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North Kintyre and Tarbert

North Kintyre and Tarbert (Landranger...

Discovering Arran

Area Books

Tarbert Harbour


Kintyre Coastline









Brodick Bay

Brodick Castle










Clan MacAlister

Glenbarr Abbey







Sound of Gigha






St Molaise

Kilmory Church

Loch Ranza Castle

Machrie Moor




Rothesay Castle


Skipness Castle

Tour Tarbert

Fishing port and resort town on isthmus connecting Kintyre to mainland. Overlooked by 14th-century ruined stronghold of Robert Bruce. Tarbert's main tourist attraction is An Tairbeart Heritage Centre on the Campbeltown Road.
Tarbert Arts Centre

Kintyre is a narrow peninsula in the far West of Scotland, which extends a distance of approximately 30 miles, from Tarbert in the North to the Mull of Kintyre in the South. Along the middle or spine of Kintyre, runs a line of hills which rise to a maximum height of approximately 2000 feet. Along the West coast runs a narrow fertile strip of land which is exposed to the frequent Atlantic gales. The Eastern coast is more fertile, being protected as it is by the line of hills. Prior to modern roads being constructed, Kintyre remained relatively isolated from the rest of Scotland, access being gained from the sea.

The isles of Arran and Bute and the peninsula of Kintyre have long been playgrounds for the Scots, particularly the Glaswegians ( residents of the City of Glasgow ). The topography of each island resembles that of a miniature Scotland -- a mountainous north and rolling, pastoral south. Outdoor pursuits include walking, fishing, golf and sailing, while indoor entertainment can be found in Brodick, Campbeltown and Rothesay.

Favourite island retreat of Glaswegians ( residents of Glasgow ), once popular with Scottish monarchs. Fine mountain scenery in north contrasts with lowlands of south. Robert Bruce landed at Lochranza from Ireland in 1306.

Arran Heritage Museum
Brodick croft farm contains a museum of Arran history, geology and archaeology. Authentic rooms exhibit spinning wheels, wooden cradle and other domestic items. Geology section includes amethysts found on local beaches. Picnic area/tearoom.
Heritage Museum Web Site

Arran's main port set by sandy Brodick Bay. Goat Fell, at 2866ft, dominates mountain trail. Views of bay and surrounding peaks from String Road, to west.
Brodick Golf Club

Brodick Castle and Country Park
The site of this ancient seat of the Dukes of Hamilton was a fortress even in Viking times. The 13th-century fortified tower was developed in the 16th century and extended by Cromwell in the 17th century. The foundation stone for the main Victorian extension was laid in 1844 by Princess Marie of Baden, wife of the 11th Duke of Hamiltion. Her granddaughter, Lady Mary Louise, 6th Duchess of Montrose, lived in the castle until 1957. Some furniture dates from the 17th century, with superb paintings, porcelain and silver collected by the Hamiltons and by William Beckford, whose daughter was married to the 10th Duke of Hamilton. There is also a collection of sporting pictures and trophies. The woodland garden, begun in 1923 by the Duchess, is now home to an acclaimed rhododendron collection.

Rolling hills in north descend to quiet sandy beaches. Island separated from mainland by narrow waterway called Kyles of Bute. Popular with Clydesiders.
Museums of Argyll and Bute

Former Celtic capital of Dalriada kingdom, now sailing centre. Stone buildings mark past prosperity from whaling, fishing, coal and distilling. Town centre has richly carved Celtic cross.
Campbeltown Museum

Village situated on hill above small harbour. Remains of Aird Castle and 1500 BC fort lie nearby. Walks through 16,000 acre estate have splendid views of Arran and 2366ft Bein Bharrain.

Carradale House Gardens
Forested hills surround 1870 home of novelist and children's writer, Naomi Mitchison. It has a wild garden with pond.

