The Famous Road Leads to Machrihanish Dunes!
Did you know… that the road made famous by The Beatles in their 1970 song, “The Long and Winding Road” is the same one that you’ll travel to reach Machrihanish Dunes? It’s true! When Sir Paul McCartney was a Beatle, he and his late wife Linda often spent time at a farm they owned just a few miles from Machrihanish—High Park Farm. The McCartneys loved the area, and Paul recorded another famous song, “Mull of Kintyre” on one of the local beaches with the area’s pipe band.
Today, the trip down Sir Paul’s long and winding road remains one of Scotland’s most beautiful journeys. Along the way, you’ll pass stunning scenery and be presented with numerous reasons to stop, stretch your legs, and take in some exciting attractions. Here are a few highlights…
From Glasgow, join the A82 and follow it past the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. You’ll skirt the edge of Trossachs National Park, a Scottish natural gem, where the outdoor activities are nearly endless.
In the quaint harbor village of Tarbet, join the A83—the Long and Winding Road proper—and follow it through two of the most beautiful glens in Scotland, Glen Kinglas and Glen Croe. Here you’ll find the “Rest and Be Thankful” marker, which commemorates the 1750 completion of this byway.
As the A83 turns to the south, along the shore of Loch Fyne, you may want to stop to sample the local seafood at the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar in Cairndow, a highly awarded restaurant offering splendid views of the Loch.
Continuing south, you’ll come to the bustling town of Inveraray, with its quaint shops, restaurants and tea rooms, and one very iconic castle. Inveraray Castle was featured in an episode of Downton Abbey, and is home to the Duke and Duchess of Argyll—heads of Clan Campbell and the Queen’s chief representatives in Scotland. This grand castle is a must-visit attraction, where every step is a look back in time to an era of grace and civility.
As you keep moving south, you’ll enter picturesque Tarbert (not to be confused with the town of “Tarbet” mentioned above). This cozy fishing village welcomes visitors with shops, restaurants and one of Kintyre’s prettiest harbours. It’s here that the A83 swings to the west to begin its last leg down to Campbeltown and Machrihanish. The scenery along this stretch of road is stunning, with its beaches and rocky shoreline your constant companion as you motor along. The jaw-dropping views of the islands of Gigha and Islay are bound to stay with you forever.
And then finally, but almost before you know it, you’re in Campbeltown, where you’ll find Machrihanish Dunes’ Royal Hotel, several renowned whiskey distilleries, and so much more. Campbeltown sits a mere five miles from the main section of the Village at Machrihanish Dunes in Machrihanish. There you’ll find The Ugadale Hotel and Cottages, Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club, Machrihanish Golf Club, plus even more wonderful dining opportunities. It’s one of the world’s most scenic and peaceful places. And when you look out over the beaches of Machrihanish Bay with its surfers and seabirds, its seals and its tide pools, you can easily see why this beautiful part of Scotland has been a favored destination of so many people for so long, including the McCartney family.
The journey down the Long and Winding Road is one that will leave you with a thousand wonderful memories. And who knows, maybe you’ll even compose a song of your own about it. Happy traveling! We look forward to welcoming you to The Village at Machrihanish Dunes.