top of page
At the end of the Kintyre Way

Southend to Machrihanish

16 miles | 7-9 hours

Suitable for walking, running and cycling (please note much of this section off-road and not always suitable for cyclists)

Leaving Southend, the trail takes you along the southern tip of Kintyre, past St Columba’s footprints and Keil Caves, before Carskey Bay sweeps before you. From here you will begin to wind your way up into the most remote part of Kintyre. This section offers breathtaking views over to Ireland, the Rathlin Isles and across the wild Atlantic with nothing between you and America. 

After completing the Kintyre Way (well done!) you are rewarded with your final stopping point: Machrihanish. The village offers plenty of accommodation as well as the Old Clubhouse pub. For keen Golfers Machrihanish also offers two world famous golf courses and its famous 1st tee.

Your route in more detail

Machrihanish is a short distance north of the tip of the Mull of Kintyre, which faces out towards Northern Ireland and the Atlantic. The wonderful sandy beach of Machrihanish Bay runs three miles north to Westport, providing opportunities for surfing. The Largiebaan nature reserve lies to the south.

From the last house on the left of the B842 in Southend, turn left towards the golf course. Follow the vehicle track through the course, past a cottage and down to the shore of Dunaverty Bay. A Kintyre Way board includes information about the infamous siege and massacre of 1647. Descend steeply to the beach, go up steps beside toilets and turn left along the road at its western end. With a good view of the Mull of Kintyre ahead, follow the road past the large Keil Hotel entrance, dating from the late 1930s.

Further on, the cemetery has some old carved grave slabs and the ivy-cloaked remains of St Columba's church. Shortly you pass the access point for Keil and St Columba’s footprints. The Celtic saint may have made one in AD563; a local stonemason carved the other in 1856. A car park with picnic tables and a local history information board is a little further on. Here the road turns inland into Glen Breackerie. After a mile, ignore the road to Mull of Kintyre; and about 250 yards further on, turn left towards Dalsmeran. Follow this road through the glen for 2.5 miles. At this point, the Kintyre Way turns left to Amod Farm.

A few hundred metres along, you turn right at a fork. Pass derelict farm buildings, cross a bridge. A sign here marks a boundary of Largiebaan Wildlife Reserve. Climb past a deserted house and continue past a cottage and derelict farm buildings. To keep to the Kintyre Way, turn left towards Amod Farm and within 100 yards turn left again to follow Abhainn Breacairigh downstream. After 500 yards, turn right to go over two stiles, across a burn and over a third stile. 

Bear right uphill to climb Amid Hill steadily at first, then steeply over the boggy hillside. Follow waymarkers on this moorland track north westwards, soon climbing the shoulder of Remuil Hill. Descend with a fence on your right and soon bear left to pick up a vehicle track.

Bear right along the track for just over a mile toward Largiebaan Wildlife Reserve and follow haymakers, passing old shillings on the right. Turn left along a grassy track leading west through a small forest at a junction. Beyond this, the track becomes a path, and 200 yards beyond the forest is a picnic table with a view of Rathlin Island and Northern Ireland’s coast.

Keep your eyes out for golden eagles in the deep blue above and dolphins, whales and basking sharks in the deep blue below.

The route crosses moorland, the waymarkers just in the line of sight. Soon you bear right uphill to and cross a prominent stile to a forest track that traverses a small forest. Negotiate another stile, and shortly the dear path descends gently across the slope to a gate. Bear right uphill with the fence on your right and cliffs close. Over another stile, the ascent steepens markedly to the high point of 360 yards on Binnean. There’s a fine view of the Isles of Islay, Jura and Gigha.

Almost immediately, the descent starts as the clear path winds steeply down with waymarkers in line of sight. The path veers right across the slope and reaches a remnant stone wall above a small sandy beach. The path leads inland up Innean Glen, and the wall peters out. Pass a large square stone enclosure; you come to a fence and a sign marking the northern boundary of the Wildlife Reserve. Go through the adjacent gate and enter Ballygroggan farm land. Turn right and follow the often boggy path parallel to but a few yards out from the fence on the right.

Eventually, the path veers away from the fence to a prominent marker post above a burn. Gain more height to meet a wider path. The track descends to Craigaig Water, cross on a metal footbridge. Nearby a sign indicates you’re just 3 miles from Machrihanish. A farm track descends to Ballygroggan Farm. Cross a stile to a vehicle track which will take you through the edge of the farm yard. Continue along the track for another few hundred metres In another few hundred metres, where a viewing point and car park overlooks Machrihanish beach with views of Tangy windfarm, Gigha, Islay and the Paps of Jura. The car park area has picnic benches and a Kintyre Way Information board. 

Continue along the track until you cross a cattle grid and onto a minor road. Follow this for 300m where it bears left and down the hill, passing High Lossit cottage and eventually into Machrihanish. 

The end (or start, depending on how you’ve approached your adventure!) of the Kintyre Way is beside a small beach, overlooking Scart Isle. An information board marks the official end of the route. 


bottom of page