Walk Information Gortantaoid
Type: Beach and Pasture
Terrain: Sand, grass, heather, gravel
Distance/Time: 6.5 Miles, 2-4 hours
Grade: Easy to Moderate
Wildlife: Seals/Waders/Geese in winter/Song Birds
Where: View area on map
Buy Map: Islay North Explorer Map
Directions: From Bridgend drive towards Bruichladdich and follow the signs from the main road after Black Rock for Loch Gruinart Nature Reserve. As you reach the Gruinart Flats follow the sign towards Killinallan (right) which will take you along the eastern shore of Loch Gruinart. Follow the single track road all the way to the end until you reach a gate which is usually closed. Just before the gate you can park your car on the left.
Start: There are two options to complete this circular walk in a stunningly beautiful and remote part of the island. The most logical is to start your walk by heading to Killinallan Point first but you can also walk it the other way round, depending on the time of day, wind etc. Cross the gate where you've parked your car and follow the main track for about 100 metres until you see the arrow on the rock pointing left. Walk towards the shore and cross the gate. Now you can enter the beach and head right. Keep following the beach or dunes until you reach the headland in the distance. Keep walking over the beach, go right after the headland, and cross a wee burn after a mile or so on the beach. When you almost reach the end of the beach and see Gortantaoid River, go right up the hill over the dunes on a slightly visible track keeping the river to your left. You can see the ruined buildings of Gortantaoid in the distance. When you see Gortantaoid a few hundred metres before you, which is an old deserted farm, head right over the gravel track and keep on walking, crossing a few gates, until you pass Killinallan Farm, also deserted, and finally end up at the gate where you started from.
Secluded beach area near Gortantaoid - Detour option
Detour option: If you are at Gortantoid and want to walk some more you can continue heading north-east over a smaller track across the heather until you reach the Doodilmore River. Watch our for Orchids as you walk along the track. Cross the river and walk down over a faint track next to the river to get access to a beautiful and very secluded and hidden shingle beach. This adds around two miles to your walk. The real enthusiasts can continue heading north-east towards Rhuvaal and follow the Sound of Islay to the south to get to Bunnahabhain! This adds another 7 miles to your walk, 14 if you return back here!
Views from Killinallan Farm Track