Section 1: Tarbert to Claonaig 11 Miles/ 18 Km
Evocative ruined castles, great views and wildlife filled loch side walking make for a rewarding first days walking on the Kintyre Way. The walk starts by visiting the ruined Tarbert Castle which dates back to the 13th century and after some rewarding climbing you also pass the huge ruins of Skipness Castle. The Seafood Cabin at Skipness Castle does excellent local seafood (Open Sun – Friday 11:00 – 18:00 Closed Saturday) and I would strongly recommend it for lunch. A pleasant loch side section brings you to the end of a breathtaking first section on The Kintyre Way.
There are no facilities in Claonaig so we will arrange for you to be picked up and transferred to either Clachan or Tarbert if you are not continuing to Clachan.
Overnight: Clachan or Tarbert Loch Fyne
Section 2: Claonaig to Clachan 10 Miles/ 16 Km
Today gives you your first crossing of the peninsula and what a day it is. Coastal and hill walking, peaceful hill lochs and great views of Arran, Islay and Jura all combine to deliver a wonderful day of walking.
Overnight: Clachan, a small village with small shops.
Section 3: Clachan to Tayinloan 9 Miles/ 14 Km
After the climbing of yesterday it’s time to enjoy the delights of coastal walking as you follow the shoreline south to Tayinloan. This lovely stretch of coast is a birders delight and also enjoys beautiful views across the Sound of Gigha to the Inner Hebrides.
Recommendation: Gigha is a unique community owned island with a very special atmosphere and only a 20 minute ferry ride from Tayinloan. It is well worth taking a rest day in Tayinloan and spending the time exploring Gigha. (We can of course arrange for you to spend the two nights on Gigha)
Section 4: Tayinloan to Carradale - 16 Miles/ 25 Km
Brace yourself for a varied and rewarding second traverse of the peninsula as you head east to the lovely village of Carradale. The way passes through a mix of farmland and forestry as you meander up and over the peninsula.
Overnight: Carradale, a lovely village with a range of services and accommodation.
Section 5: Carradale to Lussa Loch – 12 Miles/ 19 Km
After the hospitality enjoyed in Carradale you will revel in the coastal walking to Torrisdale Bay, a road section to Saddell Bay follows and after exploring the 12th century Abbey and 16th Century Towerhouse you head inland for 8km through forestry to the attractive Lussa Loch. The section ends at the Southern End of Lussa Loch where your taxi will meet you to take you into Campbeltown for your overnight’s accommodation if you are not continuing to Campbeltown.
Overnight: Campbeltown, Kintyre’s largest town with a population of 6000
Section 6: Lussa Loch To Machrihanish – 12 Miles/ 19 Km
An enjoyable linking day starts with a taxi transfer back to Lussa Loch and then the walk down the minor road back to Campbeltown. From Campbeltown the official route follows the B842 to Machrihanish so I would recommend taking a bus or taxi to Machrihanish and then enjoying a walk down the huge white sands of Machrihanish Beach instead.
Section 7: Machrihanish to Dunaverty – 17 Miles/ 27 Km
Undoubtedly the toughest but also the most rewarding section of the walk this section passes through remote and challenging countryside. Huge views dominate and provide a spectacular finale to your week of walking. Once you reach Largiebaan the toughest walking is behind you and you follow tracks and roads down to the beautiful crescent beach of Dunaverty and the end of your Kintyre Way.
One of the highlights of this walking holiday is the high standard of the accommodation you will enjoy. The hotels, inns, guesthouses and B&B’s we use are hand-picked to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. All offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We do recommend that you book this trip early as the area is always popular and the hotels and inns do fill up early, especially in high season. You will find descriptions, photos and weblinks to a selection of the accommodation below.
This independent walking holiday is not available to solo walkers but if you require single rooms within your party we will of course try to accommodate your request subject to availability.
Breakfast is included each morning while lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival, alternatively your guidebook also includes details of local shops and convenient lunch stops on the way. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants and your info pack will of course have recommendations.
Your bags will be collected from your accommodation each day and moved onto your overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person.
Many of our clients choose to add extra nights along the walk and these can be added at the time of booking.
