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6 reasons why the Kintyre Way is the best 100 miles you'll ever travel!

6 reasons why the Kintyre Way is the best 100 miles you'll ever travel!
Wild Atlantic coastline, hidden coves and ancient woodland: the Kintyre peninsula feels like another world. And what better way to explore this strikingly beautiful and undiscovered part of Argyll than on foot? Stretching from Tarbert in the north to Machrihanish in the south, the Kintyre Way is one of Scotland’s top long distance routes. Here are six reasons why the Kintyre Way is the best 100 miles you’ll ever travel!

1. Glorious contrasts. The Kintyre Way criss-crosses the Kintyre peninsula, connecting communities and landscapes, people and produce. Along the way you’ll discover deserted beaches, tiny fishing communities, gentle hills, fabulous local produce and welcoming, friendly people. From the west coast with its deserted, sandy beaches pounded by Atlantic breakers to the gentler bays of the east coast, the views of Loch Fyne to the views of Ireland, you’ll be astounded by the diversity and beauty of the landscape as you ramble along.

2. Something for everyone. The 100-mile route is broken down into seven sections, providing four to seven days’ worth of walking, depending on your pace. Set yourself a challenge or take it slowly, stopping to enjoy the attractions and sights along the way. You’ll find some serious hiking and some gentle ambles within the route. Or why not tackle the route over an extended period, one section at a time? You can always use public transport or one of the local taxi firms to get you back to your starting point.

3. Brilliant beaches. Kintyre is renowned for its fabulous beaches and you’ll get to visit plenty –catching glimpses of many more – as you walk the Kintyre Way. You’ll love Carradale Bay, a stunning mile-long, south-facing sandy beach; wild and remote Saddell Bay looking out across the Kilbrannan Sound to the Isle of Arran; and Westport Beach, one of Scotland’s top surfing spots. You can take a short detour to the island of Gigha, with its white bays and turquoise sea.

4. Heaps of heritage. Kintyre has a rich Highland heritage and the area is dotted with fascinating historical sites and ancient ruins, many of which you’ll pass on the Kintyre Way. The first section alone, from Tarbert to Claonaig, takes in Robert the Bruce’s 13th Century Tarbert Castle, Skipness Castle and St Brendan’s Chapel. Other heritage highlights include Dun Skeig Hill Fort, Saddell Abbey, Campbeltown Museum and St. Columba’s Footprints.

5. Wilder ways. This remote and untouched part of Argyll is home to a vast array of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll have a good chance of spotting some of Scotland’s ‘Big 5’ and more. Look out for seals, otters and basking sharks in the waters and red squirrels and orange-tip butterflies in the woods. The last section will take you through the Scottish Wildlife Trust nature reserve at Largiebaan on the Mull of Kintyre. Along with views to Ireland, you might see wild goats and kestrels, peregrines and barn owls. The Machrihanish Seabird Observatory offers incredible birdwatching opportunities.

6. Fabulous food. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to great places to eat along the Kintyre Way. Kintyre is a foodie paradise, with a feast of fresh produce from the hills and sea, as well as the famous Mull of Kintyre Cheese. Tarbert at the beginning of the walk is packed with great cafés and restaurants, many serving up the local seafood. Campbeltown too is home to excellent eateries. You’ll also stumble upon some cracking wee places in the most unexpected of locations. During the summer, you can enjoy seafood at the Skipness Seafood Cabin. Feast on freshly prepared crab, langoustines, scallops and mussels in a lovely garden overlooking Skipness Castle, the seashore and Arran beyond.

The Kintyre Way route is way-marked by blue posts sporting the Kintyre Way logo. In Tarbert, Clachan and Campbeltown vinyl stickers are placed on lamp-posts to guide walkers. Look out for the mile marks which are found throughout the route. You’ll also find seating made with local materials positioned at various viewpoints along the way – perfect for taking a breather!

There are lots of accommodation options along the route, from country hotels to cosy bed and breakfasts. Many offer facilities aimed at walkers such as drying rooms and packed lunches.

Find out more about the Kintyre Way and start planning your walking adventure! You might also be interested in the Cowal Way, which can be linked to the Kintyre Way to create one epic route.

Find out more about things to do and see in Kintyre & Gigha.
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