En route to Lochgilphead where we were re-starting our tour of the British coast we passed Glasgow and stopped briefly so that I could take a photograph of the Clydeside Distillery which has been there since 1897.
I am compiling a photobook for James of the whisky distilleries in the British Isles. There were views over the Clyde on a very sunny morning
and street art on the nearby railway bridge.
Continuing, we stopped for lunch at the Rest and be Thankful. These words were inscribed on a stone by the workers who built the military road in the 1740s. There is a good view down the glen.
After settling into the campsite, it was time to walk to a local restaurant for a meal. There are views down Loch Gilp from the shore.
The following morning we set off down the west side of Loch Gilp. The road parallels the southern end of the Crinan Canal and passes through Ardrishaig. A little further on we took the B8204 which runs over a hill, past a small lochan and down to Loch Caolisport. There are several small villages along the road. At Achahoish was a firewood seller and at Ormisary there was a fish farm. There are views over to Jura and Islay. At Kilberry there are some engraved stones which may have come from a medieval church and burial ground nearby.
While a drain was being dug under a bowling green, human bones were found. The stones are dated between the 14th and 15th centuries. There is also the remains of a castle nearby but it is on private land with no access. At Tarbet we entered the Mull of Kintyre which I had not visited since childhood. In 1597 Kintyre had been marked out as a rebellious part of the Gaelic west which needed control. Ten years later Clan Donald lands were taken over by Archibald Campbell, Earl of Argyll. Hence the town he created became Campbeltown. The plantation by the lowland lairds happened in 1650, most came from Ayrshire and Renfrewshire and took place before the plantation of Ulster. We had a coffee in Tarbert and then walked up the hill from the harbour to the ruined castle.
There was a hill fort here which became a Royal Castle in 1292. It was extended by Robert the Bruce in 1325 and repaired further by James IV in 1494. IN 1705 it was tenanted by the Campbells but fell into disrepair by 1760 when most of the useful stones were used to build the harbour. There are views all around from the castle.
We then continued down the A83 along the side of West Loch Tarbert, passing Kennacraig where the ferry to Islay departs from and further on, the Arran Ferry port. Lunch was had in a small car park just south of Ronachan Bay. Apparently seals and otters can be seen here but none on my visit. There are views over to Gigha and Jura.
At Tayinloan a ferry runs to Gigha. After Campbeltown airport we drove through the town and then took the B road to Machrihanish. The town was formerly known as ‘The Pans’ up to the 18th century when salt was formed from the evaporation of seawater and it is still on this old milepost.
Kintyre’s only mine closed in 1967 and was nearby. Our campsite was next to the golf course but there were views over to the sea so in the evening I watched the sun go down.
The following morning was time for a beach walk. Machrihanish Bay is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and has the largest sand dune system in mainland Argyll. It was very quiet that morning.
A lazy day followed before we got ready for the next leg in our journey.