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Southend sunset

Campbeltown to Southend

22 miles | 7-10 hours

Suitable for walking, running and cycling (cyclists can use one of the alternative B road routes to Southend as the shoreline from Polliwilline may not be suitable)

This section from Campbeltown follows the shore of Campbeltown Loch, taking you past the tidal sand bar leading to Davaar Island. From here the panorama opens up and you are rewarded with stunning views of Ailsa Craig and further south to the island of Sanda. This quiet single-track road undulates along the coast line, taking you from high above the cliffs down to secretive and secluded bays.

On the final stretch you are met with the sandy beaches of Polliwilline and Dunaverty Bay, perfect for taking off those hiking boots and having a refreshing dip in the sea – whatever the weather!

Dunaverty was also the site of the Battle of Dunaverty or Dunaverty Massacre and the location is now also known as Blood Rock. Little remains of the castle, although the site is protected as a scheduled monument. 

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Your route in more detail

From the town centre at the Old Quay, follow the esplanade parallel to Hall St. At the ferry terminal, continue straight on along a path beside the shore. Where the path ends, a roadside path continues on one side of the road or the other, passing Campbeltown cemetery. About 2 miles from the Old Quay, you reach the start of Davaar’s causeway with a warning about tide times for this visit. Look out for herons and swans that ground here.

 Pass around the shore of Kildalloig Bay on the single-track road known as The Leerside then, around half a mile beyond the Kildalloig House entrance, the road turns inland and gains height through grassy moorland and stands of conifers.

The descent to Balnabraid Glen and Corphin Bridge 6 miles from Campbeltown reveals sea views again. Fertile pastureland dominates the view as you pass a cluster of houses. The road rises again then drops into Glen Hervie. Along here, look out for an old milestone indicating 8 miles from Campbeltown. There are mile markers with distances from Campbeltown to Polliwillien and Southend.

At a sharp right bend, turn left at the entrance to Polliwilline Farm, 4.3 miles from Corphin Bridge. Follow the vehicle track past the farmhouse, through a gateway, then along a field edge. Kintyre Way markers indicate the route across fields, past static caravans, to a small beach. Sections of the route ahead are impassable at high tide. The alternative involves miles of road-walking, starting by turning right instead of entering Polliwilline Farm.

High tide Alternative – 200 yards after the right turn. Go left along the minor road inland to and past Macharioch. The road rejoins the Kintyre Way after 2 miles.

At the southern end of the beach, cross a low bluff to a short stretch of beach walking. Go through a small gate as waymarked to a tiny beach. The start of a path to the right is obscure but leads to a fence and a stile. Pass some caravans, then follow a track to the next beach.

Follow the Kintyre Waymarkers to the left to reach the Duke of Argyll memorial cross monument. It was erected in 1900 by the Duchess of Argyll in memory of the 8th Duke of Argyll (1823–1900). Return to the route and descend to the next beach on a path. Beyond the far end, cross about 150 yards of rock and sand then follow a short path to another beach. About 75 yards before its end, go up, right through a gate passing several caravans, cross the grass to a marker post near the start of a vehicle track. Follow it up, then down through farmland to a road. Turn left and the village of Southend comes into view. It’s another left turn at the next junction to Mill Park. On the far side of the bridge over Conieglen Water continue to the B842 and left to reach Southend. Be sure to visit the award-winning Muneroy Tea Rooms for a generous slice of their famous cakes (booking is recommended!).

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