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West Coast of Kintyre, Scotland

Updated on December 3, 2012

Kintyre

Kintyre is a peninsula situated on the south west coast of Scotland. Almost an island, it is joined at West Loch Tarbert to mainland Scotland by a short stretch of land.

Paul McCartney’s song ‘Mull of Kintyre’ was dreamed up here, the Mull of Kintyre being the southernmost tip of Kintyre, where mist does indeed roll in from the sea. His farm is in an isolated area near Campbeltown, the principal town in Kintyre.

Kintyre is around 40 miles long and 11 miles wide.

West Coast of Kintyre, Scotland

Tarbert, Loch Fyne

Looking south west from Seal Point
Looking south west from Seal Point

Getting There

Arriving from the nearest metropolis, Glasgow, and driving west along the A82, then seamlessly joining the A83 at a place called Tarbet, after a distance of some 80 miles you will reach Tarbert (notice the difference in spelling) which is a small town almost at the head of Kintyre. Less than a mile further on, you reach West Loch Tarbert which is so small, if you blink you will miss it. It does, however, have a hotel (West Loch Hotel) and tea-room if you need a break.

You will know you are there because the sea-water of an inland loch suddenly appears on your RIGHT-HAND side. The last waterway you saw was on the left-hand side. This water is called the West Loch.

A mile or two further on and you will see on your right hand side a narrow road leading to the Kennacraig Ferry terminal, where you can catch the car ferry to the island of Islay.

If you are not driving but travelling by service bus, the West Coast Motors bus has a designated stop right at the ferry terminal.


Photos by kind permission of Muasdale Holiday Park.
Photos by kind permission of Muasdale Holiday Park.

Clachan, Tayinloan, Muasdale, Glenbarr

Travelling south now, the next village you will reach is Clachan, which boasts a filling station should you need to top up. Fuel in the whole of Kintyre is expensive, more so than in Glasgow, excuse being that delivery lorries have further to travel. It’s a good idea to top-up in Glasgow before you leave if you are driving.

About a mile past Clachan, you are greeted with the full majestic spectacle of the Atlantic Ocean, featuring some of the islands of the Inner Hebrides, namely Gigha, Cara, Islay and Jura to the West, and Mull to the north-west.

You will pass rocky, sea-weedy coastal areas and fertile farmland on your next 20 miles, with the Atlantic always on your right hand side, interspersed with bays of pure white sand and crystal clear greeny/blue waters. Many other areas of the shore are rich with shells like cowries, scallops, cockles, periwinkles, cockles and whelks.

You will pass through Tayinloan where there is an hotel , a grocery shop , quite a few houses and this is the place you would catch the ferry (a car ferry) over to the island of Gigha.

The hotel in Tayinloan, the MacDonald Arms is for sale.

A few miles further on and you reach the village of Muasdale which has a shop, a holiday caravan park, and other letting accommodation.


Chleit (just north of Muasdale)

Chleit church and shoreline with the Paps of Jura visible in the distance
Chleit church and shoreline with the Paps of Jura visible in the distance

The next village you will pass is Glenbarr, but you may not notice it much because the road bypasses the village, but there is an Abbey there of historical interest and guided tours on offer. Glenbarr Abbey

Then comes Bellochantuy, with its stretch of pure white sands and dunes and the hotel almost on the beach.

Less than a mile further on is the renowned Hunting Lodge Hotel.

From there on down the coastline is rocky with the occasional sandy cove, with a steep, stepped raise beach on you r left-hand side until you reach Westport, which is the name of a stretch of sandy shoreway banked with steep dunes. At this point, the road turns East and inland away from the Atlantic. Here the landscape is of gently sloping green pastures, with most fields full of cows that produce the milk that makes the world famous Mull of Kintyre cheese.

Pass through the tiny village of Kilchenzie and a mile or two on pass the roadway on your right hand side that would take you to Machrihanish airfield, where a daily plane flies to Glasgow.

Machrihanish was formerly an RAF base that housed many American marines in the 60s/70s/80s till it was closed in 1995.

From the turn-off to the base to Campbeltown is about 2 miles.


This video link has been sped up. He didn't really drive 19 miles in six minutes! Also, he could have washed his windscreen before he started filming!

Campbeltown Main Street
Campbeltown Main Street

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    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 8 years ago from UK

      LOL, what are you like!!

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 8 years ago from UK

      Right, I am off with the wife to visit the place :-)

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 8 years ago from UK

      If it makes you feel any better, I've not been in England much either, even though I now have two daughters living there!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 8 years ago from England

      Hi, Izzy, that looks so nice up there. I am really pathetic, I only live in England and have never been to Scotland. My friend is disgusted with me! She comes from the Shetlands and goes home every year. Hopefully one of these days! Cheers Nell

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 8 years ago from UK

      Cheers mate!

