An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

55.425186, -5.542561
Distance: 7.4 km
Difficulty: 2 (4 for caves)
Method: Walking
Wow Factor: 7 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Off Kintyre Peninsula, east of Campbeltown
  • Size: 52 hectares
  • Terrain: Shingle causeway, animal tracks and pebbly foreshore to the caves
  • Access: Tidal causeway
  • Height gain: 437 metres
  • Map: OS Explorer 356
  • Starting point: Layby near Doirlinn; Lat/Long 55.416922, -5.563910; GR NR 74535 19447
  • Accommodation/food:

    Two self-catering cottages on Davaar, see https://kintyrecottages.com/davaar-island/. Full range of accommodation and food in nearby Campeltown.

  • Island Summary:

    Davaar Island is located in Argyll and Bute just off the east coast of the Kintyre Peninsula where its lofty bulk sits at the head of the loch that protects Campletown.
    It is farmed, with bracken and grass on its wild summit. The lighthouse, at its northern tip, is permanently occupied by a caretaker. The other buildings of the lighthouse are used as holiday lets. The only other inhabitants are sheep, wild goats and mink. The northern tip is a good spot to see basking sharks, dolphins and whales on calmer summer days. The causeway is also a great place to watch the gannets that travel from the large colony on Ailsa Craig as they swoop and dive for their prey.

  • Look out for:
    • Gannets from Ailsa Craig
    • Spot whales, dolphins and sharks off northern tip
    • Incredible cave painting of the crucifiction
    • Explore numerous sea caves
  • Route description:

    A free-range clockwise walk around a rugged island that starts with a thirty minute tidal crossing of a sand and pebble causeway, the Doirlinn. There is a steep ascent above the lighthouse to the precipitous east coast. The views from here are stunning and span northeast to the Isle of Arran and southeast to Ailsa Craig with the Ayrshire coast beyond. A further climb to the trig point reveals fabulous views west of Campletown and its busy harbour before a descent and a rough foreshore walk across the rounded cobbles and boulders to explore several sea caves.

  • Getting there:

    Take the minor road to the east of Campbeltown after CalMac’s Ardrossen ferry terminal for 3 km to the parking layby for the island.

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