Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Loch Campbelton from Davaar Island
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Highlights

  • Spotting your first otter foraging in cold clear waters of Loch Fyne.
  • Enjoying the bracing sea air as you stride along the white sands of Machrihanish Beach while the Atlantic rolls in.
  • Feasting on world renowned langoustines, oysters and mussels pulled fresh from the sea that day.
  • Sampling the treats of Campbeltown’s Famous Whisky Distilleries
  • Watching the sun slide into the mountains of Jura at the end of a rewarding days walking.
  • Meeting the genuine, friendly people of this remote and distinctly relaxed, forgotten corner of Scotland.

The remote Kintyre peninsula on the West Coast of Scotland is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. What better way to discover the ruined castles, rich wildlife, fabulous local seafood, welcoming hotels and magnificent scenery than on foot.

The Kintyre Way is a magnificent peninsula that feels more island than mainland. This 89 mile self-guided walking holiday allows you to explore the quiet and hidden places, small local fishing villages, the crashing Atlantic waves and the rich wildlife (including otters, seals, seabirds and perhaps a basking shark) of the Kintyre Peninsula.

This is a general stage by stage guide. For all the available day by day itineraries, please see the options on the right.


Section 1: Tarbert to Claonaig 19 km / 12 miles

Evocative ruined castles, great views and wildlife filled loch side walking make for a rewarding first day on the Kintyre Way. Begin by visiting the ruined Tarbert Castle that dates back to the 13th century, then after some rewarding climbing you will also pass the ruins of Skipness Castle. The Seafood Cabin at Skipness Castle serves excellent local seafood (open Sun-Fri 11am-6pm closed Saturday) and is a recommended lunch stop. A pleasant loch side section brings you to the end of the first section on The Kintyre Way.


There is nowhere to overnight in Claonaig so we arrange for a taxi transfer to either Tarbert or Clachan if you are not continuing to Clachan.


Overnight: Tarbert or Clachan


Section 2: Claonaig to Clachan 16 km / 10 miles

On this section cross the peninsula for the first time - and what a section it is! Coastal and hill walking, peaceful hill lochs and wonderful views of Arran, Islay and Jura all combine to deliver a great stretch of walking.


Overnight: Clachan, a small village with small shops.


Section 3: Clachan to Tayinloan 15.5 km / 9.5 miles

After the undulations of the stage before 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 enjoys beautiful views across the Sound of Gigha to the Inner Hebrides.


Overnight: Tayinloan


Recommendation: Gigha is a unique community-owned island with a special atmosphere and is only a 20 minute ferry ride from Tayinloan. It is well worth taking a rest day in Tayinloan and to spend time exploring Gigha. (Alternatively, we can arrange for you to spend the two nights on Gigha.)


Section 4: Tayinloan to Carradale - 23 km / 14.5 miles

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 / Campbeltown – 25 km / 15.5 miles

After the hospitality enjoyed in Carradale revel in the coastal scenery enroute to Torrisdale Bay, followed by a road section to Saddell Bay bringing you to the 12th century Abbey and 16th Century Towerhouse. Then walk inland for ~8 km through forestry to the attractive Lussa Loch. This 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. The extra 9 km of road walking from Loch Lussa to Campbeltown is optional.


Overnight: Campbeltown, Kintyre’s largest town with a population of approximately 7500.


Section 6: Campbeltown to Southend - 25.5 km / 16 miles

Before leaving Campbeltown you might like to visit one of the whisky distilleries in the town centre. Then follow a minor road around the southern end of the Kintyre Peninsula, after some steady climbs gain wonderful views of the Davaar and Sanda islands. On a very clear day you may see all the way to the north coast of Ireland! Finish the section with a lovely coastal section following quiet sandy beaches with a little rock hopping involved. The final stretch leads inland following small roads and farm tracks until reaching Southend. From Southend your taxi will take you to your accommodation in Campbeltown to overnight.


Overnight: Campbeltown


Section 7: Southend to Machrihanish - 27.5 km / 17 miles

Undoubtedly the toughest, but also the most rewarding part of the walk, this section passes through remote and challenging countryside. Great views dominate and provide a spectacular finale to your trip. After your morning taxi transfer from Campbeltown to Southend pass Dunaverty Rock and follow sandy beaches, then quiet coastal roads between remote farms to head inland. Soon the route ascends and crosses undulating moorland before rejoining the coast to continue along cliff tops above the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. A final ascent and crossing of open ground sees you arriving in Machrihanish and the end of the Kintyre Way.


Overnight: Machrihanish, a coastal village on the edge of Machrihanish Bay's long stretch of sandy beach.

Accommodation

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.


Single Rooms

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.


Meals

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.


Additional Nights

Many of our clients choose to add extra nights along the walk and these can be added at the time of booking.



 

 

 



Dunultach - Clachan



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 - 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



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 - Machrihanish

Douglas Lodge is situated in the beautiful village of Machrihanish and is only two minutes walk to the world famous Machrihanish Golf Club.


 

 

 

Time of Year

This tour is offered from March to October. The best time of year to visit Scotland is from early-April to late-September when the weather is best, most attractions are open and the days are long. Ferries operate less frequently in winter and arrival days may be different so please check summer and winter timetables to check what suits you best. The weather is very unpredictable all year, so it's best to be prepared for wind, rain, cold, warmth and sunshine! Conditions (and forecasts) can vary substantially from one day to the next, so do anticipate a variety of weathers, and embrace them as the Scots do (with a good waterproof and windproof jacket on).


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

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.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The Kintyre Way is a National Trail and is fully way marked and easy to follow. A detailed information pack, and access to GPX tracks and detailed mapping via the Macs Adventure smartphone app (including print outs) is provided. The route on the Kintyre Way after Campbeltown was changed in early 2018 by the authority that manages the trail in an attempt to minimise road walking and include more coastal landscapes. If you have a guidebook you plan on using do make sure it refers to the current route. We have already updated our route notes to match the newly way-marked route.


Grade & Terrain

The terrain underfoot varies from tarmac roads to trackless moorland, forest and farm roads, specially constructed paths, rocky shores and sandy beaches. The paths and tracks are mainly well drained, and the main boggy sections, depending on the season and recent weather, are likely to be between Claonaig and Clachan, and at various places between Machrihanish and Dunaverty.


Baggage Transfers

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.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/ descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


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.

Included

  • 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.

Excluded

  • 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.

Extras

  • Single room supplement.
  • Extra nights before, during or after your walk.

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.

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.

How do baggage transfers work?

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.

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.

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