      There was a Salmon family in Kintyre, might be relatives of yours! Mrs Salmon taught cookery at school. Don't know what Mr Salmon did..

    • profile image

      Denno66 8 years ago

      Huh. My ancestry is from Scotland as well. The Salmon family from Glascow; emigrated to the States in the mid-1800s. This is a great Hub, thanks so much for the information here. About to become a fan. :-)

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 8 years ago from UK

      Cheers, Mike:)

    • Make  Money profile image

      Make Money 8 years ago from Ontario

      Yeah like you say Izzy "We're a forgiving lot". :-)

      Here's a couple of pages on Spanish John MacDonell.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_MacDonell_%28Sco...

      This next page is mostly about his son John but says he was called Spanish John because of his service in the Spanish forces during the war against the Austrians in the 1740s.

      http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?BioId=...

      Here's a Google book called Lords of the North that mentions him. I'm going to have to read Chapter 11.

      http://books.google.ca/books?id=aZz213hdj3EC&p...

      Coincidentally Lords of the North is written by James K. McDonell and Robert B. Campbell. :-)

      Mike

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 8 years ago from UK

      When I was at school (in Kintyre) there were loads of MacDonalds and just as many Campbells, and there was even a lad named Campbell MacDonald!

      Fascinating history you have there Make Money! I've looked up John MacDonell as you suggested but not a not of info about him on wiki. Then again I didn't even know the Spanish fought with the Jacobites - I knew the french did.

    • Make  Money profile image

      Make Money 8 years ago from Ontario

      I'm a MacDonell Izzy, of the Glengarry branch. In 1773 from Glengarry, Scotland to the Mohawk Valley in upper New York then when the American Revolutionary War broke out to Upper Canada, the most easterly county which is now called Glengarry County, Ontario. You might find it interesting that my ancestor's clan chief in 1773 was Spanish John MacDonell. Wikipedia and a few others have a web page on him.

      Kintyre used to be MacDonald land so beware of those Campbells. Just joking ralwus. ;-)

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 8 years ago from UK

      Nah the Campbells are not hated anymore. We're a forgiving lot! Probably the passage of over 300 years helped too. Maybe one of your cousins were amongst the ones who refused to obey commands?

      Canada, eh? I've got relatives over there too (and in the US).

      Small world nowadays with the advent of the internet.

    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      LOL A Danald? Oh no! We are still hated over there so I have been told. Yes, it was one of my cousins that was ordered to do that dirty deed. I will consider you my newest friend.

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 8 years ago from UK

      JeeZ! I'm a MacDonald!

      Still, let history rest where it belongs. We can still be friends:)

      To anyone who doesn't know, google 'Massacre of Glencoe'.

    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      A lot of them are in Canada as well. I am a Campbell, Argyl Campbell with documentation back before The Bruce.

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 8 years ago from UK

      Thanks ralwus and ripplemaker:) I'm surprised at the interest this hub got as I don't think it's all that great, but it's true that many Americans have ancestral roots here. Lack of jobs and opportunities caused many to move away from such a beautiful area, and very many crossed the Pond. In the last 30 years we also had many Marine brides move to the US.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      IzzyM, so the secret is out about you being a Hubnugget Wannabe. But I maintain my enthusiasm in greeting you a hearty congratulations too! Yehey! Thumbs up! Scotland..hmmm...this is cool. Thanks for sharing this one.

      To vote, http://hubpages.com/hubnuggets10/hub/Nuggets-Are-F...

    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      Thanks for the tour of my ancestral roots. I enjoyed it even tho' the windscreen is dirty. LOL Congrats on the nomination and Merry Christmas. CC

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 8 years ago from UK

      Do visit. You won't regret it. It is more beautiful than I have described. You might be lucky and get dry weather. It rains so much the landscape is a pure shade of green or should that ge 40 shades of green? After all, Ireland is only a stone's throw away.

      Thanks for the comments:)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Beautiful hub, and congratulations and good luck with the hubhugget nomination. Really lovely place, Scotland. I'd give my eyeteeth to visit next summer. Thanks for the info!

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 8 years ago from UK

      Thank you both very much:)

    • travelespresso profile image

      travelespresso 8 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Congrats on your hubnuggets wannabe nomination. This is a lovely hub. Good luck.

    • Miss Belgravia profile image

      Kathleen 8 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination, and good luck. I really enjoyed your hub -- another place I need to add to my travel list!

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 8 years ago from UK

      Was it raining when you were there?

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      I was in Scotland this summer. It is so beautiful. I only stayed around Lannoch Rannoch, Edinburgh and Glasgow. I hope to see more of it next time. Thanks for sharing.

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