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Updated 05/23/2013


The Mull of Kintyre

The Mull of Kintyre is the most southwesterly section of the long Kintyre Peninsula in southwestern Scotland, approximately 10 miles from Campbeltown. The name is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic Maol Chinn Těre  or in English "The rounded [or bare] headland of Kintyre".

The Mull has been an important landbridge throughout history. It is thought that it was used by early humans in their travels from continental Europe to Ireland. In more recent times it was used again by the Scotti when they travelled from Ireland to establish the kingdom of Dál Riata in modern-day Argyll.

The Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse was the second lighthouse commissioned in Scotland by the Commissioners of the Northern Lights. It was designed and built by Thomas Smith and completed in 1788. Smith had previously designed the light at Kinnaird Head, but Mull of Kintyre was to be a far more substantial project in a far more remote location.

The lighthouse was rebuilt in the 1820s, converted to electrical power in 1976, and automated in 1996. The lighthouse keeper's cottage is now run as a holiday cottage by the National Trust for Scotland.

"Mull of Kintyre" is also a popular 1977 song by former Beatle Paul McCartney and his band Wings. The song was penned by McCartney and bandmate Denny Laine in tribute to the picturesque Mull of Kintyre peninsula, where McCartney had owned a home and recording studio since the late 1960s.  

The lyrics are an ode to the area's natural beauty and sense of home:

Mull of Kintyre
Oh mist rolling in from the sea,
My desire is always to be here
Oh Mull of Kintyre

McCartney explained how the song came into being:

"I certainly loved Scotland enough, so I came up with a song about where we were living; an area called Mull of Kintyre. It was a love song really, about how I enjoyed being there and imagining I was traveling away and wanting to get back there."