Tarbert (Loch Fyne) and Kintyre

Kintyre
Photo copyright The Internet Guide to Scotland

Transport / Travel

Tarbert (Loch Fyne) is 50 miles south of Oban.

Ferries
A regular train service operates between Gourock and Glasgow. From Gourock you can get the ferry which plies back and forth to Dunoon on the Cowal Peninsula. You have a choice of Caledonian Macbrayne or Western Ferries on this route. The CalMac ferry terminal is adjacent to the train station. The Western Ferries terminal is slightly further on - at McInroy's Point. No vehicle reservations are required on either ferry.
From Cowal you can then get the Calmac ferry from Portavadie across Loch Fyne to Tarbert on the Kintyre peninsula.

From Kintyre, you can take CalMac ferries from Kennacraig to Islay, from Claonaig to Arran, from Tayinloan to Gigha.

From late April to September Caledonian Macbrayne operates a summer ferry service from Ardrossan (Ayrshire) to Campbeltown.

Loch Fyne photo
Rainbow seen from the Tarbert - Portavadie ferry
Photo copyright The Internet Guide to Scotland

Buses

Flights
British Airways operates flights between Glasgow and Campbeltown.

Map of Argyll & Arran
Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service.
Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

Free tourist map of Kintyre (downloadable PDF courtesy of The Oban Times).

Tarbert harbour
Tarbert (Loch Fyne) photo copyright The Internet Guide to Scotland

Local Events for 2017 include:

________________________________________________________________

Sightseeing

TARBERT
This is a busy little fishing harbour which is conveniently situated between Loch Tarbert and Loch Fyne, this is a ideal base for a touring holiday of Argyll and Kintyre. The Calmac ferry from here plies back and forth to Portavadie which has a new marina complex on the Cowal Peninsula.

Loch Fyne Gallery

Amenities in Tarbert include B&Bs, hotels with restaurants, general stores, post office, bank. The Loch Fyne Gallery near the tourist office on the main street is a great place for books, cards, prints, gifts, etc.

Craft shop and Loch Fyne Gallery photos copyright The Internet Guide to Scotland

craft shop
Tarbert
Tarbert photo copyright The Internet Guide to Scotland

Good places to eat include The Anchor Hotel, the Tarbert Hotel and The Victoria which are all situated around the inner harbour and many participate in the annual Tarbert Seafood Festival.
Cafebarge is a Dutch barge permanently moored in the harbour - it serves meals, coffee and wines/beers. Vegetarian food and seafood are specialities. Tel: 07949 723128.

You will see plenty of fishing boats and also a lot of yachts, particularly when races are taking place such as the Scottish Sailing Series when Tarbert is full to capacity.

Up on the hill you may spot the ruins of Tarbert Castle which date from the 15th century. The original castle has links with King Robert the Bruce.
The 18th century parish church topped by a crown and lantern is also worth a look.

Just outside of the town to the south is the heritage centre of An Tairbeart (tel: 01880 821 212) where you will also find a coffee shop, crafts and gallery (open for the summer, closed in winter).

Tarbert parish church
Tarbert parish church photo copyright
The Internet Guide to Scotland
Claonaig bay
Claonaig bay
Photo copyright The Internet Guide to Scotland

Continuing south out of Tarbert you will come to Kennacraig which is the ferry terminal for the Isle of Islay. There is a ferry office, toilets and car park. Day trips are possible depending on the ferry timetables.
Near here you can take the small B8001 road across country to Claonaig which is the ferry terminal for the Isle of Arran. Please note there is no ferry office at Claonaig (only toilets) but you can easily buy your ticket on the ferry when it arrives.
Along the coast from Claonaig is Skipness Castle (a ruin in the care of Historic Environment Scotland) which is worth the detour if you have time. The nearby chapel with its ancient carved tombstones can also be visited.

Two miles outside Tarbert to the north is Stonefield Castle Hotel. You don't have to stay there to enjoy a meal in the bar or restaurant, or explore the gardens which go down to the shores of Loch Fyne. Built in 1837, it is set in 60 acres of woodland gardens with a fine collection of Himalayan Rhododendrons which are free to explore.

