Taynish NNR - Visiting the reserve

Taynish NNR is perfect for a peaceful walk at any time of year and offers exciting opportunities to see birds and wildlife.




We are doing our best to get back to normal but it will take some time to re-open all our facilities safely.

Our car parks are open but many public toilets remain closed; please plan your visit with this in mind.

We ask that you continue to follow Scottish Government and NHS guidelines and help protect yourself, your family and your local community:

  • Maintain hand hygiene
  • Follow physical distancing guidelines

While you are out and about, please take extra care to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Thank you for your patience and support; we look forward to welcoming you back safely.

​Getting here

Taynish NNR is in Argyll, close to the village of Tayvallich.

By car

From the A816 (Oban to Lochgilphead), turn onto the B8025 to Tayvallich 2 kilometres south of Kilmartin. Or take the B841at Cairnbaan and turn onto the B8025 at Bellanoch. The reserve car park is 2 kilometres south of Tayvallich.

The road between the village and the reserve car park is single track with passing places.  It is not suitable for large motor-homes.

PA31 8PW is the nearest postcode (centred on Tayvallich village).

By public transport

The nearest bus stop is in Tayvallich (2 kilometres), serviced by buses from Lochgilphead.

The nearest railway station is Oban (40 kilometres) on the Oban to Crianlarich line.

By bike

The Ford to Ormisary section of NCN Route 78 (Oban to Campbeltown) passes near the reserve. Leave the route at Bellanoch and follow the B8025 for 12 kilometres through Tayvallich to the car park. There is a bike rack by a shed at the end of the reserve track (about 2 kilometres beyond the car park).


Taynish National Nature Reserve

Reserve car park one mile south of Tayvallich, on partly unmetalled road.

Local bus service from Lochgilphead to Tayvallich.



For visitors

Visit Taynish is a good introduction to the reserve.


There are public toilets in the village of Tayvallich on the way to the reserve.

The nearest accessible public toilets are in Lochgilphead or at the museum in Kilmartin (21 kilometres away).

Picnic areas

Enjoy a picnic at the Mill. There are three benches, one of which is fully accessible.

There are also picnic benches in the field at the start of the Coastal Trails and on the shore at the end of the short coastal trail.

Rest areas

There are two seats on the Mill path and one at the loch shore just beyond the Mill. There are benches at good viewpoints on the Woodland and Barr Mor Trails. There is also a bench halfway along the reserve track.

Trails for all

Explore the oakwoods on the Woodland Trail. This is a mostly level and well surfaced route around this remarkable northern ‘rainforest’.

If you’re feeling more energetic, the Barr Mor Trail is strenuous, with some steep climbs, but you’ll be rewarded with fabulous views.

The Coastal Trails take you to the southern shore on mostly level and well surfaced paths.

Seasonal highlights

Taynish is a glorious place for a walk at any time of year. May to June are best for woodland wildlife.


Spring brings a colourful carpet of white wood anemones, hazy purple bluebells and pale yellow primroses. Mosses and lichens continue to flourish. There are birds aplenty and the resident buzzards and woodpeckers are joined by summer visitors from Africa.


Summer is the season for dazzling dragonflies and beautiful butterflies, including the rare marsh fritillary. Taynish is one of the best places in Scotland to see butterflies – it boasts more than 20 species. And is also a great spot for nesting wood warblers and redstarts among other summer visitors.


The woodland comes alive in a riot of colour with the vibrant russets, reds and ochres of oak, birch, willow and alder. Bracken and ferns add muted hues of brown and gold to create a stunning visual feast.


The woodlands are frosted pale grey, with the green of old man’s beard lichen, dotted with the bright red of holly berries. Look out for whooper swans and great northern divers.