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Kintyre Way in May

Kintyre Way in May


Postby Tazmania » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:38 am

I am planning to walk the Kintyre Way in May. Originally I was going to start on the weekend of 2-3 May, but now am leaning towards starting 2 weeks later on the weekend of 16-17 May.

Before I make my bookings, I would appreciate some advice, particularly because I plan on camping.

1. Is mid-May likely to be much warmer than early May?
2. Are there midges in Kintyre? If so, are they as bad a pest as those in the Highlands? Are they likely to be much worse in mid-May than early May?
3. Is there much of a difference in daylight hours between early and mid-May?

Many thanks for your help.
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Re: Kintyre Way in May

Postby Caberfeidh » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:44 am

Tazmania wrote:I am planning to walk the Kintyre Way in May. Originally I was going to start on the weekend of 2-3 May, but now am leaning towards starting 2 weeks later on the weekend of 16-17 May.

Before I make my bookings, I would appreciate some advice, particularly because I plan on camping.

1. Is mid-May likely to be much warmer than early May?
2. Are there midges in Kintyre? If so, are they as bad a pest as those in the Highlands? Are they likely to be much worse in mid-May than early May?
3. Is there much of a difference in daylight hours between early and mid-May?
Many thanks for your help.


1: Impossible to say - it could be baking sunshine or blowing a wild storm, or anything in between. Use layers of clothing rather than one big warm jacket.
2.Yes there are midgies, they tend to be worse later in the year; June,July and August. May is usually ok but they have been known to come out early in the year if it is unusually warm. Kintyre often has a fresh sea breeze so this should keep them at bay. They like still, calm, mild and humid conditions, so don't camp in a swamp.
3. Daylight hours are long enough to be going on with by mid May. May is usually a very nice month but this is Scotland so you never know.

IMG_2219aR.jpg
Isle of Jura from Knapdale, April. No midgies.
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Re: Kintyre Way in May

Postby nigheandonn » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:45 am

1) May is one of the likeliest months for good weather, but whether it comes at the beginning or end is just a lottery.
2) Yes, no, probably not.
3) About an hour, but not in a way that is likely to make a practical difference to you. (Sunrise goes from ~5.30 to 5am, sunset from ~9 to 9.30pm)
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Re: Kintyre Way in May

Postby Tazmania » Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:52 pm

Thank you; that is a lovely photo by the way.

Is there much gorse in Kintyre in the Spring?
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Re: Kintyre Way in May

Postby al78 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:58 am

If you are camping in May, be prepared for the possibility of cold (i,e, near freezing) nights if the wind swings to a northerly or north-easterly, so make sure your sleeping bag is up to that. Climatologically May is the driest and sunniest month in the Scottish highlands, although it is a lottery whenever you go. You will experience more daylight in mid May, about half an hour or a bit more either end of the day, which may benefit progress if you if you plan on backpacking through the evening and pitching at sunset. There is not much to choose temperature wise between the beginning and middle of the month, the latter has a slightly better chance of being warmer, but in Spring, the air-mass and quantity of sunshine defines the temperature more than the time of the month. There may be midges but in the first half of May will tend to be at levels low enough not to be a nuisance. I walked the Minigaig over a weekend with an overnight camp in early June and didn't get touched by midges, but they may be out in force if we get a mid-late Spring heatwave.

Take layers of clothing to deal with significant temperature swings, and a headnet and some repellant to deal with midges. Oh yes, and a sense of humour if it does the stalled low pressure system with seven days of cloud and rain like it did to me last June.
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Re: Kintyre Way in May

Postby Tazmania » Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:11 am

I have revived this post from a year ago because I am planning on a long walk in scotland in May should restrictions permit.

I am still thinking of the kKintyre Way but have recently read about the Rob Roy Way. I wondered how they compare in terms of difficulty.

I noticed on the WH page introducing the long-distance routes that the Kintyre Way had three boots while the Rob Roy Way had only two. I was under the impression that - save for the final day - the Kintyre Way was not particularly arduous.

Last summer I walked the Cleveland Way and found that tough.

Many thanks for any help you can provide.
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Re: Kintyre Way in May

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:16 am

Tazmania wrote:Thank you; that is a lovely photo by the way. Is there much gorse in Kintyre in the Spring?


Yes, lots of golden flowers on the gorse in Kintyre in Spring, along with tree blossom. Listen out for birdsong too, look out for lots of raptors, seals, otters and genral wildlife beasties. I hope all the restrictions are lifted and a hiking holiday will be possible for May.

IMG_2203#r.jpg
Gorse in bloom, West Highland Spring


DSCF7485aR.jpg
Buzzard


DSCF7449a#R.jpg
Seals disguised as rocks
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Re: Kintyre Way in May

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:20 pm

Tazmania wrote:I have revived this post from a year ago because I am planning on a long walk in scotland in May should restrictions permit.

I am still thinking of the kKintyre Way but have recently read about the Rob Roy Way. I wondered how they compare in terms of difficulty.

