Mull of Kintyre
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The tarmac road ends at a small parking area with a warning sign 'End of Public Road'.
So isolated was the Mull in 1788 that building material had to be unloaded from ships 6 miles away, loaded on horses and hauled over the mountains. There was a maximum load of 1cwt per horse, and a single journey took a full day each way. The lighthouse was erected near treacherous rocks known as 'The Merchants of Three Pedlars'. The mason was George Shields, who was paid 4s 3d, which included supervising a pair of other masons. The lighthouse was rebuilt in 1821 and equipped with a fog horn in 1876.
Note the closely spaced whitewashed walls surrounding the lighthouse. These wee erected to protect a small vegetable plot planted by a lighthouse keeper. The only way to protect the small garden from high winds was to build windbreaks around it. From the lighthouse you can get wonderful views along the Kintyre coast.
The Chinook MemorialAbove the lighthouse a trail leads off along the slope of the hillside to a memorial cairn erected in memory of 29 people who lost their lives in a tragic accident in 1994, when an RAF Chinook helicopter crashed nearby. The crash is the worst peacetime disaster in RAF history.
If you fancy a bit of strenuous exercise you can reach the Mull of Kintyre on foot from Machrinhanish, a distance of about 6 miles, though there is a good footpath for only the norgthern section of the route. You will pass the ruined township of Balmavicar, and then skirt the Largiebaan Nature Reserve. If you are lucky you may catch sight of golden eagles. You will almost certainly see feral goats grazing on the slopes. The scenery is stunningly beautiful, with views across the Irish Sea to the Antrim coast.
The SongYou can't talk about the Mull of Kintyre without mentioning 'the song'. In 1977 Paul McCartney and his band Wings had a massive hit with a single about the Mull. The former Beatle has owned High Park Farm, about 20 miles to the north, since 1966, and regularly visited the area for family holidays. He wrote the song with band-member Denny Laine in praise of the beauty of the area. The song features bagpipes, played by the Campbeltown Pipe Band. The song was a huge hit, becoming the first UK single to sell 2 million copies.
About Mull of Kintyre
Address: Southend, Kintyre, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Attraction Type: Countryside
Location: On narrow lanes off the B842 west of Southend. Well signposted. Steep walk from the parking area at the end of the public road.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
St Columba's Chapel, Holy Well, & Footprints - 5.1 miles (Historic Church)
Dunaverty Castle - 6.2 miles (Castle)
Kilkivan Chapel and Graveyard - 8.2 miles (Historic Church)
Campbeltown Cross - 11.1 miles (Historic Building)
Davaar Island and Crucifixion Painting - 12.8 miles (Countryside)
Kildonan Dun, Kintyre - 16.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Saddell Abbey - 19 miles (Abbey)
Kilpatrick Dun - 22.5 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Nearest Accommodation to Mull of Kintyre:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Mull of Kintyre. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Tourist Information Centre
Argyll and Bute
Tel: 01586 552 056