Although born and raised in Campbeltown (Gaelic: Ceann Loch Chille Chiarain) my connections to the town were pretty much severed around 1980. I’ve since visited twice – in June 2007, when I was in Scotland with a few free days, and in May this year with my family. The photos are a mix of those taken in 2007 and 2012.
Our accommodation on my latest visit was Kintyre Cottages’ Ballimenach Farmhouse, which I recommend with its views over the Firth of Clyde to Arran, Ailsa Craig, Ayrshire and Davaar Island at the mouth of Campbeltown Loch.
Our first trip was to Southend and the Mull of Kintyre. As a kid, the extended family often travelled to Southend on a Sunday for a walk at Dunaverty followed by high tea in the Keil Hotel (now closed). Our visit this year mirrored that of my visit in 2007 – wet and windy. At the top of Dunaverty Rock we had a magnificent and close view of gannets flying up the coast from Ailsa Craig, where they breed.
My father died in Canada in 1987 and with his ashes only reaching me a year later the urgency to do something with them was gone – therefore they sat on my bookshelves for 24 years. In part my purpose in choosing Campbeltown for a holiday was to scatter his ashes in Campbeltown Loch – in fact they were scattered on the Dhorlin, a shingle causeway giving access to Davaar Island at low tide.
As it was a rather nice day, we took a walk across the Dhorlin, visited the cave painting and walked round Davaar Island.
Beinn Ghuilean, which looms over Campbeltown to the south, was an area where I often roamed as a child. So taking advantage of a fine day we had a walk from Ballimenach over Beinn Ghuilean, down Tomaig Glen into Campbeltown. Following a visit to the Heritage Centre, which is in the former Lorne Street Church, and a walk round the town we returned to Ballimenach via Kilkerran.
Campbeltown is considered slightly off the beaten track as a holiday destination – however, if you enjoy the outdoors (including golf) it’s well worth the visit. We had a very enjoyable week and I thank the family for joining me.