The focal point for visitors to this small, quiet village remains the harbour. Close your eyes and, with the sea air in your lungs and the gentle jingle of the boats’ rigging in your ears, you can almost imagine the days from the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries when this would have been bustling with the toing and froing of local fishermen.
There were regular crowds of holidaymakers, too, when the introduction of steamships transformed Kintyre. From the 1830s until the Second World War splendid steamers called in daily at Carradale, en route from Campbeltown to Glasgow.
With the herring industry thriving, Carradale’s first pier was built in 1858, adding another welcome boost to the tourism trade, which, until the Second World War, saw hotels developed and a tradition grow of families returning year after year.
Today Carradale still has a small fishing fleet, mostly dealing in langoustines, as well as one of the largest salmon farms in Europe.
Visitors can enjoy views across to Arran and walks up the wooded sides of Deer Hill or along the wonderful strand of Carradale Bay.
On the east side of the Bay is Carradale Point, home to feral goats and a vitrified fort that was built more than 2000 years ago.
The nine-hole Carradale Golf Club, meanwhile, has become a must for golf enthusiasts. Former golf pro and now TV commentator Ken Brown described it as “Golf at its purest, small greens in great condition and a setting to rival any”.
Whether you’re a golf fan or simply enjoy taking in the wonderful natural scenery, experiencing the magnificent vistas of Carradale can soon build up an appetite.
Thankfully, there are six different options for enjoying food and drink in the village, with award-winning guest houses, hotels, a cafe and bar/restaurants open throughout the year.
Carradale’s most famous resident was the celebrated novelist and poet Naomi Mitchison, who lived in Carradale House from 1938 until her death in 1999.
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