Kintyre Way

The Kintyre Way is a waymarked footpath through the Kintyre peninsula of Argyll and Bute in Scotland. It runs between Machrihanish near the southern end of the peninsula's west coast, and Tarbert at the northern end of Kintyre where the peninsula is linked to Knapdale, via Campbeltown. The way is 161 kilometres (100 mi) long,[1] and is fully waymarked. Additionally there are distance markers at 1 mile (1.6 km) intervals along the route.[2] The route is primarily intended for walkers, but most sections can also be cycled.[2]

The Kintyre Way is designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage.[1] It can be linked to another one of the Great Trails via Tarbert, where there is a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry service to Portavadie, which is the start/finish point of the Cowal Way.[3][4] As of 2018, it was estimated that between one and two thousand people completed the entire route each year.[5]

The Kintyre Way ultramarathon has been held annually along parts of the route since 2007. Originally held over a 108 km (67 mi) course between Tarbert and Campbeltown, a shorter 56 km (35 mi) route from Tayinloan to Campbeltown was later introduced. Due to the relative popularity of the two routes, the longer course is no longer run.[6] The 2016 edition of the race featured in an episode of BBC Scotland's The Adventure Show.[7][6] For 2019 the route of the race will be changed again, utilising a 51 km (32 mi) section between Tayinloan and Tarbert.[6]

Kintyre Way Walk. - - 449728
Waymarking on the Kintyre Way.
Kintye Way
East Loch Tarbert from the Kintyre Way. - - 558973
East Loch Tarbert from the Kintyre Way.
Length161 km (100 mi)
LocationKintyre, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
DesignationScotland's Great Trails
UseWalking, cycling
Elevation gain/loss3,140 metres (10,300 ft) gain.[1]
Lowest pointSea Level
Hiking details
SeasonAll Year


  1. ^ a b c "Trails". Scotland's Great Trails. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  2. ^ a b "Kintyre Way". Scotland's Great Trails. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  3. ^ Ordnance Survey. 1:50000 Landranger Sheet 62. North Kintyre & Tarbert.
  4. ^ "The Cowal Way". Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  5. ^ "Scotland's networks of paths and trails: key research findings" (PDF). Scottish Natural Heritage. August 2018. p. 6. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  6. ^ a b c "The Kintyre Way Ultra(s)". Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  7. ^ BBC Scotland. The Adventure Show. 2017-208 series, episode 1. Aired 2017-06-17

External links


Kintyre (Scottish Gaelic: Cinn Tìre, Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [kʲʰiɲˈtʲʰiːɾʲə]) is a peninsula in western Scotland, in the southwest of Argyll and Bute. The peninsula stretches about 30 miles (48 km), from the Mull of Kintyre in the south to East Loch Tarbert in the north. The area immediately north of Kintyre is known as Knapdale.

Kintyre is long and narrow, at no point more than 11 miles (18 km) from west coast to east coast, and is less than two miles wide where it connects to Knapdale. The east side of the Kintyre Peninsula is bounded by Kilbrannan Sound, with a number of coastal peaks such as Torr Mor. The central spine of the peninsula is mostly hilly moorland. The coastal areas and hinterland, however, are rich and fertile. Kintyre has long been a prized area for settlers, including the early Scots who migrated from Ulster to western Scotland and the Vikings or Norsemen who conquered and settled the area just before the start of the second millennium.

The principal town of the area is Campbeltown (about 5.5 miles (9 km) by road from the Mull), which has been a royal burgh since the mid-18th century. The area's economy has long relied on fishing and farming, although Campbeltown has a reputation as a producer of some of the world's finest single malt whisky. Campbeltown Single Malts include the multi-award-winning Springbank.

Kintyre Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary, one of the officers of arms at the Court of the Lord Lyon, is named after this peninsula.

List of long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom

There are hundreds of long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom designated in publications from public authorities, guidebooks and OS maps. They are mainly used for hiking and walking, but some may also be used, in whole or in part, for mountain biking and horse riding. Most are in rural landscapes, in varying terrain, some passing through National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is no formal definition of a long-distance path, though the British Long Distance Walkers Association defines one as a route "20 miles [32 km] or more in length and mainly off-road." They usually follow existing rights of way, often over private land, joined together and sometimes waymarked to make a named route. Generally, the surface is not specially prepared, with rough ground, uneven surfaces and stiles, which can cause accessibility issues for people with disabilities. Exceptions to this can be converted railways, canal towpaths and some popular fell walking routes where stone-pitching and slabs have been laid to prevent erosion. Many long-distance footpaths are arranged around a particular theme such as one specific range of hills or a historical or geographical connection.

Loch Lomond and Cowal Way

The Loch Lomond and Cowal Way is a waymarked footpath through the Cowal peninsula, in Argyll and Bute, between Portavadie on Cowal and Inveruglas on Loch Lomond side. It was formerly known as the Cowal Way, but was renamed in December 2018 to reflect the fact that half of the route lies with the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The way is 92 kilometres (57 mi) long, and is suitable for both walkers and mountain bikers. Much of the route is also suitable for experienced horseriders, although in some places steps, narrow footbridges and gates may restrict access for horses. A review to identify these obstacles and suggest alternative routes and/or remedial measures was undertaken in 2016.The route was first established in 2000, and is managed by the Colintraive and Glendaruel Development Trust. It was renamed in 2018 to in order to increase usage of the trail, as the Trust considered that Loch Lomond had higher brand recognition in the target markets.Since 2016 the trail has been listed as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage. The route is fully waymarked with the Loch Lomond and Cowal Way logo, which depicts a stylised image of a path in a landscape of hills and lochs. The trail links directly to another of the Great Trails, the Three Lochs Way, which shares the section between Arrochar and Inveruglas. There are also indirect links to three further Great Trails at both end points of the Loch Lomond and Cowal Way: at Portavadie there is a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry service to Tarbert, which is one of termini of the Kintyre Way, whilst at Inveruglas there is a passenger ferry across Loch Lomond to Inversnaid, which is one of the termini of the Great Trossachs Path, and lies on the West Highland Way.As of 2018 around 45,000 people use the way each year, of whom over 3,000 walk, cycle or run the complete route. The top five markets for users are Scotland, England, the

Netherlands, Germany, and North America.

