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Bowmore to Laggan Point Loop Walk

Hiking trail
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Bowmore Distillery
    / Bowmore Distillery
  • / Kilarrow Church/The Round Church
  • / A beach on Loch Indaal, looking to Bruichladdich
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / Laggan Point looking South
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / Loch Kinnabus
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / Sheep on Laggan Farm
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / Laggan Estate track to meet the A846
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / The road off A846 - 11.80 km
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
m 40 30 20 10 -10 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
A varied coastal route beginning and ending in Bowmore whilst taking in the beaches and craggy coastline of Laggan Point. 
Distance 13.9 km
3:30 h
54 m
45 m
Enjoy a wonderfully varied day’s walk from Bowmore.  Leave bustling Bowmore behind and walk south towards the tip of Laggan Point on quiet minor roads, grassy paths, farm tracks and including a 1.5 km stretch on the single carriageway road leading into Bowmore.  The route passes rocky beaches, interesting rock formations, a peaceful loch, an isolated farm and gives great views over Machrie Bay beach before following a farm track inland to reach the road into Bowmore.  Follow this for 1.5 km before turning off it and following tracks and quiet minor roads back into Bowmore to finish in the centre. 

Author’s recommendation

There are some great picnic spots along all the coastal sections of this route.  Be sure to pack a delicious lunch you can take your time over while admiring Islay’s coastal scenery. 
Profile picture of Catherine Allan
Catherine Allan 
Update: September 17, 2018
Highest point
39 m
Lowest point
2 m
Best time of year

Safety information

The 1.5 km section of the route on the single carriageway road when heading back into Bowmore is not normally busy but there can be fast-flowing traffic on it so please take extra care and step aside on the grass verge when traffic approaches.  We recommend following the highway code and walking on the right-hand side of the road into oncoming traffic.  On bends however you may wish to cross and walk on the outside of the bend. 

When at the coast the route is exposed to the elements so please only undertake the route in good visibility and make sure you have waterproofs and warm layers with you. 

Tips and hints


Points of Interest

Bowmore Distillery

Bowmore Distillery is situated in the heart of Islay’s capital, with views across Loch Indaal to Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte across the bay.  Officially the distillery opened in 1779 and is Islay’s oldest and Scotland’s second oldest, although technically it has been in operation for the longest (it was operating illegally to avoid tax payments for it’s first 10 years).  Find out more about this distillery by going on one of their 4 tours, ranging from basic (1 hr) to premium (4 hrs).  Please see the link below for tour details, prices, and operating days and times.  It’s best to book as far ahead as possible, either online or by calling +44 (0)1496 810 441, as places can fill up quickly especially during the summer months. 

Bowmore Visitor Centre 

The tourist information centre is located next to the distillery on Main Street across from the pharmacy in Bowmore town centre.  The opening hours may vary but are listed as below, you can phone to check on +44 (1496) 305165 before making a visit. 

April - June

Monday to Saturday 10:00 - 17:00

Sunday 12:00 - 15:00

July - August

Monday to Saturday 09:30 - 17:30

Sunday 12:00 - 15:00

September - October

Monday to Saturday 10:00 - 17:00 

Kilarrow Church, Bowmore

Now better known as The Round Church, Kilarrow Church, overlooks the village of Bowmore from it’s lofty position at the top of Main Street/A846 which leaves Bowmore for Port Ellen.  The building of the church began in 1768, 11 years before the distillery opened officially, and the rest of the town was built around them along with the harbour and pier.  It is rumoured that the church is round so there are no corners for the Devil to hide in. 


Food & Drink

There is nowhere to eat or drink along the route but there are plenty of places in Bowmore to eat.  You can buy picnic supplies from the village Co-Op on the main street before heading out. 


Bowmore Visitor Centre (13 m)
OS Grid
NR 31080 59815
55.756744, -6.287872
55°45'24.3"N 6°17'16.3"W
29U 670187 6182337


Bowmore Visitor Centre

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – With your back to the visitor centre in Bowmore’s square TURN RIGHT to walk up the main street (pass the Co-Op supermarket on your left).

