I AM, by nature, always slightly dubious of anything described as a "loch view" as it can be a sneakily deceptive term. There is every chance that this lofty label turns out to be a tiny sliver of water that you need to crane your neck to see, rather than a full-blown panorama.

The good news is that our digs at Rosneath Castle Park in Argyll more than lived up to their billing. The lounge window of our two-bedroom caravan framed impressive and uninterrupted views up the length of the Gare Loch.

This fjord-esque finger of water stretches past the jutting promontory of Rhu Point, then north towards Garelochhead and its near-neighbour Faslane, with the jagged peaks of the Arrochar Alps visible in the far distance.

The caravan park is only a hop, skip and a jump from Helensburgh, reached via a pleasurable half-hour drive around the Rosneath Peninsula. You can also arrive by passenger ferry from Gourock to nearby Kilcreggan if you fancy a quick jaunt across the Clyde Estuary.

The area offers glorious walks, spectacular views and, if you are an architecture buff, some fine early examples of 19th-century villas and mansions by Alexander "Greek" Thomson, John Honeyman and William Leiper among others.

Our accommodation is slightly less grand, but it is clean, comfortable and cosy. I fell back in love with caravan holidays during the pandemic. The simplicity and value for money is a big part of the appeal, but there is also a strong nostalgia element.

Static caravans were a staple of my childhood holidays. I have fond memories of waking in a bunk bed, listening to the gentle cooing of wood pigeons or the rain drumming on the metal roof, feeling a bubbling sense of excitement, wondering what adventures the day might bring.

Back then our family dog would stay with my grandparents for a week each summer as we packed up the car for exotic locations such as Scarborough, Silloth, Nairn, Haggerston Castle, Seton Sands, Pease Bay and Blackpool.

Times have changed. These days, if accommodation isn't dog-friendly, allowing my collie Moose to join us, then it's a hard pass from me.

Rosneath Castle Park certainly rolled out the red carpet for our four-legged VIP: the welcome pack included a small bag of gravy bones and biscuits. There is a dog-friendly beach within the grounds and plenty of varied walking routes in the vicinity, including a tranquil woodland trail.

The on-site facilities have everything you need for a comfortable stay, with a well-stocked shop, laundrette, restaurant and, for those with youngsters, an adventure playground, soft play area and a fun zone with supervised activities, such as arts and crafts, beach cleans and rock pooling.

This little corner of the Rosneath Peninsula is steeped in history. As the caravan park name suggests, the site formerly held a now demolished castle, dating back to the 12th century (sadly, several incarnations of the building and a subsequent stately house were gutted by fire over the years).

In a later guise, the house and grounds were used as a US Navy Base during the Second World War. According to historical accounts, planning took place at Rosneath for the Allied invasion of North Africa, dubbed Operation Torch, in 1942 and the D-Day landings at Normandy two years later.

The strong military links endure, although these days the Gare Loch is perhaps best known for HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane, home to the UK's nuclear deterrent Trident and its four-strong fleet of Vanguard-class submarines.

We didn't see any surfacing submarines but did catch a glimpse of a couple of naval vessels, police patrols, fishing boats and pleasure craft.

While the maritime traffic was interesting, it was the wildlife that made gazing out over the water a delight. We watched as gannets, terns and cormorants fished amid the sun-speckled waves, showcasing their expert diving prowess.

At dusk, we spotted a trio of herons perched, stock still, on seaweed-covered rocks in a small bay near the entrance to the caravan park.

When it comes to food, there are plenty of great spots to dine. The caravan park has the on-site Castle Isle Bar & Restaurant which serves up classics such as scampi, haddock and chips, steak pie, curry and pizzas.

You can eat in the lounge area or at one of the many outdoor picnic tables. We opted for a takeaway and munched on that while soaking up the loch views back at the caravan.

The village of Kilcreggan has an excellent dog-friendly eatery. The Cafe at Kilcreggan menu is packed with mouth-watering offerings, including fresh seafood, salads and sandwiches, as well as pub-style grub – pasta, burgers and pies – and all-day breakfasts. It also sells a decent selection of ice cream.

Keep your eyes peeled for local landmark Tut-Tut, a painted red, black and white boulder that sits on the craggy shoreline at Kilcreggan. If you are familiar with the Crocodile Rock at Millport, it is a similar idea, although Tut-Tut's origin story is slightly older, dating back to around 1851.

Tut-Tut has undergone several makeovers across the years. Having begun life as Victorian rock art, its current moniker is said to have come about in 1922 following Howard Carter's discovery of the tomb of Egyptian boy pharaoh Tutankhamun and the ensuing King Tut mania.

During the Second World War, a V for Victory symbol was reportedly incorporated to boost morale in the community. In the past, Tut-Tut has looked distinctly pharaoh-like, although to my eye, his latest paint job is a dead-ringer for Montgomery "Lightning" McQueen in the Pixar film Cars.

It is well worth a drive up the west coast from Kilcreggan Pier to Peaton, exploring this almost five-mile section of the Rosneath Peninsula Heritage Trail (pick up a leaflet from the post office on Shore Road, opposite the ferry terminal).

You can marvel at the architectural gems and play a game of "when I win the lotto, I would buy that one …" as the picturesque route winds north along the edge of Loch Long, through Cove village and the turn-off for the Peaton Hill Community Nature Reserve and a brilliant forestry track walk.

Shore Road (B833) continues on towards RNAD Coulport. From here there is the option to cut across the peninsula towards Garelochhead, before looping around to head south and back to Rosneath.

As weekend breaks go, this one was perfect to blow away the cobwebs and enjoy time in nature.


Stay at Rosneath in June

3-nights from £289 based on a Lomond 3-bedroom caravan (sleeps 8)

4-nights from £359 based on a Gareloch 2-bedroom caravan (sleeps 6)

7-nights from £589 based on a Lomond 3-bedroom caravan (sleeps 8)

Stay at Rosneath in July

3-nights from £329 based on a Gareloch 2-bedroom caravan (sleeps 6)

4-nights from £439 based on a Gareloch 2-bedroom pet-friendly caravan (sleeps 6)

7-nights from £729 based on a Lomond 3-bedroom caravan (sleeps 8)

Stay at Rosneath in August

3-nights from £329 based on a Gareloch 2-bedroom pet-friendly caravan (sleeps 6)

4-nights from £369 based on a Gareloch 2-bedroom pet-friendly caravan (sleeps 6)

7-nights from £559 based on a Gareloch 2-bedroom caravan (sleeps 6)

Visit rosneathcastle.co.uk