Situated on one of the best beaches on the Kintyre Peninsular, this spacious caravan park boasts superb panoramic views over the sea and surrounding countryside that is sure to take your breath away.
Motorhomes & Caravan
- Toilet blocks
- Pets welcome
- Motorhome service point
- Grass only pitch (no electric)
- Grass pitch with electric hook-up
- Dishwashing facilities
There are really only two ways, by road, to reach Carradale. Either from the North or from the South and both are along the B842. This road also forms part of the spectacular Caledonia Way long-distance route.
From the North
37 miles North of Carradale is the town of Lochgilphead and is a good point to start from regards describing the route south to Carradale. Lochgilphead can be reached via the A816 from Oban or the A83 from Loch Lomond. Either way, you will pass through Lochgilphead and continue on the A83 for 18.5 miles. You will then turn left onto the B842 and follow it for 19 slow miles. This is a quiet road with some tight turns and the odd cyclist or campervan coming the opposite way, so be prepared to take your time and enjoy the journey. Once you reach Carradale, drive through it and verge to the left via the B879. You will then see a sign for Carradale Bay Holiday Park on the right-hand side.
From the South
You will have already reached the town of Campbeltown, presumably directly via the A83, on the east side and now wish to head north via the B842, on the west side. Carradale is 15 miles for Campbeltown via this route and is a quiet road with some tight turns and the odd cyclist or campervan coming the opposite way. Once you reach Carradale, turn right onto the B879. You will then see a sign for Carradale Bay Holiday Park on the right-hand side.
If you turn right out of the campsite, onto the B879, after about 1.5miles, you will reach a lovely wee place called Carradale harbour. One of Scotland’s less visited treasures, Carradale Harbour is located on the east side of the Kintyre peninsula. The harbour looks out across the deep waters of Kilbrannan Sound towards towering mountains on the Isle of Arran, just 3 miles away.
Torrisdale Castle Estate – is 3 miles along the B842 from the campsite. Overlooking, the castle is situated at the edge of the village of Torrisdale. Worth a visit to see the castle mansion, built in 1815.
Antony Gormley statue at Saddell Bay – Continue on the B842 for just under 4 miles and you will arrive at the village of Saddel, with its own Abbey, a ruined Cistercian monastery which was established in 1160 by Somerled, Lord of Kintyre, who was killed in 1164. Across from the Abbey is a lane which leads to Saddell Bay. This is a beautiful area with stunning views toward the Isle of Arran. The bay was used in the Paul McCartney & Wings video for Mull of Kintyre.
This is where you will find GRIP, a sculpture created for Saddell Bay by artist Antony Gormley as part of the LAND installation to mark the Landmark Trust’s 50th anniversary. The abstract human form gazes out over the Kilbrannan Sound to Arran from the rocks below Saddell Castle.
Kildonan Dun – Is situated about 3.5 miles further along the B842 from Saddell Bay and is a well-preserved fort from the first or second century AD, built on a rocky knoll on the eastern shores of Kintyre overlooking Kilbrannan Sound. The dun would have been the centre of a small farming and fishing community and was inhabited for over seven hundred years.
If you continue south, along the B842, which is also part of the long-distance cycle known as the Caledonian Way and will feature in a future blog, you will reach the town of Campbeltown. Once proclaimed ‘the whisky capital of the world’ with 34 distilleries, today only three active distilleries remain in the town: Glen Scotia, Glengyle and Springbank.
We arrived in September 2021 and booked in for a couple of nights. The campsite is basic but ok and access to an amazing beach was perfect.
Once we were set up, we took a walk, about 0.5 miles into the local village, which doesn’t have a name on google maps as such but appears to be part of Carradale, which includes Carradale Bay, Carradale Harbour, and Carradale Community Shop & Post Office, all separated from each other by half a mile or more, which can add to the confusion when looking at a map. There is a small shop and the Glen Bar & Restaurant which is a lovely popular stop for a meal or drink. The village has a tranquil and relaxed atmosphere about it and is perfect for a pit stop if you are cycling from Campbeltown.
For our first night, we just wanted to spend time at the beach, which was l00m from our campervan. We enjoy a responsible beach fire, which is created by our portable BBQ / fire pit and an instant lighting log. We leave no trace and ensure the place is left how we found it. We also consider any local weather conditions or local rules.
The weather was kind to us, chilly but dry and windy. A typical Scottish summer. Carradale Bay is a stunning big sandy beach with amazing views of Arran and the Kilbrannan Sound. We were fortunate to have the whole beach to ourselves. It’s one of those beaches that invited you to stroll alongside the sound of the waves. It has fine yellow sand and views to beat anywhere. Sam, our dog was in heaven, and by the time we returned to our camping chairs beside our prepared fire pit, the sun was going down and Sam was happy to lie beside us. Time to open a bottle of wine and savour this special moment.
Our second day was going to be more active. We had recently purchased two gravel bikes and were keen to get out and about on them. We used the Komoot app to find a local route, which although it looked challenging, we felt it was doable. We have attached the GPX file for you to download and a map of where we went, for your information. Both can be found at the end of this blog.
The route initially took us north along the B842 for about 4 miles. This is an undulating B-road, single track with passing places and although it is a quiet road, be prepared for the odd delivery truck, caravan being towed, and campervan but everyone we met was patient and courteous.
