A Week in Kintyre

16 May 2017

kintyre sunset

An often overlooked part of the west coast is the Kintyre peninsula. Its remoteness can deter casual visitors but for those making the effort to get here there is a huge amount to see and do. Here is a suggested itinerary for a week in this most beautiful and secluded corner of the west coast.

The most famous beach in Kintyre, and maybe the whole of Scotland is Machrihanish. Paul McCartney, a long-time resident of the area wrote the song Mull of Kintyre which went on to be a massive hit all around the world and the video was filmed here. The beach itself is as glorious as its reputation, with golden sands stretching for over 3 miles and stunning views towards the islands of Gigha, Islay and Jura. For those music fans who are making the pilgrimage here, then you could also swing by the Linda McCartney memorial statue and garden in Campbeltown.

One of the most unusual attractions in Kintyre is Davaar Island with its unique crucifixion cave painting. Painted in 1887 in secret by a local teacher after he received directions in a dream, this incredible vision has been periodically restored by art teachers from the local grammar school. The Island lies in Kilbrannan Sound at the mouth of Campbeltown Loch. The cave is one of several and can be reached on foot by the shingle causeway at low tide. The painting is found in the seventh cave, the entrance to which is marked by a small plaque on the cliff face and also by the many small cairns and wooden crosses made by visitors and pilgrims.

Campbeltown was once the home of 28 distilleries but for a whisky day out we would recommend hopping on a boat for the short journey to Islay. Here you will find the home of such illustrious brands such as Ardbeg, Bowmore and Lagavulin. Distillery tours and tastings are easy to arrange with the relative small size of the island making it possible to see a number in the same day.

Fine dining can also be had in Kintyre at the Kilberry Inn. A previous winner of the Scottish restaurant of the year and recipient of a Michelin Bib Gourmand award the emphasis here is on locally sourced produce such as beef from the local estate and freshly landed langoustine. Famous diners include Peter Howson, the Hairy Bikers and the Queen.

One of the newest long distance walks in Scotland, the Kintyre Way stretches from Tarbert at the north end of the peninsula, to Dunaverty in the south. The route is over 100 miles long, is way-marked for its entire distance and usually takes about a week to complete.  This gloriously isolated route will take you through hidden coves, deserted beaches along the wild Atlantic coast, tiny fishing communities and gentle rolling hills, but can be broken up into easily manageable sections that you can do a day at a time.

One of the finest Golf Courses in the country can be found at Machrihanish. The course was designed by the legendary Tom Morris and features one of the most iconic (and challenging) opening holes in the world, where you actually have to play over the Atlantic. This being an authentic links courses then you will also face the challenges of blind tee shots, rugged dunes, undulating fairways as well as the occasional sea breeze.

One of the best kept secrets in Kintyre is the huge range of festivals that take place here throughout the year. Music lovers can enjoy the Mull of Kintyre Festival in August or the Songwriters Festival in May. The Tarbert book festival takes place in November and foodies will be excited by the Tarbert Seafood Festival every July which celebrates local produce. Film fans will be intrigued by the annual TT16 festival which shows real 16mm prints of classic films in the salon of a 1920s Dutch barge which is Argyll’s only floating seafood and vegetarian venue. The programme is extremely varied and has in the past included surreal and avant-garde silent films with live musical accompaniment from local musicians.

If this sounds like your idea of an exciting week then call LHH today to enquire about availability in our Kintyre properties. Achaglachgach is a majestic conversion of an old stables that sleeps 10 while the nearby Achaglachgach Cottage is a cosy, recently renovated two bedroomed property with magnificent views. Kirkland House sleeps 14 and is a great family friendly holiday house just south of Tarbert, a short walk to the nearest beach.

Photo Credit Kintyre Way