Clustered around the shores of Campbeltown Loch, this postcard-perfect fishing port is both a gateway to the Inner Hebrides and a charming destination in its own right. From exploring deserted beaches to watching an art house flick at the oldest purpose-built cinema in Scotland, there’s plenty here for visitors to see and enjoy.
Once home to over 30 distilleries, Campbeltown has a venerable history of whisky production. The area now boasts three active distilleries – Glen Scotia (12 High Street), Glengyle (9 Bolgam Street) and Springbank (85 Longrow) – and the latter offers tasting tours for fans of the gold stuff. When you’ve drunk your fill, learn more about the town’s industrial heritage and its self-proclaimed status as ‘whisky capital of the world’ at the fascinating CampbeltownMuseum (BurnetBuilding, St John Street).
Walk this way
Surrounded by vast pine forests, heather-covered hills and pristine coastline, Campbeltown offers some of the best walking in the country. Join the long-distance Kintyre Way as it winds through the town en route from Tarbert to Dunaverty Bay, wander uphill from the High Street to reach the Campbeltown standing stone and enjoy huge views over the loch, or take advantage of low tide to follow a shingle causeway out to Davaar Island and discover its 19th-century cave painting of the crucifixion.
It might take less than an hour to travel to Campbeltown from Glasgow Airport, but this secluded part of the world has beaches to rival most long-haul destinations. The soft sands of MachrihanishBay to the west of the town are perfect for swimming and kitesurfing, and you can spot seal, wild goats and rare birds from the nearby wildlife observatory. A short drive to the north, WestportBeach is a 9km stretch of golden sand that attracts sunbathers and surfers as well as golfers keen to enjoy the attractions of Machrihanish Golf Course.