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Kintyre and its Way

I spent the last two days in Kintyre, visiting Campbeltown for an event to support and develop tourism surrounding the Kintyre Way. This new long-distance walk opened in August 2006, and we are publishing a guidebook for it in October. Co-author Sandra Bardwell and I will do the research trip in May, but this was a golden opportunity to meet some of the people we want to work with, and also to get my first taste of the peninsula. The drive from Dunblane via Loch Lomond and Loch Fyne was wonderful, with stunning scenery on both coastlines, Atlantic and Firth of Clyde.

Davaar.jpg

Campbeltown has a fantastic natural harbour sheltered by Davaar Island, seen above at sunrise just before the event. It was held in the Aqualibrium, a glaring white concrete cylinder housing a leisure centre and "family room" with appalling acoustics where our sessions were held – seriously headache-inducing for group work. What on earth must it be like when full of noisy children? Colin Hossack of the Forestry Commission gave us an inspiring presentation on the assets of Kintyre for the walker, and Steve Duncan provided the Visitscotland perspective.

Before the start, I had a look at the wonderful Lorne and the Lowland, known locally as the Longrow Church. Its tall tower dominates the skyline from Campbeltown Loch. An early work by John Burnet (1869), its wonderful sweeping curves create the warmest, most welcoming interior of any church I've visited. It's encouragingly well looked after, and obviously plays an active role at the heart of the community. I was lucky enough to find workmen repairing the roof, so I was able to get inside with my camera:

LLInterior.jpg

The only downside of my trip was over 40 midge-bites from my lochside evening walk. If that's what they're like in March, what must it be like in high summer? (Postscript 3.4.07: still itching badly, over a week later!)

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 28, 2007 7:44 AM.

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