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Campbeltown Loch and Dakar

Carradale to Campbeltown

22 miles | 7-10 hours

Suitable for walking, running and cycling (part of this route is on the shoreline and not suitable for cyclists, who can use the B road route to Torrisdale)

This section is a good day’s walking and takes you southwards through hugely varied countryside. From the rocky coastline at Waterfoot the trail leads you along the coastline before reaching Torrisdale Castle Estate. The woodland walk takes you through the beautiful grounds to door of Beinn an Tuirc Gin Distillery, named after the highest hill in Kintyre above the estate.

From here follow the track up through pastureland and forest before descending in to Ifferdale. Just a short detour to the east is Saddell Castle, on the bay most famous in recent times as the location for Paul McCartneys Mull of Kintyre video. Standing looking out to sea is the Anthony Gormley figure Grip, installed in 2015 to celebrate 50 years of the Landmark Trust who manage the estate. 

Back on the Kintyre Way the trail leads you through forest around Lussa Loch. From here you descend into the historic town of Campbeltown.

Campbeltown has a host of amenities including the The Picture House, one of the oldest surviving purpose-built cinemas in the UK, as well as a swimming pool and gym. Originally known as Kinlochkilkerran, it was renamed in the Seventeenth Century as Campbell’s Town after Archibald Campbell was granted the site in 1667. Campbeltown is also famous as a distinct malt whisky producing region.

Campbeltown Loch, Davaar Island, Harbour Lights.jpg
Your route in more detail

From Carradale Network Centre and the tea room next door, cross the B842 and turn left for about 30 yards, then bear right at a junction with a Kintyre Way information board towards a caravan park. Follow the path signposted for Sally’s Walk. Cross a footbridge then right, still on the path, to the B842. Go left, over the bridge, and left again towards Waterfoot. A Kintyre Way information board is at the junction warning about Carradale Bay tide times. Please note part of the route ahead is impassable at high tide.

Continue along a minor road towards Waterfoot. Follow the road, then along a vehicle track that overlooks Carradale Bay. You then cross shingle at the end of the track to reach the tidal grassland. Carry on along the rocky shore that leads to a small cove. Cross the burn, then turn inland. Go up to the edge of a grassy bank. Keep to the left as far as the gully, then right and walk up the field to a stile over the fence.

High Tide Alternative – From the road bridge, continue along the B842 with care. It leads up and around a sharp bend and on for over half a mile to rejoin the main route at a Kintyre Way information board and blue marker post. Cross the road and continue down, past some houses, across a small burn. About 500 yards from the marker post, turn right between the gate posts with a white cottage on the right into the grounds of Torrisdale Castle.

You then come to a Torrisdale Estate sign welcoming walkers to the next 1.5 miles along the ‘Gintyre Way’, a reference to the Beinn an Tuirc distillery ahead. Follow the signposted track through the grounds of the castle. Turn right towards Lephincorrach at a signposted junction and go left. Walk through the farm and past the distillery, turn right at the intersection, then go through a small gate. You gain height steadily, round a right-hand bend, continue up, passing a Kintyre Way distance marker indicating that you’ve reached the halfway mark at 50 miles.

Bear left just short of the forest and go along the track below the woods at a Y-junction. Then, follow the path between the stream and the woods beside a weir. A sign says, ‘Thank you for walking the Gintyre Way’. Within 100 yards, cross a footbridge and follow the path up across moorland, the grade easing along the way. The path bends left, and you reach a forest road where you turn left.

Around 800 yards, bear a sharp left at a forest track junction. After another 450 yards, turn right down a path through the forest and into the glen of Ifferdale burn. Near the end of the path, going can be very and cross a small burn. Go through a gate and cross the field ahead to exit it by another gate. You can turn right to continue on the Kintyre Way or left for Saddell Abbey and Ifferdale farm and bunkhouse. Walk past Ifferdale Farm and follow the vehicle track east down Saddell Glen for 3 miles. At the B842, turn right for Saddell Abbey. To follow the signs to Saddell Village you can visit the abbey, or walk down through the Castle grounds to Saddell Bay, where you will see Grip, the Antony Gormley Grip statue.

Turn right at the end of the field, pass Ifferdale Cottage and back into the forest. For the next 1.2 miles, follow the waymarked forest road, ignoring all turn-off; it heads south west, then swings east and finally south. Turn right to head west once you reach a Y-junction.

Soon the road descends above Bordadubh Water; ignore the track to the right and continue down to another junction overlooked by the derelict Bord a Dubh cottage. The small grove of trees nearby is Hughie’s Wood, planted in memory of forester Hugh Macmillan (1927–1990), who was brought up in the cottage.

Ignoring the path junction on your right, cross Strathduise water at the northern end of Loch Lussa, famous for its trout, and continue along its western shore. The Kintyre Way bears right at a junction near Gobagrennan Farm. The road rises then descends into a wide valley, leading south. It climbs steeply to a high point, past Caliburn quarry, where Machrihanish comes into view. 

The descent towards Campbeltown begins and within 4km of the quarry you reach the A83, cross to a roadside path and turn left. Continue past the B842 junction on the left, past the Co-op shop and cross the road ahead to the Aquilibrium. Go through a small park with a statue of Sir William Mackinnon. Cross the road at the bus terminus pass through the green space with a Kintyre Way information board. Cross the esplanade and continue to the Old Quay.

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