Sheltered, fairly flat, and full of fine beaches, Gigha is great for Scotland’s island-bound campers.
Gentle Gigha benefits from one of Scotland’s balmiest microclimates, making for sheltered beaches where swimming is a little less chilly than most other places this far north. This most southerly Hebridean island is merely seven miles long by a mile wide, yet replete with easy-going walks, winsome wild swimming spots and prehistoric sites. The nearby Mull of Kintyre, meanwhile, is a hilly, forested peninsula with wilder hiking courtesy of the long-distance Kintyre Way. Campsites dot the island, including one by its pier and several sandy beaches perfect for wild camping, particularly in the north.
Hop off the ferry onto Gigha and you’re immediately in an excellent camping area.. Around the bay are several sandy beaches, plus the delightful Achamore Gardens, one of Scotland’s most bountiful island public gardens, harnessing Gigha’s mild climate so many exotic plants can flourish. Camping options are limited around the bay, but campers are likely to find well-placed tent and caravan sites.
Anyone craving complete isolation on Gigha should make their way to the northern part of the island. A large standing stone sits at the point where the isthmus reaches its narrowest, announcing your entry into Gigha’s northern reaches and indicating the richness of the archaeological sites hereabouts. Campers can hit plenty of tranquil beaches and shoreside wild camping places—try the sandy Twin Beaches, reaching out to Eilean Garbh in the northwest, for a pitch.
The mainland port on the Mull of Kintyre from where ferries to Gigha depart, Tayinloan is also a stage start on the Kintyre Way, the 100-mile long-distance trail skittering down the peninsula. The lonely cross-peninsula stage from Tayinloan to Carradale makes a brilliant hike and has several possible wild camping spots en route. There’s also archaeology to discover at Clachan to the north, beguiling sandy beaches like Point Sands, and organised seafront camping.
Heading across to the eastern side of the Mull of Kintyre from Gigha, Carradale is best accessed by a hike or tough bike ride from Gigha’s mainland ferry port of Tayinloan on the Kintyre Way, or through a roundabout drive by road. A Kintyre Way stage start, Carradale sits on one of the Mull of Kintyre’s most dashing sandy beaches and serves as a scenic stopover for campers and caravanners.