Type: Beach Walk
Terrain: Sand and Dunes
Distance/Time: 2 1/2 Miles, 2-3 hours
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 while you pass Craigens Farm, where you can buy fresh oysters. 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: Cross the gate 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 next gate. Now you can enter the beach and head right. The first part of the beach is quite rocky with a lot of tidal pools, and later on you end up on a beautiful sandy beach. Keep following the beach until you reach the high dunes in the distance, they also belong to Killinallan Point. In the autumn the dunes are a great observation point where you can see the arrival of thousands of Barnacle Geese from Iceland.
As you walk along the beach notice the huge variety of colours in Loch Gruinart as well as the many wildlife. Gulls, Oystercatchers and other waders are visible, especially at low tide, and usually you can spot seals on the sand bank in the middle of the loch. Towards the end of the walk the sand gets very soft which makes the walking a bit harder but the views from Killinallan Point are stunning. You can see Ardnave Point on the other side of the Loch. If you keep walking over the beach, right after the headland, you see a few miles of beach backed by the hills of north Islay.
If you make this walk with younger children or when you aren't up to a long(er) walk of 6.5 miles, you can head back over the same beach as you arrived. If you're into a longer walk you can follow the beach heading east and head for Gortantaoid. See this walk for more info
Dunes at Killinallan Point