Stonefield Castle photo
Stonefield Castle photo copyright The Internet Guide to Scotland

THE KINTYRE WAY
For keen walkers, The Kintyre Way stretches for just over 100 miles from Tarbert to Dunaverty Bay with various diversions possible. You will see blue posts which point you in the right direction. A free leaflet is available - click here for details.

KINTYRE
The Kintyre peninsula can be visited via the circular road which goes right around the coast with spectacular sea views. Places of interest include:

  • Ronachan Point where you can often spot seals and see across the sea to the hills of the Isle of Jura and Gigha.
  • Tayinloan is the Calmac ferry point for the Isle of Gigha - well worth a day trip. The island has various historic sites to visit, beautiful views, hotel, general store and the well known Achamore Gardens. These 50 acres of beautiful woodland gardens including exotic plants and trees, walled garden and greenhouses are open all year. Tel: 01583 505254. Established in 1944 by Sir James Horlick, then owner of the island who was a keen gardener and plantsman, with a particular interest in rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. The gardens are now owned and managed by the Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust on behalf of the islanders.
    More information and photos can be found on the Isle of Gigha community web site and Gigha page of southernhebrides.com
  • Glenbarr Abbey - although not actually an abbey - it is in fact a large historic 18th century house which is open to the public for guided tours by the laird from Easter to mid October (closed Tuesdays). It is also home to the MacAlister Clan Visitors Centre. Tel: 01583 421247
  • The historic Royal Burgh of Campbeltown is a large town with a population of over 5,500 and many shops and facilities including an airport (thanks to its wartime past). Visitor attractions include the heritage centre in a church, museum & library, leisure centre with swimming pool, tourist information office, the famous art nouveau Wee Picture House, Linda McCartney’s Memorial Garden and the Campbeltown Cross. Once known as the Whisky Capital of the World thanks to its 34 distilleries, today it has just a few left including Springbank (tel: 01586 552085 for tours). Boat trips operate to Davaar Island which has a cave painting of the Crucifixion.
  • Mull of Kintyre - made famous by Paul McCartney's song.
  • Saddell Abbey - historic ruins with carved grave slabs on the east coast of Kintyre.
  • Carradale - pretty village with harbour, golf course, heritage centre with exhibitions, tearoom and shop.

Ronachan bay photo
From Ronachan looking towards Gigha
Photo copyright The Internet Guide to Scotland

Achamore House & Gardens photo
Achamore House & Gardens
Photo copyright The Internet Guide to Scotland

Davaar Island from Campbeltown
Davaar Island from Campbeltown
Photo copyright 2009 The Internet Guide to Scotland

Ferry from Gigha
Ferry approaching from Gigha - Photo copyright The Internet Guide to Scotland

________________

Bed and Breakfast Accommodation

Springside B&B

Alison and Donald Marshall
Springside
Pier Road
Tarbert
Argyll PA29 6UE
Tel: +44 (0)1880 820 413
Email: marshall.springside@virgin.net

SPRINGSIDE B&B

Traditional 100 year old cottage overlooking Tarbert harbour
between Loch Fyne and the Mull of Kintyre.

Ideal for ferries to Islay and Arran.
Kilmartin 20 miles, Inveraray 40 miles.
1 hour south of Oban.

Sea views. No smoking. Pets welcome.
Family home with friendly welcome.
Vegetarians welcome.
Choice of 4 bedrooms:
1 ensuite triple (double + single bed)
1 ensuite twin, 1 ensuite single,
and 1 single with private bathroom.

B&B prices £35 per person (2 sharing).
Single £40
Room only rate £30 per person (2 sharing).
Room only rate £35 (single).
Open from March to November.

Click here to visit web site

________________

Hotel Accommodation

Stonefield Castle photo

Stonefield Castle Hotel
Tarbert
Argyll PA29 6YJ

STONEFIELD CASTLE HOTEL

Built in 1837 on the shores of Loch Fyne.
2 miles from the picturesque fishing village of Tarbert.
Set in 60 acres of woodland gardens
with a fine collection of Himalayan Rhododendrons.

Ideal for exploring Argyll & the Kintyre peninsula,
also the islands of Gigha, Islay, Arran, Bute.
Recommended by Conde Nast Johansens.

