A fairly rugged but 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. The path 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Ardrishaig to Tarbert stretch of National Cycle Network route 78 swings over to the west coast of the Kintyre peninsula and passes the forest entrance.
There are public toilets and plenty of places to eat, drink and shop in nearby Tarbert.
Torinturk is on the B8024, about 6 miles south west of Tarbert. The turning to Torinturk car park is in the middle of the village (look for a phone box at the junction).
PA29 6YE is the nearest postcode.
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