The Armin Grewe Homepage
Walk 12
  • Description: Kilchoman and Kilchiaran - past the radar masts and Granny's rock
  • Walk leader: Iain MacPherson
  • Distance: approx 6 miles
  • Weather: mostly sunshine, some clouds
  • Participants: approx 30

Suddenly our last day of walking during WalkIslay 2005 had arrived. As had my birthday, many thanks for all the birthday wishes when I arrived at Kilchoman where we met for the walk. After a short visit to Kilchoman Cross Iain MacPherson led us up the hill behind Kilchoman House Cottages, giving us a nice view over Machir Bay and Kilchoman.

Picture of a view over Kilchoman
Picture of the overgrown ruins of a cottage Picture of walkers on the hill
Our first longer stop on the way to the radar masts was at the ruin of the home of the Kilchoman swordmakers. Iain told us some interesting stories and legends about the swordmaker and his son, I'm not sure if everyone believed them. We then continued along the crags, frequently enjoying the great views west over Machir Bay. I took pictures for a number of panoramas, the one below is the one which came out best. It gives a full view from the radar masts over Machir Bay, Saligo Bay, Kilchoman and Loch Gorm. This panorama is also available as QuickTime VR panorama of the view over Machir Bay and Kilchoman.
Picture with a panoramic view over Machir Bay and Kilchoman
Picture of people climbing over a fence, aerial masts in the background After crossing a last fence we arrived at the old radar mast site, now used for a variety of telecommunication aerials. Iain gave us an overview of the importance of the radar station during the second world war. Then it was time to descend towards Kilchiaran.

The way led us past an interesting building, the round farm steading built in 1825 at Kilchiaran. The picture doesn't bring it out very well, unfortunately it's the best I have.

We stopped at Kilchiaran Chapel, where we sat down for lunch. WalkIslay scarves were presented to a number of walkers who had completed the necessary walks and pictures were taken proudly displaying the scarves (unfortunately I don't have any of those pictures).

Picture of a round farm steading Picture of walkers at the ruin of the chapel at Kilchiaran
Picture of walkers listening to people pointing out things Picture of a rock formation looking like a faceThen it was up the hill again, our first stop at Bealach na Caillich. Time to look for Granny's Rock. Quite a few (incl myself) found it very difficult to make it out from here.

It was much easier to make out Granny's head once we had passed it and looked back up from below (picture on the right).

We continued along the path down to Machir Bay, but didn't walk on to the beach. Instead we walked through the dunes towards the Kilchoman Military Cemetery. Having arrived at the top of the dunes we first stopped at a cross slab in the field. A second one of these is one the crags behind Kilchoman Cottages and a third one is believed to have been somewhere near the church. A long time ago if someone had committed a crime and made it into the triangle made up of the three stones, then he was safe from prosecution (as long as stayed within the triangle). Considering that the triangle wasn't that big I'm not sure how much help that was.

Close to it is the Kilchoman Military Cemetery, our last stop for the walk. We looked at the graves and admired the magnificent location for the cemetary, overlooking the bay where most of them had lost their lives.

Picture of the dunes, looking south west Picture of walkers near the cross-slab, Kilchoman Military Cemetery in the background

RSPB Loch Gruinart <- WalkIslay 2005 -> Evening walk at Portnahaven