Award-winning restaurant with views over the gardens and Loch Fyne.
Wood panelled lounge bar. Room service available.

Choice of 32 ensuite bedrooms (single/double/twin)
with TV, telephone, tea/coffee, hairdryer.
B&B prices from £30 per person per night.
Click here for online booking

photo
Carradale Hotel
Carradale
Argyll PA28 6RY

CARRADALE HOTEL

On the picturesque east coast of the Kintyre Peninsula
Overlooking the sea with views across to the Isle of Arran.
The hotel is set in its own private garden and is
adjacent to the local golf course

Wood panelled restaurant for candlelit dinners.
2 bars, large conservatory, decking area and garden.
Scottish Tourist Board 3 Stars.

11 ensuite bedrooms all with TV,
tea and coffee trays with home baking.
Room only from £40 per person.

Click here for online booking

Kilfinan Hotel (Kilfinan near Tighnabruaich)

Tighnabruaich Hotel

Accommodation in Inveraray - Hotels in Oban - Hotels in Loch Lomond

Self Catering accommodation in Argyll

photo
Loch Shuna Lodges
Eilean Buidhe
Craobh Haven
by Lochgilphead
Argyll PA31 8UA
Loch Shuna Lodges

A choice of 3 Scandinavian log lodges set on the Island of Buidhe.
Surrounded by spectacular scenery.
Ideal for wildlife watching, walking and water pursuits.
A causeway connects the island to the mainland village of Craobh Haven
(shops, pub, restaurant, watersports and marina).
Kilmartin 10 miles. Lochgilphead 17 miles. Oban 22 miles.

A luxury 1-bedroom lodge with kingsize 4 poster
and child size single bed, plus sauna and
bathroom with double whirlpool bath.
Ideal for romantic breaks and honeymoons.

Choice of two luxury 2-bedroom lodges each with:
1 canopied double bed (& personal sauna) and 1 twin room
both with ensuite bath with overhead shower.
Outdoor hot tub. Patio and lawn.

Facilities in each lodge include:
TV, DVD, CD, microwave, dishwasher & washing machine.
Designer fabrics and leather suites.
Personally managed by the owners.

Prices from £469 per week
includes, bed linen and electricity.
Short breaks available. Online booking.
No smoking. Pets welcome (extra charge).
Click here for online booking

photo

Booking Hotline: 0845 268 1383

Cottages in Argyll & Kintyre

Wide choice of self catering properties ranging from 1 to 7 bedrooms.
Cottages, log cabins, apartments, large houses, etc.

Locations include Loch Lomond, Loch Long, Loch Awe, Loch Fyne,
Lochgilphead, Crinan, Dunoon, Mull of Kintyre.

Web site with virtual tours and instant online booking.
Short breaks and late deals often available.
Search and book cottages online

Self catering links:

  • Carradale Cottage is near the golf course in Carradale, on the east side of the Kintyre peninsula. 25 miles south of Tarbert. Sleeps up to 6 people with 2 bedrooms plus a sofa-bed in the living room.

Youth Hostels / Camping:

________________________________________________________________

Useful Books and Maps

Kintyre
One of the great Pevensey Guides written by Norman S. Newton.
Lovely colour guide book covering the local heritage and culture of the area, nature, the landscape, place names, history, places to visit, etc. Even if you don't get chance to buy it before you go, you will certainly want a copy for a souvenir when you have visited Kintyre! Also includes Gigha.
Paperback. 112 pages.
(The front cover photo seen here is of Tarbert harbour)
Available from Amazon UK and Amazon.com
Walks Around Kintyre
Map with 8 easy to follow walks. Published by Footprint.
Available from Amazon UK

Useful local maps from the Ordnance Survey include:
Kintyre North (Explorer scale)
Kintyre South (Explorer scale)
North Kintyre and Tarbert (Landranger scale)
South Kintyre and Campbeltown (Landranger scale)

Argyll and the Western Isles
Part of the Exploring Scotland's Heritage series and is a very useful guide to these parts of the country. Produced by well-known archaeology experts Anna & Graham Ritchie. Paperback edition. 156 pages.
Available from Amazon UK and Amazon.com

Links

Tarbert (Loch Fyne)
Kintyre (community web site)