Discovery Walks

Find Your AdventureThe Magic of Knapdale - 11th August 2021

The Magic of Knapdale - 11th August 2021

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Duration:
Full Day
Intended Level:
Full Day
Walk Grade:
Full Day
Group Size:
2-8
In Stock:
Places Remaining:
8
This activity is sold out online, but please call us directly to check late availability.
Date:
August 11, 2021
Start Time:
9:35 am
Summary
A guided full day experience exploring Knapdale. Discover the old settlement of Kilmory Oib, the tranquility of the Faery Isles at low tide, the lovely Lochs Coille-Bharr, Barnluasgan and Dubh Loch - a network of waterways now home to beaver and their dams - and enjoy the lovely view over Moine Mhor and the River Add.
Suitability
The walk is mainly on forestry tracks and paths with some steep, uneven sections through the woodland. We also visit a tidal area which can be quite damp and muddy; this walk is scheduled to tie in with low tide to allow for the opportunity to visit an Island. A reasonable level of fitness is required for a full day on foot.
Highlights
  • Visit ancient Atlantic oak woodlands in this special area of conservation
  • Enjoy fabulous views over the Moine Mhor National Nature Reserve, Crinan Canal and River Add
  • Discover old settlements of a bygone era
  • Find peace and tranquility in the magical landscape of the Faery Isles
  • See how Argyll’s beavers create their own ecosystem; see their handiwork firsthand
  • Enjoy lochside walks with beautiful views
  • Learn about the plants, wildlife and geography that thrive here
Booking Terms

Booking is essential to ensure we can send you your booking details and required event information. For late availability please contact us on 07899765240. This experience requires a minimum of 2 people.

Walk Grades

Grade 1 - Easy

Relaxed walks on mainly flat or graded paths and tracks within easy access of a road/parking with little or no steep ground. These walks are designed to take in a specific tourist site or experience - perhaps to visit a ruined Scottish castle, wildlife centre or ancient carved stones - and are suitable for a wide range of abilities, typically never more than 3 miles or 2 hours of walking.

Grade 2 - Leisurely

Leisurely walking on paths and tracks with occasional steep or uneven sections or steps. Designed to offer an immersive and relaxing experience connecting with nature and the outdoors these walks help promote wellbeing and may include walks around lochs, along beaches, through woodland and glens, to visit a specific historic or geological site, to learn about foraging for wild plants or to reach viewpoint. These are suitable for a wide range of abilities and are typically 3 to 6 miles with up to 5 hours of walking and 300m of ascent and descent.

Grade 3 - Moderate

Expect a full day of walking using a mixture of paths, tracks and over mixed terrain. There are likely to be some steep or uneven sections or steps. These walks are suited to those used to being active and may include easier hill summits, coastal walks, sections of long distance trails such as the Kintyre Way, visiting sites off the beaten track and sunset walks. Walks are typically 6 to 8 miles with 4 to 6 hours of walking and no more than 600m of ascent and descent.

Grade 4 - Hard

An active day of walking using a mixture of paths, tracks and over mixed terrain which is likely to have steep rough sections. These walks are suited to those used to being active and may include hill summits, coastal sections with a lot of ascent and descent, remoter areas, longer sections of trails such as the Kintyre Way, visiting sites off the beaten track, trig point hunters and Wainwright baggers. Walks are typically 7 to 12 miles with 5 to 8 hours of walking and up to 800m of ascent and descent.

Grade 5 - Challenging

A full day of walking over varied ground, which may incorporate a mixture of tracks and paths but is likely to include rugged steep pathless terrain, requiring advanced skills, good fitness and stamina. Walks at this level are usually either long distance, which may or may not incorporate good paths, or in remote and mountainous areas. Typical walks include the easier Munros and Corbetts, the higher Lakeland and Welsh fells, challenges such as the Yorkshire Three Peaks and long distance backpacks such as the Coast to Coast or Pennine Way. Distances vary but are typically 10-25 miles with ascents of up to 1600m. A full days walking may take anything from 6 to12 hours.

Grade 6 - Severe

A full day of walking over varied ground, which may incorporate a mixture of tracks and paths, rugged steep and rough pathless terrain, exposed ridges and non-technical scrambles requiring advanced skills, good fitness and stamina. Walks at this level are usually either long distance, which may or may not incorporate good paths, or in remote and mountainous areas. Typical walks include the harder or more remote Munros and Corbetts, routes such as Striding Edge in the Lake District, high level or remote long distance backpacks or ultra long distance events. Distances vary but are often over 15 miles with ascents often exceeding 1000m. An example is the Patterdale Round which takes in 17 Wainwrights, is 30 miles and has over 3000m of ascent. A full days walking may take anything from 8 to16 or more hours.

