Uncover history at Torinturk
A fairly rugged route climbs through the woods to the atmospheric ruins of Dùn a’ Choin Duibh, the fort of the black dog, where legend tells how the great hunter Torquil Mor died fighting a wild boar. Close by is a Bronze Age burial cairn, said to hold the remains of Diarmaid, founder of the clan Campbell. Today these woods are the hunting ground of many birds of prey.
A peaceful forest walk which gives great views from the top of the fort to West Loch Tarbert and towards the distant hills of the islands of Arran and Islay.
Have a bite to eat
There are public toilets and plenty of places to eat, drink and shop in nearby Tarbert. There’s also a tourist information centre beside the harbour.
A rugged climb in the footsteps of legendary hunters and fierce creatures. Magnificent views over West Loch Tarbert from the top of Dùn a’ Choin Duibh.
Uneven gravel surface with some grassy and muddy sections. Section of rough, narrow earth path up to the dun. Some long and very steep slopes.
1 ¾ miles / 2.7 km Allow 1 hour
The climb through the woods at Torinturk brings many rewards. The route leads past Bronze Age burial cairns, then climbs steeply up to Dùn a’ Choin Duibh, the Dun of the Black Dog. Legend says this fortified homestead, belonging to legendary hunter Torquil Mor, was guarded by a fearsome black wolfhound. From here you can look out over the Kintyre peninsula to the islands of Arran, Islay and Gigha.
Please take care as you explore the cairns and dun. There are no paths around these historic features so do watch out for uneven ground and stones hidden in the grass.
Mountain biking trails
The forest here, which runs down to the shore of West Loch Tarbert, was first planted with conifers in the 1940s. After these trees matured and were felled for timber, the hillsides were replanted. The areas of young trees and open grassy glades make an ideal habitat for voles, a favourite snack for many birds of prey. Watch out for buzzards and tawny owls hunting here.
The needles of the spruce and other conifers are also the favoured building material for wood ants to create their large domed nests – look out for them in shady spots beneath the trees.
Exploring Kintyre by long distance trail
Head to Tarbert to join the 100 mile (161km) Kintyre Way to Dunaverty at the southern end of the peninsula. Or you can explore Kintyre’s quiet roads along National Cycle Network route 78, which links Campbeltown in the south of Kintyre to Tarbert, then heads to Inverness via Oban, Fort William and Fort Augustus.
How to get here
Torinturk is beside the B8024 between Dunmore and Stonefield, on the shore of West Loch Tarbert. The village is about 6 miles (10km) south west of Tarbert.
The turning to Torinturk car park is in the middle of Torinturk village (look for a phone box at the junction). Follow the forest road uphill for about 400 yards (0.4 km) to reach the small car park. The forest road is un-surfaced and rough in places so please drive carefully.
The car park is at grid reference NR 812 642.
PA29 6YE is the nearest postcode.
Alternatively, head to Carradale, where there's a range of trails to enjoy, plus wonderful woodland wildlife and sweeping sea views from a wooded hilltop.
Our leaflet guide to the forests of Mid Argyll & Kintyre will help you explore more wonderful woodlands.
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