Staycations: Hit the road on Scotland' newest driving route - the K66

It is warmed by the Gulf Stream, blessed with fantastic numbers of daylight hours –and soon to be traversed by Scotland’s newest driving route, The Kintyre 66.

Westport Beach on the west coast of Kintyre is a magnet for watersports fans and is one of the highlights of a trip to the peninsula. PIC: Contributed.
Westport Beach on the west coast of Kintyre is a magnet for watersports fans and is one of the highlights of a trip to the peninsula. PIC: Contributed.

The Kintyre peninsula in Argyll, the narrow ‘finger’ that points down towards Northern Ireland and made forever famous by Sir Paul McCartney is being hailed as the ultimate staycation destination this summer as we ease our way out of lockdown.

To help it on its way, the ‘K66’ has been designed by tourism leaders and businesses keen to draw people into this unspoilt peninsula.

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Kintyre is on a road to nowhere – you only go if this is your final destination – and work is now underway to boost its profile as an attractive getaway in its own right.

The island of Gigha - a short ferry ride from the peninsula - is another key stop on the new K66 driving route.

The 66-mile loop around Kintyre takes in the A83 and B842 public roads with six spurs offering a deeper venture, including an added bonus of a ferry trip from Tayinloan to the community-owned island of Gigha, famous for its white sands and tropical gardens.

The island is one of six area’s promoted on the K66 along with Southend & Machrihanish, Campbeltown, East Kintyre, West Kintyre, and Tarbert.

A spokesman for K66 said: The coming weeks will see the launch of the Kintyre 66 (K66) route; a new 66-mile loop around the

scenic region.

"The circular route is designed to let visitors to the area take their time, relax, and explore all areas of Kintyre and hop over to Gigha.

"The road takes in the west and east coast of the peninsula all the way from the top at Kennacraig to the bottom at Campbeltown, and is the perfect place to explore on bike, on foot or by car.”

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A downloadable visitors guide will be launched later this month “with the aim of driving tourists to the area and hopefully a successful tourism season in 2021,” the spokesman added.

The Kintyre peninsula sits between Islay to the west and Arran to the east with clear views offered of both on good days. The tip is only around 12 miles from County Antrim in Northern Ireland.

The road loops round both sides of the peninsula from Kennacraig in the north to Campbeltown right in the south.

Organisers of K66 said the route was being opened up and promoted just in time for post-lockdown trips.

A spokesman said: "Swept by the warm Gulf Stream, it is one the sunniest and driest areas on the west coast of mainland Britain, especially in May and June – the perfect staycation getaway this year.

"Its location means you can enjoy beautiful sea views from most parts of the land, as well as views of the beautiful islands of Gigha, Islay and Jura to the west and Arran to the east. On a clear day you can even see across to Northern Ireland.”

Kintyre is home to six golf courses with the west coast a magnet for watersports fans with Westport Beach stretching for six miles to Machrihanish, where the Atlantic breakers draw surfers and windsurfers all years round.

For whisky and castle fans, Springbank and Glen Scotia in Campbeltown should wet the whistle, while

Saddell Castle, a 16th-century Macdonald pile on the shore of the Kilbrannan Sound will no doubt be a rewarding stop off.

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