A couple of weekends ago we took the van for a magical couple of nights away to the remote Knapsdale peninsula on the west of the Mull of Kintyre over looking Jura. The main purpose of the trip was dinner at the highly recommended Kilberry Inn, overnighting at the nearby Port Ban Campsite (which is on the beautiful beach next to Crear). We have eaten in a lot of great places but the Kilberry blew us away. I can honestly say it was the BEST mussels, langoustines and halibut I have ever eaten.
The Kilberry Inn
An award winning restaurant in Scotland, The Kilberry Inn is located on the super-scenic single-track road that follows the coast around the Knapdale peninsula and has stunning views out over the Inner Hebrides. An old tin roof cottage transformed into a top quality restaurant with rooms, the views across Loch Coalisport to Gigha and Islay are truly stunning while the Paps of Jura are even more remarkable.
A Michelin Bib Gourmand Restaurant, the Kilberry Inn has with five double bedrooms (one with an outdoor hot tub) and is a recipe for relaxation, with a warm welcome, a sense of informality and wonderful food, providing the perfect antidote to a busy lifestyle.
Having learned his craft in the world-famous Rogano (recently voted one of the top 100 bars in the world) Davie Wilson lends an expert touch to front of house, while chef Clare Johnson flies solo in the kitchen.
From the Kilberry potted crab to the Sound of Gigha king scallops and from Hector’s mackerel to Geordie Miller’s rhubarb, the wonderful produce is all locally sourced.
The Michelin Guide: Remotely set former croft house whose striking red roof stands out against whitewashed walls. Inside you’ll find wooden beams, stone walls, open fires and a mix of bare and linen-laid tables. Classic dishes are crafted from carefully sourced local produce and meat and fish are smoked in-house. Modern bedrooms are named after nearby islands; one has an outdoor hot tub
Address Kilberry PA29 6YD
Beautiful, secluded, seaside park, on the west coast of Scotland. Voted one of the top 10 campsites in Scotland by ‘Wild about Scotland’. Offers stunning views of Islay and Jura. Open for caravan hire, camping and tourers.
Welcome to Port Ban Holiday Park. A family run park for the last 47 years. Fantastic sunsets enjoyed from every caravan and our camping field. Ideal for families with children and wildlife enthusiasts – regular sightings of dolphins, seals, otters, birds of prey. Shop, cafe, playground, games hall with pool and table-tennis, putting, football, tennis, crazy golf, bowling green & bike hire all available on site. 14 miles from 9 hole golf course. Organised events including childrens’ club, sports competitions, family fun nights, free mic, ceilidhs and interdenominational church services during school holidays. Convenient for day trips to Inveraray, Campbeltown, Oban and the islands, Gigha, Islay/Jura and Colonsay.
Cool Camping: 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, motorhomes and canvas campers are in separate fields, with the later enjoying flat, well-maintained pitches and 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.