Carradale to Loch Lussa
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Rocky Coastline towards TorrisdalePhoto: Robbie Thurley, Macs Adventure
Leave the village of Carrdale behind to follow a forest trail to an exciting coastal section of the route before reaching Torrisdale. Explore the grounds of Torrisdale Castle perhaps with a quick stop at Beinn An Tuirc Distillery for a taste of their gin before heading inland to Loch Lussa. The majority of the day follows farm and forestry tracks through conifer plantations as you climb steadily up and over the backbone of the Kintyre Peninsula. Finish up the day's route either by walking the full length of picturesque Loch Lussa to meet your taxi transfer (see accommodation sheet for details) or following the track all the way to the road into Cambeltown depending on your itinerary.
Please note: A section of today's walk follows the coast which, during high tide, may be impassable. Check tide times before heading out then re-check before you reach the coast. There is an alternative route following the main road (please refer to the Turn-By-Turn Directions at 2.7 km).
Safety informationA section of today's walk follows the coast which, during high tide, may be impassable. Check tide times before heading out then re-check before you reach the coast. There is an alternative route following the main road (please refer to the Turn-By-Turn Directions).
Tips and hints
Points of interest
Torrisdale Castle Estate
Torrisdale Castle Estate has been in the ownership of the Macalister Hall family since 1872 and over the years has benefited from innovative diversification. A successful self-catering business began in the early 1980’s, started by the current laird’s parents, Donald and Mary Macalister Hall. This business continues to thrive today in the hands of Niall and Emma. Niall has further developed the estate by installing a biomass boiler which efficiently heats the 200 year old castle using estate wood and has installed a 99kw hydro-electric scheme which has significantly boosted the estate’s income.
Beinn An Tuirc Distillery
Kintyre Gin is made at Beinn an Tuirc Distillery which is located in an old farm building on the outskirts of the Torrisdale Castle estate. The gin still is powered by the estate’s hydro electric scheme, giving it unique eco credentials and reflecting the environmentally sustainable philosophy of the estate as a whole. There is a shop and tasting room beside the distillery and tours are available also. Open Tues-Sat, 11am - 4pm.
Glen Scotia Distillery
One of Campbeltown's distilleries, located in the town centre Glen Scotia is worth a visit if you have time. Check out their website and book a tour if you think you'll have time to sop in enroute. You can als call them on +44 (0) 1586 552 288. The Campbeltown area has been a site of distilling since 1636, from here the tradition developed in complexity and grew with many illicit distilling operations on the Kintyre Peninsula throughout the 18th and 19th centuraries.
Another of Campbeltown's distilleries Springbank distillery is also located in the heart of the town. Owned and run by the Mitchell family for 5 generations the family moved here to the area in the 1660s and began distilling shortly after. Onsight they now run a variety of tours that you can book online or call +44 (0) 1586 551 710 book if you have time to visit enroute.
Food & Drink
There is a small store and Paterson's Bakery in Carradale where you can stock up on supplies. There is nowhere enroute until you reach Campbeltown after your walk.
0.00 km – Begin where the previous route ends and TURN RIGHT off the main road to follow the gravel track past ‘Port Na Strom’ car park.
0.25 km – TURN LEFT at the junction following the sign for ‘Network Centre’. The trail now ascends slightly through forest.
1.60 km – TURN LEFT off the gravel trail at the blue waymarker to join a grassy/muddy track through the trees.
1.80 km – At the split in the track TURN LEFT to follow the blue waymarker.
1.90 km – Descend two sets of steps and pass by the stone buildings of Carradale Heritage Centre then TURN LEFT onto the main road. After 50 m TURN RIGHT towards Carradale Estate, following the gravel road.
2.00 km – TURN RIGHT at the sign for ‘Sally’s Walk’ then cross the wooden bridge.
2.10 km – BEAR RIGHT following the sign for Carradale West.
2.70 km – At the tarmac road TURN LEFT towards Waterfoot. Cross the stone bridge then TURN LEFT again passing the farm.
(At this point it’s advisable to check the tide times, if the tide is high then the next section may be impassable. If you reach the beach and find this is the case you’ll need to retrace your steps to this point then follow the main road STRAIGHT ON after the stone bridge. You will pick up the route again after 2 kms at 4.70 km below.)
3.60 km – After passing some houses at the end of the gravel track BEAR RIGHT along the beach. Stay close to the cliffs for easier going, some rock hopping is still required throughout. Take care here especially if the rocks are wet and slippery.
4.20 km – Scramble around the rocky point then TURN RIGHT to begin heading inland at a hard-to-spot waymaker.
4.30 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON past the wooden fence, to cross a short wooden boardwalk then BEAR RIGHT following a rocky spur.
4.40 km – At the top of the grassy bank TURN LEFT following the waymaker.
4.50 km – At the next blue waymarker TURN RIGHT to ascend and cross a wooden stile.
4.70 km – TURN LEFT onto the tarmac road.
(If you’ve not taken the coastal route the alternative re-joins you here.)
5.10 km – TURN RIGHT at the white lodge house to follow the gravel track towards Torrisdale Castle.
5.30 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON at the split in the track then cross an old stone bridge and TURN LEFT.
5.40 km – Torrisdale Castle is on your right-hand side now, unfortunately the castle itself is not open to visitors as it’s a private residence.
5.60 km – TURN RIGHT at the junction then cross another bridge.
5.90 km – TURN LEFT at the junction sign posted ‘Distillery & Shop’.
6.20 km – BEAR LEFT past the farm and distillery (take a stop here if it’s open) then after 100m TURN RIGHT through the metal gate and ascend.
7.30 km – After a steady climb the trail now dips slightly, TURN LEFT at the blue waymarker.
7.60 km – Cross the bridge over Lepphin Carrach burn then follow the waymarked trail uphill to a forestry track.
8.10 km – TURN LEFT onto the forestry track.
8.90 km – TURN LEFT sharply at the junction.
9.80 km – TURN RIGHT at the waymarker to leave the forestry track. The trail now heads downhill through the trees towards Ifferdale.
10.60 km – TURN LEFT on entering the field to follow the muddy vehicle track.
11.30 km – At the end of the field go through the metal gate and TURN RIGHT.
11.70 km – After passing Ifferdale Cottage continue STRAIGHT ON following the track through the forest. Ignore any turn offs and asecnd steadily for 5 km.
15.70 km – At the split in the track TURN RIGHT, the track soon begins to descend.
17.20 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON at the junction.
20.20 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON at the stone cairn as you approach Loch Lussa.
20.80 km – TURN LEFT at the junction then cross the metal bridge.
21.00 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON at the split in the track, following the banks of the loch.
22.50 km – Go through the gate then BEAR LEFT to continue on the track past a white cottage.
25.10 km – Finish your walk here at the forestry hut on the far south end of Loch Lussa to meet your taxi for the transfer into Campbeltown (please see your accommodation sheet for your itinerary specific transfer details).
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