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Hiking trail recommended route

Clachan to Tayinloan

Hiking trail
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Coastal walking
    / Coastal walking
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / The Kintyre Way
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Shipwreck with Tayinloan pier in the distance
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Beach on the Isle of Gigha
m 40 20 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
A coastal day's walking that combines potentially challenging ground along the rocky shores with some easy going road walking.  
Distance 15.3 km
4:00 h
42 m
59 m
Leaving Clachan via the Campbeltown to Glasgow main road, you will pass the 14 bedroom stately home of Ronachan House. Follow the shoreline and make your way across shingle beaches and fields of bracken from where you may spot seals basking on the rocks at Ronachan Point. The Isle of Gigha soon comes into view as you continue your way along a mix of road, trail and rocky beaches. On the approach to Tayinloan the last few kilometres take in a long stretch of deserted beach followed by a WWII look-out post. Keep an eye on the water as seals, dolphins and the occasional basking shark can be spotted here on a calm day. If this shorter day of walking leaves you with time to spare in the afternoon the you could round it off with a trip over to Gigha from the ferry pier in Tayinloan.

Author’s recommendation

Gigha is worth a visit for a couple of hours and is only a short crossing if you happen to reach Tayinloan early enough in the day, 
Highest point
51 m
Lowest point
-1 m
Best time of year

Safety information

A fair section of this route follows the main road from Campbeltown to Glasgow, therefore traffic can be quite fast moving and includes some large vehicles. After the initial 2km the pavement runs out so make sure you take care and walk on the right-hand side of the road towards any oncoming traffic and take to the grass verge when possible.

Tips and hints


Points of interest

Isle of Gigha

Gigha is a low-lying island with an interesting history, unspoiled scenery and a coastline around 30 miles long. It has an abundance of wildlife including seabirds, dolphins, seals and otters. Creag Bhan is the highest point on the island at only 100m (330ft) but offers walkers amazing panoramic views across to Jura, Islay, Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland, the Mull of Kintyre and Arran. Ferries take only 20 minutes to cross the Sound of Gigha and leave regulary throughout the day from Tayinloan pier.


Food & Drink

You can purchase snacks at the service/gas station in Clachan, but from here there is nowhere to stop enroute for further provisions until you reach Tayinloan. There is a cafe at the ferry pier and a store in the centre of the village.


Clachan (28 m)
OS Grid
NR 76637 56110
55.746685, -5.560442
55°44'48.1"N 5°33'37.6"W
30U 339287 6180855


Tayinloan Store/Post Office

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – Begin where the route to Clachan ends, at the junction of the main road past Clachan, TURN RIGHT in the direction of Campbeltown and follow the pavement along this road - take care there could be fast-flowing traffic on this road.

1.20 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON and as the road ascends there are some good views across the water to Jura.

2.00 km – TURN RIGHT between the stone gate pillars and follow the gravel road as you head towards Ronachan House.

2.10 km – BEAR RIGHT off the road at the blue waymaker to follow the muddy trail through the trees. After 100m you then cross a couple of wooden bridges.

2.50 km – BEAR LEFT on approach to Ronachan House, then descend the stone steps and cross a small wooden bridge.

2.60 km – Gigha island now comes into view ahead of you. Continue STRAIGHT ON to follow the trail through quite overgrown bracken. If it’s too overgrown then use the gravel track just parallel to it (be aware this is a private road for the estate grounds).

2.70 km – Cross a wooden stile then TURN LEFT to follow the gravel track past South Lodge.

2.90 km – At the junction TURN RIGHT to re-join the main road for a short distance. There is no pavement here so walk on the right side of the road towards oncoming traffic and take to the grass verge whenever you can.

3.10 km – TURN RIGHT off the main road, just past a small parking area, then pick up the waymarked path to BEAR LEFT alongside the shore. Again this is quite overgrown and can be boggy in places.

3.40 km – Join a shingle beach for a short way and continue STRAIGHT ON.

4.00 km – After a small wooden bridge continue STRAIGHT ON to join another shingle beach.

4.20 km – Cross the beach (if the tide is high then you should join the road earlier) then ascend a steep bank to join the road.

4.40 km – After a small parking area TURN RIGHT to follow the blue waymarker through the bushes and onto another shingle beach.

4.90 km – TURN LEFT at the end of the beach to re-join the main road then TURN RIGHT. Please mote there is no pavement here and traffic ca be fast flowing so please take care.  

5.30 km – TURN LEFT to cross the road towards a small stone wall with a blue waymarker then head through woodland on a muddy trail.

5.50 km – Go through the metal gate then continue STRAIGHT ON up the gravel track.

5.60 km – BEAR LEFT past the red corrugated barn then BEAR RIGHT to cross a small field.

5.80 km – TURN LEFT through a small metal gate then, after skirting the hillside, descend to continue to BEAR LEFT across another field.

6.10 km – BEAR RIGHT at the telegraph pole just next to some bushes and cross the field towards the white house.

6.30 km – Go through the metal gate, closing it behind you as there may be livestock in this field, then TURN RIGHT onto a gravel lane. After 50m TURN LEFT following a narrow track between trees.

6.50 km – TURN RIGHT to re-join the main road.

7.10 km – There is the option to TURN RIGHT here and join the beach.  

7.40 km – As the road bears left by a small parking area, TURN RIGHT to join the beach then follow this for ~3.3 km. There may be opportunities to take to the high grass verge if the tide is very high or if you find the going tough.

10.70 km – Towards the end of the beach BEAR LEFT at the barbed wire fence towards a blue waymaker across grassland.

11.20 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON following the perimeter fence as you round the point and head towards a red brick WWII look-out post.

11.40 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON past the look-out post then BEAR RIGHT at the waymarker to take to the beach.

12.40 km – If the tide is high and you aren’t walking directly on the beach at this point you will need to cross a small stream, then continue STRAIGHT ON following the shoreline.

13.30 km – As you round the next small headland you will see Tayinloan ferry pier directly ahead of you. The ferries to Gigha depart from here.

14.00 km – On approach to the pier BEAR LEFT at the blue waymaker then go through a small wooden gate once reaching the carpark.

14.20 km – Cross the carpark then continue STRAIGHT ON to follow the road into Tayinloan.

15.00 km – TURN RIGHT at the junction to cross the stone bridge.

15.10 km – Finish your walk here opposite the Tayinloan Store and Post Office.


all notes on protected areas


OS Grid
NR 76637 56110
55.746685, -5.560442
55°44'48.1"N 5°33'37.6"W
30U 339287 6180855
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


A sturdy pair of walking shoes are adequate for this route if you don't wish to 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, suncram 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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15.3 km
4:00 h
42 m
59 m


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