I noticed on the WH page introducing the long-distance routes that the Kintyre Way had three boots while the Rob Roy Way had only two. I was under the impression that - save for the final day - the Kintyre Way was not particularly arduous.

Last summer I walked the Cleveland Way and found that tough.

Many thanks for any help you can provide.


Hi

This might help you with the Rob Roy Way - it's straight forward but with maybe a bit more tarmac than I would have liked.

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=52019

I haven't done the Kintyre Way yet but I have researched it and planned it out and as you say, it's only the final day that looks to be a bit harder. The Cleveland Way is probably harder than the Kintyre Way in that when you reach the coast there are a number of steep descents and ascents in and out of the coves which were quite tiring and slow going. By the time I got to the coast there was a bit of a mist so I had very poor visibility which probably affected my mood and my reflections on the walk as a whole.

I do a couple of long distance walks each year but this year I'm probably going to hold back till about September just to see where we are with vaccinations/b&b's etc.

If all goes to plan and you are able to do the walk in May, hope all goes well.
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Re: Kintyre Way in May

Postby Tazmania » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:45 pm

Thank you very much for your helpful replies..

It's probably wiser to wait until later in the summer but I like Scotland in the Spring, particularly the flora!

Those steep up-and-down sections by the costal inlets on the Cleveland Way were the toughest parts of that walk for me.

I really hope to walk the Kintyre or Rob Roy Way in late May-early June. If I do the latter, I would extend it by walking from Glasgow to Drymen via the Kelvin Walkway and then day one of the WHW,

One other factor to consider at that time of year - particularly as I would be camping - is the dreaded Highland midge. Would I be correct in asuming that they will be worse in the vicinity of the Rob Roy Way than the Kintyre Way?
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Re: Kintyre Way in May

Postby Robertgee » Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:18 am

Tazmania wrote:
One other factor to consider at that time of year - particularly as I would be camping - is the dreaded Highland midge. Would I be correct in asuming that they will be worse in the vicinity of the Rob Roy Way than the Kintyre Way?


I've generally found that anytime up to and including May are usually midge free, then they start to appear from June onwards. Some years being completely midge free (not many though), and others a nightmare. I wouldn't think there would be much difference with the two walks. Watch out for the ticks as well. :(
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Re: Kintyre Way in May

Postby Kendrum » Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:53 am

The area around the Rob Roy Way doesn't get much in the way of midges. Some, but nothing like the west coast.
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Re: Kintyre Way in May

Postby Tazmania » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:55 pm

Kendrum wrote:The area around the Rob Roy Way doesn't get much in the way of midges. Some, but nothing like the west coast.

As a camper, that is excellent news.

Many thanks for all the information.
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Re: Kintyre Way in May

Postby Tazmania » Sat May 01, 2021 8:10 pm

I have decided to walk the Rob Roy Way and have bought Harvey's strip map of the route to navigate it.

I plan to start on the weekend of 15-16 May and, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I want to camp my way along the route.

I prefer to stay on camp sites but, other than the camp site just before Drymen which I used four years ago after the first stage of the WHW, am I right in thinking that there are virtually no camp sites along the route and I will have to wild camp?

If so, do you know whether there are plenty of spots for wild camping?

I plan to use cover the route in 7 days using the itinery described on this site, as follws:

- Drymen to Aberfoyle
- Aberfoyle to Callender
- Callender to Strathyre
- Strathyre to Killin
- Killin to Ardtalnaig
- Ardtalnaig to Aberfeldy
- Aberfeldy to Pitlochry

All being well, I want to finish my holiday exploring some of north eastern Scotland. I would like to visit Brechin, Arbroath (where I would like to do the 3-mile clifftop walk to Auchmithie) and visit the Aberlemno Stones near Forfar. Do you know of any camp sites close to this area?

Finally, the Cairngorms National Park is of course nearby. I presume there are one-day walks in the park but are there any camp sites?

Many thanks for your help, it's much appreciated.
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Re: Kintyre Way in May

Postby al78 » Sun May 02, 2021 9:01 am

Given April and the start of May have seen persistent below-average temperatures, maybe the midges will be out later than normal this year.
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Re: Kintyre Way in May

Postby Caberfeidh » Sun May 02, 2021 9:07 am

Tazmania wrote: the Cairngorms National Park is of course nearby. I presume there are one-day walks in the park but are there any camp sites?


I don't know the Rob Roy Way but I am familiar with the Cairngorms. If you finish up at Pitlochry you could get a train or bus up to Aviemore, replenish supplies and hike out to Loch Morlich where there is a very good campsite, and plenty of day walks amongst natural Scots Pine forest with loads of wildlife, or higher up amongst the hills with impressive views. It's a great spot. On the other side of the Cairngorms the village of Braemar has a campsite on the road out towards Glen Shee. That's a nice spot too. Ballater has a campsite by the River Dee.

Canoeing Loch Morlich.JPG
Canoeing on Loch Morlich


Lochan Uaine of Ryvoan.JPG
Lochan Uaine, Ryvoan, near Glen More Lodge


Rothiemurcus Forest.JPG
Rothiemurchus Forest, Glen More
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