It’s great to get out and about walking & cycling in the great outdoors
WALKING & CYCLING IN KINTYRE
Visitors are most welcome to explore at their leisure and enjoy the garden, grounds and wider policies of the Killean Estate in Argyll. All we ask is that you respect the simple countryside codes.
Killean Estate Gardens
To explore the gardens, walk or cycle up the main drive next to the Gate Lodge, past Killean House. Meander around the flowers and palm trees, again admiring the glimpses between the trees, of the views across the bay to the islands beyond. Take advantage of the Victorian Walled Garden, a lovely sheltered spot with plenty of grassy areas to lay in the sun and where you will also find a climbing frame for the children.
Pictish Fort walk
Not much remains of this very ancient stronghold but it is possible to see, amongst the undergrowth and beneath the Scottish larch trees, the shapes of the foundations and the value of this position with its superb views to the sea from where most trouble would have come in those far-off days. Kintyre with its gentler climate than most of western Scotland was always attractive to pirates. It is a designated site of historical interest and we are working constantly to keep the invasive bracken at bay.
To begin from Killean’s main drive, walk up the hill past the Garden House, pass behind the kennels and traverse the wee burn to where a ‘cross-roads-junction’ is created in the track. Bear left towards the field and take a northerly diagonal towards the larches to where beyond the line of the fence the land drops sharply towards the Killean burn on your left which can be crossed to reach the fort.
Take the farm track opposite the Dolls Cottage, (to the right of the Church and the Killean Burn), walking or cycling west towards the big barn next to the beach. Turn left upon reaching the beach and cross the killean burn where it meets the sea. You will head towards Chleit church and its lovely bay. You will also see to your left Killean’s old coal shed where the flat-bottomed boats would beach on the sands to off-load the supplies of coal for the estate, and then wait for the tide to float them off-shore again. From here, you will appreciate the most fantastic views across the ‘Sound of Gigha’ towards the island beyond and admire the views towards the Atlantic Ocean.
There is a track soon after the shed which traverses the field and takes you back to the main road which will wind you gently up the hill towards the courtyard at Drumnamuchlach. If you pass through the gate and cross the field, through another gate there is then a good track which runs along the wooded area above Killean House towards the Walled Garden and kennels.
Coastal Plain Route
If you prefer less of an incline, then why not walk or cycle to the coastal plain. Again, take a stroll down the farm track to the beach. The shore is sandy, with rocky outcrops and the rock pools formed are busy with marine life. The old boatshed and jetty are still present from the days when they were used by the inhabitants of what was once the Killean village and are soon seen if you turn to your right when you reach the beach. Otters are seen regularly in the area and sea-birds are abundant. If you continue along the shore towards Tayinloan you will see the seals that sit and bask in the sunshine on the rocks not far off shore in Seal Bay.
You can reach the village of Tayinloan from the shore if you cross the wide but shallow burn beyond Seal Bay and turn right to find the track through the rushes. Otherwise it is best to walk on towards the pier from where the ferry departs to Gigha. If you do decide to return along the road either walking or cycling, bear in mind that there is no footpath.