0.09 km – At the filling station signpost TURN RIGHT onto Flora Street. 

0.21 km – TURN LEFT off Flora street onto another residential street with a pavement on the left-hand side.  Follow the street as it curves right and the pavement ends – continue on the road taking care of traffic. 

0.57 km – At the T-junction TURN RIGHT to follow the signpost for the recycling centre to leave Bowmore behind.  Continue on this single-track road for 1.3 km.

1.90 km – Where the road splits BEAR RIGHT and continue following the signpost for the recycling centre. 

2.30 km – Where the road splits again BEAR LEFT to continue on the single-track road. 

3.00 km – With the recycling centre on your left-hand side BEAR RIGHT onto the gravelly track and continue to follow the coastline. 

3.30 km – Pass over cattle grid between gates and continue STRAIGHT ON the gravel track. 

3.80 km – BEAR LEFT off the track onto a vague grassy path, before entering the farm house garden, to pass through the gates in the fence on the left. 

3.90 km – TURN LEFT after passing through the gate with the small beach down on your right.  Continue along the coastline following the grassy path. 

4.40 km – As the track ends continue STRAIGHT ON across the grass towards a gate ahead in 300 m. 

4.70 km – Pass through the gate (the ground in front of the gate may be boggy) and continue STRAIGHT ON the vague track close to the shoreline. 

5.20 km – As a track joins from the left in front of a ruined stone building continue STRAIGHT ON to cross a stream, then curve left to skirt the pebbly beach. 

5.50 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON the track to pass between rocky outcrop next to the path. In 100 m the track passes between rocky outcrop and a pinnacle before curving left with beach down on the right.  Keep left to stay on a faint track across the grass. 

5.90 km – With a small cove on the right BEAR LEFT on the track as it ascends slightly over headland and leads inland. 

6.40 km – Pass through a metal gate then TURN LEFT to follow the track as it skirts the left side of the loch ahead. 

6.70 km – After skirting the loch continue STRAIGHT ON through a metal gate and ascend slightly. 

6.90 km – Before reaching a gate ahead TURN LEFT to follow the track between a low stone wall.  Descend on the track towards a house at the base. 

7.20 km – Pas through a metal gate before the house and follow the track as it curves right, follow the track as it curves left then leads straight through the farmyard. 

7.40 km – In front of the farm warehouse in the yard TURN LEFT to follow the track out of the farm.  Continue STRAIGHT ON a well-defined track with a stone wall on your right.  On a good day you’ll have great views of the Machir Bay beach ahead on the right. 

7.70 km – Where the track splits BEAR LEFT to ascend slightly and head inland.  Stay on the track for 2.6 km. 

10.30 km – Ignore a track going off to the right and continue STRAIGHT ON towards the road ahead.

10.50 km – At the T-junction with the single-carriageway road TURN LEFT onto the road, to leave Laggan Estate.  Generally this road isn’t too busy but there could be fast-flowing traffic so stand aside on the grass verge when vehicles approach and follow the highway code – walking on the right-hand side except on a bend when it’s best to walk on the outside of the corner.  Stay on the road for 1.3 km. 

11.80 km – TURN LEFT to cross the road onto an overgrown grassy track (please see image for reference) between two fields with electricity wires overhead.  Continue for ~700 m. 

12.50 km – At the T-junction with the minor road you left Bowmore on heading for the recycling centre TURN RIGHT ono the road and follow the same route back to Bowmore visitor centre.

13.90 km – Finish in the square outside Bowmore visitor centre.  You can now take a recommended tour of Bowmore’s distillery or enjoy a dram with a view overlooking the bay. 


all notes on protected areas


OS Grid
NR 31080 59815
55.756744, -6.287872
55°45'24.3"N 6°17'16.3"W
29U 670187 6182337
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Being a coastal walk the route is exposed to the elements so do bring your waterproofs and spare warm layers with you.  The terrain isn’t particularly rough so a sturdy pair of walking shoes would be fine if you prefer not to wear boots.

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Blister kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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13.9 km
3:30 h
54 m
45 m


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