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Kintyre

A district of Argyll and Bute, Kintyre comprises a peninsula extending southwards from Knapdale to which it is linked by a narrow neck of land between East Loch Tarbert and West Loch Tarbert. Just over 42 miles (67 km) in length and between 4 miles (6.5 km) and 11 miles (17.5 km) wide, it rises to a height of 454m (1491 feet) at Beinn an Tuirc to the west of Carradale. The principal settlement of Kintyre is Campbeltown, which has an airport to the west at Machrihanish. Other notable settlements include Tarbert and Southend.

A popular tourist destination, with significantly lower rainfall than many other parts of the West of Scotland, Kintyre markets itself as the mainland island. This claim arises from the occasion when Viking leader Magnus Barelegs had his men drag his longboat across the narrow isthmus between West and East Loch Tarbert in 1098. He had been promised title to any part of the west of Scotland around which he could sail. A long-distance walking route called the Kintyre Way opened in 2006 and criss-crosses the peninsula for 89 miles (142 km).

Its southwesterly tip is known as the Mull of Kintyre which was known to Ptolemy as the Epidium Promontorium and later to become famous in the song by former Beatle Paul McCartney, who bought a farm north of Campbeltown as a retreat in the 1960s. The lighthouse on the Mull was built in 1788 by Thomas Smith (1752 - 1815) and renovated by his step-son Robert Stevenson (1772 - 1850).


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