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Kintyre Way

Kintyre Way ~ 77.5 miles (125 km) ~ 6 days walking

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The Kintyre Way passes through a variety of landscapes, taking in tiny fishing villages, extensive conifer forests, stretches of fine coastline, open hills and moors. The narrow peninsula means that the sea is never far away, and the superb views take in many islands including the dramatic mountains of Jura and Arran, fertile Islay and Gigha, and even Rathlin Island and the Northern Irish mainland from the southern stages.

Begin at Tarbert Harbour, situated on an inlet of Loch Fyne and criss-cross over the beautiful Kintyre peninsula to Claonaig and back to Clachan and Tayinloan. From there the Way crosses to Carradale where, from its central spine of higher ground, there are wonderful views to the islands of Gigha and Jura.  As you travel further south, you’ll see the mainland of Northern Ireland in the west and Arran in the east. At Campbeltown, cross over to Machrihanish to make your way round the Mull of Kintyre to Dunaverty.

The Kintyre Way is regarded as a moderate grade but is has sections where some rougher terrain is encountered, particularly between Machrihanish and Dunaverty. There are no steep slopes or severe gradients and most of the climbing is quite gradual but it can be tiring when wet underfoot. The remoteness in the south demands caution in bad weather and calls for basic compass and map reading skills.

Wildlife that can be seen on the Kintyre Way include roe deer, grouse, red squirrels, hen harriers and golden eagles, as well as a wide variety of sea birds. Kintyre is also extremely rich in historic and archaeological remains. Interpretation boards at key points along the route highlight these.

There are lots of ways to tailor your route through the Kintyre peninsula, selecting your overnight stops to suit your preferences, interests and time available. Why not enhance your walk with a visit to the island of Islay or the community-owned island of Gigha? In the south of the peninsula, there are a number of ways to explore the Mull of Kintyre. All these options are described in the “Customise My Walk” section below.

Interested in embarking on our Kintyre Way walk? Fill out our enquiry form.

Key Symbols

Route Terrain
Moderate to Strenuous

Route Signposting
Waymarked

Navigational Skills
Moderate

Useful Info Enquiry Form

Kintyre Way ~ 77.5 miles (125 km) ~ 6 days walking

Click each day to expand.

Arrive in Tarbert

Tarbert is sometimes called Tarbert Loch Fyne, to distinguish it from other Scottish villages with the same name.

Tarbert to Claonaig (11 miles / 18 km)

Begin at the picturesque harbour of Tarbert and head north-east out towards Tarbert Castle. The route rises to give good views over Loch Fyne. Continue on a forest track and descend to the small village of Skipness, then follow a minor road south to the ferry terminal and Claonaig. Alternatively, it is possible to arrange a transfer to Kennacraig Ferry Terminal and take a ferry to Islay as an optional two night break, as described in the "Customise My Walk" section on this page.

Claonaig to Clachan (10 miles / 16 km)

From the car park for Claonaig Oakwood, set off up a broad grassy track, rising to cross deserted moorland before joining a forest road. Bear left to reach open hillside and follow the Allt Mor stream down towards Clachan.

Clachan to Tayinloan (9 miles / 14 km)

The Way from Clachan begins with some road walking along the coastline, providing great views across the water to Jura, Islay and Gigha with some fine beaches to enjoy en route. Depending on your arrival time into Tayinloan it is possible to include a ferry crossing over to Gigha for a short visit. Alternatively it is possible to extend your walking trip by adding an additional overnight on Gigha, returning to Kintyre the following day, as described in the "Customise My Walk" section on this page.

Tayinloan to Carradale (15 miles / 24 km)

Start with a lovely coastal section from Tayinloan and then climb through open countryside and forestry to Deucheran Hill where there is a wind farm. The second half of the section descends to the open glen at Brackley before ascending another forested hill to emerge with coastal views over Arran and then make your way down to Carradale.

Carradale to Campeltown (21 miles / 34km)

A long stage of the Kintyre Way combining an exciting coastal section, farmland paths, extensive forestry tracks, picturesque Loch Lussa and finally a long section of minor road for the final descent to Campbeltown. Note - The first section can be impassable at very high tides - use the A83 instead. There is a very rough shore section between Waterfoot and Dippen Bay which could be impassable at very high tide and can be avoided by following the road. Otherwise the stage follows paths, minor roads and well-made forestry tracks.

Campbeltown to Dunaverty (21.5 miles / 35 km)

This morning you have the option of walking the full distance to Dunaverty (21.5 miles / 35 km) or taking the morning bus to Machrihanish, thereby reducing the walk distance to 16 miles / 21.5 km. If walking from Campbeltown, an early start is highly recommended. Begin from the Tourist Information Centre and head south-west up the main street past the junction with the A83. Continue along Big Kiln street into Winchburn Road leaving by the A842 and walk out to Stewartown along a roadside path and edge of the tarmac road westwards to the scattered village of Machrihanish. The section from Machrihanish to Dunaverty is much tougher than the previous stages however the rewards are some fantastic coastal scenery with views in all directions and a feeling of remote isolation with no settlements or roads visible for much of the day. The terrain is a mix of farm tracks, moorland with some pathless sections on rough sometimes boggy ground.

