Fourteen days in Kintyre in the Winter

14 Days in Kintyre (winter edition)

Day 1 – Fishing at West Loch Shores or spa day

You don’t have to venture far from your West Loch Shores base on day one of your holiday.  If you’re a keen fisherman, or just want to try something different then why not try your hand at fishing on the banks of the West Loch?  The crystal clear waters are home to mackerel, pollock, and, if you’re very lucky, sea trout.  But if that doesn’t appeal to everyone in your party you could travel the two miles into the village of Tarbert.  You’ll find plenty of coffee shops, gift shops or if you want to pamper yourself book a massage or facial.

Day 2 – Golf

Golf Course 2011 015_SnapseedKintyre is famous for its golf courses with a mixture of championship and some testing smaller courses.  The Old Course at Machrihanish, Machrihanish Dunes and Dunaverty are all within an hours drive.  And Tarbert Golf Club, a scenic but challenging nine hole course, is right on our doorstep.

Day 3 – Swimming

MACPool-Logo-copy1Fourteen miles north of West Loch Shores is the town of Lochgilphead which is home to the 20 metre Mid Argyll Swimming Pool.  Or, if you are heading south, you’ll find the 25 metre Aqualibrium in Campbeltown.  Both pools have full itineraries so check their websites at http://macpool.org.uk/  and http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/swimming-pool/aqualibrium before you travel and choose the activity or class you’re interested in.

 

Day 4 – Island hopping

photoWe are a great base for island hopping.  If you travel into Tarbert you’ll find the connection to Cowal with a one service a day trip to Arran.  The ferry terminal for Islay with connection to Jura, Kennacraig, is just four miles south.  And halfway down the Kintyre peninsula, at Tayinloan, you’ll find the ferry connection to Gigha.  You’ll find all timetables at www.calmac.co.uk or download their app.

 

 

Day 5 – Distillery visit

Springbank-logoArgyll is famous for whisky and we have some of the most famous distilleries right here on our doorstep.  And while Campbeltown Loch (sadly) isn’t full of whisky, it does have enough distilleries to keep you occupied for a full day.  And no whisky trail would be complete without a visit to Islay, Jura or Arran.

 

 

Day 6 – Beaches – brave the weather

10671363_723736254381379_7444723549019627415_nWinter is as great time to go to the beach.  And with golden sands running around the Kintyre coast there’s no excuse not to head to the shore.  Westport Beach is among the best surfing beaches in the country, and the waves make for some spectacular sport.  So, wrap up warm and take a walk along the beach – we promise you’ll love it!

Day 7 – Mountain biking

IMG_2873We’ve got some great mountain bike trails around the area.  Whether you like to stick to forestry roads or prefer to be a bit more adventurous you’ll love the terrain close to West Loch Shores.  See Kintyre from two wheels and get a different perspective on this beautiful area.

 

 

Day 8 – Walk part of the Kintyre Way (Corranbuie link)

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We’re very close to the Kintyre Way, the 88 mile walk which runs along the whole length of Kintyre.  And we’re making it even easier for you to make the connection by opening up a link walk which will take you from West Loch Shores to Corranbuie.

 

 

 

Day 9 – Explore the Carradale road

The Carradale road runs down the east side of Kintyre.  It is a single track road with passing places so if you want to go exploring make sure you leave plenty of time.  You will be rewarded with amazing views across Kintyre and also over to Arran.  Villages and hamlets dot the coast and with beaches and woodland walks across the area, this is a great place to go exploring.  At the end of the road you will drive into Campbeltown, the biggest town in Kintyre.  Reward your trip with something to eat in one of the many cafes, restaurants and hotels in the town.  Or continue south to Davaar Island – remember to check the tide table first – available in the tourist information office on the pier.

 

Day 10 – Dark Skies

GallowayOrionCraigencallieThere is very little light pollution in Kintyre and the night skies are a rich source of wonder for anyone interested in star gazing.  The local West Kintyre Stargazers group meets once a month https://www.facebook.com/pages/West-Kintyre-Stargazers.  But no matter when you visit us in winter, you’ll be amazed at the number of stars overhead – you might even want to try your hand at some astrophotography!

Day 11 – Big Game Hunting 

Many of Scotland’s ‘Big 5’ can be found in Kintyre, so why not go out big game hunting and shoot photos of red deer, red squirrels, harbour seals, otters and, if you’re incredibly lucky, golden eagles.  If you need some inspiration check out http://www.scotlandsbig5.co.uk/

 

Day 12 – Geocaching

Geocaching-Logo

Have hours of family fun geocaching.  There are caches across Kintyre of varying sizes and accessibility.  Check http://www.geocaching.com/ or download the app to find the closest one to you and go exploring!

 

Day 13 – Moine Mhor National Nature Reserve

moinemhor

Moine Mhor National Nature Reserve Moine Mhor National Nature Reserve (NNR) is a bog showpiece. Covering over 500 hectares (ha) this ‘Great Moss’ forms the wild heartland of Kilmartin Glen, 10 kilometres (km) north of Lochgilphead on the west coast of Scotland.

Raised bogs are one of Europe’s rarest and most threatened natural wildlife habitats,

home to plants and animals specially adapted to survive in the water-logged

conditions. At Moine Mhor, glistening dragonflies and graceful hen harriers hunt over

the colourful patchwork carpet of bog moss, cotton grass and heather. Fringed by

tidal flats, saltmarsh, brackish grassland, fen, alder carr and ancient oak woodland,

this intact transition of habitats adds to the Reserve’s rich diversity of wildlife. Coastal

birds, otters and the rare marsh fritillary butterfly all make their home here.

Day 14 – Explore Tarbert village / castle

Take a day to explore the beautiful fishing village.  Enjoy some of the finest seafood in the harbourside restaurants or pick up some gifts to take back home with you.

Then climb up to Tarbert castle, once the home of Robert the Bruce, and enjoy the views over the village, out over Loch Fyne towards the hills of Cowal.