The Atlantic Seaboard

Things To Do In This Area

History & Archaeology
There is a wide variety of prehistoric and medieval remains along the whole length of this coast.

Just outside the village of Clachan is Balinakill House (now a Country House Hotel). This was built by Sir William Mackinnon, a son of Campbeltown, who started life as an apprentice grocer in the town, and rose to become the owner of the British India Steam Navigation Company.

Dun Skeig
This hill , overlooking Clachan, is a magnificent Iron Age site with three forts on the one hilltop and breathtaking views of West Loch Tarbert. Clachan church graveyard contains several carved late-medieval graveslabs.

Just north of Ballochroy farm are the Ballochroy standing stones, a line of three stones thought to have some astronomical significance. In the same area is the Cairn of Corriechrevie, intact and unexcavated.

This tiny hamlet contains the most important medieval parish church in Kintyre. Although a ruin, there is enough impressive architectural detail left to convince us of the wealth and power of the Lords of the Isles. There is a collection of late medieval grave stones in the vault.

Nearby is the impressive Beacharr Standing Stone, the tallest in Kintyre, and a chambered cairn, pottery from which, is in the Campbeltown museum.

This small village is just off the A83 and contains Glenbarr Abbey, not an Abbey at all, but a substantial mansion house from the late 18th century, which is open to the public. The house is the Clan Centre for the Macalisters.

Between Glenbarr and Westport there are at least ten Iron Age Forts and Duns.

Island of Gigha (pronounced ‘gee-ah’ with a hard ‘G’)
There is a regular ferry service from Tayinloan to Gigha and the island is easily explored on foot or on bicycle.

There is some dispute about the origin about the name Gigha, between those who favour the Norse gja-ey meaning ‘cleft island’ or Gudey, meaning ‘gods island’.

The island is just over six miles long and contains many archaeological sites, including cairns, duns, forts and standing stones. The old medieval parish church is at Kilchattan and has several grave-slabs. Nearby is an inscribed stone, the ‘ogham stone’ but the inscription is indecipherable.

This coastline is made more dramatic by the dual effects of being exposed to the full fury of the Atlantic and a topography dominated by geological raised beach cliff lines

Seals and otters are plentiful along the whole coast, particularly at Ronachan, where there is a small car park, and north of Westport. Rhunahaorine Point is an important winter feeding location for several species of grey geese, particularly the rare Greenland white fronted goose. Over 1000 birds regularly return the grass fields here and are easy to see. They roost on the lochs on the high moors inland, where the haunting calls of red and black throated divers can be heard and golden eagles patrol their hunting grounds.

The Sound of Gigha is rich in sea ducks and occasional Minke, killer and pilot whales.

The glens at Whitehouse, Glenbarr and Largie are all worth walking, with mixed woodland containing interesting flowering plants and bird life. Buzzards abound!

The Hebridean Island of Gigha is a microcosm of local wildlife and its world famous garden contains rare and exotic plants from all over the planet.

There is a nine hole course on the Island of Gigha.

The gardens of Achamore House on Gigha are spectacular. In the care of the National Trust for Scotland, the 50 acres of natural woodland contain a walled garden, rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and many rare and exotic plants which thrive in their almost frost free environment. Achamore House was owned by Sir James Horlick (of beverage fame) and he developed the gardens.

Riding / Pony trekking
This is available near Glenbarr.

Gigha is a popular stopping off point for yachts on the west coast.

Eating out
There is one Taste of Scotland establishment- Balinakill Country House Hotel, near Clachan, a farm restaurant at North Beachmore, with spectacular views across the islands, and a small hotel on the beach at Bellochantuy.

A visit to Ronachan Silks (hand painted silk) is well worth while. Contact: 01880 740242

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