The weather was defying all forecasts, the sun was shining although the temperature had dropped. Our walk today took us onto the Oa, the landmass to the west of Port Ellen. An absolutely fantastic walk, but slightly trickier terrain than the others, we had to scramble over a few rocks, with me carrying our great fluffy wussbag of a dog, who refused to try it himself. Note that the walk book we have been using was not accurate as to the nature of the path, it does not make it clear that it gets quite boggy and rough in places.
From Port Ellen, take the left turn just before the maltings, signpost to the Oa. After 1/2 mile there is a gate into the woods with the sign Cairnmore Woods. There is a layby opposite where we parked. Walk down through the woods where bluebells, primroses and wild garlic grow, to the very attractive beach at Kilnaughton Bay. Walk along on the beach until you get to a cemetery. The road has been recently resurfaced and there are lots of new holiday cottages being built, they are very spread out and look quite nice, would be a good place to stay, right on the beach.
Take the road along the coast until it forks. The left fork becomes a track which goes to the lighthouse. The right fork is a new road and goes up the hill. Continue up the hill until it levels out and a more track like road branches left. Take this until you get to a half built house (or it was when we were there!). There is a track that continues through the gorse.
It gets quite boggy in places, we just about managed without wellies, but the weather has been very good lately. You walk above Singing Sands beach, but there is no obvious path down. We continued until we came to a field. There is a small track through the field that heads diagonally down the hill. You need to keep going on this right up to the fence, at which point you are near the bottom and can scramble down to sea level through a mass of bluebells and primroses.
There is a small path that winds along the coast and there are two lots of rocks to go over, but they are very easy to navigate (I did it carrying a 15 kilo dog!). After a bit of this you come across a couple of small very beautiful beaches. After the beach a short walk brings you to the lighthouse and back to the low road. Retrace your steps to the car. We really enjoyed this walk, you get hills and great views back across to port ellen, beautiful woods and gorgeous beaches what more could you want in a walk?