Clan Macalister Centre
Glenbarr Abbey, Gothic-style home of the Macalister chieftain, dates from 1700. Museum includes historic weapons, photographs etc;
The Clan Alasdair had four separate branches: the MacAlasdairs of Loup (the chief's family), of Tarbert, and of Glenbarr, and the Alexanders of Menstrie, who changed their name when they migrated to the Lowlands. The Tarbert family lost its lands in 1746, and although members of that family still reside in the area, the Tarberts as a viable branch of the clan ceased to exist at that time. The Loup family acquired substantial lands elsewhere, sold its Kintyre lands in 1795 to pay off debts, and settled first in Ayrshire and later in England, where the current chief, William McAlester, lives. Of the four branches, only the Glenbarr family still holds its ancestral lands in Kintyre; they reside at Glenbarr Abbey, where they operate the Macalister Clan Centre and welcome MacAlasdairs from all over the world.
Clan Macalister Centre Web Site

Village at foot of 2866ft Goat Fell. Now-silted harbour was built in 1882 to ship locally quarried lime-stone. Walk coast to Fallen Rocks or climb to High Corrie hamlet, birthplace of the book publisher Daniel Macmillan.

Dunaverty Rock
Site of old Dunaverty Castle, former Macdonald stronghold. A garrison of 300 were besieged here in 1647 by Covenanters, supporters of English parliament. Every defender was slain on surrender. Known as 'Blood Rock'.

Gigha Island
Gaelic for 'God's Island', area scattered with fort remains and standing stones. Throughout history, the isle has been noted for its fertile soil; from 1700 until 1850 it was treeless, until the owner planted the woods around Achamore House. Its value in terms of agriculture is reflected throughout its history - good land provided men and women who could carry arms and take part in the islands battles, with the means to survive and prosper. About the time of the fall of the Lord of the Isles, in 1493, Gigha came into the possession of the family of MacNeill of Taynish. The family fought many bitter disputes with the Macdonald Clan to hold onto the island until finally selling it in 1790 to another branch of the Clan Neill, the MacNeills of Colonsay. Thereafter the island has had many owners, the Scarletts, Allens, Hamers - until in 1944 it was sold to Sir James Horlick, when the story of the creation of the great gardens of Achamore began.
Gigha Golf Club

Holy Island
St Molaise reputedly lived in a cave here and died in AD 639, after accepting 30 diseases at once to avoid purgatory. Visit this cave by boat and see runic inscriptions.

Quiet hamlet with hotel facing sandy beaches broken by rocky outcrops. Ruined medieval castle to east. Views of lighthouse on island of Pladda, and Ailsa Craig on horizons. Local seal colony.

Kilmory Cairns
Torrylin, a Neolithic chambered cairn, lies south-west of Kilmory village. Inside were found skeletal remains and a flint knife.

Beautiful bay and village at the North end of Arran. Robert Bruce is said to have lived here in 1306, when he began his struggle for independence. Lochranza Castle built in 13th century, rebuilt in the 17th century. Shore or boat fishing.
Golf Club
Lochranza Malt Whisky

Machrie Moor
Remains of six 15ft Bronze Age stone circles lie scattered within a mile, south of Machrie. Traces of Stone Age hut circles and tombs.

Village situated in one of the most idyllic parts of the Kintyre peninsula. With it's spectacular panoramic views out over the Atlantic Ocean there are few more beautiful sunsets to be seen anywhere in the world. Corn-coloured sands run for 3 1/2 miles along coast.
Golf Club and Course.

Mull of Kintyre
Southern point of Kintyre Peninsula. Lighthouse built here in 1788. One of the most treacherous points for shipping on the Scottish coast.

Scottish kings once holidayed at now-ruined Royal Stuart castle, which overlooks this popular resort. See Bute history museum and magnificent floral displays at Ardencraig Gardens. You can also visit the Post Office Museum in Bishop Street which is free. Swimming from beaches; fishing rods available for hire.
Rothesay Golf

Saddell Abbey
Abbey built 1160 by Samerled, liberator of Argyll and Kintyre from Viking control. Tombstones carved between 1300 and 1560 depicting armoured warriors, priests and war galleys. Tower of Saddell Castle stands south-east of village.

St Blane's Chapel
Remains of chapel built 1100 and named after Celtic saint who founded monastery here in AD 575. Fine example of Norman arch still stands.

St Mary's Chapel
Remains of late medieval chapel contain recessed canopied tombs with carved effigies of Walter the Steward, his wife Alice and a child.

Deserted in 1823 when villagers were evicted and emigrated to Canada, leaving today's scattered ruins. Track leads to scenic Glen Sannox.

Village dominated by remains of 13th-century Campbell Castle. Fortress abandoned in 1700.

St Columba stepped onto local beach in 6th century to convert Picts to Christianity.

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