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Day trip to Kintyre Peninsula from Oban?

We'll be saying in Oban for a few nights, and I am wondering about a trip down to Campbeltown and the Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse. My ancestors left Campbeltown for Rathlin Island in Northern Ireland, which is just across the water from the lighthouse. I'm wondering if a day trip is feasible and if the scenery along the way is worthwhile. Google Maps shows it's about 2 1/4 hours one way, which I know is probably underestimated (103 miles.)

Thanks for any help.

Posted by
2773 posts

If you're going to be as near as Oban anyway, I say it would really make your trip so much more meaningful to visit a place with an important ancestral connection. But, it's a LONG haul from Oban all the way to the Mull of Kintyre lighthouse. The roads are narrow and in many places winding up & down hills/mountains. I have not driven the entire route but have done parts of it, and I agree the 2 1/4 hr estimate is very optimistic. My Google Maps shows 2 hours 6 min just Oban to Campbeltown (87 miles) and I think 3 hours is more realistic for that segment. Then, it's 16.6 miles from Campbeltown to the lighthouse, and that road will be s-l-o-w. Plus, you'll probably want to stop and admire the scenery in some places. Can you manage 2 days instead of trying to fit it all in one day?

What time of year will you be there? Personally I wouldn't want to be driving any part of it in the dark.

If you're nervous about driving and you just want to visit Campbeltown (not the lighthouse -- I don't think any public transportation goes there), you could go by bus, though the timing is such that you might want to stay overnight in Campbeltown to have enough time to experience the place. Google "Oban to Campbeltown bus" It looks like the bus takes a little over 4 hours each way. The bus drivers are intrepid, maneuvering their large vehicles on the small roads, but (given the nature of bus transportation) they have to make frequent stops. The advantages of the bus would include no worries about driving, and the chance to chat with the locals.

Posted by
5563 posts

It's a long drive. I set off to do it from Tarbert and I turned back before I got to it because I was worried about gas. So, gas up. My Google maps shows 2 hours 37 minutes, so if it were me I would assume mimimum 3 hours. You're going to stop and look. So, I think you could do it in a day trip. Just plan on the full day and take your time. I think I got to about Southend.

Posted by
633 posts

Thanks for your replies. They are about what I expected. We will be there in June, about 5 weeks from now so should have good daylight. We have driven in Ireland quite a bit, so know it always takes longer. We can remain open about it and either see how far we get, or if the weather doesn't cooperate, save it for another trip.

Posted by
5563 posts

As I said get gas! I was so frustrated. I should have bought in Campbeltown, but I didn't. Regretting it still!

Posted by
633 posts

I'll definitely remember that! There is so much to see, it's hard to choose!

Posted by
1293 posts

The other thing to consider is it takes 2 1/2 hours to get down, it takes the same to get back.

I would perhaps look at accommodation there if it is something that you want to see.

Posted by
633 posts

Thanks, we have accommodation booked in Oban, and then head to Inverness, so I'll treat the potential trip as a maybe. I appreciate the insight of your responses.