Kintyre & Gigha Food Trail
Tarbert to Carradale
Start your food journey in Tarbert, the gateway to Kintyre. It’s a working fishing village and the shops, hotels and art galleries cluster around the natural harbour.
There are lots of great places to sample the local seafood. The white-washed Starfishseafood restaurant serves fish and shellfish landed on Tarbert quay. Try the platter of lobster, langoustine, crab and oysters. Scott’s Bistro is another top spot on the quayside to try local seafood. Or if you fancy buying some seafood for later, you can get fresh scallops, mussels, lobsters, crabs, langoustines and clams from Prentice Seafoods next to the Tarbert Ferry slip.
Head along the A83 out of Tarbert and you’ll find West Loch Hotel on your left. This water-side hotel has been steadily building a reputation among foodies and you can sample a host of local produce, including Gigha Halibut.
A little further along, turn left onto the B8001, a single-track road that winds through beautiful countryside to Claonaig and along the coast to Skipness. During the summer, you can enjoy fresh seafood at the Skipness Seafood Cabin. Afterwards, explore Skipness Castle, where you can climb up a narrow staircase to the roof and be treated to wonderful views across the Kilbrannan Sound to Arran.
Carradale to Campbeltown
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay on your gourmet journey through Kintyre, then Ifferdale Farm in Saddell is a good foodie choice. This working family farm set in 780 acres of the idyllic Saddell Glen offers lovely self-catering accommodation. What’s more they can provide meals and packed lunches on request, and you can buy Ifferdale lamb, beef and eggs, which they also supply to various local restaurants.
Continue along the B842 and you’ll reach Campbeltown, a bustling town that’s home to no less than three distilleries. There’s a good number of local businesses producing high-quality local produce, including Mull of Kintyre Cheddar, which is crafted in the historic Campbeltown Creamery, Argyll Bakeries and Kintyre Smokehouse.
Ardshiel Hotel, in the centre of Campbeltown, is a great place to stop for a meal. You’ll find Scottish favourites on the menu, including Scottish beef, lamb, game and seafood, and seasonal produce. Pull up a stool and sample some of the local whiskies in the atmospheric whisky bar.
Now it’s time to head further south – to Southend and Muneroy Tearooms for some home-baking. It’s a slow and rather winding road, but the scenery is glorious and the meringues loaded with tablet ice-cream are well worth the effort. You can walk off those calories at the nearby Dunaverty Bay, a magnificent sandy beach. The historic Dunavery Castle is also nearby.
Campbeltown to Tarbert via Gigha
The next leg of your Kintyre food journey takes you up the west coast of Kintyre and out to the idyllic island of Gigha.
Head north out of Campbeltown on the A83 until you hit Bellochantuy, home to the Argyll Hotel. The beachside location is truly breath-taking. You can eat in the conservatory restaurant or, on a sunny day, out on the terrace which leads directly onto the white sands of Bellochantuy Bay. The view from the conservatory across the Atlantic to the islands of Islay, Jura and Gigha is just stunning.
Heading north again, stop at the High Bellochantuy Farm roadside stall, where you can buy fresh vegetables, eggs and flowers. Another great pit stop is the Watering Can Coffee Shop at Glenbarr Nursery, where you can sample June’s delicious strawberry and raspberry tarts, made with the nursery’s home-grown strawberries.
Now it’s time to catch the ferry to Gigha, which leaves from Tayinloan. The main attractions on Gigha – aside from the peace, quiet and wildlife – are the white sandy beaches and the fabulous local food. And it doesn’t get much better than The Boathouse Café Bar at Ardminish Bay. This wonderful beach front restaurant serves up exceptional local seafood, including delicious Gigha Halibut, which is organically reared on the island. The Gigha Hotel is equally good, and is a fabulous place to feast on freshly caught local shellfish.
Back on the mainland at Tayinloan, if you’re still feeling peckish (could that be possible?), you can pick up a snack or two at Big Jessie’s at Ferry Farm. The home-baking may well tempt you. There’s also Cara Café at Point Sands where you can indulge in fresh Kintyre scallops, battered and served with chips. Follow the A83 back to Tarbert and your Kintyre food journey is complete.