The summer holidays are nearly upon us so here are some suggestions for activities in and around Campbeltown to keep the whole family entertained, whatever the weather and whatever your budget.
If the weather is nice, or even dry, there is no shortage of things to do. Head down to Quarry Green (next to the Ferry Terminal) to have a go on the putting green and Jock’s Adventure Play park or simply take a walk along the prom and enjoy the views. Or go on a treasure hunt around town for Campbeltown Rocks and post photos to their facebook page of your successful finds. If you’re feeling particularly artistic you could paint your own and hide them for others to find. (Keith’s Newsagent and the Factory Shop in Main Street both usually stock inexpensive art supplies). For the sports fans among you, unleash your inner Andy Murray at the tennis courts, hire out the all weather park for a footie friendly or take to the waves at Pete’s Surf School.
There are some fantastic walks in and around Campbeltown which offer great opportunities for combining sightseeing with the spirit of adventure and don’t cost a thing (apart from maybe a picnic). Walk up to Crosshill Loch, water source for Springbank, Kilkerran and Glen Scotia Distilleres, for some fabulous views out over Campbeltown Loch to Arran and search for tadpoles in the loch or maybe even Gruffalos in the deep, dark wood (forestry trails) next to it. Climb Beinn Ghuilean, Campbeltown’s highest hill, or walk over to Davaar Island at low tide and go in search of the Crucifixion Cave Painting, look for the wild goats or take a walk round to look at the lighthouse. All three are walk-able from the Town Centre or you can drive part of the way to make it easier on little legs. The walk over to Davaar can be fairly rough under foot at times so probably better for slightly older children (unless you are prepared to carry your baby/toddler most of the way) but Beinn Ghuilean (accessed from Tomaig Road) and Crosshill Loch (from Kilkerran Road, next to the cemetery) should be okay for smaller kids too, or even off road buggies, if you are prepared to lift them over the odd stile.
And then of course there are the beaches. On a sunny day you could easily spend the whole day at any one of them. Within a 20 minute drive of Campbeltown there are several fantastic beaches. For the surfers and body-boarders among you, head to Westport, Machrihanish or Bellochantuy on the Atlantic Coast or for more sheltered beaches, safer for paddling and swimming, try Dunaverty or Carskiey at Southend. Just be aware that there are no lifeguards on our beaches so be wary of the currents and keep a close eye on kids.
Let’s be realistic, this summer heatwave can’t last forever, but fear not, even on rainy days there is plenty to keep the family entertained. Kids will love the soft play and bouncy castles at the Community Centre (although adults maybe less so!) and the swimming pool at the Aqualibrium Leisure Centre has extended opening hours over the summer holidays.
For a bit of down time after all that activity why not pop into the library (part of the same complex) which has a great kids area as well as a local history section and computers with access to the MacGrory Collection of photographs (a fascinating insight into the social history of Campbeltown) for the grown ups. Sticking to the culture theme, while aimed more at adults and older kids the Campbeltown Heritage Centre and Campbeltown Museum both offer kids activities or exhibits that younger children will enjoy too (our 3 year old loves the model train set in the Heritage Centre and the telephone that lets you listen to bird sounds, which is tucked away in the back left corner of the Museum).
And then of course there is Campbeltown Picture House. Scotland’s oldest purpose built cinema, opened in 1913, the ‘Wee Pictures’, as it is affectionately known, has recently undergone an extensive renovation to restore it to it’s former glory, while adding a second screen, historical exhibition and a licensed cafe bar. With screenings throughout the day and summer blockbusters such as The Incredibles 2, Hotel Transylvania 3 and Teen Titans go to the Movies this is definitely a must-do activity.
We’ll take a look at ideas for day-trips from Campbeltown in more detail in a later blog post but hopefully this has given you some ideas. Don’t forget to check our events listings to see what else is happening in and around the town over the summer.
*Sorry, I tried thinking of a better title but this is all I came up with!