Let’s assume you have left the A83 and are now on the narrow B8001 crossing the peninsula to the east coast. The road climbs over the central spine of Kintyre and drops abruptly to the coast again, close to Claonaig, the ferry terminal for the crossing to Lochranza on the Island of Arran. Just beyond Claonaig is Skipness, with its magnificent medieval castle, one of the finest in Scotland, and the nearby Kilbrannan chapel close to the shore. Dedicated to St. Brenan, the chapel has several fine carved gravestones.
The single track road now heads due south along the east coast of the peninsula, at one moment on the shore and then climbing steeply to wild moorland and forest before plunging down into the next river valley. On the left, for the whole of the journey, is the narrow Kilbrannan sound and the island of Arran with its towering mountain ranges. There is a very strong Norse influence here exemplified by the place names ending in ‘dale’ like Carradale, the main village on the road. Carradale is a pretty fishing village which boasts a nine hole golf course, beautiful beaches and ample accommodation.
As you travel south from here the road is no longer single track. Pause for a while at Saddell and visit Saddell Abbey on the right and Saddell Castle on the left before continuing your journey south to Peninver and the approaches to Campbeltown.
Photos: (absolute top) Carradale Harbour, (top right) Carradale Harbour and (adjacent bottom left) Saddell Bay.
A picturesque little village with a quaint harbour and several popular hotels and places to eat. Try the 9 hole golf course on your visit which has panoramic views across the village and to Arran.
A small village with a Trust owned castle and a 1 kilometre walk to one of the best beaches on the east coast of Kintyre.
Torrisdale Castle is a marvellous asset at this location along with a working tannery that you can visit.
A small coastal village part way between Carradale and Campbeltown features a beach front holiday park.