The Cuillins - Tarbert
Modern bed & breakfast accommodation highly recommended less than 500 yards from Tarbert's harbour. The Cuillins features 3 luxurious rooms, 2 double rooms and 1 twin room, all of which are en-suite
Dunultach - Clachan
Dunultach provides Scottish Tourist Board 4 star Bed & Breakfast facilities in an unspoilt rural location on the Kintyre peninsula, with stunning views over The Sound Of Jura.
Ferry Farm - Tayinloan
Ferry Farm Bed and Breakfast sits on the beach overlooking the sound of Gigha with some of the best views towards Gigha and beyond to Jura and Islay.
Carradale Hotel - Carradale
Set in its own private garden, with views across to the Isle of Arran, the centrally heated hotel has comfortable rooms all with colour television, tea & coffee making facilities and en-suite bathrooms.
Rosemount - Campbeltown
Located on the shores of the world famous Campbeltown Loch our premises offer arguably the best views of Campbeltown.
Douglas Lodge - Machrihanish
Douglas Lodge is situated in the beautiful village of Machrihanish and is only two minutes walk to the world famous Machrihanish Golf Club.
Getting to/from Tarbert
Tarbert is 95 miles by road from Glasgow in Argyll and Bute. By car the journey from Glasgow takes 2.5 hours and parking is available in the village. The village is served by a regular Citylink Bus services from Glasgow to Campbeltown.
Getting from Southend/Campbeltown
From the end of the walk at Southend take a taxi or local Bus (Operated by West Coast Motors) to Campbeltown and then the Citylink or West Coast Motors Service back to Tarbert or all the way back to Glasgow.
Frequently Asked Questions
Planning a trip on the Kintyre Way can be daunting, especially if this is your first long distance walking holiday. We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us or perhaps visit our walking forum for more advice from our clients and team. Discover the forum...
How fit do I need to be?
At 89 Miles the Kintyre Way is a fair distance and the higher your level of fitness the more you will enjoy the experience. Most of our itineraries involve between 5 and 10 hours walking daily so you should be comfortable walking on good tracks and paths over undulating terrain for at least 6 to 7 hours. If you currently don’t enjoy that level of fitness regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk is recommended. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.
How far in advance do I need to book?
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the Kintyre Way is extremely popular especially over April/May and July/August. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.
What personal equipment do I need?
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. You can download a full equipment list from our website here:
When is the best time of year?
Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better and the midges have not yet appeared. Although having walked the way in every summer month I believe any time between late March and October offers a wonderful experience.
What are the midges like?
Midges are small biting insects (much like north American knats) which are prevalent in the summer months. They are particularly bad on still, overcast days but do not bother you if you are moving, the wind is blowing, sun is shining, it’s raining, or you are inside so as long as you carry repellent for the odd occasion you may need it they shouldn’t have any impact on your experience.
Am I able to take my dog?
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets and several sections of the way are closed to dogs as they are permissive paths through farm land.
What happens if I can’t walk a stage?
You can use public transport, local taxis or our baggage van may be able to move you to the next overnight stop. Full details are included in your info pack.
The Kintyre Way is available between March and October. To make a provisional reservation select "Book" for the itinerary you are interested in. Option prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.
Because every Kintyre Way Holiday we book is unique, availability changes from day to day and our booking process works as follows:
- You provisionally book the tour/s you are interested in for your preferred dates and pay a 20% deposit online or by phone.
- We confirm availability and book all your accommodation and options and send final confirmation as soon as everything is confirmed (max 5 working days).
- If we are unable to accommodate you on your confirmed dates/tour or an alternative of your choice your deposit is fully refunded.
||6 - 8 Days
||9 Days & 8 Nights
||8 Days & 7 Nights
||7 Days & 6 Nights
- Hand picked bed and breakfast accommodation in ensuite rooms wherever possible.
- Door to door baggage transfer.
- A detailed info pack and guidebook with map for the group leader.
- Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.
- Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks. Travel Insurance.
- Personal Equipment.
- Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.
- Single room supplement.
- Extra nights beore, during or after your walk.