Have you ever felt like you’ve camped at the edge of the earth? No? Then come to Port Bàn. This tiny community near Kilberry, on the beautifully unspoilt western coast of the Knapdale Peninsula may look like the last stop in Scotland, but of course that’s its attraction. The sheer beauty of this primitive landscape, coupled with its rich diversity of wildlife makes Port Bàn a fascinating, remarkable retreat for any intrepid camper.
Dealing with sensible, practical matters first, the site’s ablutionary facilities (hot showers, flushing toilets, disabled access and large sinks) are clean, orderly and more than adequate. Traditional campers should be aware that Port Bàn also caters for caravans and motorhomes, however, touring vans and the largest wagons are in a separate area. All pitches are flat and well maintained, but reserve early if you want a shorefront pitch next to your beach campfire – the best spots for enjoying truly idyllic views across the North Atlantic to Islay and Jura islands.
This corner of the world posses a real sense of the epic. Separated for centuries from the rest of Scotland by lochs and mountains that define the region, the Knapdale Peninsula remains secluded and sparsely populated. For lovers of history, there’s an exceptional range of historic sites including monuments, castles and historic houses where Scotland's turbulent past, clan heritage and rich history will delight. Take to the seas and explore the rocky coast of Argyll, or unwind on a more placid, serene cruise on one of Scotland’s most famous lochs.
Despite the undeniably peaceful atmosphere, approachable owners and seemingly never-ending list of onsite facilities (especially for the kids), the real highlight of Port Bàn has to be its jaw-dropping sunsets. There is little point trying to describe it; you really must experience this for yourself. Suffice to say nothing else soothes the troubled urban soul quite like a wonderful sunset viewed around your campfire on the beach. Port Bàn really is Scotland’s west at it's very best.
Toilet block with hot showers and disabled facilties, coin operated launderette and telephone box. Small shop selling groceries, toys, fishing tackle, souvenirs, stationery and stamps. Café, restaurant, daytime lounge with small library and a soft drinks bar (operating during evening entertainment). Large children’s playground, a games hall with a pool and table tennis table, games field, tennis court, crazy golf putting green, bowling green, volleyball court, children’s play park and a beach suitable for launching small boats. Campfires are permitted on the beach. Mountain and electric bikes are available for hire (helmets provided) and the site is well placed on several cycle routes; Sustrans Route 78 (Campbeltown - Oban) and are next to a network of forestry commission roads ideal for mountain bikes.
Tents, caravans, motorhomes and dogs – yes.
The campsite is well placed on the Sustrans Cycle Route 78 (Campbeltown–Oban) and a local network of Forestry Commission roads is ideal for mountain bikes and walkers. Head to Knapdale in the heart of Argyll and visit The Scottish Beaver Trial. This unique conservation project introduces beavers back into Scotland after being extinct in the UK for over 400 years. It's the first official project of its kind in Britain and a groundbreaking five year study to explore how beavers can enhance and restore natural environments. Stop, wander and enjoy Kilmartin House & Kilmartin Glen (01546 510278). This award-winning museum interprets the monuments of the area, providing a selection of excavated artefacts dating from a variety of periods. It is located at the quaint village of Kilmartin, within a group of converted buildings. The church next door has some ancient graves and interesting carved gravestones. If you've come to this neck of the woods the chances are you’re in pursuit of outdoor activities, typically wet ones. There is plenty of fishing to be had with saithe, leithe, salmon and mackerel all to be caught off the coastline. Port Ban also boasts three nearby golf courses.
Food & Drink
The on-site Seaview Café (closed on Sunday) serves coffee, cakes, simple meals and takeaways, while the famous Kilberry Inn (01880 770223), one of Scotland’s leading seafood restaurants, is within walking distance. Elsewhere, you’re spoiled for choice in Tarbert, 15 miles away.
April – October.
PricingStandard pitch and 2 people from £22; large pitches from £25. Extra adults £4, children (6–15yrs) £2, under-6s free. Dogs £2.
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Take the M8 west, leaving at signs for Erskine Bridge. Go over the bridge and head towards the A82 (to Campbeltown). Head up the side of Loch Lomond to Tarbet and the road becomes the A83. Continue on to Lochgilphead, where you turn left to Campbeltown. Continue through Ardrishaig, then a right turn (to Kilberry) takes you to the single track B8024 road. A further 15 miles and Port Bàn is signposted on the right.
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