Travel to Kintyre
Scotlands hidden gem
The A83 is the main route to Kintyre and passes through some amazing scenery. Make the most out of this touring opportunity and use the Wild About Argyll website to build up a route or follow the exciting Kintyre 66, of which we’re a part of!
You can travel here using a variety of options. See these by selecting the appropriate tab. Most examples will cite Glasgow – Campbeltown. Adjust to suit.
The A83 🚘
By road, the standard route to Campbeltown is to join the A83 and follow it all the way to Campbeltown. It takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in Western Scotland and there are plenty of things to see and do on the way.
Historically, the Rest And Be Thankful (RABT) part of the A83 has been subject to landslides, largely attributed to climate change. This sometimes closed the A83 at the RABT. Normally this just meant that you’re diverted to the Old Military Road (OMR) for a short while which runs parallel.
Millions has been spent on this now and hopefully the frequent closures are a thing of the past, but just in case, we have some useful information below.
PURPLE PINS: Standard A82 then A83 route
LIGHT GREEN PIN: OMR Diversion. BEAR use a convoy system and you might be delayed by around ten minutes. It’s a harmless and almost unnoticeable diversion parallel to the normal route.
ORANGE PIN: Sometimes the OMR is also closed. When this happens the “standard diversion” is signposted. This is via A82, A85 & A816. You can take time out to visit Oban on the way!
We’ve included relevant links below too, and as you can see there are quite a few alternative routes to consider.
Also, when you do get here, invariably you will come across single track roads. They can be daunting if you’re not used to them but the videos in the “single track roads” tabbed section should help you with the rules about passing places. It’s really easy!
CityLink 926 🚍
There’s an excellent bus service from Glasgow, the 926. You can relax and enjoy the scenery while the driver copes with any diversions! The coaches are very comfortable and are equipped with toilets.
You even get a ten-minute comfort break halfway at Inveraray. There’s a public toilet there and a shop selling hot and cold snacks, teas and coffees and so on. (You cannot take hot food onto the bus.)
You can buy the tickets here: https://www.citylink.co.uk/timetables-service-updates/glasgow-to-campbeltown/
During off-season, there’s usually four buses a day from Glasgow to Campbeltown, increasing to five or six in peak season… going both ways of course!
Journey time is under 4 hours and prices are very reasonable.
The 926 also serves from Campbeltown to Kennacraig to get the ferries to Islay, or from Campbeltown to Tayinloan to get the ferry to Gigha. You can buy from the driver but it’s often better to book to ensure space.
Calmac and Western Ferries ⛴
You may also want to consider incorporating ferry services when they are available. To be fair, there’s not a lot of time saved but it can break up an otherwise long journey.
Dark Green Pins:
Should your travel itinerary align with the ferry timetable, opting for the Ardrossan – Campbeltown* ferry could significantly enhance your journey. Please verify its operational status before relying on this option. In the event that the ferry is not in service, an excellent alternative is provided below. ✅
*Note: This is a seasonal service only operating during the summer.
Light Green Pins:
Explore the Ardrossan (mainland) to Brodick (Arran) and Lochranza (Arran) to Claonaig (Kintyre)* ferry routes, allowing for a visit to Arran. The island offers a plethora of attractions and activities. Additionally, refer to our Alternative Whisky Trail page for further recommendations. ✅
*Note: In winter, the Claonaig – Lochranza route changes to become Tarbert – Lochranza where passenger and vehicle reservations are required.
For those with sufficient planning time, a more adventurous route involves driving and utilising two vehicle ferries. Commence with the Western Ferries vehicle ferry serving McInroy’s Point (Gourock) and Hunter’s Quay (Dunoon), followed by a drive to Portavadie. Subsequently, take the Calmac ferry to Tarbert and continue the journey south on the A83.
ℹ There’s also a Gourock/Dunoon Calmac ferry but that’s passenger only, so not marked on the map.
Campbeltown Airport ✈
Campbeltown boasts it’s own airport with one of the longest runways in Europe! It’s run by the Highlands and Islands Airport company and twice daily flights to and from Glasgow Airport are operated by Loganair. You can book online or call 0344 800 2855. It usually doesn’t run Saturdays and Sundays but always check.
Glasgow Airport ✈
Flying to Glasgow is one of the most common methods our guests use, once at Glasgow Airport you can choose to fly on to Campbeltown or take another method of travel.
Alternatively, there are these methods to and from the airport: https://www.glasgowairport.com/to-and-from/
Hiring a car? Use the Road and Ferry information to get here. Please note: There are no rail services to Campbeltown.
Help with driving on single-track roads 🚘
- Don’t panic.
- Always keep to the left in passing places.
- Keep your eyes open for them and try to remember where you are in relation to the nearest one ahead or back.
- Be prepared to reverse to a passing place. Don’t try to force your way forward…
- Drivers coming uphill have right of way, so if you’re travelling downhill it is you who needs to give way in a passing place.
- Allow others to overtake you at passing places. Don’t be the one that holds everyone up causing convoys, or worse!
- Personal tip: Avoid verges, they can be very, very soft!
- And now, the videos…
Where to get fuelled up ⛽
Petrol Map do a good job of highlighting fuel pumping stations along the way, Inveraray, Lochgilphead, Tarbert, Clachan and Campbeltown are all en route via A83 (Ardrossan if using the ferry) and there are plenty of stations on the nearby islands. Petrol Map usually requires you to sign in.
There’s also Petrol Prices. Petrol Prices is an app you can load on your phone.
If you have an Electric Vehicle (EV) there’s a good amount of charging points on the route supplied by ChargePlace Scotland. ChargePlace Scotland is Scotland’s national Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network, owned and developed by the Scottish Government
Easy for EV's
We've had many guests travelling good distances in their EV's. Two examples are guests who' travelled from Bedfordshire in their Tesla, and others from Leicestershire in an EV with a 180-mile range, so you can be confident of driving here comfortably. We've a Type 2 7kW charge point at Gowanlea Heights, free for guests! Just bring your cable.
⛔ Bear Scotland covers NW Scotland Trunk Roads inc. Kintyre, Traffic Scotland covers all of Scotland and all traffic notices 🚦
BEAR SCOTLAND UPDATES ℹ
BEAR SCOTLAND maintain the trunk roads in Scotland and are the primary source of information.
TRAFFIC SCOTLAND UPDATES
TRAFFIC SCOTLAND report on the ALL roads and TRAFFIC in Scotland and are an amalgamated source of information.
Ferry - Calmac Services
CALMAC UPDATES ℹ
CALEDONIAN MACBRAYNE run and maintain the main ferry services for Kintyre and the Western Isles.
Ferry - Western Ferries Services
WESTERN FERRIES UPDATES ℹ
WESTERN FERRIES run and maintain a 20 minute Firth of Clyde vehicle and passenger crossing between Gourock and Dunoon.
Be sure to follow Western Ferries for their ferry service information. They do most of their updates via “X”, formerly known as Twitter. Their service status website is also here: https://www.western-ferries.co.uk/pages/service-status
Calmac covers most Western Scotland and Isles ferry routes, Western ferries is Dunoon Gourock on the Clyde
Local Travel 🚍
For information, some local travel options are listed here:
The local Taxi Rank is outside the Town Hall on Main Street.
Breakdown: Argyll Recovery Ltd, Campbeltown Tel: 01586 807063