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Hiking trail recommended route

Campbeltown to Southend

Hiking trail
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Campbeltown and the loch on a still day
    / Campbeltown and the loch on a still day
  • / Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown barrels
  • / Davaar Island from above
  • / Davaar Island
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Passing Polliwilline Farm
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Memorial cross for 8th duke of Argyll
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 150 100 50 -50 25 20 15 10 5 km
A comparatively relaxed day of walking over undulating fround on quiet country lanes and fine sandy beaches with spectacular views from Cambeltown to reach Southend.
moderate
Distance 25.5 km
5:30 h
479 m
472 m
Today's route follows a minor road around the soutern end of the Kintyre Peninsula with a few steady climbs you'll gain great views to the islands of Davaar and Sanda. On a very clear day you may see all the way to the north coast of Ireland. At Polliwilline Bay there is a lovely coastal section following quiet sandy beaches with a little rock hopping involved. The final stretch leads inland following small roads and farm tracks until before reaching Southend.

Author’s recommendation

If you have time in Campbeltown you might like to visit one of the distilleries detailed below - Springbank or Glen Scotia.  
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
143 m
Lowest point
0 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Although you're following a road for much of the day it's very quiet, however do always walk on the right-hand side and give way to any oncoming traffic.

The coastal section may be affected by rough seas or high tide, if this is the case then stay as close to the grass as you can and take care on slippery rocks.

Tips and hints

 

Points of interest

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.  

http://www.glenscotia.com/visit-us/

Springbank Distillery

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.  

http://www.springbankwhisky.com/tours/

Davaar Island

Cross the long causeway that links Davaar Island to the mainland at low tides and explore a number of sea caves including one with a famous crucifixion painting by a local artist back in 1887, and then follow a track to the lighthouse at the northern most point. This walk is only possible at low tide - tide times can be checked at the Tourist Information +44 (0) 1586 552056)

at the Pier in Campbeltown, allow plenty of time to return as the tide comes in fast and completely submerges the causeway.

 

Food & Drink

You can stock up with plenty and food an water for the day ahead at one of the many stores and cafes in Campbeltown.  Make sure you have enough with you as there is nowhere to eat enroute until reaching Southend, which has a tearoom and shop. 

Start

Campbeltown Tourist Office (2 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
NR 72085 20452
DD
55.424804, -5.603350
DMS
55°25'29.3"N 5°36'12.1"W
UTM
30U 335251 6145147
w3w 
///aquatics.stopwatch.wand

Destination

Southend

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – Begin with the Tourist Information and harbour entrance on your left-hand side, continue STRAIGHT ON along the road passing the old Picture House. This is the oldest cinema still operating in Britain - it opened in 1913.

0.30 km – Pass the ferry terminal at the end of the road and continue STRAIGHT ON following the footpath.

0.97 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON as you join the minor road heading out of town. There is initially a good footpath on either side of the road, after which you need to walk on the road itself.

3.70 km – Not long after passing the old Military Of Defence (MOD) site continue STRAIGHT ON to pass Davaar Island.

It’s possible to cross the bay at low tide to do short walk around the island but check the tide times at the Tourist Information (0044 1586 552056) at the Pier in Campbeltown, allow plenty of time to return as the tide comes in fast and completely submerges the causeway.

4.00 km – Here you'll have good views of Ailsa Craig in the distance as you round the headland to Kildalloig Bay.

5.10 km – Towards the end of the bay continue on the road as to BEAR RIGHT and walk inland ascending steadily.

6.90 km – After some level walking the road now begins to descend slightly, continue STRAIGHT ON.

9.00 km – Descend steeply and cross the old bridge across Balnabraid Glen before the road ascends again.

13.60 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON and descend before the road kicks up again crossing Glen Hervie.

15.60 km –  Here you should have good views of Sanda Island directly ahead.

16.50 km – At the T-Junction TURN LEFT to pass Polliwilline Farm, after 100m BEAR RIGHT to follow the gravel track downhill.

17.20 km – At the gate with a blue way marker TURN RIGHT and cross the field - there may be some caravans parked here.  

17.50 km – Pass through the metal gate then BEAR RIGHT to cross the sandy beach of Polliwilline Bay. You may need to do some rock hopping at high tide here so please take care if the rocks are slippery.

17.90 km – Pass through the small metal gate at the end of the beach then continue STRAIGHT ON to cross a rocky cove with a stile at the end.

18.00 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON passing a small caravan park to pick up a sandy vehicle track at the back of the beach.

18.50 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON at the junction towards a large memorial cross on top of the cliffs.

18.80 km – Pass through a wooden gate then, as you approach the memorial for the 8th Duke of Argyll, TURN RIGHT towards another sandy beach. On a clear day you may be able to see the north coast of Ireland.

20.60 km – Cross a small grassy headland, then continue STRAIGHT ON.

20.80 km – Just before the end of the beach TURN RIGHT to leave it via a metal gate next to the blue way marker.

20.90 km – BEAR RIGHT slightly through the caravan park to pick up a vehicle track. Then follow the track to ascend and TURN LEFT.

21.20 km – Follow the track around and away from the farm making sure to close all gates behind you.

22.30 km – At the end of the farm track TURN LEFT onto the minor tarmac road.

23.10 km – TURN RIGHT at the next farm to continue following the road.

24.40 km – TURN LEFT onto the main road then follow this into Southend.

25.50 km – Your walk finishes in Southend at the Muneroy Tea Room and Store.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
NR 72085 20452
DD
55.424804, -5.603350
DMS
55°25'29.3"N 5°36'12.1"W
UTM
30U 335251 6145147
w3w 
///aquatics.stopwatch.wand
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

A sturd pair of walking shoes are adequate for this route if you don't wish to wear hiking boots. Along with your usual kit for a day walking in the elements make sure you pack an extra layer, a wind/waterproof in case the weather closes in, suncream and midge repellent spray!

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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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
25.5 km
Duration
5:30 h
Ascent
479 m
Descent
472 m

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