DAY 06, 29th July - Kintyre

On day 6 of the wild About Argyll challenge Mark explored the stunning Kintyre peninsula. He was on his bike for most of the day, cycling from Kennacraig to Claonaig on the Caledonia Way, then Claonaig to Campbeltown via Carradale on the Kintyre Way. He then headed to Torrisdale on the Caledonia Way. In the evening went horse-riding on Carradale beach, a huge stretch of sand on Kintyre’s east coast overlooking the Kilbrannan Sound.

Here's Marks blog about day 6:

'Waking inside the tent to the sound of waves lapping ashore, it was a very memorable start to day 6 of Wild About Argyll. Singing Sands, a secluded beach near Port Ellen, where I could see the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry coming in for our onwards journey, the 2-hour crossing to Kennacraig.

From there I picked up the road bike along the Sustrans Caledonia Way to Claonaig, then switching to the BeachRacer on the Kintyre Way to Clachan, which is a hundred miles of stunning tracks and trails. This is mainly a walking route, but great fun by bike as well. Thanks to Simon Freeman, Tom and James for joining me for the ride.

This section took me back to the road when I headed south, with views over the islands of Gigha opposite Killean Farm. This place is where my roots are in Argyll, in fact it's where I have my earliest memories, a place my father was a dairyman until I was four years old.


Jumping in the vehicles it was a superb drive over dirt tracks of Deucharan Hill and down to Carradale Beach, as I was running late for an important part of the plan - horse riding along the shoreline. Whilst I grew up horse riding, my last time on horseback was in 2009, in Montana, when filming The Man Who Cycled The Americas for the BBC. And so I was a tad apprehensive to be given a 17-hands-high thoroughbred cross shire - for those who know nothing about horses, suffice to say a very big horse!

Without much practice and we were off, amidst a dozen other horses and ponies, galloping along the beach. It was exhilarating, a beautiful sight and maybe a tad scary! Better still and my wife and daughters turned up to watch, and my three-year-old Harriet got her first ever pony ride.

Exhausted, but on a high from the excitement we made our way to the beautiful Torrisdale Castle Estate, where Niall & Emma Macaliser Hall hosted us. I finished the day with a much needed dip in the rustic wooden hot tub to ease weary limbs!'