The Kintyre Way, opened in August 2006 and stretching from Tarbert at the north end of the peninsula, to Southend walking in Kintyre in the south, the way-marked walk criss-crosses the peninsula, connecting communities and landscape, people and produce. 140km (87 miles) long in total and with 4 to 7 days worth of walking, there is serious hiking and gentle rambling, all of which bring home the beautiful reality that is Kintyre.
A spur leads from Bellochantuy via some of the loveliest scenery on the peninsula, to the north end of Lussa Loch where it joins the main Kintyre way. A short drive North from Bellochantuy lies the village of Tayinloan where a 20 minute ferry trip takes you to the beautiful and welcoming Isle of Gigha where there are many excellent walks to suit all abilities.
Try out the championship 18 hole links course at Machrihanish Golf Club, with the first hole widely regarded as the finest in the world. It’s a challenging course with spectacular views over Machrihanish bay.
Another 18 hole golf course is that of Dunaverty Golf Club at Southend, with fabulous views of Ireland and the Mull of Golf in Kintyre which inspired Sir Paul McCartney to write and sing about it.
Challenging, but suitable for all the family is the splendid 9 hole course at Carradale Golf Club, with stunning views across Kilbrannan Sound to the isle of Arran.
Situated on the shores of West Loch lies Tarbert Golf Club, with its picturesque 9 hole course open all year round.
The lovely little 9 hole course on the Isle of Gigha offers the most wonderful panoramic views of the island and mainland. You had better have your driving in good trim when playing the Gigha course, as the rough can be very unforgiving! Those of a nervous disposition should take real care when teeing off at the 4th, it can be very intimidating.
While there are many delightful beaches in Kintyre, the miles of sand between Machrihanish and Westport (2 or 3 miles South of Bellochantuy) provide one of the best surfing beaches in the UK. It’s not learner material but if you can hold your own then give it a go. This is a spectacular place, very popular with local surfers but NEVER EVER crowded. If you like a challenging ride and a beach all to yourself then look no further. Click here to view a live web cam feed of Westport Beach.
Skipness CastleThe area abounds with sites of historic interest to stir your imagination. There are castles at Tarbert and Skipness, medieval gravestones at Skipness and Clachan, standing stones at Ballochroy, St Columba’s footprint and the site of a massacre which makes Glencoe look like a minor skirmish at Dunaverty, and the 12th Century Saddel Abbey said to contain the grave of Somerled the first “Lord of the Isles”. To this can be added numerous iron age forts, standing stones, chambered cairns, the list just goes on and on.
Achamore Gardens on the Isle of Gigha is noted for beautiful exotic plants and trees . Hire a bike – it’s a wonderful and fulfilling day out for all the family via the ferry from Tayinloan.
The gardens at Stonefield Castle in Tarbert offer an interesting collection of plants from around the world dating back to the 19th century when Sir J Hooker collected seeds on his travels .
The Lady Linda McCartney Memorial Gardens can be found in Campbeltown, within the grounds of the library, where admission is free.
Scotland is famous for its fishing and there are several lochs and rivers within easy reach on the Kintyre Peninsula with reasonably priced fishing for Salmon, Brown Trout and Sea Trout. Carradale, Glenbarr and Campbeltown allow fishing by permit. Sea fishing charters are available off the Mull of Kintyre.
Enjoy the unspoiled beaches, coastlines and countryside by saddle. There are several equestrian centres on the Kintyre with experienced guides for the novice riders. For the more advanced and experienced rider trekking and solo rides are on offer, with areas such as Southend and the bridal paths of Mull of Kintyre where wild life such as golden eagles and wild feral goats can be spotted.
Seals are frequently spotted basking on the rocks around the shoreline of Kintyre and for the keen photographers there are a number of stopping places, the most popular is that of Ronachan Point which means “Place of the Seals”. Basking sharks and dolphins are often sighted. Otters are commonplace, particularly on Gigha. Kintyre is a haven for the bird lover with sightings guaranteed of the Buzzard, Golden Eagle and a variety of birds of prey. The most popular undisturbed Lussa Loch, in season, is a picturesque sighting for lovers of the Brent and Pink Footed Geese.
Don’t be disappointed when you discover Campbeltown Loch isn’t full of whisky as the town is still home to some of Scotland’s finest distilleries serving great drams. Take a distillery tour and find out how the water of life is made in the town and discover Campbeltown’s whisky heritage
If whisky isn’t for you then what about gin? Head up the scenic east coast of Kintyre to Torrisdale where you’ll find the recently opened Taster Room at Beinn An Tuirc Distillery. Sample some Kintyre Gin or buy some gin related souvenirs including gin flavoured tablet.