Detailed maps here
Stage 1 Tayinloan to Clachan
15km 9½ miles 175m climb (approx).
Starting from Tayinloan village hall, head north on the road through the village and then turn left to the ferry terminal. From there you have a combination of hard sand, loose pebbles and fields (not bad running at this stage) along the edge of the beach.
Follow the beach for about 2 miles, passing a caravan park on the right, until you reach an old wartime lookout tower. Pass to the right of this tower and follow the fence, keeping on the grassy surface on right-hand side of fence. At the last blue waymarker (at end of fence), looking ahead you will see a milepost (72 miles) at the far side of a stream. Do not head for this milepost. Veer left on to a shingle bank (towards the sea) to find the best place to cross the stream.
After the stream, please stay on the beach rather than the easier running on the grass higher up. Running along the shingle beach is hard, but keep to the top of the beach, just below the cliffs. At the 74-mile post, come up off the beach towards the A83, but then veer left across a small layby on a path through the bushes.
After about 100m you’re onto the beach again for 300m. At the end of the sandy beach, look out for the blue post taking you slightly inland and follow the path meandering through the bushes till you get to the point where you cross the A83.
There may not be a lot of traffic but it passes here at great speed so take care and follow the marshals’ directions.
This takes you along a short stretch of the old road and across a bridge to some houses (Ballochroy on the map). Instead of following the blue posts uphill, turn left and cross the A83 again for another stint along the top of the beach. Please don’t run along the verge as traffic will be coming up behind you. Follow the yellow arrows leading to another crossing of the A83. Rejoin the main Kintyre Way by turning left through a kissing gate and following a small path through the woods with a stone wall on your left.
At a gap in the wall, you come onto a very narrow pavement along the A83. Again, take great care as vehicles often overtake on this stretch. Where the pavement ends, you then have 150m with nothing to protect you from the traffic. Keep on the right until you reach the point where you can cross and get down to the beach again. Marshals will direct you – please obey them!
Now follow a rough stony beach for 200m, then a path through the bushes for 50m, to reach a large layby next to the A83. At the far end of the layby, at the 76-mile post, follow the path alternating between stony beach and scrub to Ronachan car park. Incidentally, Ronachan means the place of the seals and they are often seen around here.
Go along left side of A83 for 50m, then left on a “private” driveway (above photo) till you see a stile on the right leading to a small path, muddy in parts, and across a footbridge. When you get near the large mansion (Ronachan House), do not go up the driveway but turn right on to a small path on the left side of a stream. This path takes you up to the A83 at the lodge house. Turn left on to the pavement alongside the A83 and follow it for about 1 mile to Clachan, turning left into the village and following the arrows leading to the checkpoint at the old church. (see detailed map of Clachan in Final Briefing).
Clachan to Skipness
20km 12½ miles 415 m climb (approx).
From the old church, turn right to the A83. Cross with care and follow the vehicle track uphill for about 100 metres
A left turn takes you onto a narrow path and boardwalk through meadow and then woodland, gradually climbing. In May this woodland is full of bluebells.
Shortly after passing the 79-mile post, you leave the woodland, passing through a gate (below) onto open moorland (with yellow gorse) and then follow the path along the left side of the river valley before rising northwards towards the forests.
After the 80-mile post, cross a stile over a fence, then after 200m, turn right onto the forestry track and continue with Loch Ciaran on your right. Keep straight on at the junction with a well-used timber and wind farm track. About 3/4 mile later, watch out for a sharp right turn. A quick peek behind will reward you with a magnificent view of the Paps of Jura.
After a further 1 mile, you’ll come to a Water Station. Turn left off the forestry track on a small path with a picnic table above Lochan a Chreimh.
The path now zigzags, passing the 83-mile post, then circling Lochan Fraoich, until it emerges from the forest. Take care at the stile here (or climb over the gate). You then cross a boggy patch to reach another stile which may be slippy. About 300m after that stile, the path is crossed at an angle by a quadbike track – ignore that track and continue straight ahead.
The path now leads across open moorland, past the 84 and 85-mile posts, and gradually down to a bridge across Larachmor Burn. The path then goes uphill for a short distance and after the 86-mile post, becomes a forestry track heading down towards the B842 (aka The Long and Winding Way). On this side of the peninsula you get great views across to Arran.
Watching our for traffic, turn left on to the above single-track tarmac road. Run on the right to face the traffic, which may be moving quite fast. At the junction, do not follow the Kintyre Way posts along the road but go straight on along a good track that brings you down beside Skipness Village Hall. Continue north until you see the checkpoint on the beach.
Timing Point, Refreshments and Toilets, Relay changeover.
Skipness to Tarbert
16 km 10 miles 480 m of climb (approx).
From the checkpoint, follow the B842 for a few metres then take a sharp left at the (closed) village store (blue KW sign). Ahead of you is the infamous Col de Skipness.
Begin a steady climb on an obvious track with initially, the Skipness River on the right and thereafter a distinctive sheep fank. Ignore any left turns until the track changes into a grassy footpath after approx 5.5 km. There are a lot of new quadbike tracks for grouse shooting.
Cross a forestry road and continue on the footpath (above) until turning right onto the forestry road just mentioned. (8.5km approx.) It’s pretty well all downhill from here so enjoy the views up Loch Fyne.
Follow the road through the forest, mostly downhill until a marked and marshalled, sharp right turn (13.5 km approx) for the final, way-marked descent into Tarbert.
Watch for the large Millenium Cairn approx 150 m after the turn and keep left downhill.
On passing Tarbert Castle use the two kissing gates to enter and leave the site. If you look ahead across the bay, you can see the marquee at the Finish.
Turn left along Brucehill and follow signs and marshals’ instructions down School Road to the Harbour. Scottish Water are repairing sewers and there will likely be three way traffic lights operating at the junction. Beware of cars and pedestrians when crossing Harbour Street and when following the harbour edge to the finish line at the marina. Marshals will help you.