Scotland's Kintyre Peninsula: The Essentials
Bring cash ATMs are scarce, so carry enough cash to cover at least a couple of nights' lodging and meals.
Book ahead Kintyre villages don't have many accommodations, Tarbert and Campbeltown aside. Book ahead, particularly in July, August, and even September. B&Bs start at about $40 per person (see kintyreway.com for options).
Ask questions Are there restaurants within walking distance? Is the B&B far from the trail? Does it have a drying room for clothes and boots? After a long day, these considerations matter more than you might think at first glance.
Equip well Scotland is prone to rain, so don't scrimp on waterproof boots (with Gore-Tex); a warm, waterproof jacket; and a pair of walking sticks (for downhill sections, they ease the pressure on tired knees and backs).
Make lunch plans When booking a room, request a lunch to go. It'll cost $10 or so, and usually includes a sandwich, fruit, chocolate, and nuts or fruitcake.
Travel light Take only the necessities, including a pair of light shoes you can wear in the evenings. Two changes of hiking clothes and an outfit for evenings should be sufficient, as many B&Bs will allow you to use the laundry room when things get a bit on the nose.
Consider the lazy way Tayinloan Taxi offers pack (and person) transfers from any destination along the Kintyre Way (the fee depends on the number of passengers). For more info, look under Travel at kintyreway.com.
Know your limits As with Scotland's other long hikes, you can skip sections should you find yourself short of time or energy. With the Kintyre Way, this may mean taking the bus from Carradale to Campbeltown, saving your legs for the true magnificence of the last day.
Come prepared With its stunning scenery and winding roads, the three-hour bus trip from Glasgow to Tarbert is a highlight--and a nightmare for anyone prone to motion sickness. If that's you, bring medication.
Get back to the start The walk ends near Southend on Kintyre's southern tip, and walkers will need to find their way back to Campbeltown or Tarbert to catch the bus to Glasgow. Timetables are at westcoastmotors.co.uk. Or organize a lift with Tayinloan Taxi.
Check your options If a Scottish walk sounds lovely, but you'd prefer something less taxing than the Kintyre Way, take a look at Scotland's official tourism website (visitscotland.com/walking) for other walks. The choices range from one hour to 10 days.
- Scottish Citylink 011-44/8705-505050, citylink.co.uk, Glasgow-Tarbert $26, round-trip $44; Campbeltown-Tarbert $12
- The Old Smithy Clachan, 011-44/1880-740635, refreshingscotland.co.uk, from $41 per person
- The MacDonald Arms Hotel Tayinloan, 011-44/1583-441387, from $51 per person
- Carradale Hotel Carradale, 011-44/1583-431223, carradalehotel.com, from $71 per person
- Ardshiel Hotel Campbeltown, 011-44/1586-552133, ardshiel.co.uk, doubles from $142
- East Trodigal Cottage B&B Machrihanish,011-44/1586-810305, from $51 per person
- Balinakill Country House Clachan, 011-44/1880-740206, balinakill.com, dinner $59
- Beachcomber Bar & Restaurant Machrihanish, 011-44/1586-810355, from $14
- Anchor Hotel Tarbert, 011-44/1880-820577, meals from $16
- Springbank Distillery Campbeltown, 011-44/1586-551710, springbankdistillers.com, $10 tour, $20 tour and tasting