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Discover unspoilt beaches, get close to nature or learn more about Kintyre’s rich history. It’s all within easy reach when you make Machrihanish Holiday Park your base for your Argyll holiday.

We’ve picked out a few of our favourite sights for you to enjoy.

Machrihanish Bay

Machrihanish’s award-winning beach is just a 10-minute stroll away – turn right at the gate and follow the road until you see the sign at the entrance.

This 3-mile stretch of soft, golden sand is backed by low, grassy dunes – a haven for wildlife. As well as a variety of birds, it’s not unusual to spot seals and the occasional shy otter. The beach is quiet and offers lovely views across to the islands of Jura and Islay.

On a clear day, you might even see the Irish coast – only 12 miles away. The top end of the beach (towards Westport Beach) is popular with surfers. 

The Gauldrons

Continue along the road past the entrance to Machrihanish Bay and you will arrive at The Gauldrons, a dramatic beach of rocks, shingle and sand backed by cliffs.

The Gaelic name for The Gauldrons translates as Bay of Storms and this stunningly picturesque spot has been depicted in famous paintings and poems through the years. The views across the Atlantic are incredible on a clear day, with Northern Island visible, as well as Rathlin Island.

Look out for an abundance of wildlife including a colony of seals and many varieties of seabirds. For more info, click here.

Westport Beach

Arrive at Westport Beach on a sunny day and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d taken a detour to the Caribbean. Stretching over 6 miles, Westport Beach is one of Argyll’s most beautiful bays.

The beach boasts the Machrihanish Dunes as its backdrop, a Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the biggest sand dune area in the region. Westport is popular with surfers and dog walkers, but you’ll have plenty of space if you simply want to relax and enjoy a picnic.

Daavar Island

Take a trip to nearby Campbeltown and walk the natural shingle causeway to Davaar Island, a sea island in the mouth of Campbeltown Loch. Enjoy exceptional views of the town and over to Arran and the Ailsa Craig.

There are a number of sea caves to explore, including one with a life-size painting of the Crucifixion, painted in secret by a local art teacher in 1887.

Also worth a visit is Davaar Lighthouse, completed by David and Thomas Stevenson in 1854. Safe crossing times are generally 3 hours either side of the low tide but make sure you check times before setting off.

Dunaverty Bay and the Keil Caves

This beautiful sandy beach lies just outside the village of Southend. The peaceful bay curves round to Dunaverty Point where there is a stone boathouse and an old lifeboat station.

Continue along the coast road away from Southend for a mile or so and you will arrive at Keil Point, where you can visit the Keil Caves and an unusual series of attractions thought to be associated with ancient ‘king-making’ ceremonies - St Columba’s Footprints, St Columba’s Well and St Columba’s Chapel.

Mull of Kintyre

Make the trip to the Mull of Kintyre and you’ll soon see why Paul McCartney penned the lyric: ‘My desire is always to be here. Oh, Mull of Kintyre.’

The views from Kintyre’s southwestern headland are breathtaking on a clear day …or when the famous mist rolls in. Hike to the lighthouse, one of the oldest in Scotland, to take in stunning vistas across to Ireland as well as along the coast.

This is a fairly challenging route and you need to drive on a single track road to reach the starting point, so make sure you plan ahead. More info here.

Saddell Bay

This picturesque beach was the setting for the Paul McCartney and Wings video Mull of Kintyre, which features the local Campbeltown Pipe Band marching along the sand.

The bay stretches along the sheltered eastern coast of the peninisula, looking out over the Kilbrannan sounds to the isle of Arran. Look out to the far end of the bay and you’ll see ‘Grip’, a life-sized cast iron sculpture by world renowned artist Anthony Gormley, which now has a permanent home out on the rocks.


The tiny island of Gigha makes a wonderful day trip that all the family will love. Discover secluded sandy bays, the lush and beautiful Achamore Gardens, and explore the quiet roads by foot or bicycle. Don’t miss The Boathouse, a fantastic shorefront restaurant which serves the finest seafood, much of it landed on the doorstep – booking is strongly advised! You can reach Gigha in just 20 minutes via the ferry from Tayinloan, which is just a half hour drive from the holiday park. For bookings and timetable, visit the Calmac website.

Saddell Castle

Overlooking the bay at the mouth of a small river is Saddell Castle, an imposing 16th-century Scottish tower house built by the Bishop of Argyll. The castle isn’t open to the public but visitors are welcome to walk around the estate and shore.

Saddell Abbey

Also on the estate are the ruins of Saddell Abbey, which dates back to 1148 and played an important role in the battle for Scotland’s independence from the Vikings.

Although not much remains of the abbey’s main structure, this is an atmospheric place to visit and is home to a remarkably well preserved collection of late medieval grave stones and effigies.

The Kintyre Way

This long-distance waymarked walking route stretches the entire length of the Kintyre Peninsula, from Tarbert to right here in Machrihanish. It covers 100 miles (161 km) over 7 sections ranging from 9 miles to 20 miles (14 km to 32 km). If you like a more challenging walk, it’s the perfect way to explore the peninsula. Discover hidden coves, deserted beaches, tiny fishing villages and amazing views out to sea. Plan your route and find out more here.


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