Rucksack Readers

Rucksack Readers => Kintyre Way, western Scotland => Topic started by: hilaryd on July 08, 2010, 02:29:29 pm

Title: Feedback from our trip of June 2010
Post by: hilaryd on July 08, 2010, 02:29:29 pm
Three friends and I have just returned from the Kintyre Way.  We took 6 days and had an excellent time.  In Tarbert we left our car outside the Struan House B&B where there is a nice, recently opened restaurant (no problem at all).  We also recommend the Cafe Barge in the harbour for excellent and unusual healthy food at reasonable prices. 
We benefitted from weeks of drought so none of the dreaded bogs materialised except just at the bottom of the hill near Amod Farm on the last day.  The OS map makes the loop here look unnecessary and we considered a short cut, but the landowner has put up some serious fences, so we stuck to the waymarked route.  By the way, as the ever-helpful Ranger Owen pointed out, the Way is not quite correctly marked on the OS map here - email and he will send you a corrected map.
B&Bs were good, views magnificent (clouds permitting) and it was lovely and quiet.  Our only criticism would be the amount of road walking.  Even the "forest tracks" have been upgraded in many places with hard aggregate: not very comfortable to walk on and a close relation to tarmac.  In fact we skipped the full day's walk in the middle because of this, taking a bus from Carradale to Campbeltown, hanging out there for a while and then a later bus to Machrihanish.  Waymarking is excellent except for a couple of turns on the last day (no problem in clear weather) and I found the mile posts very helpful and encouraging - would like all long distance paths to have them. 
As the last day is long (and wonderful) I would recommend staying at Ormsary Farm B&B which is on the trail about 3 miles before the end.  It was our favourite B&B, with nice rooms and by far the best breakfast, and stopping here gives you a break and a rest before walking the last miles of road in reverse when you come back from dinner at the pub in Southend, having been given a lift to get there.
Using a taxi to carry your bags is handy and efficient but expensive, so I would recommend asking each of your B&Bs whether they will pick up/drop off bags.  Several did, either free or for a lower price, which helped a lot.
One comment: in Carradale we could not get local seafood in the restaurants.  Apparently the whole catch is sold for export and local restaurateurs have to beg and plead for limited and occasional supplies.  This is not good for local tourism (not to mention the planet) so I hope there will be a campaign to do something about this.
Thank you Owen, and thanks to Rucksack Readers - we had a terrific time.

Title: Re: Feedback from our trip of June 2010
Post by: Kintyre Way Ranger on August 04, 2010, 07:34:54 pm
Pleased to hear that you had a good time on your walk. :)  I was surprised to read your comment about the seafood in Carradale as I know that the Carradale Hotel and Dunvalanree both serve locally sourced seafood every night.  We've also re-routed the path at Amod farm so it now curves down the hill and avoids the boggy section you mentioned. The new route is waymarked and much better than the old one.

Title: Re: Feedback from our trip of June 2010
Post by: Jacquetta on August 04, 2010, 08:28:32 pm
I'm not going to enter into discussion of gastronomy in an area where I haven't eaten recently, but I am delighted that Owen Paisley keeps an eye on our forums.  I can't think of another Route Manager that actually does this, anywhere in the British Isles, and many walkers can't envisage the pressure that these guys are under.

So whatever the issues of seafood in Kintyre, let's be glad we have a real community of walkers who care. :)