Depart Dunaverty

Congratulations - you have completed the Kintyre Way! After breakfast, it is time to set off on your onward journey by public bus back to Campbeltown and onwards to Central Scotland. Please note there is no bus service from Dunaverty to Campbeltown on Sundays. It is possible to arrange a taxi transfer back to Campbeltown or add an additional overnight and walk this section.

Fixed Price - £545 per person

Single supplement - £190

Included

  • 7 nights' accommodation for 2 people sharing in quality B&Bs, guest houses, inns and hotels. Rooms with shower/wc (where available)
  • Breakfast
  • Door to door baggage transfer - maximum 16 kg per bag
  • Rucksack Readers Guide Book
  • Location details for each accommodation
  • Travel information to the start and from the finish of the walk
  • Suggested equipment list
  • Emergency support

Not Included

  • Ferry to Islay or Gigha (optional)
  • Overnight accommodation on Islay or Gigha (optional - EasyWays will be happy to arrange this if you wish)
  • Taxi transfer from Claonaig to Tarbert (optional - EasyWays will be happy to arrange this if you wish)
  • Taxi transfer from Dunaverty to Campbeltown (if required)
  • Evening meals, packed lunches and drinks
  • Travel insurance

Customise My Walk

 

You may choose to arrive in Claonaig by ferry from Lochranza on the Island of Arran. If you wish to walk part of the Arran Coastal Way, take the ferry from Lochranza to Claonaig and start the Kintyre Way from there, we can arrange a bespoke package, tailored to your requirements.

Islay Option

EasyWays offers a two night break on the mystic island of Islay, home of 8 working whisky distilleries and some wonderful wildlife with local walks and visitor attractions in abundance. Take the exhilarating ferry crossing from Kennacraig to Port Ellen, the main town on the island, where you will be based, with its lovely harbour and seafood restaurants all within easy access. All distilleries offer a guided tour and whisky sampling experience with Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg located close to Port Ellen on a specially constructed walkway that links all three!

Gigha Option

EasyWays offers an overnight extension on Gigha staying at the Gigha Hotel a short walk from the island ferry terminal. Gigha is the most southerly of the Hebridean Islands, 11.2km / 7 miles long with sandy beaches, clear green seas, a host of wildlife and the 50 acres of Achamore Gardens, first planted in 1945 by Sir James Horlick (founder of the world famous bedtime drink company) and internationally known for its rhododendrons and azaleas.

Return to Campbeltown

You may choose to add a day's walking to cover the 16 miles / 25.5 km from Dunaverty to Campeltown on foot and overnight in Campbeltown. This section follows the minor road around the south eastern end of the Kintyre Peninsula for much of its distance, with views to the offshore islands of Davaar and Sanda. There is a section along the shoreline to Polliwilline Bay, taking in some wonderful sandy beaches. The route is tarmac minor road for much of the way with grassy tracks and paths on the shoreline section. It is also possible to walk round the Mull of Kintyre in a clockwise direction from Campbeltown, to finish in Machrihanish if you prefer.

General

The table below shows all available stages, with the additional optional stages in brackets and the alternative route to include Claonaig shown in a separate column. You can also choose different types of accommodation, for example bunkhouses or hotels at some stages. You can stay an extra night at any point on the route. If you don’t require overnight stays at the start and end of the walk, simply let us know at the time of booking. Explain any changes you require in the Comments section of the Enquiry Form. We will recalculate the price of your holiday based on the changes you make and will confirm the price before any payment is requested. The final amount you pay may be lower or higher than our Fixed Price, depending on the options you choose.

Stages and DistancesAlternative Route
TarbertTarbert
11 miles - 18 km5.5 miles - 9 km
Claonaig(Kennacraig)
10 miles - 16 km(Islay 2 nights)
Clachan(Kennacraig)
9 miles - 14 km5.5 miles - 9 km
TayinloanClachan
(Visit Gigha)9 miles - 14 km
(Tayinloan)Tayinloan
15 miles - 24 km(Visit Gigha)
Carradale(Tayinloan)
21 miles - 33 km15 miles - 24 km
CampbeltownCarradale
5.5 miles - 9 km21 miles - 34 km
(Machrihanish)Campbeltown
16 miles - 26 km
5.5 miles - 9 km
Dunaverty(Machrihanish)
16 miles - 26 km16 miles - 26 km
(Campbeltown)Dunaverty
16 miles - 26 km
(Campbeltown)


Map

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