166. Machrihanish to Tayinloan

I was up very early after a reasonable nights sleep in the back of my car. After making a brew I headed off for Campbeltown again, where I parked my car and caught the 7:13 #442 bus to Machrihanish. It was quite chilly this morning, with the sky cloaked in fog and mist.

A misty morning in Machrihanish
Interesting rock shapes near Westport

I got off the bus at the Golf Club and almost  immediately got into a long conversation with one of the groundsman. Its amazing really how with some people you can easily strike up a long conversation with; so long it was a good thirty minutes before I set off. I eventually headed off into the fog along the three-mile plus Machrihanish beach. It was a lovely and enjoyable experience walking along the beach. I could see nothing more than 300m ahead of me, but the walking was great along the firm white sand. Towards the end of the beach I could see the sun trying to break through and I knew from the radio that the UK was in for a scorcher today and tomorrow. By the time I reached the A83, the fog and mist had receded and the sun was about to break through.

The beach at Bellochantury
My tent with missing tent pole at Killegruar

The road was quite quiet and had good verges to walk on. The first three miles along the road showed some amazing rock formations of Dalradian metamorphic sedimentary rocks, exhibiting weird and wonderful shapes. At Bellochantury I dropped down onto a lovely beach with white sands. I could now make out the campsite I was staying at a few miles ahead up the coast. I could even make out my tent! As I passed through the campsite I called in on my new friends Mike and Ann, who had a caravan on the site. Mike and Ann had kindly tried to help me fix the problem with the tent pole the day before. Mike had walked this beach many times before and had suggested sticking to the road for the next section, as it got very rocky a mile further on.

Glenbarr Abbey
Old and new at Glenbarr

I left the campsite and re-joined the A83. Almost immediately back on the road I opted to make a small detour, along the old coast road through the village of Glenbarr. Before I got to the village I passed the lovely Glenbarr Abbey, which is not really an Abbey, but is a visitor centre of the Clan MacAlister. It’s open to the public and tours of the house are conducted by Lady Glenbarr herself. I continue into the small village, where I pop into the Post Office to get a couple of ice-cold drinks. I rejoined the A83 and continued north. Although I could easily see the Island of Gigha, just across Gigha Sound; but Islay and Jura remained stubbornly obscured behind a haze.

Hawthorn blossom near Muasdale
Looking towards Gigha with Jura in the far distance

I entered the village of Mausdale where I stopped to chat to a chap sunbathing on a beautiful carved wooden bench that had been carved with chain saws by a chap in Dunoon. The clouds are all gone now and it is a blazingly hot day, but fortunately there is a cool stiff breeze blowing from the south which helped keep me cool. At Craigruadh I cut across a field and begin walking along the beach again. I soon come across a large pod of sea-lions sunbathing and at play. The hazy silhouette of Islay and Jura finally come into view, just as I rejoined the Kintyre Way. I turned inland slightly to get over a small burn and enter the village of Tayinloan. It is very hot now and I manage to find a shaded bench seat where I can wait out the hour to catch the #926 bus back to Campbeltown. The walk had taken 6.5 hours.




NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:


Distance today =   18 miles
Total distance =    2803 miles



One thought on “166. Machrihanish to Tayinloan”

  1. Hi Alan – Can I introduce myself as a fellow coaster. I have seen your comments on Ruth Livingstone’s blog. I have walked just over 3,300 miles going clockwise. I started in Rye and am currently in Mallaig although due to bad weather I skipped 40 odd miles from Lochaline to Strontian which I hope to complete in September 2017. I walk for about ten days a month. I hope to reach either Durness / Tongue or Wick by the end of 2017. It depends how I find Knoydart which I am doing in ten days time. I will follow you from now on. I do not keep a blog although I post monthly updates on Facebook for my friends. Instead I publish books on Amazon under a nom de plume and the title ‘Recollections of a coastal walker’. I will soon be publishing my 14th book which goes up to Ardgour on Loch Linnhe. All the best Chris


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