Ostel Bay (Kilbride Bay) Beach Walk

Distance: 1-2 miles | Time: 20mins | Ascent: Flat

“Considered by locals to be the best beach in the whole of Cowal, Ostel Bay is a hidden gem not easily stumbled across. To me it is all the more enjoyable because you have to make just a little bit of effort to reach it, but no matter what the weather, when you finally see the perfect setting as you walk through the small sand dunes, it is worth the walk. So, for a day on a pristine beach with no facilities, or for a pleasant flat walk, Ostel Bay is worth a look. The pictures below were taken in May. We thought we had pitched up on a Greek Island it was such a beautiful day.” Recommended by: Leonard Gow, Lochgoilhead Holidays.


Ostel Bay, with its crescent-shaped sweep of sand is truly one of the best beaches in Scotland. Backed by sand dunes with the added bonus of stunning views across Loch Fyne to mountains of Arran, on a sunny day it’s a ideal for sun-bathing, paddling and swimming. It is not a difficult walk so it is ideal for families. If you are looking for it on a map it is also known shown as Kilbride Bay.

Walk Description

  • Take the B800 from Tighnabruaich and Kames to the crossroads at the village of Millhouse. Turn left towards Ardlamont and follow the single track road with passing places a few miles until you reach a parking lay-by just past Kilbride Farm. If it is a nice day the chances are that there will be some cars parked on the grass verge and that is the clue that you are at the right place.
  • Cross over the chain across a Private Road beside the farmhouse and keep walking until you come to a gate with a ‘Beach’ sign. Go through the gate and you follow a path on springy machair, which is covered in flowers in spring and summer until you come to the back of the small sand dunes.
  • Through the dunes and there is no doubt you have arrived. Depending on the tide you will be met by a crescent of beautiful white sand, or else an even greater expanse of sand topped off with uninterrupted views of the whole of the north of Arran.
  • If you want to explore further you can head west along the beach and follow a river until you come to a footbridge. There are rough tracks that will take you along the craggy sea shore of Loch Fyne. Wild scrambling in a total unspoilt landscape. Just you and the birdlife.


First sighting of Arran


The beautiful sands of Ostel Bay


Great paddling beach


There is no public transport to the start.


The route description and comments provided here are intended to complement and not replace the descriptions found in official guidebooks. There are walking guides and leaflets available from the Tourist Information Centres and you can find further information online.