Dun Skeig, Kintyre

With a Jubilee weekend looming it was clear that an escape plan was needed to minimise exposure to all that royalist tosh yet take advantage of an extra day’s holiday.  We decided to go somewhere remote and  Kintyre sounded like a good idea, based on the following:

  1. we’ve never been, yet have seen it so often from Ayrshire;
  2. it doesn’t need us to go through an airport and so avoiding:
    • being treated like a terrorist;
    • a stupid weight restriction;
    • being forced into a space that veal would complain about;
    • contributing to the bonus of that smug git who runs Ryanair;
    • having to dump Her Jazzness in kennels.

So after a chat with Mr Google we ended up giving the hamlet of Clachan our custom for the weekend, and this turned out to be a great choice: it’s a very friendly community 1 with a 5-star walk on the doorstep.  

Jura from Dunskeig bay

Clachan is on the west coast of Kintyre roughly a third of the way down. We’d taken the road through Lochgilphead and headed south (with a detour around Knapdale – thoroughly recommended).  It’s a long way but the scenery was gorgeous and we weren’t sitting in an airport departure lounge.  From the village a grassy track heads for the beach on West Loch Tarbert  with its stunning views over to Islay and Jura 2. Then it is a pleasant wander along the beach and rocks to the old ferry-keeper’s cottage.  The track then heads back towards the village along the side of Dun Skeig.

Islay and Jura from Dunskeig

Dunskeig from the beach

This is nice lump overlooking the loch that has obviously attracted discerning people throughout the ages because it has a vitrified fort at the top with a superb strategic view.  The present-day villagers thought the same because this is where they’d built their Jubilee Beacon – surely one of the best sites in the UK.  As the Missus is a committed pyromaniac we obviously had to go regardless of the royalist overtones.  So we all headed up for the lighting at 10.15pm 3 and boy was that a great idea because the 360° view was simply stunning.  As well as “our” magnificent beacon we could see other beacons in KnapdaleJura, on the mountains of  Arran and even Rathlin Island – a magical sight.

Islay ferry leaving West Loch Tarbet

So if you are in Kintyre, and you should visit, then a walk up Dun Skeig should be on your list of “must do” as the views are amazing.  Unfortunately I can’t guarantee that the weather was as good as we had, but then you probably haven’t led as pure and good a life as me.

 

Notes:

  1. Hi to Gareth, Linda and Iain – and thanks!
  2. More places that we’ve never been and which have now been added to the Bucket List.
  3. Still daylight here in the far north.
Distance:6km
Effort:
Scenery:
Do It Again: