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Walk Islay 10th - 15th April 2016
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Walk Islay 10th - 15th April 2016


Sunday 10th April

The Oa – Loch Kinnabus

Meet: 10.15am
Park: Upper Killeyan RSPB carpark NR282423
Walk Leader: David Wood
Level: Moderate and strenuous in places with some steep climbs and boggy ground.
Distance: 6-7 miles
Bus: No
What to bring: Packed lunch and suitable footwear/clothing

This morning we meet up with David Wood for a walk around the Oa RSPB reserve. We will meet at the RSPB car park at 10.15am to set off at 10.30am. We will head round to Kinnabus Loch looking out for Golden Eagles and Chough as we go. We circuit the east of Loch Kinnabus to the ruins at Asabus before taking in the smaller lochs of Loch Ard Achadh and Loch nan Gillean. We then tramp across the heather to the road. At this point walkers can choose to head back along the road to the carpark or continue along the farm track to Giol and down to Lower Killeyan beach before heading back to the carpark. Bring your lunch for a wee picnic with a Loch View along the way. The walk should take approximately 5-6 hours.

Monday 11th April

Loch Sibhinn and the head of Loch Indaal

Meet: 10.30am
Park: Bridgend Woods Carpark
Walk Leader: Islay Estates
Level: Moderate over a long distance
Distance: Approx 10 miles
Bus: Yes arrives from Port Ellen and Port Portnahaven each at 10.11am
What to bring: Refreshments, Suitable footwear/clothing

Islay Estates are leading our walk today from Bridgend Woods Carpark. Setting of from the woods we heading up to Loch Sibhinn from where we walk to Lagstoban and onto Eresaid before making our way down the Grey River to the road. We will head back to Bridgend along the shore of Loch Indaal. This is a moderate walk over a long distance.

Tuesday 12th April

Option 1 – The Laggan

Meet: 10.30am
Park: Bowmore Playing fields (head to Bowmore High School and drive past it with the Hydro Electrical Shop on left and school buildings on right, veer to left into parking area adjacent to football pitches.)
Walk Leader: David Wood
Level: Moderate
Distance: 8 miles
Bus: Yes to Bowmore
What to bring: Refreshments, Suitable footwear/clothing

Today’s walk will be held on the Laggan Estate. We will meet at Bowmore Playing Fields where we will organise shared transport up to Red Lodge on the high road. From here we will take the Curlach road which follows the route of the Laggan River down to the low road. We continue our route down to the shore of Loch Indaal where we'll head out to Laggan Point before turning northwards up to Gartbreck, the site of one of Islay's planned new distilleries. From here we head back to Bowmore.

Option 2 The Oa

Meet: 10.00am
Park: Upper Killeyan RSPB carpark NR282423
Walk Leader: RSPB Staff
Level: Moderate
Distance: 2 miles
Bus: No
What to bring: Refreshments, Suitable footwear/clothing

RSPB staff will lead a walk around the cliffs to the American Monument, with breath taking views over to Northern and the Republic of Ireland. This walk will take 3 hours to complete with birdwatching along the way.

Wednesday 13th April

Option 1 Colonsay

Meet: 9.20am for 10.05am Ferry
Park: Ferry Users Carpark, Port Askaig
Walk Leader: Izzy Baker & James How, RSPB
Level: Moderate
Distance: 6-7 miles
Bus: Yes. Bus arrives at 9.16 from Port Ellen and Portnahaven connecting in Bridgend to catch ferry but there is no late bus to collect from ferry.
What to bring: Lunch, suitable footwear/clothing, money for ferry ticket £13.00 (breakfast and dinner can be purchase on board the ferry)

Today is Colonsay day for those that fancy a trip on the ferry. We meet up at Port Askaig at 9.20am sharp with James How to catch the 10.05 ferry over to Colonsay. We arrive on Colonsay at 11.15 and head to Kiloran Bay. From here we will walk to Balnahard where we hope to have good sightings of Golden Eagle along with some spectacular beach and sea vistas. We shall be using shared vehicles to save you doing some of the road work between the village and Kiloran Bay. On our return to Scalasciag there may be time for refreshment before joining the ferry back which departs at 18.15. We should return to Islay around 7.30pm.

Option 2 Three Distilleries Pathway

Meet: 10.30am
Park: Opposite the Ramsey Hall, Port Ellen
Walk Leader: Pat McGrann
Level: Easy
Distance: 3-4 miles
Bus Bus arrives at 10.09am
What to bring: Suitable footwear/clothing/money for lunch at Ardbeg or a pack up

Walkers enjoyed Islay’s new Three Distilleries Pathway last year that we are repeating the walk again. Walking from Port Ellen on a purpose built accessible pathway we will pass the distilleries of Laphroaig, Laguvulin and end up at Ardbeg for lunch £7 a head soup and sandwich. We hope to take a few detours along the way to view points of interest. For those that would like to take the bus back to Port Ellen, this leaves Ardbeg at 2.13pm.

Thursday 14th April

Option 1 – Killinallan

Meet: 10.00am
Park: Locked Gate on track to Killinallan (NR304708)
Walk Leader: Islay Natural History Trust
Level: Moderate – can be strenuous in places if sand is soft.
Distance: 7-8 miles
Bus: No
What to bring: Lunch, Suitable footwear/clothing

From the starting point at Killanallan gate we will follow the coast line out to Killinallan Point and follow the shore line and dunes out along Traigh Baile Aonghais and then head inland to Gortantoid. We return to our cars along the track past Killinallan. This is a circular walk taking approximately 4-5 hours of moderate walking with potential for some soft sand along the way.

Option 2 – RSPB Loch Gruinart Reserve

Meet: 10.00am
Park: RSPB Loch Gruinart Visitor Centre
Walk Leader: RSPB Staff
Level: Moderate & Easy
Distance: 3.5 miles
Bus: No
What to bring: Refreshments, Suitable footwear/clothing

On leaving the visitors centre we head out onto the moorland and head North and return to the road beside Moulin, from there we walk along the road to Gruinart farm and then down through the fields and back along the sea wall and return alongside one of the “corncrake corridors”. A moderate walk, 3.5 miles long, about 2.5 hours allowing for bird watching en route. An alternative shorter walk will also be led by RSPB staff down to the hide, returning through the woodland trail along tracks and paths, about 2 miles and 2 hours to allow for birding en route. Both these walks will start at 10am prompt.

Friday 15th April


Meet: 9.20am for 9.30am ferry
Park: Port Askaig
Walk Leader: Donald Ewen Darroch
Level: Challenging and Strenuous
Distance: Approx 4 miles
Bus: Yes. Bus arrives into Port Askaig at 9.16am
What to bring: Refreshments, Suitable footwear/clothing, Ferry Fare £3.40rtn

Beinn an Oir – one of the Pap’s of Jura is a first for Walk Islay. In the past Beinn an Chaolis has been a popular challenge for our fitter walkers and we thought it was time to take on a new Pap! We will take the ferry from Port Askaig over to Feolin on Jura where we will take 4x4’s to the foot of the Paps. We will then have a two hour walk up and two hour down. Whilst the views will be breath taking, so will the walking, which will be very steep and strenuous over scree, rocks and moorland. This walk should only be attempted by very fit and capable participants. BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL and only 12 spaces are available for this walk. Please email footsteps@walkislay.co.uk to book.

Option 2 Beinn Tart a Mhill

Meet: 10.45am
Park: Opposite Youth Hostel on site of old distillery
Walk Leader: Paul Graham
Level: Moderate
Distance: Approx 6 miles
Bus: Yes. Arrives at 10.40am
What to bring: Refreshments, Suitable footwear/clothing

Today’s very scenic walk will start in Port Charlotte where we will walk up the Kilchiaran road, then head south over the moor road towards Beinn Tart a Mhill. We should have good views across to Ireland and hope to spot Golden Eagles. We will descend down the hill at Kelsay where we join the road at Octofad to catch the bus at 16.26. This will be a moderate walk with some climbs over about 6 miles.

Live Music

Sunday and Wednesday evening at the Port Charlotte Hotel


Booking is only required for Friday’s walk Option 1 – Beinn an Oir as it is limited to 12 places.

It is not vital to book other walks however we would appreciate a quick email to tell us you are interested in attending any of our walks to footsteps@walkislay.co.uk or post your interest on our facebook site https://www.facebook.com/WalkIslay/?ref=hl

Fees and advice

A fee of £4 will be charged for each walk. The cost of a return foot passenger to Jura is £3.40 and to Colonsay £13.00

Bus timetable can be viewed here http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/sites/default/files/btt196-450-451.pdf note school holiday timetable should be used.

Refreshments as well as suitable footwear and clothing are strongly recommended. We request that smoking is permitted only at the discretion of the walk leader and kindly ask you not to bring your dog due to the presence of livestock with young across the islands. We have tried to grade the walks as easy, moderate, challenging and strenuous.

Contact Details

If you require further information on Walk Islay, please email Bonnie Wood footsteps@walkislay.co.uk or visit our website www.walkislay.co.uk or our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WalkIslay/?ref=hl
Contact Information
E: footsteps@walkislay.co.uk
W: www.walkislay.co.uk
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