By: TVAS (offline) Tuesday, 19 June 2007 (Read 24997 times)
How to get there by car, from Glasgow to Port Ellen? Is it necessary to take two ferries? (Tarbert and Kennacraig) Or can you drive easily to Kennacraig over land?
I think you have driven this way many times. If I see it right on the time table, a ferry will leave Kennacraig around 12.00. Can you tell me what is the total duration in hours of this trip.
Coming from Glasgow you take the A82 at Dumbarton, you have Loch Lomond on the right. At Tarbet (not Tarbert) you take the A83 south direction Campbeltown. You pass Inveraray (nice place for a stop and eventually visit Inveraray jail and castle when you have time) and keep on driving on the A83. When you reach Tarbert, a very nice little town/harbour, you are almost at Kennacraig which is 4 miles further down the road on your right. It's easily missed by the way, look carefully for the signs. Here you take the ferry to Islay. Depending on your time of departure at Kennacraig you either end up in Port Ellen or Port Askaig. I advice you to make a reservation at the calmac website, that way you are sure you have a place on the ferry. The crossing will take between 2 and 2 1/2 hours depending on your port of arrival.
The alternative of driving all the way round to Kennacraig would be to get a ferry from Gourock to Dunoon (or Hunter's Quay north of Dunoon), which is a 30 minute crossing and then drive across the Cowal peninsula to Portavadie and catch the ferry to Tarbert, a 20 minute crossing. This was a route I personally have considered taking to Kintyre this year, but I think we'll be following the road via Inveraray - the scenery through eastern Argyll, especially going across the Rest and be Thankful, certainly makes the journey worthwhile (and probably would be much quicker than going via Cowal).
Another alternative, which we took 2 years ago, is to by a Hopscotch from Calmac and go via Arran - from Ardrossan to Brodick (65 minutes); Lochranza to Claonaig (30 minutes); Kennacraig to Islay and back to Kennacraig. However, I would only recommend this option if you had time to stay on Arran for longer than a few hours - like Islay, you can drive right round the island in the few hours you have from one ferry to the next, but you would be missing so much!
Glasgow to Kennacraig is just over 100 miles with the whole route being on two main roads - the A82 and A83 as mentioned by Ron above! However, they are also two VERY busy roads - especially the A82 from Glasgow! I'm guessing you have to be at the ferry at least 30 minutes before its due to leave... and you should really aim for getting there for that time (11:35) anyway! So, while you could potentially do the trip in 3 hours (meaning an 8:30 start from Glasgow) I would consider adding an extra hour to that journey - and if you have time you could stop off at either Inveraray or Tarbert for a break! Inveraray would be my choice, but I would probably recommend Tarbert as its closer to Kennacraig - only 5 miles compared to 43 - which would give you a more relaxed time as you won't have to wonder so much about what might hold you up ahead (and believe me, there is plenty that could!)
That's exactly what I want to know. I made a mistake anyway because the Ferry is leaving Kennacraig at 13.00 and arrive in Port Askaig at 15.05 hour. So we have a bit more time to get in Kennacraig. Thanks again.
Depending on your time of departure at Kennacraig you either end up in Port Ellen or Port Askaig. I advice you to make a reservation at the calmac website, that way you are sure you have a place on the ferry.
Hi Ron, I have follow your advice and made the reservation already. I received the tickets to day already!
Very good service of CalMac Ferries Ltd.
The Maggie is one of Ealing studios lesser known comedies. A wily old skipper of a Western Isles 'Puffer' and his motley crew lead all who come into contact with them a fine old time! Many scenes on Islay!