posted pictures on Facebook after the first time we went and received a barrage of comments from people thinking we’d snuck off to Tenerife! It’s very kid friendly but manages not to feel over-run with children. There is enough space, inside and out and they’re not allowed in the outdoor Jacuzzis, or the seam room and sauna so you can escape!
We bribed the kids with ice cream to get them out and enjoyed a coffee in the sun to pass the time before our ferry home. There is an excellent restaurant there as well if you wanted to stay a bit longer or you could grab a fish supper in Tarbert for a more relaxed dining experience! Lots of options and just a short trip from Torrisdale. We are desperate to go back already!
See the Portavadie website for more details, including spa treatments.
Check the ferry times on the CalMac website.