Tarbert to Clachan
Macs Adventure Verified partner Explorers Choice
Tarbert Harbour - start point of the Kintyre WayPhoto: Robbie Thurley, Macs Adventure
Track typesShow elevation profile
Safety informationThis route covers forestry tracks used by heavy vehicles to always take to the verge to let them pass. It also crosses a lot of land with little to no phone signal so do take extra care when moving in more remote areas, especially around the moorland as you're very exposed to the elements on these sections.
Tips and hints
Points of interest
Tarbert Castle was a strategic royal stronghold during the Middle Ages and one of three castles at Tarbert. The castle overlooks the harbour and although pre 14th century in construction, the tower dates back to 1494 and the visit of James IV to the Western Highlands. With its surrounding hertiage park including views over the harbour and loch Fyne there are great photographic opportunities wherever you look.
The Isle of Arran is the largest in the Firth of Clyde at 432 square kilometres. The island boasts a brewery, two distilleries, fine local cuisine (especially the seafood), many picturesque villages, a spectacular coastline and dramatic landscape. Perfect for walking, cycling or enjoying the clear waters. There are daily sailings from Cloanaig to Lochranza.
Food & Drink
There are a few small shops and cafes in Tarbert, a small store in Skipness then nothing until you reach Clachan's service/gas station.
0.00 km – Starting at the bottom of the steps towards Tarbert Castle, head uphill through the metal gate then past the castle and follow the trail continuing uphill through Tarbert Woods.
0.39 km – At the split in the track, BEAR LEFT.
0.92 km – TURN LEFT at the junction.
1.20 km – The trail continues to climb as you steadily weave your way up the hillside.
2.00 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON across three small footbridges.
2.20 km – TURN RIGHT as you pass the large Tarbert Millennium Cairn.
2.30 km – At the junction with the stone forestry track TURN LEFT. Beware of large trucks that occassionlly use this route.
4.30 km – Continue on the track to BEAR RIGHT.
7.20 km – After crossing open land TURN LEFT off the track at the blue marker to follow the smaller grassy/stony trail through the conifer plantation.
8.40 km – On your left you now pass Loch na Machrach Moire and continue STRAIGHT ON.
9.10 km – Cross the wooden bridge and continue STRAIGHT ON.
9.90 km – Now cross the forestry track and continue STRAIGHT ON.
10.80 km – TURN RIGHT then follow the grassy vehicle track.
11.00 km – At the junction of the two tracks continue STRAIGHT ON to descend.
11.70 km – After a large stone sheep pen on your left you now gain views of the hilltops of Arran.
12.30 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON to follow the banks of the Skipness River.
14.10 km – At the split in the track continue STRAIGHT ON.
14.50 km – Passing by a large grey building on your right side you now descend towards the coast and Skipness directly ahead.
15.10 km – TURN RIGHT at the junction in Skipness to join the main road and pass by the Skipness Store. This is a good place to pick up a coffee or any snacks you may need for the rest of the walk.
15.40 km – As you pass the village hall BEAR LEFT to continue following the road alongside the coast.
18.40 km – On your left you now pass by Claonaig Ferry pier, which has sailings that connect to Lochranza on Arran.
19.10 km – At the junction in Claonaig TURN LEFT to follow the sign for Campbeltown on the B842 and cross over a stone bridge.
20.80 km – TURN RIGHT at the blue marker just before a stone bridge to leave the road and follow a gravel track alongside the woods.
22.10 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON uphill as you pass a small Lochan on your right.
22.50 km – The track now BEARS LEFT as the land opens up to moorland. It can be extremely windy and exposed here.
23.90 km – After a short descent cross a small stream and through a metal gate then TURN LEFT to follow a faint track directly across the moorland for the next few kilometres.
27.10 km – Cross the small wooden stile then in 100m cross another as you now skirt the southern edge of Lochan Fraoich.
27.90 km – BEAR LEFT away from the water and head through the woods.
28.50 km – BEAR RIGHT to follow the track as you reach the shore of Lochan a’Chreimh, now circling an area of deforested land.
28.80 km – TURN RIGHT onto the stone forestry track and follow it down hill through Achaglass Forest.
30.80 km – TURN LEFT onto the dirt road and continue STRAIGHT ON.
31.20 km – At the split in the road BEAR RIGHT onto a small track as you head towards to trees.
32.00 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON to leave the gravel track as you reach Loch Ciaran. Now following the shore via a faint grassy trail.
32.90 km – TURN LEFT at the blue way marker to follow another grassy trail with large trees on your right hand side.
33.10 km – Cross the small wooden stile on your LEFT and continue following the trail as it BEARS RIGHT after the blue marker.
34.70 km – After a short ascent, cross two sets of wooden steps and through a metal gate (close this behind you) then STRAIGHT ON through the woods on a muddy track.
35.00 km – After a steep descent, once out of the woodland, TURN LEFT across a wooden boardwalk. The village of Clachan is now directly ahead of you.
35.20 km – TURN RIGHT onto a gravel farm track and head down hill towards the main road.
35.30 km – Finish your walk next to the information sign at Clachan and the junction with the Campbeltown to Glasgow main road.
Questions and answers
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