Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse: Navigating Scotland's Iconic Beacon and Its Challenging Road
Nestled on Scotland's rugged Kintyre Peninsula, the Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse beckons travelers with its historical allure and the challenge of its winding coastal road. This iconic landmark is more than just a beacon; it's a journey through Scotland's maritime past and breathtaking landscapes. Dive into the captivating tale of this renowned spot and the path that leads to it.
What is Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse famous for?
Celebrated in a song by Paul McCartney, this still operational lighthouse stands as the second one ever commissioned in Scotland. Following a series of devastating storms in 1782, which resulted in multiple shipwrecks around the Kintyre peninsula, it was constructed in 1788 by Thomas Smith, a process that took nearly 22 months. In 1824, it underwent a redesign under the guidance of Robert Stevenson. Modern upgrades came in 1976 when it was electrified, and then in 1996 when it was automated. Tragically, on June 2, 1994, a RAF Chinook helicopter, transporting security personnel from Northern Ireland, crashed into cliffs near the lighthouse, leading to the loss of 29 lives. A memorial now stands on the headland in their memory.
Is it worth visiting the Mull of Kintyre?
Located 9 miles (14 km) southwest of Campbeltown in Argyll and Bute, the building is set 240 feet above the sea near the rocks known as "The Merchants of Three Pedlars". The hills, shores and sea around the Mull of Kintyre offer the chance to see an abundant amount of wildlife. As you get closer to the lighthouse, you can admire stunning views of the West Coast of the country.
How do you get to Mull of Kintyre?
Starting at Campbeltown, the road to the lighthouse is 11.26km (7.0 miles) long, but the last 1.93km (1.2 miles) are closed to private vehicles (with the exception of a few events), ending on a parking lot (room for about 10-15 cars). It’s a private road.
Is the road to Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse challenging?
The road to the lighthouse is not easy. It’s a challenging single track not for the faint- hearted. The road is totally paved but very steep, hitting a brutal 20.4% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. The gradients are obscene and regular. It is a long narrow twisty road but the views on the way up and around of the moors and valleys are amazing and gave another perspective on the wonderful Scottish landscape. It is a rickety road to get there, if you don't like heights stay away. Not advisable for very large vehicles, and caravans are an absolute no.