At the 4 miles point, our Komoot app was telling us to take a left turn. We obediently followed, even though there weren’t any guiding road signs, other than one saying cemetery and pointing in the direction we were now going. Our new road soon became a farm road then a forest road/track. This is when we started our ascent up through the forest, passed a wind farm, over the highest point of the Kintyre peninsula, and finally down the other side. We eventually popped out onto the A83. This is a busy road as it is the main artery to Campbeltown from the rest of Scotland, so caution is advised.
We planned on cycling to Tayinloan peer for a coffee and quick rest. We just had to figure out the safest way to do it. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any choice but to join the A83 but thankfully this would only be for just under 1 mile.
Once we turned off the A83, we were back on a quiet road heading towards the port Tayinloan peer, which is also a ferry port to the Island of Gigha, which we visited after this trip and our blog about it can be found on our Scottish Islands page. The town of Tayinloan was in need of some TLC but the port itself was pretty and the café Big Jessie’s Tearoom is actually very pleasant with outside seating and nice coffee.
We had now completed 16 miles. This doesn’t seem a lot but in that short distance, we had climbed over 1000 ft but were only halfway through our cycle. The unknown naivety of our outward journey had got us here but now we knew what was in store for us on our return and it would involve a rather steep climb before we could enjoy the descent down the other side of the peninsula. Our new gravel bikes were so much better than our old hybrid bikes. They had a better gear ratio; they were lighter and they had hydraulic brakes! We just hoped that we weren’t going to be the weakest link!
Just to add, as we cycled out of Tayinloan, we passed a child play area that had one of the saddest children’s Spring riders that we have ever seen! Check out the photo.
Day three. We had now spent a lovely couple of nights at Carradale Bay and now it was time to hit the road again. We had travelled south to Carradale Bay via the B842 and the road continues south to Campbeltown, about a further 15 miles from the campsite. Campbeltown was once proclaimed to be ‘the whisky capital of the world’ with 34 distilleries, today only three active distilleries remain in the town. There is still plenty to see to keep a visitor busy – Davaar Island is located at the mouth of Campbeltown Loch. It is a tidal island, linked to the mainland by a natural shingle causeway called the Dhorlin near Campbeltown at low tide. The crossing can be made in around 40 minutes and is with a visit to see the famous Cave Painting of tis he Crucifixion.
Campbeltown is situated on the beautiful peninsula of Kintyre. The song Mull of Kintyre was performed by the band Paul McCartney & Wings. The song was Wings’ biggest hit in Britain where it became the 1977 Christmas number one. Paul and Linda McCartney had a great love for the whole area and when Linda died, friends of Linda created a memorial garden within a sheltered space beside the local museum.
After a quick stop in Campbeltown we planned to follow the A83 and return to Tayinloan peer but unlike the day before, when we had arrived on our bikes, this time we were going to catch the ferry to the Island of Gigha and hopefully stay there overnight but that’s for another blog.
Before we joined the A83 north, the B842 still had a couple of stops that were worth exploring, so we headed further south on a road that was starting to become one of our favourites. A road that just keeps gifting places to visit.
Our first stop was about 10.5 miles south of Campbelltown. At the southern end of Kintyre, close to the village of Southend are a series of unusual visitor attractions closely grouped together. Just to the west of St Columba’s Chapel is a rocky outcrop on which you will find St Columba’s Footprints, while nearby is St Columba’s Well. Two hundred yards to the west are the Keil Caves. A parking area has been provided on the landward side of the road a short distance to the west of Keil Point. From here you walk back to a gate in a wall, where signs point you in one direction to the caves you will already have seen from the road, and in the other up a well-laid set of stone steps onto the outcrop. We would definitely recommend this trip as there is so much to see in such a small area and the views over to Sanda Island, with its lighthouse, just add to a perfect location.
Next up was a further drive along the coast towards the Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse, about 8 miles to the west of St Columba’s Chapel and along a very narrow and undulating road. You will eventually reach the car park for the lighthouse and surrounding walks but please be aware that there is limited space and we were lucky to get a spot. The lighthouse is a further walk down a rugged path. We decided to sit at a great vantage point and take in the views. It was also a sunny day, which always helps.
Soon, it was time to head back north towards the A83 but rather than head back into Campbell town, headed north via Stewarton and a quiet road that runs past Campbeltown Airport.
Back on the A83, we had some more places of interest to catch our attention, before we arrived at Tayinloan peer to catch the ferry to the Island of Gigha.
First up was Cladh nam Paitean, about 11 miles from Campbelltown. A burial place enclosed by a stone wall. It was first used as the resting place of some shipwrecked mariners, who had been washed ashore and dating back to the mid-1800s. Its location and architecture make for a very atmospheric location and photo opportunity.
Just before the ferry cut off from the A83 is Beacharr Standing Stone, erected during the Neolithic period and the tallest in Kintyre, standing just over 5m tall (about 16.5 feet). To get there you can access a small parking area just off the A83. From there you go up a steep hill to the stone, which stands inside a farm fence looking out over the Sound of Gigha.
And talking of Gigha, this would be our next stop. You are welcome to check out our blog about our trip to Gigha here.
The Kintyre peninsula has so much to offer. Yes, you have to put in the miles to both get there and see everything but you won’t be disappointed. We will always return here and in fact, it will be included in a future blog that has still to be written, as we are going to cycle the Caledonian Way in May 2023. We can’t wait.