Heather's Highlight

There is so much to see on this walk that it is hard to choose. But I love the Faery Isles and the magical sense of peace and tranquility found there. It is a beautiful spot that connects you with nature and the creatures that live there in a way that calms the senses and leaves you feeling balanced.  

Detailed Description

This delightful walk is food for the soul with intriguing history, beautiful landscapes and a wonderful array of plants and wildlife.

The area is famed for its beavers, first released here in 2009, whose amazing dam work and evidence of activity can be clearly seen. Rarely observed by day these illusive creatures are crepuscular meaning they are most active as the light fades or before returning to their lodges at dawn. Additionally, the area’s woodlands and incredible geology – its knobbly ridges (knaps), dales and flooded valleys that create the fresh and saltwater lochs – are rich with wildlife, mosses, lichens and wildflowers, its folded and scoured rocks evidence of the fierce forces that created the landscape we see today.

The remains of the small settlement of Kilmory Oib and the Old Mill remind us that crofters and millers once lived here before the clearances of 1848, whereas the old cross with its double transom dates back even further, to around the 8th or 9th Century.

The area is as beautiful in winter light as it is on a balmy summer’s day.

What's Included:
All guided walks include the following:
  • Your friendly qualified guide for the duration of your walk
  • Group Safety Equipment
  • Emergency First Aid Kit
  • Walk joining information
  • Kit List
  • Friendly advice
Specific to this walk:
Guided circular walk Option to visit the Argyll Beaver & Wildlife Centre A chance to learn more about this fascinating area including its geology, history, animals and plants Kit list
Itinerary
  1. Fully guided walk from Barluasgan car park starting at 9.35am.
  2. After a gentle start we climb up through ancient Atlantic oak woods before dropping down to the head of Loch Barnluasgan.
  3. The route now follows an easy track up to a fabulous viewpoint overlooking the Moine Mhor National Nature Reserve.
  4. Returning down the track we call in at the Argyll Beaver Centre before continuing past Loch Barnluasgan towards Loch Coille-Bharr.
  5. We will visit the remains of Kilmory Oib and the Old Mill situated at Loch Coille-Bharr’s outflow.
  6. Our journey continues south to the lovely vista of the Faery Isles, a place to reflect and enjoy the tranquility.
  7. Finally, our route meanders up the east side of Loch Coille-Bharr, where we will see substantial evidence of the beavers’ work.
  8. We arrive back at the car park late afternoon.
Additional Information:
Children friendly

Yes. Please see the activity description for the skill level and walk grade. We recommend you contact us to ensure the level is appropriate or if your child is under 12 years old. All children under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult (see terms)

Dog friendly

Yes, we welcome well behaved dogs on the majority of our walks (and you may well meet our trusty team member and Collie, Rowan).

Historic Environment Scotland are now allowing dogs on the sites we visit, as long as they are kept on a short lead and in line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (last updated by HES, March 2021).

Make this a private booking

All our activities can be booked for private groups as bespoke experiences.

Prices and terms & conditions for bespoke experiences apply.

Women only option

All our activities can be booked for women only groups either as bespoke experiences or where advertised.

Additional information:

Barnluasgan car park is in North Knapdale, 7 miles from Lochgilphead.

To reach the car park from Lochgilphead head north from the A83 roundabout on the A816 for 2 miles, turn left onto the B841 towards Crinan, follow the road by the canal for 3 miles then bear left onto the Tayvallich road (B8025). After 1 mile turn left at the memorial cross onto the Achnamara road, the car park is just ahead on your left.

From the north it is easily approached via the B8025 which veers right off the A816 just south of Kilmartin and follows a direct line to Bellanoch where it crosses the canal. Turn right, then take the Tayvallich turn left onto the B841 just ahead. Continue as above.

Parts of this walk may be suited as a bespoke experience for those with an all-terrain wheelchair. Please contact us for more details.

Toilets can be found at the Visitor Centre (during summer opening hours).

Public Transport: Bus 425, 426 (stop at Barnluasgan, near memorial - the car park is 50m down the left road fork on your left). Bus 426 from Lochgilphead arrives at approx. 09.31am. Return buses run from 16.38 to 18.11pm. If you wish to travel by bus please check with West Coast Motors for up-to-date timetables and services.

Please bring a packed lunch, plenty to drink and wear attire suited to a full day's walk come rain or shine (we will send you our kit list). The wee midgies may be about so we do recommend bringing insect repellent (Smidge works quite well).

Price:
£ 45.00 GBP

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