A linear walk ending with a loop of the beautiful dune landscape of Ardnave Point before returning to the RSPB visitor centre at Gruinart.
Begin at the Loch Gruinart RSPB nature reserve visitor centre and follow the quiet minor road and the scenery transitions from the woodland and moor to fields, and finally to the dune machir landscape beyond the loch and farm at Ardnave. At Ardbanve Point follow sandy and grassy tracks on a short loop around the coast before returning on the road to Gruinart.
If you are interested in spotting any birdlife you might like to take a short detour on the signposted woodland trail where you can spend some time in a hide looking out over the moor for hen harriers, waders and geese. Keep an eye out for golden eagles as you walk to Ardnave Point as well!
The loop at Ardnave passes through a working farm so please do beware of livestock and avoid any fields with calves and bulls. The route is also a coast one with access to beautiful beaches so paddling is certainly endorsed but there are strong currents in the area so please do not swim here.
Although this is a relatively short walk the loop at Ardnave Point is exposed to the elements so we recommend you take waterproofs and spare warm layers along with plenty of water and snacks/picnic lunch for the day. The ground is mostly even so poles aren't necessary unless you prefer to always use them, and if the weather has been dry then a good pair of walking shoes will sufficient (rather than heavy boots).
Points of Interest
RSPB Nature Reserve Loch Gruinart
For those interested in the island’s wildlife the visitor centre is great place to begin this walk out to Ardnave Point. Although there is no café, the centre has many information boards, checklists you can take with you to tick off the species you see and provides some information about the working farm on the reserve. Depending on the time of year you could see (or are more like to hear) the elusive corncrake, hen harriers, barnacle geese, and lapwing.
A thin stone cross stands beside Kilnave Chapel, although weathered by the elements historians have dated it to the 5th century. The chapel itself dates to the 13th or 14th century, you can take a short detour off the road to reach the chapel and graveyard to have a look around and enter the ancient chapel, which wonderful views over Loch Gruinart and out to the sea in the distance.
The land on Ardnave Point is part of Aoradh Farm, which is nestled between the dunes and a small loch. You will share the walk with livestock, sheep, and sometimes cattle, so please heed the information on the farm notices and take care not to disturb the animals unnecessarily. Follow the sandy path from the loch to the dunes for excellent views of Killinallan Point, Jura, Colonsay and Nave Island.
Food & Drink
There is nowhere to eat or find refreshments along the route so please bring all the water and food you’ll need. You can buy provisions for a packed lunch at the Spar convenience shop in Port Charlotte before leaving. There are a few places to eat in Port Charlotte on your return e.g. The Port Charlotte Hotel.