The latest promotional news from the Machrihanish Dunes team is clever, fun, contextualised, utterly memorable and is a major prompt for marketing Campbeltown.
Headlined ‘Choice Kintyre Holiday’, the strapline is ‘At the end of the long and winding road’.
And it is.
Southworth Developments’ massive investment in the future of the Mull of Kintyre are situated at west and east of the start of the Mull, the unique Machrihanish dunes golf course and the luxurious Royal Hotel, Ugadale Hotel and Ugadale Cottages
The most famous resident of the Mull of Kintyre was the man who made it a song sung worldwide – Paul McCartney – author also of The Long and Winding Road.
And that road is the A83 – Argyll’s artery, the bloodstream carrying oxygen into Argyll from its most easterly side on Loch Lomond, across it to the west coast and way south to what is by far its most southerly point at the Mull of Kintyre.
The A83 is not only THE single key access to the mainland landmass of Argyll and to the ferry ports to its mass of islands but it is a trunk road only to little over its half way mark at Kennacraig, the ferry port to Islay.
This is an economically illiterate decision by Transport Scotland and by a Scottish Government manifestly bereft of any economic development strategy for the entire west coast of Scotland.
But the promotion from Mach Dunes – as it is colloquially called, catching its revved upness – turns negative neatly to positive because, trunk status or not, this long and winding road is a beauty.
Those of us who live in Argyll drive all or part of this road on a daily basis, we enjoy it – who could not? – but we stop looking at it as the conduit of and to delight that it is. Whichever way it carries you there are intakes of breath and promises along the way.
There’s the short isthsmus between Loch Lomond and Loch Long, with that surreal view of the Addams Family crown of The Cobbler.
There’s the rise to Rest and Be Thankful, the glorious mountain pass at the head of Glen Croe – with your heart in your mouth if the landslide warning signs are on – thank you again, Transport Scotland.
There’s the sweep down to Loch Fyne, the longest sea loch in the UK, keeping you company all the way through Mid Argyll and down to the one of the most picturesque villages in Scotland, Tarbert in Kintyre.
There’s the grandeur of the section along and high above West Loch Tarbert, emptying you on to the wilder and open Atlantic coast, turning south in company with the long inshore sea-snake Isle of Gigha – God’s Island.
There’s the run on down the Kintyre peninsula, with the views to the Paps Of Jura, Islay and, increasingly, the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland in the distance. Here is often treeless landscape, magically and sometimes geometrically sculpted by the wind, with sandy beaches, breaking waves, the special light of the west and The Erinnes – flights of lumpy rock formations marching from land to sea in the area around Muasdale.
Then, just as the road swings east inland to cross the neck of the Mull of Kintyre to Campbeltown, there’s the long stretch of Westport beach with the two world class golf courses behind it, reaching over to the Mull at Machrihanish.
Crossing the peninsula to Campbeltown, you get the hilliness of the spine of the Kintyre peninsula on your left contrasting with the flat plain of what is effectively an isthsmus to the Mull.
And the A83 takes you to Campbeltown, a seriously weighty and spacious merchant town along the head of the wide Campbeltown Loch, guarded by the rearing Davaar Island at its southern entrance.
This is one gorgeous road, without a boring moment and, as the lyrics of the McCartney song cited by Mach Dunes say:
‘The long and winding road that leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before it always leads me here
Leads me to your door .’
Campbeltown, as a whole, now needs to ramp up the offer that lies behind that door. Southworth Developments, West Coast Motors and Kintyre Express are in the vanguard of private sector investors already doing just that.
The newly formed Kintyre and Gigha Marketing Group is gearing up to promote what the business sector deliver to them.
The Choice Kintyre Holiday, headlining Southworth Development’s Machrihanish Dunes promotion, offers:
- Choose your hotel – the Royal on the waterfront in Campbeltown, the Ugadale, sighting along Westport beach at Machrihanish or the Ugadale cottages, set close to the famous first hole at Machrihanish Golf course – all top rated).
- Choose your free leisure activity – with golf up there but not alone.
- Choose your price – from £79 per person per night from Sunday to Thursday; and frm £89 per person per night on Fridays and Saturdays.
West Coast Motors runs five coach returns a day between Campbeltwon and Glasgow – on the A83, with time to relax and watch the wonderful landscape of Argyll reveal its serial shapechanging.
Kintyre Fxpress ferries people, their bicycles and golf bags (both go free) between Campbeltowo and Ballycastle on the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland. They also do charters – a perhaps surprisingly affordable unique pleasure – and in this part of the world you’re spoiled for choice of places to go by sea.
Kintyre Express is interested in attracting the necessary support for a fast passenger ferry service out of Machrihanish and over to Port Ellen on Islay.
Now that would be a serious game changer in the regeneration of the majestic town on the Mull of Kintyre at the end is the ‘long and winding road’ that will reward serious celebration – and trunking.