Category Archives: Argyll & Bute

Southend to Machrihanish (Almost)

Carskey BAy

Carskey Bay

A Spring holiday in Kintyre gave us the chance to walk the final section of the Kintyre Way.  The extended route is 100 miles from Tarbet in the north to Machrihanish in the south taking a meandering route across and down the peninsula.  This last section is regarded as the challenging final section that goes into some remote country.  Fortunately we had great weather as getting into bad weather here would be dangerous. Continue reading

Tighnabruaich to Portavadie

Cowal Way markers, TighnabruaichIt seems like months since Jazz and I have done a walk worth writing about.  A brief lull in the weather between Storms Gertrude and Henry gave us a chance to do the first section of the Cowal Way, although for boring reasons we did it in the wrong direction starting at the end of Tignabruaich and heading towards Portavadie where we were staying. Continue reading

Helensburgh to Balloch

Local Hero

Local Hero

When I read that the John Muir Way (JMW) had been extended and now stretches from Helensburgh to Dunbar this was a nice infusion of new walking options. Today we started our campaign with the start at Helensburgh. It’s 215km (134 miles) long and splits into nice day sections, and unlike our friend the SUW, there is actually some public transport (and obliging relatives) to help us connect up the stages. Today we gave ScotRail our custom: we parked at Balloch station and took the train to Helensburgh and walked back. Continue reading

Crinan Trail

Fishboxes outside the hotelYou may have been wondering what the Missus was up to yesterday while Jazz and I were having our antiquity-fest in Kilmartin Glen: it turns out she was exploring the Crinan Trail and she enjoyed it so much she wanted to share it with us today.  Unfortunately as we wolfed down breakfast in the hotel the rain gave everything a Scotch Mist grayness.  But then as we packed the car the blue skies developed over Jura and headed our way.  We took this as a very good omen and so headed off. Continue reading

Crinan to Kilmartin

Crinan basin, 4Who doesn’t like the idea of a walk involving some 19th century engineering and then going back in time to the Neolithic?  Well, it turns the Missus doesn’t, and with her eyes glazing over at mention of the chance to see Bronze Age burial chambers, Jazz and I knew we were on our own for a walk from Crinan to Kilmartin.  We were staying at the Crinan Hotel and so getting to the start amounted to falling out of bed. Continue reading

Scotland from a Sea-plane

You will recollect from yesterday that I needed a new way of seeing the Kyles of Bute that didn’t involve getting Trench Foot.  Well, would you believe it, but the Missus came up with the perfect notion: sea-plane – she had bought us tickets for a discovery flight on the sea-plane operating out of Loch Lomond and today was the day (alas Jazz didn’t get a ticket – there’s a limit to the Missus’s largesse).  It’s very popular so you have to book way in advance and it is essential that you also book great weather too: we had another gorgeous autumn day and the flight was just stunning.

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Rhubodach to Rothesay, Bute

Kyles of Bute

A beautiful autumn day was correctly forecast so we decided to finish off the West Island Way on Bute.  We did the first stage in the spring, the second in the summer, and so it seemed fitting to finish off in autumn colours.  Logically we should continue south-to-north, but with public transport on this section (let’s be generous) a bit sparse, I wanted to know I wouldn’t be marooned at the end of the island.  So sparing no expense, we took a taxi to Rhubodach. After laughing at how I mangled the name, the taxi driver told me that the locals call it Rub-a-Duck – an idea that appealed to Her Jazzness.

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Kilchattan Bay to Rothesay

Plan A was a walk in the Southern Uplands but the forecast of lightning put us off: the smell of wet dog is bad enough but singed wet dog would be too much.  So it was Plan B: the next stage of the West Island Way on Bute from Kilchattan Bay to Rothesay.  This turned out to be a great idea because we had a lovely summer’s day while back in Ayrshire the Missus was reading her Ark assembly instructions.

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