Iain Johnston has lived in the Campbeltown area of Kintyre for most of his life. Following a career in forestry, Iain started his own project management company and took over as Event Manager of the Mull of Kintyre Music Festival. Iain is passionate about Kintyre and about supporting the area's vibrant cultural, musical and artistic scene.
If you love beaches then you’re in for a real treat in Kintyre & Gigha. This area is home to some of the best beaches in Scotland. Whether you like miles of golden sand or secluded coves with rock pools, there’s something for everyone.
Starting in south Kintyre, Southend is a perfect example of what’s on offer with beaches stretching from Carskiey looking out towards Northern Ireland to Brunerican Beach with Dunverty Golf Course hugging the coastline. Both Carskiey and Dunaverty Beaches offer long walks with Carskiey ending at the river and Dunaverty starting at the roadside and ending at the imposing Dunaverty Rock. Soak up the history of the area as you walk past Keil Caves, St Columba’s Footsteps, the ruins of the original Keil School and Dunaverty Rock.
Heading across the peninsula towards the village of Machrihanish (around 15 -20 minutes by car) you’ll get your first views of the Atlantic and Machrihanish Beach. To one side of the bay you have a small sandy beach with stunning views of Jura and rocks to the left which are regularly populated by the indigenous common and grey seals which can be spotted basking on rocks along the entire coastline of Kintyre.
Walking along the road towards the Machrihanish Seabird and Wildlife Observatory you reach the Gauldrans with its ever-changing coastline overlooked by cliffs reaching out to the Lakes and Inneans Bay.
To the right of Machrihanish you look out upon the longest beach in Kintyre. This six-mile length of sand passes both golf courses at Machrihanish and ends at the surf-friendly beach of Westport. Now a popular destination for surfers from across Scotland you can even check Westport Beach Surfcam. Westport is also the home of Pete’s Surf School & Hire, so there’s plenty of opportunity for beginners and experienced surfers alike.
Heading up the coast you pass the secluded beach at Tangy before reaching Bellochantuy Beach with the dog- friendly accommodation providers the Argyll Hoteland Killegruer Caravan Site bookending this lovely sandy shoreline. As you work your way up the west coast you pass Muasdale Beach and Holiday Park before reaching Tayinloan. Here you can hop on the ferry to Gigha to discover a host of lovely beaches dotted around the coastline.
The beachfront lodges at Beachmore between Muasdale and Tayinloan make for the perfect escape too. They face the Atlantic with views over to Gigha, Islay, Jura and beyond.
Back on the mainland as you work your way north you reach Point Sands with its quiet sandy shores and award-winning Point Sands Holiday Park. Across on the east coast of the Kintyre peninsula you have even more great beaches starting at the easily accessible Peninver Beach. You move north past various sandy inlets before reaching the beach at Saddell made famous as the location for the video of Paul McCartney and Wings hit Mull of Kintyre. This beach is accessible through the grounds of the Landmark Trust and visitors are asked to leave their cars at the car park at the gatehouse.
Just a few miles up the road you come to the spectacular beach at Carradale Bay, a wide sweeping sandy beach that stretches all the way over the Carradale Point and the wildlife reserve.
If you go off-road and roam along the coastlines of Kintyre and Gigha there are many more inlets and bays with shorelines and beaches to suit all needs.
So whether it’s relaxing on a secluded beach, walking along miles of sandy shoreline or the excitement of learning to surf, if you like your beaches Kintyre and Gigha could be the place for you!