Walk: The magic of Machir Bay

Islay | Kilchoman | Short walk | ★★★★

[Machir Bay - view from the southern end]

Islay has a wide selection of beaches to explore, but the magic of Machir Bay is undeniable. Smooth sands stretch for two kilometres, backed by large sand dunes and the cliffs of Cnoc nam Muc - chlach. In the other direction, you won't reach land until Newfoundland, a couple of thousand miles away. In good weather this is one of Islay's true gems, yet it's rarely busy: the photos on this page were taken on a sunny afternoon in mid-July! Perfect for a stroll after visiting nearby Kilchoman Distillery, if the tides are right - the beach is best at low tide, though there's always at least some sand above water level. Using a straightforward inland track for the outward route keeps the beach hidden until you're nearly upon it, saving the sand for the return leg.

[Looking south across the bay]

📌 Walk: The magic of Machir Bay ★★★
▶ 3 km / 2 miles | ▲ 10 metres
Features: Machir Bay
Start / finish: Car park at minor road end just west of Kilchoman, Islay, G.R.: NR 209634 ///earth.economics.regime

Route: Car park - track south to G.R.: NR 206632 - Machir Bay - start
Terrain: Clear track fades for sand and grass sections, but easy going throughout. Beach for return.
Wildlife today: Sheep, a few seabirds, jellyfish.
Weather today: Unbroken sunshine and temperature in mid teens; a little breezy.

[The outward route passes across sand dunes and lush machair]

Route map


Route credit: Walkhighlands

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