(scroll to the bottom of the page for map links to Kilmaglash, Strachur)
7.74 miles | 12.46 kilometers | Lochside Roads | Few Hills
The route from Kilmorie to Strachur is very straightforward. Starting from the roadside at Kilmorie, it’s a simple case of following the B8000 and A886 all the way up to Strachur, then turning right onto the A815 briefly, and left again into the Clachan of Strachur where Kilmaglash Church can be found. The roads are usually pretty quiet, making it perfect for cycling. For pilgrims travelling on foot, there’s the option to head up to Kilbride (following our Kilmorie – Kilbride Loop guide) and opening the loop out to come back down to the road near Strathlachlan Church. The link to the interactive map (above) assumes you’re starting from Kilbride). There’s also a pleasant option, diverting from the B8000, to walk through the beautiful wee village of Newton. It only adds a little extra time and provides excellent views over Loch Fyne.
If you’re walking the North West Cowal Pilgrimage, then you’ll have arrived at Kilmorie from Kilmodan. You can either complete the loop to Kilbride and back again, open the loop out to join the B8000 near Strathlachlan Church, or simply skip the loop and head straight to Strachur from Kilmorie. The Kilmorie – Kilbride Loop is well worth doing, but it will require hiking poles (and is probably best avoided in the height of summer, as the fern growth masks the chapel footings). The choice, of course, is yours! This guide will assume you’re starting from Kilmorie, and will indulge in the detour through Newton.
Stage 1: Kilmorie to Leachd
Leave Kilmorie by the main gate and turn left up the road. There are turn-offs on the left for Castle Lachlan and for Strathlachlan Caravan Park, as well as the turn for Garbhallt further up on the right; but all these can be ignored. As you pass Strathlachlan Church, don’t forget to peek in the window at ///skim.dote.pizza to see the remaining fragment of the cross that would have adorned the top of the hexagonal column in Kimorie Churchyard. Shortly after this is a junction, near ///fiction.existence.universal, which is where you would be joining this route if you’d come down from Kilbride.
Continue ahead and you’ll pass Garbhallt village (on your left from ///videos.correct.gifted) and, soon after that, Strathlachlan Community Centre on your right. The road climbs gently from here, passing another wee settlement, marked by a red telephone box on the right, near ///voter.starters.screen. There follows a fair stretch of walking the B8000 road northeast until, eventually, you reach a junction near ///belt.acquaint.heartache.
Carry on straight ahead at this junction (keeping left) and the long, straight road starts to descend gently. There’s a gravel road branching off to the left, near ///remembers.described.mops: cyclists just ignore this and press on ahead; walkers, however, can turn left and follow this road down to ///completed.agrees.huddle. Turn right here, weaving around the farm buildings. The track bends left at ///coiling.edgy.importing, then swings to the right, past some holiday homes, at ///hammocks.deputy.bucks. Keep following the track as it descends gently and the gravel gives way to mud, before it bends left once again, near ///processor.sulky.ferrying, and leads you to a gate at ///someone.cross.jousting.
This gate looks like it blocks access to private property, but fear not, you do have a right of way here. Please do make sure to close it behind you though, then head straight on down to where the blue boat is, near ///dramatic.replayed.caged. Beyond this there’s a muddy, overgrown trail, which leads down from ///firebird.worldwide.gardens to a pedestrian gate at ///nightfall.enhanced.scavenger.
The trail continues downhill from this gate, following rivulet down through ///painter.grownup.finalists. This section can be overgrown and slippy, but it quickly leads to a clearer path, turning right from ///eager.motoring.caveman, and entering Newton near ///encloses.areas.unfilled.
Newton is a small, beautiful village with excellent views over Loch Fyne. Pause, perhaps, at ///wiggling.keener.shared, to admire the boats on the loch and the peaks of Kintyre layered beyond. Follow the road through the village, from ///protects.widen.fizzle to ///walked.sheepish.gathers, and continue as it snakes right, then left past ///confetti.fended.spinners. Keep following this road out of Newton, passing the smaller settlement of Leachd (the road to which appears on your left, near ///hazel.celebrate.pizza), until you reach a T-junction near ///universes.polo.wishes.
Stage 2: Leachd to Strachur
Cyclists will have skipped the section through Newton and Leachd, and arrived at a junction near ///hikes.supreme.earmarked. The left fork is signposted as a no through road – and this is true for wheeled vehicles – so follow the B8000 right, and then branch left at the next junction; joining the A886 heading northeast. For walkers it’s fine to head straight on here (or turn left at the T-junction if you came through Leachd), passing through ///stitch.jetting.unpacked, and following the road until the tarmac runs out, near ///cool.merge.flopped. A short hop along a grassy trail deposits you on the A886 roadside, near ///skillet.sonic.coverage.
This road is definitely going to have more traffic on it than the roads we’ve been following, and there’s a fairly long stretch to cover, but there’s plenty of room on the grass verge. A pavement appears eventually, on the right-hand side of the road, near ///reforming.spots.torso. This marks the beginning of Strachur village. You may wish to cross over to the left hand side to visit a war memorial near ///charities.looms.plenty, but the pavement is more consistent on the right side, especially as the road narrows, near ///reheat.longingly.hails. Follow the road northeast and eventually, you’ll arrive at a T-junction with the A815, near ///bedspread.dusty.circle.
There’s not very far to go now; simply turn right onto the A815 (making use of the pavement on the left-hand side of the road), and follow this eastwards as it banks uphill and to the left. There’s a left turn, signposted for Clachan, near ///gossiped.lilac.months. Cyclists turn in here, then turn right at the next junction, finding the church of Kilmaglash, Strachur at the top of the hill. Pilgrims on foot may do the same. However, there’s an array of woodland paths (which will lead you to the same destination) that can be accessed from just behind the bench on the corner of this junction; near ///chestnuts.oaks.branching.
It really doesn’t matter how you choose to navigate through this recreational space: all paths lead to Kilmaglash. The most efficient route, however, is to take the middle fork at ///heave.hazelnuts.singled; turn right at ///passports.flops.wished; left at ///lousy.proudest.lessening; and straight on near ///marinated.executive.future. Finally, turn right onto the roadway at ///cheek.native.performed and you’ll see the church ahead of you. The entrance can be found just over the brow of the hill, at ///rationed.zealous.oxidation.