Long-distance footpaths in Scotland

This page lists long-distance footpaths in Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage have defined such paths as meaning a route that is at least 32 kilometres (20 mi) long and primarily off-road, or on quieter roads and tracks. This definition is consistent with that of the British Long Distance Walkers Association.


Machrihanish (Scottish Gaelic: Machaire Shanais, pronounced [ˈmaxɪɾʲə ˈhanɪʃ]) is a village in Argyll, on the west coast of Scotland. It is a short distance north of the tip of the Mull of Kintyre, which faces out towards Ireland and the Atlantic. Machrihanish has a classic links golf course designed by Old Tom Morris, with views towards the islands of Gigha, Islay and Jura. A second, newer course has been built nearby called Machrihanish Dunes. This course is part of a multimillion-pound development by an American company, which has renovated the previously-dilapidated Ugadale Hotel in the village and owns the Royal Hotel on the sea front in nearby Campbeltown.

Scotland's Great Trails

Scotland's Great Trails are long-distance "people-powered" trails in Scotland, analogous to the National Trails of England and Wales or the Grande Randonnée paths of France. The designated routes are primarily intended for walkers, but may have sections suitable for cyclists and horse-riders; one of the trails, the Great Glen Canoe Trail, is designed for canoeists and kayakers. The trails range in length from 40 to 340 km, and are intended to be tackled over several days, either as a combination of day trips or as an end-to-end expedition.In order to be classified as one of Scotland’s Great Trails, a route must fulfil certain criteria. Each of the routes must be at least 40 km in length, and clearly waymarked with a dedicated symbol. It is expected that visitor services will be present along the way, and that the route has an online presence to help visitors in planning their journey. Trails are required to run largely off-road, with less than 20% of the route being on tarmac. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is the custodian of the brand, maintaining the official list and providing some of the finance and publicity, but responsibility for creating and maintaining each route lies with the local authority(ies) through which a route passes. There are 29 routes, offering 3000 km of trails in total. Additionally, the northernmost 10 kilometres (6 mi) of the Pennine Way between the Anglo-Scottish border and Kirk Yetholm lie within Scotland, but are designated as one of the National Trails of England.

The route of each of the Great Trails is marked with coloured diamonds on Ordnance Survey Explorer (1:25000) and Landranger (1:50000) maps; the SGT logo of a thistle within a hexagon is also used to highlight the routes at the 1:25000 scale.

Tarbert, Kintyre

Tarbert (Scottish Gaelic: An Tairbeart, pronounced [ən̪ˠ ˈt̪ʰaɾʲapərˠʃt̪], or Tairbeart Loch Fìne to distinguish it from other places of the same name) is a village in the west of Scotland, in the Argyll and Bute council area. It is built around East Loch Tarbert, an inlet of Loch Fyne, and extends over the isthmus which links the peninsula of Kintyre to Knapdale and West Loch Tarbert. Tarbert had a recorded population of 1,338 in the 2001 Census.

Tarbert has a long history both as a harbour and as a strategic point guarding access to Kintyre and the Inner Hebrides. The name Tarbert is the anglicised form of the Gaelic word tairbeart, which literally translates as "carrying across" and refers to the narrowest strip of land between two bodies of water over which goods or entire boats can be carried (portage). In past times cargoes were discharged from vessels berthed in one loch, hauled over the isthmus to the other loch, loaded onto vessels berthed there and shipped onward, allowing seafarers to avoid the sail around the Mull of Kintyre.

Tarbert was anciently part of the Gaelic overkingdom of Dál Riata and protected by three castles – in the village centre, at the head of the West Loch, and on the south side of the East Loch. The ruin of the last of these castles, Tarbert Castle, still exists and dominates Tarbert's skyline. Around the year 1098 Magnus Barefoot, King of Norway, had his longship carried across the isthmus at Tarbert to signify his possession of the Western Isles.

Despite its distinction as a strategic stronghold during the Middle Ages, Tarbert's socioeconomic prosperity came during the Early Modern period, as the port developed into a fishing town. At its height, the Loch Fyne herring fishery attracted hundreds of vessels to Tarbert.


Tayinloan (Scottish Gaelic: Taigh an Lòin, pronounced [t̪ɤj ə ˈl̪ˠɔːɲ]) is a village situated on the west coast of the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. The village has a sub post office and general store, a small hotel (currently closed), a village hall and a play park. There is a cafe bar situated beside the ferry car park which also offers self-catering or bed and breakfast accommodation. The nearest towns are Campbeltown (19 miles south) and Tarbert (20 miles north).

A ferry service runs between the village and Ardminish on the Isle of Gigha. The A83 road runs through the village, as does a long distance footpath, the Kintyre Way, a walk of some 106 miles, stretching between Tarbert, Loch Fyne and Southend at the Mull of Kintyre.

Killean House near Tayinloan was built in the 1880s by John James Burnet for James Macalister Hall, after the original house burnt down. Largie Castle is a former mansion house at Tayinloan. The house was designed by the architect Charles Wilson for the Hon. Augustus Moreton Macdonald and was built in 1857-9. The house was pulled down in 1958.

National Trails
(England and Wales)
Scotland's Great Trails
Long-distance path
(Northern Ireland)

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