We love the Kintyre Peninsula, the long narrow strip of land that runs from Tarbert in the north to the Mull of Kintyre in the south, pointing down towards northern Ireland. It’s super easy for us to get to. We just hop on the ferry from Portavadie to Tarbert (30 minutes) and we’re there! But it always feels like we’re on holiday when we head that way - the landscape and the views are totally different from Cowal.
It’s a great place to spend a few days. It feels off the beaten track. It isn't a place you pass through on your way to somewhere else, you really only go there if it is your destination. There are amazing beaches, walks, cycling, history, plus lots of places to eat and drink. And as an added bonus, Kintyre has possibly the biggest concentration of places that serve up our coffee! And here they are:
Lulabelles of Tarbert
Lulabelles is a great place to start your Kintyre coffee adventure. Cathy has created such a beautiful place to eat and drink in Tarbert. Feast on tasting platters, open sandwiches and street food, all featuring loads of local produce. Cathy and her team serve up our Clyde Steamer on espresso. Work up an appetite with a stroll around the harbour and up to Tarbert Castle.
From Tarbert, you’re heading down the west coast of the peninsula towards Campbeltown. The road hugs the coastline and there are huge sandy beaches with waves crashing in from the Atlantic. There’s a big surf scene, especially at Westport beach. Glenbarr Stores & Cafe is about 25 miles down the road from Tarbert. The cafe serves up really excellent food alongside our coffee, and there’s a lovely outdoor area to sit and enjoy the sunshine. There’s also a small shop where you can also pick up bags of our coffee.
Machrihanish Golf Club
We’re not golfers, but my goodness we love visiting this place! The new refurbished Machrihanish Golf Clubhouse is STUNNING. The restaurant and bar overlooks the world-famous golf course and the beautiful sandy Machrihanish Bay. Enjoy your coffee with a view. It is for members and visitors only though, so you might need to book a round of golf!
Linda was one of our very first wholesale customers when she opened up the Kintyre Larder in its original premises. She’s now moved to a much bigger shop on the high street and does a roaring trade. This place is amazing! It is chock full of locally sourced products and deli items, plus there’s a brilliant takeaway counter piled high with yummy treats. Whenever we visit it is always buzzing with locals and visitors. You can grab a takeaway coffee (made using a rather lovely Conti espresso machine) and also stock up on retail bags. Campbeltown is a fab town to explore.
Just along the road is Kintyre Weigh, a packaging-free shop where you can take along your refill jar and get it filled up with beans.
You’re now heading back up the east coast - an equally scenic drive looking out over the water to Arran. Your first stop is Beinn an Tuirc Distillers to see Emma and Niall who will ply you with gin and great coffee. They have a gin school, cafe and beautiful grounds to walk in. It’s worth taking a walk to Saddell Bay, the filming location for Paul McCartneys ‘Mull of Kintyre’ video. Standing looking out to sea is the Anthony Gormley figure ‘Grip’.
Further on at Carradale is the lovely Blackbird Tearoom. The baking here is insanely good, especially when served with our coffee! The breakfasts are super delicious too. Carradale Bay is massive sandy beach that’s brilliant for swimming on a sunny day.
Ashbank Hotel in Carradale is a cute B&B that serves up our Argyll’s Secret Roast with breakfast.
Then you can loop back up to join the road back to Tarbert, well and truly caffeinated!